MONTGOMERY — State Sen. Jay Hovey (R-Auburn) said on Tuesday that "people are going to try to politicize" the Dadeville shooting, but "we're never going to be able to legislate morality."

Hovey said on the Senate floor on Tuesday, "It's the loss of these four lives and the additional 28 injured that I want to honor today." 

"I've been honored to get to know the good people of Dadeville and Tallapoosa County over the last year, and my heart goes out to the entire community in the wake of these tragic events," Hovey added. "People are going to try to politicize this event as so many others that break our hearts, but I'm going to tell you now, and you'll hear me say over and over again over the next years that we work together that we're never going to be able to legislate morality."

"The evil in this world that continues to devastate our communities across the country can only be defeated in the hearts and minds and homes and churches in these communities," he continued. "There will be discussions on this floor and in legislative bodies across this country about the responsibility of legislators. While we have the responsibility to do everything we can to protect our communities, this war will only be won by changing hearts."

State Sen. Merika Coleman (D-Pleasant Grove) said on the Senate floor, "I just want us as a body to have the political courage to actually do something."

Coleman said she found out on Sunday her friend, Clifford Toney, Sr., lost his granddaughter in the recent Dadeville shooting. Coleman is the sponsor of so-called red flag gun legislation that would ban firearm ownership for individuals under a "gun violence protective order."

"I just hope that we as a body will have the political courage to do something and I'm extending to all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle including the administration at the Governor's Office," Coleman said. "Can we sit down and come up with something and do something?"

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