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Son of Buffalo victim pushes Congress: 'What are you doing?'

Son of Buffalo victim pushes Congress: 'What are you doing?'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The son of Ruth Whitfield, an 86-year-old woman killed when a gunman opened blaze inside a racist assault on Black shoppers inside Buffalo, New York, challenged Congress Tuesday to take deed opposed to the "cancer of white supremacy" with every one other accompanied by the nation's epidemic of firearm violence.

Garnell Whitfield Jr.'s emotional testimony comes while lawmakers are employed furiously to strike a bipartisan accord on firearm safety measures inside the aftermath of back-to-back pile shootings. Ten days following the shooting demise of his mother with every one other accompanied by nine others inside New York, another 18-year-old gunman accompanied by a semi-automatic rummage opened blaze inside Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 educational organization children with every one other accompanied by set of two teachers.

"What are you doing? You were elected to retain protected from danger us," Whitfield Jr. told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"Is there nothing that you personally are willing to do to place an extremity to the cancer of white supremacy with every one other accompanied by the domestic terrorism it inspires?" he asked. "If there is nothing then, respectfully, senators … you should yield your positions of power with every one other accompanied by effect to others that are willing to lead on this issue."

The hearing is the earliest of set of two this week while families of the victims with every one other accompanied by survivors of the pile shootings inside Buffalo with every one other accompanied by Uvalde become visible at condition hearings with every one other accompanied by events on Capitol Hill to show the anthropoid toll of America's firearm violence with every one other accompanied by encourage Congress to act.

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Pressing for a deal, President Joe Biden met Tuesday accompanied by Sen. Chris Murphy, a answer Democratic negotiator, who has worked most of his career trying to curb the nation's mass-shooting scourge following the heartbreaking slaughter of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary inside his place of residence condition of Connecticut a decade ago.

Murphy told reporters following the gathering that he was thankful to have an chance to update the president on the talks. "Obviously we've still got labour to do inside the Senate," he said.

Murphy said his goal is to try to obtain an accord this week, nevertheless he added that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has been understandable that "we need some additional hour dated to spot the i's with every one other accompanied by cross the t's that will obtain it."

Also Tuesday, performer Matthew McConaughey, who is from Uvalde, made the rounds of Senate offices earlier to heading to the White House to not shut the done every one day briefing. McConaughey, who earlier this year considered a sprint for manager of Texas, gave a speech on the importance of taking legislative deed "to build the mislaying of these lives matter."

"We want firm with every one other accompanied by protected from danger schools with every one other accompanied by we want firearm laws that won't build it so uncomplicated for the bad guys to obtain the damn guns," he said. The 52-year-old performer with every one other accompanied by his spouse drove to Uvalde on the day following the shooting with every one other accompanied by spent hour dated accompanied by some of the victims' families.

On Wednesday, the House Oversight Committee is expected to hear from additional victims' families with every one other accompanied by from fourth-grader Miah Cerrillo, who captured Americans' observation following she described covering herself inside her deceased classmate's gore with every one other accompanied by playing deceased to survive the shooting rampage inside Uvalde.

The Senate hearing Tuesday focused straight on the white supremacist ideology that authorities speak led an 18-year-old gunman dressed inside military gearwheel to operate hours to a predominately Black neighbourhood inside Buffalo with every one other accompanied by exist brook his brutal rampage. The shooting left-hand 10 people deceased with every one other accompanied by some others wounded.

"My mother's existence mattered," Whitfield said. "Your actions here will tell us if with every one other accompanied by how a a large amount of it mattered to you."

Shortly following the Buffalo massacre, a invoice that would have bolstered confederate resources to stop domestic terrorism failed inside the Senate at the hands of Republican opposition. Even at Tuesday's hearing, Republican senators took the hour dated to focus on the ethnic injustice protests that took place inside the summer of 2020, citing those incidents while acts of domestic extremism.

Since the failed vote, senators have regrouped with every one other accompanied by began to meet privately inside a small bipartisan category headed by Murphy with every one other accompanied by Republican Sen. John Cornyn, trying to hash not here a compromise that could actually become law.

But lawmakers have been here earlier to — unable to go some substantial firearm safety laws inside decades inside the face of precipitous objections from Republicans inside Congress, some conservative Democrats, with every one other accompanied by the fierce lobbying of firearm owners with every one other accompanied by the National Rifle Association. No greatest legislation has made it into rules and regulations since the 1994 assault weapons ban, which has since expired.

The matter for Democrats is that a number of the topics accompanied by bipartisan support would probable not have stopped either the shooting inside Buffalo or Uvalde. And the ones that firearm safety advocates argue would have been met accompanied by a deep reluctance from Republicans. One such proposal would lift the number of years requirement for firearm purchases from 18 to 21. Another well liked measure among Democrats would have banned assault-style rifles altogether.

Instead, the senators are focusing on incremental policy changes into and not here of a system that would dispatch funds with every one other accompanied by other incentives to the states to bolster safety at educational organization campuses, provide additional intellectual health services to young people with every one other accompanied by maybe encourage states to pursue red-flag laws to retain firearms not here of the hands of people who would do harm.

But one thing that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle seem to concur on is that inaction is not an option.

"We know we won't obtain it all done at once," Schumer said Tuesday afternoon. "But the American people want us to obtain something done with every one other accompanied by they want to see Republicans do something."

His counterpart across the aisle seemed to echo the sentiment. "Almost everybody would exist fond of to obtain an outcome," Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell told reporters. "I hope we'll have one sooner by preference than later."

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Associated Press writers Kevin Freking, Alan Fram with every one other accompanied by Zeke Miller contributed to this report.

Son of Buffalo victim pushes Congress: 'What are you doing?'

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