Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Buffalo to pay her respects to one of the victims of the deadly May 14 shooting at the Tops Friendly Market. And while she was there, Harris called on Congress to take action on gun legislation. On May 28, the Vice President attended the funeral for 86-year-old Ruth Whitfield at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Buffalo. Whitfield was the oldest victim killed when an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at a supermarket in a predominately Black Buffalo neighborhood in a racially-motivated attack that left ten people dead.
Although the VP didn’t have plans to speak, she made her remarks after being asked by the Rev. Al Sharpton. “This is a moment that requires all good people, all God-loving people, to stand up and say we will not stand for this. Enough is enough,” she said. “We will come together based on what we all know we have in common, and we will not let those people who are motivated by hate separate us or make us feel fear.”
After the funeral, VP Harris and her husband, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, visited a memorial outside of the supermarket, where they left flowers and prayed for the victims. But after paying her respects, Harris spoke with reporters and called on Congress to pass legislation to help prevent tragedies like Buffalo and the May 24 shooting inside a Texas elementary school that killed 19 students and two teachers.
“Let’s have an assault weapons ban,” she said. “An assault weapon is a weapon of war with no place, no place in civil society. Background checks: Why should anyone be able to buy a weapon that can kill other human beings without at least knowing: Hey, that person committed a violent crime before, are they a threat against themselves or others?”
But you would be right to wonder if these new calls to come to the table will continue to fall on deaf ears. Republicans have continually stalled Democrats’ attempts to pass any form of gun control legislation. And many, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) attended the National Rifle Association convention in Houston, just three days after the Uvalde school shooting,
“We have to agree that if we are to be strong as a nation, we must stand strong, identifying our diversity as our unity,” Harris said.