Sen. Raphael Warnock says ‘we need reasonable gun reform in our country’ in response to ‘tragic’ Atlanta-area shootings

raphael warnock
Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., arrives prior to the start of arguments in the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, at the Capitol, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021 in Washington.

Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia said the US needed “reasonable gun reform in our country” in response to the Atlanta-area shootings that left eight people dead.

“We need reasonable gun reform in our country,” Warnock said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday. “This shooter was able to kill all of these folks the same day he purchased a firearm. But right now, what is our legislature doing? They’re busy under the gold dome in Georgia trying to prevent people from being able to vote the same day they register.”

He continued: “When you can buy a gun and create this much carnage and violence on the same day, but if you want to exercise your right to vote as an American citizen… the same legislature that should be focused on this, is busy erecting barriers to that constitutional right.”

Last week, a white gunman, 21-year-old white man, Robert Aaron Long, was arrested and charged for shootings at spas in the Atlanta-area earlier this week. Six of eight people who died during the attack were women of Asian descent.

“We all know hate when we see it. It is tragic that we’ve been visited with this kind of violence yet again,” Warnock said in the interview. “I’m going to do everything in my power as a United States Senator to make sure that families don’t have to endure this kind of violence in the first place.”

Long told law enforcement that he had a “sex addiction” and that the attack was not racially motivated, however, advocates are pushing back against that claim. The shootings came amid a rise in hate against the Asian American community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Warnock, along with Sen. Jon Ossoff and state Rep. Bee Nguyen attended a rally on Saturday condemning hate crimes against the Asian American community, the Associated Press reported.

“I just wanted to drop by to say to my Asian sisters and brothers, we see you, and, more importantly, we are going to stand with you,” Warnock said during the rally, according to the AP.

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In Atlanta speech, President Biden calls for an end to anti-Asian attacks and says that Georgia ‘made it possible to pass the American Rescue Plan’

Biden atlanta speech
  • President Biden and Vice President Harris spoke at Emory University in Atlanta on Friday.
  • The two spoke about Tuesday’s shootings and addressed the rise in Anti-Asian hate crimes.
  • Biden said that, Georgia and its voters, ‘made it possible to pass the American Rescue Plan.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In heartfelt speeches on Friday, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris addressed Tuesday’s shootings at Atlanta-area Asian-owned spas, honoring the victims and calling for an end to attacks against Asian Americans.

Biden and Harris met with AAPI leaders in Georgia prior to the speech, on a day that was originally scheduled to be a thank you rally for their supporters and a celebration of the passage of the COVID-19 relief bill, the American Rescue Plan.

“Too many Asian Americans are walking down the street and worrying,” Biden said, with he and Harris addressing the 3,800 incidents of hate reported by Stop AAPI hate in the wake of the pandemic.

Biden spoke about the “public health crisis of gun violence,” in relation to Tuesday’s attacks, where a gunman targeted three Asian-owned spas, killing eight and wounding one.

The President also focused largely on the American Rescue Act and singled out Georgia voters and the fight for voting rights in the state. He thanked the voters and Georgia’s newest senators, Sens. Raphael Warnock and John Ossoff, saying that because Warnock and Ossoff were elected, “you made it possible to pass the American Rescue Plan.”

“If anyone ever wondered if voting can change a country, Georgia just proved it can,” Biden said, adding that 88% of adults in Georgia would benefit from stimulus checks.

“The best thing we can do to fight against this virus is setting aside politics and embracing science. The right to vote is fundamental, and record turnout in the midst of a pandemic should be something to celebrate not attack,” Biden remarked.

Adding that the administration met its goal of administering 100 million COVID-19 vaccines in sixty days, forty days ahead of schedule, Biden added that, “Now is the time for optimism, but not a time for relaxation.”

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