Alabama's newest Senator, Doug Jones, making his maiden speech on the Senate floor. Using his time to hit gun control at the core.
Jones, the newbie on Capital Hill, not showing any first day jitters as he took the Senate floor in his first address since his historic election. He didn't waste time and dove quickly into one of the biggest hot button issues in our country today, gun violence.
A native Alabamian and avid hunter himself, Jones made a point to begin with sharing his personal story and love of guns. He owns a collection and understands gun control is complicated.
Across the country, people are calling for reform after last month’s high school shooting in Florida. Jones said it is our duty to have a serious discussion on gun safety.
"I have many obligations, and I believe that the first obligation of government is to protect it's citizens. We spend unimaginable amounts of money fighting our enemies abroad and terrorists that attack us at home. Yet on many levels we fail our children and grandchildren every morning when we pack their backpacks and send them into harms way."
He used the time to also call out Alabama's rising gun death rate… it’s currently second worst in the country. Jones compared the action taken by students at marjory stoneman douglas high to civil activists who helped force change here in alabama more than 50 years ago.
"I believe we have finally reached a tipping point regarding gun violence now, not because of the mass shooting in parkland, florida, but thanks to the millions of young voices across the country, led by students at marjory stoneman douglas high school. Much like the students who took to the streets of birmingham in 1963, who were attacked by firehoses and police dogs, woke the consciousness of america to civil rights, these young men and women are awakening the consciousness of america regarding gun violence."
Directly following his speech, WAAY 31 asked Senator Jones how he plans to direclty help fix the gun death rate in Alabama and he told us the first step is to fix the system and inforce laws that are already in the books such a background checks. He believes they should be in place for all gun sales and transfers.