June 26, 2022

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Kamala Harris calls for ‘assault weapons ban’ in wake of Uvalde, Buffalo mass shootings

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Vice President Kamala Harris called for a ban on “assault weapons” on Saturday after she spoke at the funeral of a woman killed in the Buffalo, New York grocery store mass shooting earlier this month. 

She called the firearm a “weapon of war” that has “no place in civil society.”

“We are not sitting around waiting to figure out what the solution looks like. You know, we’re not looking for a vaccine. We know what works on this,” she told reporters outside of Air Force Two at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, referring to the series of mass shootings that have plagued the U.S. “Let’s have an assault weapons ban.”

The vice president had spoken at the funeral for Ruth Whitfield, 86, one of 10 Black people killed at a Tops supermarket on May 14 by a self-proclaimed White supremacist. At Whitfield’s service, Harris said the U.S. is experiencing an “epidemic of hate.” 

HARRIS, AT FUNERAL FOR BUFFALO SHOOTING VICTIM, SAYS AMERICA EXPERIENCING ‘EPIDEMIC OF HATE’ 

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks alongside the Rev. Al Sharpton during a memorial service for Ruth Whitfield, a victim of the Buffalo supermarket shooting, at Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Saturday, May 28, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Harris said at the funeral that Scripture teaches about strength, and that strength is based on who “you lift up” rather than “who you beat down.” 

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“And it means then also, in that strength, understanding we will not allow small people to create fear in our communities that we will not be afraid to stand up for what is right, to speak up even when it may be difficult to hear and speak,” she said.

She continued, “Enough is enough.” 

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Vice President Kamala Harris speaks with members of the press before boarding Air Force Two at Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Saturday, May 28, 2022, in Buffalo, 
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Though “assault weapons” is a broad term, Harris was certainly referring to guns like AR-15-style rifles used in both the May 14 Buffalo shooting and the Uvalde, Texas school shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead. 

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A memorial is seen surrounding the Robb Elementary School sign following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 26, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. 
(Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

She told reporters before boarding the plane, “You know what an assault weapon is? You know how an assault weapon was designed? It was designed for a specific purpose – to kill a lot of human beings quickly. An assault weapon is a weapon of war with no place, no place in a civil society.”