Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Stacey Abrams, who believes she is the governor of Georgia in her mind, both said that gun violence is a foreign policy issue. Both of them made that declaration at a left-wing foreign policy forum in Washington D.C.
The United States’ gun violence problem isn’t just a domestic issue — it’s a national security and foreign policy crisis.
That’s the case that Stacey Abrams, a former Georgia House minority leader who lost the heavily contested governor’s race, and Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans’ former mayor, made Friday at a Washington conference aimed at defining a progressive foreign policy.
Hosted by National Security Action, a left-leaning organization that works with Democrats to create a coherent foreign policy, the gathering brought together current lawmakers, top Obama-era officials, and political operatives to discuss issues like climate change, immigration, and Donald Trump’s presidency. But the final panel featuring Abrams and Landrieu, billed as a discussion about what foreign policy means to local communities, took a surprising turn.
“Our values espoused abroad must be reflected by the values experienced at home,” said Abrams, who is mulling a presidential run. “One of the challenges … endemic to gun violence is that we cannot challenge and chastise other nations for the security of their people, when we allow our people to be randomly murdered for the lack of spine to call out the problem.”
Gun violence, for example, can be regarded as a national security issue, Abrams continued. “We do ourselves a great disservice when we send our foreign policy folks abroad to chastise and castigate” other countries if we don’t solve that problem at home.
Mitch Landrieu agreed with Abrams. Why? Because he says gun violence is killing potential military recruits.
In addition to other things, Landrieu agreed about the need to address the gun violence problem — which he experienced up close as the mayor of New Orleans — because potential military recruits are being needlessly killed throughout the country.
He also added another point about America’s gun violence: “When we say ‘homeland security,’ you actually have to secure the homeland. Not just from people that might be coming this way militarily to hurt us, but actually on the streets, every day, all the time.”
The problem is we know what Mitch Landrieu’s real concern was as mayor and it was not gun violence. He was more interested in knocking down statues and solving everything else instead of fighting crime. But he did pass a completely ineffective gun control ordinance.
As for Stacey Abrams, she’s looking for a way to distinguish herself from everyone else running for president. But her problem is that other candidates are also running on ways to disarm Americans fight gun violence.
According to Vox, most experts at the forum were skeptical of the argument that gun violence is a national security issue. For them, it would open up too many questions related to how much should the Pentagon and State Department get involved on the issue.
This is not a serious proposal. Instead, it’s just a way for a couple of has-beens to try and gain attention for their flagging national aspirations.