Melissa Harris-Perry and her guests on Sunday discussed whether the best answer to gun violence is ending the “War on Drugs.”
About 800 people die every year as a result of gang violence, Harris-Perry said, “a large percentage of which are connected to drug trafficking.”
When it comes to gun violence, “maybe ending the War on Drugs is the best gun control measure we can enact,” as many violent gangs would no longer have a lucrative business in prohibited substances.
Michael Skolnik, political advisor for Russell Simmons, claims that President Obama has “taken steps” to end the drug war.
Obama has said recently that he has “bigger fish to fry” than new marijuana legalization measures in Colorado and Washington. But a Rolling Stone article from 2012 claims that his administration has instigated a “multiagency crackdown on medical cannabis that goes far beyond anything undertaken by George W. Bush.”
“I think that if you look at the school-to-prison pipeline, how we take our kids and just basically manufacture them to become prisoners if you look at it in a concrete way,” said Skolnik.
He then refers to Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), who has proposed the Youth Promise Act, which “looks at holistic approaches to gang intervention and prevention to violence intervention and prevention” and rebuild communities destroyed by the drug war.
Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which advocates for stronger gun control, argued that it was still important to “talk about what we can do right now to keep guns off our streets and out of the hands of dangerous people,” and also said that mental illness and education should also be addressed in the coming debate on gun control.
All these conversations, he argued, should be “grounded in access to guns.”
Watch the video, via MSNBC, below.