Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the deadly and racially motivated mass shooting that took place in Buffalo, New York, last year. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
This weekend, the hearts of every single American will be with the city of good neighbors. At two thirty in the afternoon on Saturday, May 14th of last year, in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo’s East Side, ten lives were cut short in the worst shooting in Buffalo history. Ten beautiful Americans whom we will never get back. They were parents, sons, daughters, friends, security guards, and a policeman. All taken away from us in minutes.
Aaron Salter Jr.
God bless their memories. I don’t know what could possess someone to bring violence to a place like that. What I do know is that the Buffalo shooting was a manifestation of the original sin of this nation—the legacy of slavery and the centuries of racial hatred that continues to poison our society.
It’s also one of the worst examples in recent memory of another terrible epidemic in this nation, the epidemic of gun violence. We have made important progress in the area of gun violence. Last year, in the wake of what happened in Buffalo and Uvalde, the Senate came together in a way it hadn’t for decades, beating back the dark forces of the NRA and passing the first gun-safety bill in more than a quarter century. Some of the friends and relatives of those who passed away in Buffalo are instrumental in importuning us to pass this legislation and I thank them for it, for lighting that candle.
But we have a long way to go and a lot of work to do before our job is done. Gun violence is a shameful blemish on this nation, we cannot allow ourselves to tolerate it. Indifference on this subject has been a death sentence for so many Americans.
Today, the Senate will meet for a special caucus to talk about the next steps on gun violence, and while nobody pretends progress will come easy, we have a moral obligation to keep pushing, keep fighting, keep working to rid this nation of gun violence.
May God bless Buffalo, and bless all the families impacted by the tragedy one year ago.