Candidates in New York’s crowded 10th congressional race denounced gun violence – and touted their own solutions – in the hours after a 22-year-old armed with a legally obtained high-powered rifle wreaked mayhem at a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park.
Former Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Mondaire Jones (DN.Y.) and City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera (D-Manhattan) all denounced the killing spree in Highland Park during a July Fourth parade that resulted in six deaths and at least twenty-five hospitalized.
Jones said his “heart breaks” for the victims of the latest mass shooting, the worst incident since the massacre in Uvalde, Texas in May and urged Congress to take steps to fix the problem.
“Reform our gun laws. Save lives, ” Jones tweeted.
De Blasio suggested without evidence that the killings might have been motivated by anti-Semitism because the Chicago suburb has a large Jewish population.
Rivera also amplified the anti-Semitism assertion by retweeting a similar claim from David Greenfield, a former Jewish city council member from Brooklyn.
Police have not yet concluded what suspected gunman Robert Crimo III’s motive might have been, although his social media accounts are filled with right-wing extremism and his proud support for former President Trump.
David Goldenberg, regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, was at the parade with his family when the gunman opened fire.
He told CNN the anti-hate group had “no indication so far” that Crimo was specifically motivated by anti-Semitism.
De Blasio also vowed to push to make gunmakers financially liable for the bloodshed caused by weapons they produce, an idea that would likely face scrutiny from the conservative-majority Supreme Court.
“Without true financial accountability for the damages caused by gun and ammunition manufacturers and their benefactors in the #NRAwe will keep repeating these daily horrors, ”de Blasio tweeted after the shooting.
The race for the rejiggered open district that runs from lower Manhattan to brownstone Brooklyn has attracted a crowded field of candidates all making progressive pitches for votes in the Aug. 23 Democratic primary that will effectively determine the winner of the seat.
Several of the candidates quickly shifted from posts about meeting voters at July Fourth events to mourning the bloodshed in Highland Park, while touting themselves as the best choice for those angered by the recent wave of gun violence.
Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon (DN.Y.) pointed to Crimo’s hateful social media posts as evidence that a restrictive gun law she helped pass in Albany could have helped prevent the bloodshed.
“This, folks, is why we required a review of social media posts in last week’s law,” Simon wrote.
While some focused on potential legislative solutions, Assemblywoman Yuh-line Niou (DN.Y.) had a simple message.
“America must admit it has a gun problem,” Niou tweeted.