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'Another terrible tragedy': Local leaders react to synagogue shooting

October 27, 2018 - 5:39 pm
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Local leaders are reacting to the deadly mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday morning, with many showing their support for the victims and encouraging politicians to take action on gun violence in America.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was directing state police to increase their patrols around Jewish centers and other houses of worship. He called the attack “heinous and horrific.”

“We, as a nation, must stand together and stand against the corrosive and destructive forces of hate in all its forms,” the governor said in a statement.

Gov. Phil Murphy said his thoughts and prayers were with the families of the synagogue and with the members of law enforcement who were among those injured.

“We must recommit to ending the scourge of gun violence and to restoring respect for freedom and diversity of religions upon which our nation is based,” Murphy wrote on Twitter.

Sen. Chuck Schumer called it “another terrible tragedy.”

“Our hearts go out to the victims, and their families, and all of the members of Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh,” he tweeted.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted: “Another mass shooting at another house of worship, this time a hate crime at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.”

“To our Jewish neighbors everywhere, we send love. We stand with you,” she wrote on Twitter.

Sen. Bob Menendez also responded, tweeting: “My heart is aching for the Jewish families who’ve been torn apart by violence on the Sabbath.”

“Houses of worship in the United States of America should not require armed guards,” Menendez tweeted. “This country was founded on the principle that every single person should be able to practice their religion freely and in peace.”

Sen. Cory Booker tweeted that “my heart breaks for the victims and their families affected by this senseless tragedy and horrific act of anti-Semitic violence.”

“We must unite against this hatred, and take action to prevent future gun violence – we are not powerless to stop this.”

The shooting also reignited the longstanding national debate about guns: President Donald Trump said the outcome might have been different if the synagogue "had some kind of protection" from an armed guard, while Pennsylvania's Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf noted that once again "dangerous weapons are putting our citizens in harm's way."

Trump called the shooting a "wicked act of mass murder" that "is pure evil, hard to believe and frankly something that is unimaginable."

Trump has at times been accused by critics of failing to adequately condemn hate, such as when he blamed "both sides" for the violence at a Charlottesville white supremacist rally.

On Saturday, he said that anti-Semitism "must be confronted anywhere and everywhere it appears."