When the Supreme Court overturned a New York state law that strictly limited the carrying of handguns, the decision caused frustration among some in Buffalo, the state’s second-largest city where 10 people were killed by gunfire in a gunfire last month. convenience store.
The 18-year-old gunman was armed with a Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle legally purchased from a shop near his residence. Ten days after the attack, another high-profile massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, killed 21.
Zeneta Everhart, whose 21-year-old son Zaire Goodman was shot in Buffalo but survived, said in an interview Thursday that “I am heartbroken that this country is not protecting Zaire”.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Mrs. Everhart. “When is enough enough? What more needs to be done before this country wakes up and understands that the people of this country do not feel safe. The government, the courts, the legislators, they are here to protect us – and I don’t feel protected.”
She added that while she supports the principles of the Second Amendment, she believes that “people should earn the right to handle a firearm in this country.”
In his unanimous opinion, Judge Samuel Alito directly quoted the May 14 massacre, suggesting that it showed that the state law did not improve security.
“Will someone who is determined to shoot en masse be stopped if he knows it is illegal to carry a gun outdoors?” He wrote. “And how does the disagreement explain the fact that one of the mass shootings at the top of the list happened in Buffalo? Of course, the New York law at issue in this case did not stop that perpetrator.”
Garnell Whitfield Jr., whose 86-year-old mother Ruth Whitfield was killed in the massacre, said in an interview on Thursday that he thought the reference to Buffalo was inappropriate.
“If he wanted to bring up Buffalo, he should have talked about white supremacy,” he said, referring to the racist ideologies the gunman had espoused. “The court is currently illegal. It’s completely politicized.”
Whitfield Jr. said he felt the nation was taking “one step forward and two steps back” as the decision came the same day that the Senate moved closer to passing the bipartisan gun safety bill.
“It’s a kick in the teeth. It’s painful,” he said.
New York was the first in the nation to pass new legislation earlier this month in the shadow of the Buffalo and Uvalde murders, passing several bills, including one to raise the minimum age for purchasing a semiautomatic rifle from 18 to 21. .
Wayne Jones, who lost his mother Celestine Chaney, 65, in the Buffalo massacre, said Thursday he had mixed feelings about the decision. He sympathizes with residents who may be concerned about carrying guns, he said, but shares the view of public defenders that the current law disproportionately affects people of color.
“My thing about the gun situation is that they’ve targeted the black community,” Mr. Jones said in an interview. “The big fight must be these assault weapons. You don’t need them. And we need to get them off the street.”