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Virginia Leaders, Advocates Responding To Weekend Gun Violence, Condemn Racism

El Paso skyline
In El Paso, TX, 20 people were killed and dozens injured in a shooting outside a Texas shopping center. (Photo: Ron Reiring/Flickr)

Reported by VPM News intern Reed Canaan.

Virginia politicians and organizations condemned white supremacist ideology after mass shootings this weekend in El Paso and Dayton. 

Several of the victims of the massacre in the border city of El Paso were Mexican nationals. Authorities there believe the shooter may have been targeting Hispanics and are investigating the incident as “domestic terrorism.”

Attorney General Mark Herring said in a tweet, “White supremacist ideology and easy access to guns are a deadly combination.” 

Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox did not mention the role guns played in the shooting. But, in a statement, he condemned acts of terrorism based on the “twisted ideology” of white supremacy. 

“All people are created equally in the image of God, and those who perpetuate violence based on race are some of the purest evil this world has ever known,” Cox said. 

The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy called for a stop to the villainizing of immigrants, people of color and religious minorities. 

“Racial justice has real life and death implications as we saw by the El Paso gunman’s shooting of immigrants,” the group said in a statement.

Integrity First for America, the nonprofit organization suing the white nationalist leaders who marched in Charlottesville in 2017, called white nationalism “one of the greatest threats to our national security and our democracy.”

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, in his response to the country’s latest mass shootings, again called for gun control. He said in a tweet, “It’s been 2 months since 12 people were killed in Virginia Beach. I called a special session because we have a gun violence emergency - no action,” Northam said. “Mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton killed 32 this week. When I say we have a gun violence emergency, this is what I mean.”

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