STATEMENT OF REP. CEDRIC GATES REGARDING VIOLENCE AND SHOOTINGS IN LEEWARD COAST
Waiʻanae, Hawaiʻi – Representative Cedric Gates (D-45 Wai‘anae, Mākaha) issued the following statement:
"Throughout the past few months, our community has been heartbroken to see incidents of gun violence and other criminal acts take place on the Westside. Some of these incidents involve our youth. As we express support for the families affected by these senseless acts of violence, we, as a unified community in Waiʻanae, are coming together to say "No More!" Waking up to the news of yet another tragedy every day is a painful experience for us all, and we're calling for an end to the violence, now.
It is important to maintain a clear distinction between lawmaking and law enforcement, and I have consistently advocated for increased funding for the Honolulu Police Department during my time in office through various introduced resolutions, and our residents have continued to call for improved HPD presence in Waiʻanae. We need the support and collaboration of the mayor, police chief, and area councilmember to address the safety concerns that permeate our community.
While we have implemented stricter regulations for licensed carriers, we observe that these acts of violence often involve illegally obtained firearms, manufactured without any oversight. We must explore strategies to combat the black market responsible for producing these illegal weapons, which are inflicting harm upon our communities.
In the upcoming weeks, Westside legislators will organize an event on the Waiʻanae Coast to pay tribute to the victims of gun violence and extend our assistance to the affected families. Our goal is to come together, united against gun violence in our communities.
Let us join hands in creating a path towards safety, peace, and unity in Waiʻanae."