As he made preparations to attend the National Conference of State Legislatures, District 28 Assemblyman Craig Stanley sat down with Newark Mayor Cory Booker last Thursday to talk about ways he could convince other lawmakers around the country to coordinate gang combat measures.
"While I was en route here, the kids were shot," Stanley said in a telephone interview from Boston, reflecting on the West Ward execution-style murders of Terrance Aeriel, Deshawn Harvey and Ofemi Hightower.
"It really took me aback, and it reminded me that we need to look at this issue collectively and treat it as the number one problem in America," Stanley said.
It's a bigger problem than terrorism, in his view.
"Gang violence is impacting the fabric of our society, and we're not putting sufficient resources in place to fight it," said Stanley. "The reality is that Mayor Cory Booker does not have the resources to fight this battle. They're under-manned. We need to look at getting states to coordinate efforts to fight gun trafficking. We must summon the political will."