A rabbi with the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, which was the site of a mass shooting in October, said he felt like he was watching a horror film when he heard about the deadly mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques on Friday.

“To me it was as though I’m living the movie ‘Groundhog Day’ as a horror film all over again,” Dr. Jeffrey Myers told MSNBC's Katy Tur.


Myers argued that hateful speech is the source of much of the violence facing religious groups and minorities, though acknowledged that a solution will not come easily.

“We need to remember that no matter how many of these incidents do occur––and regrettably one is one too many in our world––there is so much good in the world. I wish I could just list off three easy answers and say, ‘This will solve it.’ It’s far more complex than that,” he said.

The Tree of Life synagogue was the site of a mass shooting in October that killed 11 worshipers. The attack Friday at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, left 49 people dead and dozens of others injured.

“To go to the root of the issue is not to look at the events that occur but the sources of it, which means speech. And where do you get your h-speech from? You get it from lack of understanding, a lack of education, a lack of respect for the community that surrounds you. So certainly to me one element is the language, the tone of discourse in our country is less civil, it’s more uncivil,” he added, referring to hate speech.

The attack Friday sparked condemnation from around the world, including from the White House and Capitol Hill. President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal plan to contain Washington protests employs 7,600 personnel: report GOP Rep calls on primary opponent to condemn campaign surrogate's racist video Tennessee court rules all registered voters can obtain mail-in ballots due to COVID-19 MORE tweeted his "warmest sympathy and best wishes" to people in New Zealand after the "horrible massacre."

"49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!" he wrote on Twitter.

During his interview on MSNBC, Myers put much of the onus on current tensions in the U.S. on coarse political dialogue on both sides of the aisle.

“I don’t think our leaders have served us well when they are the ones to model the proper way to speak and behave with each other. When they’re uncivilized towards each other, they give us the permission to therefore act that way with our neighbors. I don’t see that changing anytime soon in our elected leaders,” he said.

“I think it has to come from the ground up, from ordinary citizens who say, ‘we’ve had enough of how you behave, this is unacceptable and we’re going to demonstrate for you the way you should be behaving.’”