Pro Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, who has been sworn in as a member of multiple police departments and plans to run for Henry County (Ga.) sheriff in 2020, says a solution for gun violence in schools is an increased police presence.
“Two things that have never mixed are children and guns,” O’Neal said during an interview on WABC Radio on Wednesday. ” … Something has to be done. You hear a lot of people talking about getting these guns off the streets. Only problem with that is there’s 15 million of them out there already on the streets. Another problem is, if you ban them, then you’re going to create an underground market, and the gun collectors are going to become more valuable.
“I think the quick fix now, the government should give law enforcement more money. Give more money, recruit more people, and the guys that are not ready to go in the streets, you put them in front of the schools. You put them in front of the schools, you put them behind the schools, you put them inside the schools.”
O’Neal last week voiced his support on social media for March For Our Lives — marches on the streets of Washington, D.C. and throughout the world during which the participants will “demand that their lives and safety become a priority, and that we end gun violence in our schools and communities.”
I am proud to support the incredible students behind #marchforourlives. Join us on March 24 as we march on Washington, DC and across the country to demand an end to gun violence and mass shootings in America https://t.co/dt8b5D3GRr
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) March 8, 2018
The marches, set for later this month, were organized by students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as a response to last month’s deadly shooting.
“Hopefully it sends a message to the powers that be,” O’Neal said. “We have to stop this. I mean, I would like to see tougher background checks. It was just a sad incident. I really feel for the parents. Imagine being a parent going to work and you get a call that your baby was gunned down for no reason. At all. … The children are the future. We have to protect our children. And if you can’t protect our children, in school, where are they safe?”