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Exclusive: Vice President Kamala Harris Discusses Gun Violence Prevention With Quavo In Atlanta

Vice President Kamala Harris returned to Atlanta to host a summit on gun violence prevention with Quavo and The Rocket Foundation.

Held at the Carter Center, the first-ever Rocket Foundation Summit served as a collaboration with VP Harris and the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention. The summit aimed to uplift community violence intervention (CVI) efforts in Atlanta and beyond.

Greg Jackson, Deputy Director of The White House Office of Gun Violence, moderated a fireside chat which featured VP Harris and Quavo.

“Gun violence is not only about that the tragedy of life that is lost, but also the trauma that can exist for a lifetime,” Harris said during the conversation. “We have to put resources into diagnosis and treatment. Let’s think about it in terms of the tragedy is that gun violence in America is the number one killer of children. Not car accidents, not cancer, but gun violence. One in five Americans has a family member that was killed by gun. Black victims of gun violence are 10 times more likely to be a victim of gun violence. So it’s a real issue that requires everybody’s priority in terms of addressing it. And there are many ways to do it. That includes what we need to do around election time.”

Harris also spoke about a need for a ban on assault rifles.

“We need an assault weapons ban,” Harris said. “I’m in favor of the Second Amendment, but we need universal background checks. I’m in favor of the Second Amendment and we need red flag laws. The people in the United States Congress must have the courage to stand up to the gun lobbyists and take action around what is just reasonable universal background checks. You just might want to know before someone can buy a weapon. If they’ve been found to be a danger to themselves or others,  you just might want to know.”

Photo: A.R. Shaw

Quavo also shared his thoughts on losing his nephew Takeoff (Kirsnick Ball) to gun violence and how it inspired him to start the Rocket Foundation.

“I’m a victim. I got a second chance,” Quavo said. “When I saw him laying there, I saw myself laying there. When I’m doing something like The Rocket Foundation I just want to uplift his legacy and make sure to keep his name alive. So that’s why we are here.”

The event also honored Takeoff’s legacy and life, as well as the lives of the countless victims of gun violence. Mayor Andre Dickens presented Quavo and his family with a proclamation for Takeoff and a day in his honor. 

The summit featured two additional panels: the first — led by Community Justice Action Fund, LIVE FREE, and Cities United — focused on gun violence crisis in the United States and how community violence intervention is an effective solution for this issue. The second panel will be focused on youth programs. Led by Youth Over Guns, Offenders Alumni Association, and H.O.P.E. Hustlers, this panel aims to discuss the importance of supporting and investing in youth programs in order to build safer communities and reduce gun violence.

In 2023, Quavo joined forces with Community Justice Action Fund to meet with members of Congress in Washington, D.C. Led by Sen. Raphael Warnock, the discussion involved effective methods to help prevent gun violence in America. It also provided space for Quavo to share how art and culture could be a tool for gun violence prevention.