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Warnock says 'reasonable gun reform' a necessary response to Atlanta shootings

Warnock says 'reasonable gun reform' a necessary response to Atlanta shootings
© Greg Nash

Sen. Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockDC statehood bill picks up Senate holdout Georgia senators introduce measure allowing voters to have access to water while waiting Cruz outspending other senators on Facebook ads: report MORE (D-Ga.) on Sunday called on Georgia's legislature to pass "reasonable gun reform," adding that "hate" was likely a factor in shootings at three Atlanta-area massage parlors owned by Asian Americans last week.

Warnock pointed out on NBC's "Meet The Press" that the suspect in the three shootings allegedly carried out his attacks on the same day he purchased the firearm used in the attacks.

"We need reasonable gun reform in our country," he said without specifying what measures he would like to see passed. "This, this shooter was able to kill all of these folks the same day he purchased a firearm."

"I think that suggests a distortion in values when you can buy a gun and create this much carnage and violence on the same day, but if you want to exercise your right to vote as an American citizen, the same legislature that should be focused on this is busy erecting barriers to that constitutional right," he said in reference to ongoing efforts by Republicans in the state to restrict absentee ballots.

The senator added that while he would wait for a law enforcement investigation to conclude regarding the motivation for the Atlanta attacks, some conclusions could be drawn from the publicly available evidence.

"Law enforcement will go through the work that they need to do, but we all know hate when we see it," Warnock said.

The suspect in the attacks, Robert Aaron Long, has claimed that the shootings were the result of his anger at feeling “temptation” from the spas resulting from sex addiction.

Many Asian Americans have argued in the days following the attacks that Long's comments demonstrate how the hyper-sexualization of Asian American women in Western culture contributes to violence and hate directed at the community.