Senator Rivera on Last Weekend's Mass Shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio

“The last few days have been incredibly difficult for our country because, once again, we are forced to deal with the aftermath of a mass shooting.

First, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the families and friends of all of those who perished or were injured in both El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH. We could say that our “thoughts and prayers” are with them as they cope with this event. However, as in the aftermath of every single one of these mass shootings, “thoughts and prayers” do not prevent us from being in a constant state of fear wondering when and where the next tragedy will occur.

How many more people have to be brutally murdered before Trump, Mitch McConnell, and the rest of House and Senate Republicans have the guts to go after the NRA, stand on the right side of history, and put an end to this insanity? It is in their hands to enact stronger gun control laws through effective legislative action, the same way we did it in New York this year. The real problem is that we continue to let the wrong people have access to firearms, especially to ones that should have been banned a long time ago, such as assault rifles.

Further, this is a very sobering reminder that white nationalist domestic terrorism is one of the most insidious dangers facing our country. Bolstered by the hate, racism, and anti-immigrant bigotry spewed by Trump and his allies, individuals, such as El Paso's mass shooter will continue to feel emboldened by "leaders" who not only promote racism, but incite race-based violence. It is our responsibility to come together as a nation and summarily reject their rhetoric and actions. Enough is enough. 

The best tribute we can give to those who have lost their lives and to those whose lives will be forever affected by these acts of violence is to take immediate action to avoid these tragedies from happening again.”