• Press Release

Two Years After the Buffalo Shooting

March For Our Lives demands urgent action to fight white supremacy, a root cause of gun violence

New York, NY — On May 14th, 2022, just two years ago, ten people were shot and killed and three more were injured in a neighborhood grocery store in Buffalo, New York. From grandparents and pillars of the community to a heroic security guard, the senseless tragedy left behind a tremendous void that lingers on, and we mourn with the Buffalo community.

Two years on, it bears repeating: the shooting at the Tops Grocery store was a white supremacist attack, enabled by loose gun laws and a national climate of racist hatred. The shooter was able to turn his virulent hatred into mass violence thanks to cascading failures, from loose laws that allowed him to be armed to the teeth, including with body armor, to lax YouTube and Reddit policies that allowed him to make his weapons even more lethal and further radicalized him. This pattern repeats itself from the Pulse nightclub in Orlando to a Walmart in El Paso, from the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh to Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston. When virulent hatred is armed, tragedy results. In fact, more people are killed by extremists using firearms than any other weapon, and hate crimes have continued to increase. Of the hate crimes reported between 2020 and 2022, over half targeted Black people, and hate crimes targeting Black children and teenagers rose 12% in 2021 and nearly 15% in 2022. Hate crimes and bias also increased against the LGBTQ+, Hispanic, Jewish, and Muslim communities.  

This hate and violence must end now.

Like too many other mass shooters, the shooter live-streamed his carnage with fame on his mind. We join survivors in continuing to ask that the media practice no notoriety, by not using the shooter’s name in coverage in order to deny him the notoriety he sought. The risk of inspiring copy-cart murderers is too great, and it is incumbent on social media companies to ensure that virulently hateful content is stopped before it manifests into violence. 

Today and every day, we call on our leaders to act urgently to address the deadly connection between white supremacy and gun violence and to disrupt firearm access by hate-driven people. When our leaders refuse to tighten dangerously loose gun laws, and when some instead choose to fan the flames of racism and hatred, they are creating the conditions for more violence. We will not accept this. We will continue to remember those lost and fight on in their memory until this senseless and preventable violence ends.