Black Caucus chair on Buffalo shooting: ‘Thoughts and prayers are not enough’

Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) on Monday called for Congress to take action in the wake of the fatal shooting of 10 people in Buffalo, N.Y., over the weekend, saying that “thoughts and prayers are not enough.”

“I am horrified to see another devastating act of hateful gun violence in America. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the thirteen innocent people who lost their lives due to this tragic hate crime,” Beatty said in a statement on Monday.

“This story is not new; we’ve seen this play out repeatedly. But we are very clear, thoughts and prayers are not enough,” she added.

A gunman opened fire at Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo on Saturday, killing 10 people and wounding three more. Eleven of the victims were Black and police said the shooter intentionally targeted Black people.

Authorities are investigating the shooting as a hate crime.

Beatty is calling on Congress to take a series of steps, including urging the Senate to abolish the filibuster and pass House-approved gun control legislation.

“There must be accountability for hate, there must be criminal justice reform, and there must be common-sense gun reform. That is why Democrats in the House passed sweeping legislation to address these glaring issues,” Beatty wrote.

“The Senate must abolish the Jim Crow era filibuster and pass the legislation that will save the lives of innocent Americans. We owe it to the victims, their families, and all Americans to take action,” she added.

The House last March passed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and the Enhanced Background Checks Act, which sought to bolster background checks on firearm sales and transfers. Both bills have languished in the Senate due to GOP opposition.

Beatty is pushing for the 60-vote legislative hurdle to be nixed in the upper chamber, but two Senate Democrats — Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) — have been opposed to changing Senate rules in the past.

Beatty on Monday also said harmful actions that are driven by racial animus and white supremacy should be considered hate crimes.

“Vigilantes acting with racial animus and espousing white supremacist ideology that results in the loss of innocent lives must be classified as a hate crime, full stop,” Beatty said.

“Last year, more than twenty thousand Americans lost their lives to gun violence. In the aftermath of this horrific episode, Congress has a moral obligation to make our nation fairer and safer for all Americans,” she added.

Tags buffalo shooting Hate crimes Joyce Beatty

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