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Statements on El Paso, Dayton shootings

By David Wildstein, August 04 2019 3:36 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy
“Within a mere 12-hour span, and 1,500 miles apart, we saw the horrible impacts of powerful weapons too easily ending up in the wrong hands. The domestic terrorist attacks in El Paso and Dayton, and last week’s attack in Gilroy, California, ought to be the wake-up calls to pull our national leaders out of the gun lobby’s trance. Sadly, however, all we hear is the cliched refrains of ‘thoughts and prayers.’ It is past time for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to put commonsense House-passed gun safety legislation up for a vote in the United States Senate. Over the past 18 months, we have taken tremendous strides to end the crisis of gun violence in our state, but we cannot have these advances undone by continued inaction and deflection at the national level. I am proud that New Jersey is leading the way in gun safety. It’s well past time for Congress to follow. Inaction is inexcusable.”

Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver
“Today’s devastating mass shooting in El Paso is just the latest reminder that we are facing a national crisis of senseless gun violence. New Jersey will proudly remain a state which refuses to accept this as normal and which will continue to pursue commonsense gun safety. Our hearts are with the victims, their families, law enforcement, the people of El Paso.”

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff)
“It’s beyond words that we woke up this morning to yet another shooting with nine dead and twenty-six injured in Dayton, just hours after a racist killed twenty and left more than two dozen wounded in El Paso. Just a week ago, three were killed and thirteen wounded in Gilroy. It’s just unthinkable. As someone said to me this morning, “I guess we just can’t do anything.”  I refuse to accept that and I know that many of you, including law enforcement, feel the same way. Last year, after the tragedy in Florida, where we lost so many children, we passed legislation for more resources for school safety, including resources for mental health and coordination among law enforcement. It’s time we banned military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and actually had universal background checks for all purchases, including at gun shows. This should be our first order of business when we return to session.  That’s the least we can do right now, in the memory of those we just lost and the countless others killed this year and before. ”

Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York)
“My heart goes out to the victims, survivors, and loved ones in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH. It breaks my heart that these two communities have been torn apart by gun violence in just the last 24 hours. How many people have to die before we do more than tweet condolences and instead demand that we come together, across the aisle, and do what is best for all of our constituents by getting common sense gun reform signed into law? People shouldn’t live in fear that they could be killed at school, a movie theater, a Walmart, or a bar.”

“We must remember the humanity in each of the victims and fight against the hate that has become all too common in our society. That is why I will always support and push for bills that strive to end gun violence such as background check expansion and bans on high capacity weapons designed solely to kill.”

Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton
“I am deeply disturbed and saddened, yet again, by two horrific mass shootings gripping our nation this weekend in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. My heart goes out to the families grieving from this tragedy and I am thankful for the heroic efforts taken by local first responders and law enforcement who neutralized both situations, preventing even further loss of life.”

“While there is no specific or credible threat at this time, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office is working cooperatively with local law enforcement to provide increased patrol of houses of worship and public spaces.”

“Though the motive of the shooter in Dayton is not yet clear, it has been confirmed that the domestic terrorist in El Paso was driven by hatred. It is unproductive and problematic to ignore the rising number of biased crimes across our nation and we must all come together to denounce these continued acts of hate.”

“As always, the safety and security of all Bergen County residents is of the utmost importance to the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office. Bergen County must continue to be a welcoming place for everyone and that starts with making sure residents feel safe going about their daily lives. Hate, racism, and bigotry has no home here in Bergen County and the BCSO will continue to work to keep all our families, friends, and loved ones safe.”

Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Rocky Hill)
“After yesterday’s shootings in El Paso, it is beyond question that terrorists motivated by a common white supremacist ideology are committing deadly attacks against Jewish, Muslim, African-American, Hispanic and other non-white communities in the United States and around the world, and pose a clear and present danger to our national security. There is legislation pending in the House and Senate that would strengthen our government’s ability to defeat domestic terrorism, while making it harder for terrorists to acquire guns. Congress should be called back into session as soon as possible to act on this urgent threat. We should not wait until the Summer district work period ends on September 9 to take action that will protect the American people.”

“Pending legislation includes the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, of which I am an original cosponsor, and which would beef up the Justice and Homeland Security Department units responsible for addressing this threat, while improving collection of data. Congress should quickly appropriate supplemental funds to both Departments, including for programs to counter violent extremism in the United States that the administration had previously cut. We should consider passing a domestic counterterrorism statute, and new measures to combat the spread of hateful ideologies online.”

“We must also, on a bipartisan basis, condemn any political leader or public figure who echoes the beliefs of these terrorists, including that immigrants are “invading” the United States or set on “replacing” any of our citizens. This ideology is utterly contrary to America’s founding creed that all men and women are created equal, and to our experience as a nation built by, and benefiting from, the contributions of immigrants from every part of the world.”

“Finally, it is long past time for Congress to approve sensible legislation to keep guns from falling into the wrong hands, including the bipartisan universal background check bill that Mitch McConnell is holding up in the Senate, a ban on military assault weapons that allow terrorists to commit mass murder before police can intervene, and allowing gun violence restraining orders.”

“We should take the threat posed by white supremacist terrorists as seriously and as urgently as we rightly take the threat posed by terrorists groups based outside the United States. There is not a moment to be lost.”


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