The mayor of Buffalo, New York, urged lawmakers to take “sensible” action to combat gun violence and hate speech on Sunday after ten people were gunned down in his community in what authorities believe was a racially motivated attack.
“The thing that this tragedy shows us is that this can occur anywhere. It’s not just Buffalo,” Mayor Byron Brown, speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said of Saturday’s supermarket shooting in a predominantly Black community.
“No community seemingly is safe from these mass shootings. It’s not just Buffalo, New York, it’s communities in every corner of this country that are unsafe with guns and with the hateful ideology that has been allowed to proliferate on social media and the internet,” Brown said in a separate interview with CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
Authorities have said that the 18-year-old suspect arrested in Saturday’s violence, which left 13 people shot, had researched local demographics, looking for places with a high concentration of Black residents, before traveling several hours to Buffalo with an assault rifle and a tactical vest.
Rather than looking into how Blacks and people of color can feel safe in the violence’s wake, Brown urged fellow lawmakers to tackle what he said is a “uniquely American phenomenon” with guns.
“We have to focus on sensible gun control. That said, after all of these mass shootings that have taken place in this country for different reasons, year in and year out, month in and month out, week in and week out, let Buffalo, New York, be the last place that this kind of mass shooting happens,” he told CBS News’ Margaret Brennan.
Saturday’s mass shooting was the 198th this year. It was also the deadliest this year, according to a tally by the Gun Violence Archive, which is an independent nonprofit group.
The gun used in this weekend’s attack was purchased legally in New York, but it had been modified with “illegal magazines” that are available in other states, like nearby Pennsylvania, said New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Earlier this year, Hochul vowed to clamp down on illegal guns crossing state lines into New York and on Sunday said she plans to announce a new gun reform package this week.
“We had already planned to be announcing a comprehensive gun package to address further loopholes that exist in our laws,” she said at a press briefing. “We’re doing everything we can to ensure that our laws are tight. They’re ironclad to ensure that our law enforcement has the resources they need.”