COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A roundtable was held by local organizations, state leaders, and law enforcement to address concerns about gun violence, mass shootings, and white nationalism.
Mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio killed 31 people earlier this month.
Those who attended the discussion encouraged to write down questions for the panel concerning school shootings, gun laws, and hate crimes in South Carolina.
Currently, South Carolina is 1 of 4 states that does not have a hate crime bill. Local leaders and organizations say that needs to change.
The roundtable comes weeks after Richland County deputies arrested a 16-year-old, former Cardinal Newman student after he threatened to shoot up the school in a thread of text messages.
“When you raise a young people at a young age to hate, he will act that hate out not knowing that he is wrong because he was taught to do that and that’s what a lot of these KKK organizations do, they train them at a young age just like Dylan Roof," SC President of the National Action Network Elder James Johnson said. “Dylan Roof had no remorse over killing those 9 people, he never thought he was wrong because he was taught that black people was less than human. So what I’m saying is that it’s here in the state and he have to deal with now.”
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott and Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook attended today’s discussion. Sheriff Lott has previously said it is a “shame” South Carolina does not have any hate crime laws on the books.