UNDATED – Some of the state’s elected leaders released the following statements in the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.
US Senator Pat Toomey,”The mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton are the latest, horrific examples of the violent scourge that is gripping America. The perpetrators of these murders are cowards. We must do more to keep guns out of the hands of psychopaths. While no law will end mass shootings entirely, it’s time for Congress to act to help keep our communities safer.”
“We should start by passing bipartisan proposals such as my legislation with Senator Joe Manchin to expand background checks to all commercial firearm sales. I also agree with Senator Lindsey Graham that we should pass a bipartisan “red flag” measure that enables families and law enforcement to obtain a court order to keep guns away from dangerous individuals.”
Penna. Governor Tom Wolf has ordered the commonwealth flag on all commonwealth facilities, public buildings and grounds to half-staff to honor the victims of the shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Flags will be lowered until sunset on Thursday. The United States flag has already been ordered to half-staff during this time.
Gov. Wolf issued the following statement on the weekend shootings, “Frances and I are mourning an especially horrific 24 hours of gun violence in America. We’re praying for the victims of El Paso and Dayton, and two young women shot in Philadelphia last night. Many ills contribute to this rising violence. We can and must take action.”
“We can ban assault weapons and institute stricter background checks. We can make communities safer. We can target white nationalism and promote tolerance. We can invest in mental health care and help those struggling. We cannot accept this violence as normal. We must act.”
Following this weekend’s mass shootings, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released the following statement, “Enough. We don’t have to live like this. Politicians who refuse to take action to reduce gun violence are complicit in this carnage. If we’re going to truly confront this uniquely American problem, we have to speak uncomfortable truths. Over and over again, domestic terrorists use high powered, military-style assault weapons to kill our children and our families. There are a whole range of steps that must be taken. Congress’s first priority must be passing universal background checks, limiting the size of magazines and banning military-style assault weapons, among other measures. Senate Majority Leader McConnell should immediately call the Senate back to Washington this week to debate and vote on universal background check legislation that was passed by the House in February.
We also have to confront the white nationalist ideology that has inspired some of the terrorist attacks we have seen. On July 23, 2019, FBI Director Wray testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that “a majority of the domestic terrorism cases that we’ve investigated are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence.” Over the last few years, we have seen a rise in hate crimes and we need to be honest about why. We have a President of the United States that uses white nationalist rhetoric and engages in racism. From its early days, the Trump Administration has sought to limit funding to groups dedicated to countering white extremism – going as far as revoking grants previously awarded under the Obama Administration and cutting off funding for the future.
Today, President Trump should address the nation to condemn white nationalism and pledge an all of government effort to confront white nationalist terrorism. For years, Congressional Republicans have blocked action on measures to reduce gun violence and they must be held accountable. It’s time for Senator McConnell and Congressional Republicans to confront gun violence or get out of the way.”