WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — After a racially-motivated shooting in Buffalo Saturday left 10 people dead, lawmakers on both sides are weighing in as calls grow for Washington to do something to stop the violence.
Many Democrats say they’re ready to call the deadly shooting where a gunman targeted Black Americans an act of “domestic terrorism” and say it’s time the country confront a growing threat: hate.
“We have domestic terrorism problem in America,” Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J., said on the House floor Monday. “It’s the same idea that motivated another man to gun down African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina … another man to gun down Hispanic Americans in El Paso.”
Malinowski called on Democrats and Republicans to denounce hateful speech fueling the violence and “tamp down these horrible, hateful ideas.”
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the victims, demanded Washington act during an emotional press conference.
“We can’t sugar coat it, we can’t try explain it away talking about mental illness. No, this was an act of domestic terrorism,” Crump said.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Monday said the administration is committed to addressing the problem.
“This weekend’s terrible events in Buffalo are just another vivid reminder of the urgency of that work,” Jean-Pierre said.
While denouncing the violence, some Republicans like Alabama Rep. Jerry Carl are cautioning Democrats to not overreact.
“You know, we’re past that. Let’s be Americans. But you get one example, one person like this, and it throws us back 10, 15 years of getting that stuff put in our past,” Carl said.
President Joe Biden on Monday paid tribute to the victims during a medal ceremony for first responders. One of the victims who tried to stop the shooter was also a security guard.
The president will be heading to Buffalo Tuesday to meet with the families of the victims.