BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – America needs to take a hard look in the mirror and admit the threat presented by domestic terrorism, President Joe Biden said Tuesday after meeting with families who lost loved ones in the Buffalo supermarket mass shooting.
Biden’s comments were made in a short Q&A with reporters just before departing from Buffalo Niagara International Airport. He was asked if it’s time to enact a federal domestic terrorism statute.
“We have enough laws on the books to deal with what’s going on now. We just have to deal with it,” Biden said. “Look, part of what the country has to do is look in the mirror and face the reality: we have a problem with domestic terror. It’s real.”
Ten people were killed and three others were injured Saturday when a white supremacist unleashed a targeted attack on the community he believed contained the largest percentage of Black residents near his house. Biden called white supremacy a “poison” in a speech earlier Tuesday and doubled down on domestic terror in the session with reporters.
“People don’t want to hear me saying it — they say, ‘he’s the president, he’s a Democrat’ — but that’s what the intelligence community’s been saying, that’s what the military’s been saying for a long time,” Biden said of the threat of domestic terrorism.
“There’s nothing new about this. Nothing new about this. And look, there’s a lot of people, like this murderer who committed this act, who are just deranged, who are susceptible, who are just lost and don’t know what to do. And they’re easily taken, they’re easily sucked in. And it’s gotta stop. We have to admit it. I don’t know why we don’t admit what the hell’s going on.”
Gov. Kathy Hochul called for a “national response” on gun control in light of the attack. Biden said Tuesday that getting new laws passed would be “Very difficult. But I’m not going to give up trying.”
News 4 is continuing to learn more about the victim’s of Sunday’s tragedy. More information about each victim can be found here.
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Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as the Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here.