Vice President Harris visits site of Buffalo supermarket mass shooting, speaks about need for unity and gun reform

BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) — While in Buffalo on Saturday, Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Jefferson Avenue Tops Markets site, where a white supremacist mass shooting took place just two weeks ago.

Earlier today, the Vice President and Second Gentleman attended the funeral of Ruth Whitfield, one of 10 victims killed in the attack.

Footage of Harris’ visit to the supermarket can be viewed above.

After her visit to the memorial outside Tops, she spoke to the press as she prepared to board Air Force Two.

I met all the families and, first of all, the unexpected loss of a loved one and because of such an extreme act of violence and hatred – the tragedy of this is indescribable, and therefore first of all, I express our condolences, but also, when you think about what happened — and you’ve heard me say this before — I really think we have to take into account the fact that this year alone, I’m says we’ve had over 200 mass shootings. Over 200. We’re barely halfway through the year.

Vice President Kamala Harris

Harris then spoke of a “hate epidemic,” how people are targeted for who they are. She specified shootings in Buffalo, Atlanta, Orlando and Pittsburgh, in which black people, Asians, LGBTQ+ people and Jews, respectively, were targeted. She also referred to Tuesday’s massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 19 children and two adults.

“I think we all need to step back and say, ‘Wait, that’s enough. Enough is enough.’ A wrong against one of us is a wrong against all of us,” she said. “We have to agree that if we want to be strong as a nation, we have to stay strong – identify our diversity as our unity – and whoever tries to break this is hurting us as a country and as individuals who should identify as one – as a country, as Americans.

She then spoke about gun violence, saying the solution includes a ban on assault weapons and that assault weapons were designed for one purpose, “to quickly kill large numbers of human beings.” She also discussed the need for background checks to avoid chaos.

“We are a rules-governed society, most of which have been designed – these rules – to live up to the very purpose, to prevent against harm, to promote safety and to have a common order that we all agree that a civilized society should accept.”

Air Force Two’s Harris remarks can be viewed in full below.

Adam Duke is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of his work here.

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