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The Republican way

Republicans and Democrats share the same goal — to end violence in our communities. Every life lost is a tragedy.

Where we differ is on the methods we should employ to reach that goal. Democrats want to use the ‘obvious, easy, and wrong’ approach — ban guns.

Republicans know that the issues surrounding violence are far more complex. Other states and cities have dealt with shooting problems, and there’s a great deal of research that supports it.

Operation Ceasefire in Boston was implemented during a particularly violent time in the city’s history. Gang violence and random shootings seemed to be the rule rather than the exception.

The program isn’t simple: it involves community engagement, law enforcement cooperation, cross-jurisdictional communication, and a willingness to work as a team. At the most basic level, the program used “levers” to send a message to those who would commit violence.

Police analyzed data and found neighborhoods with the highest concentration of shootings. They descended in force and brought extreme pressure to bear on those most likely to do the shooting — drug dealers, known violent gang members, etc.

Whether it was warrant enforcement, probation violations, drug interdiction, or even vehicle registration checks, law enforcement worked with prosecutors to come down hard on those who could carry a message back to those doing the shootings — we will be here until the shooting stops.

Rather than simply react to each shooting, the Ceasefire team used every available measure to stop shootings and other violence before they started. The results were startling.

When implemented in Boston, there was a 63 percent reduction in youth homicides. Assaults with firearms dropped by 25 percent, with a 44 percent drop in assaults by young people using firearms in targeted areas. Calls to police to report “shots fired” fell by 32 percent.

This is the kind of common-sense, evidence-based program that has been proven to make a difference. By focusing on criminals, rather than law abiding citizens, we can make real progress and respect Second Amendment rights.

This bill also brings a complementary federal program, Project Safe Neighborhoods, into the Department of Criminal Justice Services’ new Division of Group Violence Intervention for better and closer coordination.

CNBC just named Virginia the Best State for Business in the country, a great sign for our strong economy and the future of our commonwealth.

CNBC highlighted several Republican-led initiatives including our efforts to reduce regulations by 25 percent over the next three years, improve Virginia’s workforce through credentialing programs and affordable technology degrees, and our strong public education system.

The number one ranking comes despite Democratic efforts to rollback the policies that put us in this spot. CNBC specifically cited our strong, pro-business right-to-work laws which Democrats are seeking to repeal. CNBC also specifically cited Amazon, a project that Lee Carter and other Democrats have voiced opposition to.

The Virginia Chamber of Commerce recently released a report saying that the Republican-led General Assembly defeated $17 trillion worth of bad business bills that would have killed over 150,000 jobs. This included bills introduced by Democrats to create an energy tax scheme that would significantly increase energy prices.

The stakes for November could not be clearer. The narrow, 51-49 Republican majority in the House of Delegates is the only thing standing between Virginia and complete, unchecked Democratic control of the commonwealth.

DEL. C. MATTHEW FARISS represents Buckingham in the Virginia House of Delegates. His email address is DelMFariss@house. virginia.gov.