OCEAN CITYMd.- Of the ten Democratic candidates running for governor of Maryland, five have accepted an invitation to participate in the Governors’ Forum of the Maryland State Bar Association.
They discussed four main topics including climate change, access to courts and the legalization of marijuana.
The topic circulating the most in the country is gun violence with multiple mask shootings occurring in recent weeks.
Former Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler said education is needed.
“I want to make sure we get illegal guns off the streets,” Gansler said. “I want to make sure criminals who carry guns and commit crimes are jailed for a long time. But at the same time, I started the first drug course in Maryland history. I started the first violence course in Maryland history and I want to make sure we have it in all 24 jurisdictions.”
Former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker agrees with Gansler and says more opportunities need to be presented for people to have a better life.
“We certainly need to arrest and convict those who commit crimes with guns,” Baker said. “But second, we also need to change the environments people live in. We need to provide more job opportunities and more job training. We also need to provide more mental and behavioral health.”
Former Education Secretary under President Obama, John King, said special attention needs to be paid to children’s access to firearms.
“We’re lucky in Maryland to have strong gun laws, but they could be stricter,” King said. “We could have stronger protections against, for example, children and access to their parents’ gun. We can have better reporting on the source of illegal guns when they are seized by the police so that we can get to the bottom of the illegal gun flow in the state.”
While former nonprofit executive Jon Baron would like to see Maryland implement policies similar to other states.
“Maryland should do what Massachusetts and Oregon have done, which is require gun owners to lock up and store their guns when not in use,” Baron said.
“Bread and Roses” socialist Jerome Segal says he would change the age at which people can have access to firearms.
“I would prevent access to guns at least until people are 21 rather than 18,” Segal said. “There’s an awful lot of craziness going on in those years when the brain is still developing.”
Agendas with different goals on gun violence that all five agree to stop across the country and they don’t want it to happen in Maryland.