White Supremacy and Guns Led to 10 Deaths in Buffalo

HWe are here again. Black men were massacred by a white racist man who was carrying an assault rifle and had been radicalized with racist rhetoric. This caused lifelong suffering and trauma.

Again, the so-called prolife pundits, politicians, weighed in on the various causes of the shooting tragedy. They cited mental illnesses as an example of what could have been, but ignored the fact that white supremacy is still a major factor and had easy access guns.

We know why so many right-wing lawmakers aren’t interested in acting to protect lives and strengthen gun laws. First, it would be an admission that the gun lobby’s “guns everywhere” agenda is a failure, resulting in a gun homicide rate that, an Everytown for Gun Safety analysis found, is 26 times higher than any peer nation. It would be necessary to prioritize safety for Black and Latinx communities. They are particularly affected by gun violence, but not enough represented in elected offices. Third, it will reduce the right-wing extremists’ fervor, which is fuelled over years by conspiracy theories spread by politicians, special-interest groups and cable-news anchors.

Unsurprisingly, many of the motives laid out in the Buffalo gunman’s manifesto align with that rhetoric, which plays a vital role in radicalizing white men. This includes the “great replacement theory,” a conspiracy theory that claims other races and ethnicities are trying to replace white people and has been referenced by other white supremacist gunmen.

Continue reading: Buffalo Shooter Targets a Segregated City

While every country in the world is home to radicalized men, America gives them easy access to ammunition and weapons again and again. We’ve seen what happens when these men get their hands on guns. Whether it’s a mass shooting at a church, synagogue, grocery store, or spa – women, people of color, and other marginalized communities are shot and killed as retribution for merely existing. In an average year, according to our analysis, more than 10,300 hate crimes in America involve a firearm – that’s more than 28 every single day.

This data shows how we can fix it. Strong gun-safety laws that prevent those who shouldn’t have access from getting them – including those that require background checks on all gun sales, that disarm domestic abusers and those in crisis, and that stop children from accessing firearms – are proven to save lives and lead to lower rates of gun death. But in a nation made up of a patchwork of state laws and a U.S. Senate that has refused to act, we’re all only as safe as the closest state with the weakest gun laws.

While we are fighting for Congress’s action, the states can take steps now to combat our gun violence epidemic. States have the ability to close loopholes within our background check laws, and prevent the spread of untraceable ghost weapons so that domestic terrorists are prevented from accessing firearms. They can also implement tools like Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) – commonly known as red flag laws – to remove firearms access from people who are clearly a risk to themselves or others. These laws are already in place in 19 states. These laws should be published by federal agencies and states.

Continue reading: ‘There’s No Such Thing As a Lone Wolf.’ The Online Movement That Spawned the Buffalo Shooting

A permanent director is also needed at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It’s been seven years since we’ve had a Senate-confirmed director at ATF, despite the fact that this federal agency is on the front lines of the fight against armed extremists and white supremacists who target marginalized communities. President Biden has nominated Steve Dettelbach to be the ATF’s next director, who would come to this role with decades of experience as a prosecutor and the ability to provide effective enforcement of our gun laws from day one.

It is a difficult task. It’s hard and it’s relentless and often it feels like we’re shouting into the void, sharing the same facts and figures, the same proven strategies for saving lives, but it must be done. Is there another option? We can’t sit on the sidelines while our brothers and sisters are slaughtered. And it’s not just the mass shootings we must stop, but the daily gun violence that kills and wounds hundreds – much of it in Black and Latinx communities. The stakes couldn’t be higher: According to the CDC, 45,222 people died from gun-related injuries in 2020, the highest total on record in the U.S. We cannot accept this.

Continue reading: Joe Biden is under increasing pressure to push for gun control measures after the Buffalo shooting

From statehouses to the Supreme Court, our fundamental rights are on the line and millions of advocates around the country aren’t going to sit back and watch silently. It doesn’t matter if there is one school board or one boardroom. There are many cities with councils. We need to continue our work in eliminating system racism and extremism as well as lax gun laws.

Gun manufacturers and right-wing extremists as well as people and businesses making a living off gun violence want us all to remain numb. They wish us to accept a future where guns are armed men to the teeth. Because they enjoy this new standard, they will not take action to end gun violence in schools, streets and stores. Americans’ lives will be the price paid for their agenda, power, and wealth – until we rise together and take real action to protect our health and safety.

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