WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden called for unity Sunday to fight “hatred that remains a stain on America’s soul” after a deadly mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, while government officials called for federal action to stop “unique the American “phenomenon” of mass shootings.
Speaking at the annual law enforcement ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, Biden said he and his wife Jill are praying for those shot by “a lone gunman armed with weapons of war and filled with hatred of the soul” and their families.
Authorities say a white 18-year-old man in military uniform opened fire on shoppers and supermarket workers on Saturday, killing 10 people, including retired police officer Buffalo, and injuring three others. Most of the victims were black.
Law enforcement officials said Sunday that a gunman was researching local demographics, looking for places with a high concentration of black people.
“We must all work together to fight the hatred that remains a stain on America’s soul,” Biden said at the 41st Annual Peace Officers Memorial Service in honor of the dead law enforcement officers. “Our hearts are heavy again, but determination must never be shaken.”
“No one understands this more than the people sitting in front of me,” he added.
Speaking at the ceremony for the second time as president, Biden did not respond to calls from New York officials – Gov. Katie Hochul and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown – for strong federal action to end because Brown is a “unique American the phenomenon of “mass shootings.
The president also made no mention of gun control efforts stalled in Washington.
Brown expressed disappointment that “thoughts and prayers” and promises to act were offered after each mass shooting, but were blocked by “some on one side of the aisle.”
“There seem to be those who believe that owning a weapon is more precious than the sanctity of human life,” the NBC mayor said. “So I think people all over this country need to rise. They need to say louder and clearer that there should be gun control in this country. This is an exclusively American phenomenon. Such mass shootings do not take place in other countries of the world. “
Brown said he would like to see “reasonable gun control.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, of California, said tougher gun use is a “huge priority” for Democrats and the White House. She regretted that a 50-vote Senate needed a 60-vote threshold, which made it difficult to promote such legislation, but on CNN’s “State of the Union” she promised that “we will not leave until the work is done.”
Hochul said most of the illegal weapons used on the streets of her cities come from other states. “We need a national response,” she told NBC.
“We need other states to become more active. We need a federal government on our side, ”said Hochul, a native of Buffalo.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden laid flowers at a wreath during a ceremony honoring the fallen law enforcement officers at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service on the Western Front Capitol in Washington on Sunday.