From left, Melody Stout, Hannah Payan, Aaliyah Alba, Sherie Gramlich and Laura Barrios comfort each other during a vigil for victims of the shooting Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. A young gunman opened fire in an El Paso, Texas, shopping area during the busy back-to-school season, leaving multiple people dead and more than two dozen injured.
Emily is a reporter for WITF who’s been covering voting and elections since July 2019 as part of her former role with statehouse accountability news organization PA Post. She was the senior reporter for statewide public media collaboration Keystone Crossroads. Previously, she covered city hall for PennLive/The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.), was a watchdog and city hall reporter at The Press of Atlantic City and reported for the Northwest Herald. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.
Several other Pennsylvania politicians called for action, following the mass shootings.
Sen. Bob Casey echoed Wolf in a statement, concluding:
“Today, President Trump should address the nation to condemn white nationalism and pledge an all of government effort to confront white nationalist terrorism. For years, Congressional Republicans have blocked action on measures to reduce gun violence and they must be held accountable. It’s time for Senator McConnell and Congressional Republicans to confront gun violence or get out of the way.”
Casey and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey also took to Twitter:
Once again, our nation is confronted with a mass shooting. As we all pray for El Paso, those of us in public office have an obligation to do more and take action on gun violence.
While no law will end mass shootings entirely, it’s time for Congress to act to help keep our communities safer. We should start by passing bipartisan proposals such as my legislation with Senator Joe Manchin to expand background checks to all commercial firearm sales.
I also agree with Senator Lindsey Graham that we should pass a bipartisan “red flag” measure that enables families and law enforcement to obtain a court order to keep guns away from dangerous individuals.”
Mike Doyle, D-18, represents Pittsburgh, where 11 people were killed during a mass shooting at a synagogue last October. Doyle called for action on Twitter:
My heart goes out to Dayton and El Paso. Thoughts and prayers are once again offered, but nothing else. One of these horrific acts a day was bad enough; how much worse will it have to get before we act? pic.twitter.com/TmQcbuOMi2
Democrat Conor Lamb, whose district includes a significant swath of suburban Pittsburgh, tweeted Saturday: “the people of Pittsburgh stand with the entire El Paso community. Praying for all of you. We cannot go on like this.”
On Sunday, Lamb called out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on social media accounts affiliated with his office and re-election campaign, noting the universal background checks bill that hasn’t moved since passing the House earlier this year.
So did Congresswomen Susan Wild of the Lehigh Valley 7th district, Chrissy Houlahan of the 6th (Chester and southern Berks counties), Madeleine Dean of the 4th (most of Montgomery and a small part of Berks counties) and Mary Gay Scanlon of the 5th (Delaware County and small sections of South Philly and Montgomery County).
Devastated to once again hear of an episode of mass gun violence, this time in #ElPaso. My heart grieves for their community. This country must take sensible steps to stop gun violence. Hey @senatemajldr, let’s start w/ the Senate taking up the Bipartisan Background Checks Act!
Americans across our country are grieving with the families and loved ones of those killed this weekend in El Paso and Dayton. I am praying for the recovery of injured survivors and for an end to these senseless and tragic acts of violence.