Kamala Harris Claims ‘Hate’ Epidemic Sweeping Across US

In the wake of another mass shooting done by a white person who targeted Black victims, Vice President Kamala Harris said the U.S. “is experiencing an epidemic of hate.”

In a statement she released on Sunday, one day after a shooting at a Dollar General store in Florida left three Black people dead, Harris condemned violent extremism and hatred in America.

She said that there are many Black people in America who live in fear every day that they might become a victim of “hate-fueled gun violence.” The vice president added that Black people often leave their homes in fear that others could commit gun violence on the backs of racially-motivated hate.

On Saturday, 21-year-old Ryan Christopher Palmeter entered a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Florida, carrying a Glock handgun and an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle while wearing a tactical vest. The store was in a neighborhood of the city that is considered predominantly Black.

Palmeter shot three victims, all of whom died. T.K. Waters, the sheriff in Jacksonville, said that the attack was “racially motivated.”

The victims were Anolt Joseph Laguerre Jr., who was 19 years old; Jerrald De’Shawn Gallion, who was 29 years old; and Angela Michelle Carr, who was 52 years old.

In her statement, Harris also pointed out that the shooting happened while many people were celebrating the March on Washington anniversary. The march that happened in 1963 was led by activists who were demanding economic and civil rights for Black people in America.
As she said in her statement:

“Already, federal law enforcement has opened a civil rights investigation into this attack and is treating it as a possible hate crime and act of domestic violent extremism.

“As we allow that investigation to proceed, let us continue to speak the truth about the moment we are in: America is experiencing an epidemic of hate. Too many communities have been torn apart by hatred and violent extremism. Too many families have lost children, parents and grandparents.

“Too many Black Americans live every day with the fear that they will be victims of hate-fueled gun violence – at school, at work, at their place of worship, at the grocery store.”

As part of her statement, the vice president called once again for Congress to ban all assault weapons while also passing what she termed “commonsense gun safety” laws.

She added:
“Every person in every community in America should have the freedom to live safe from gun violence.”

Officials have said that Palmeter was previously involved in a domestic violence incident back in 2016. He was also at one point committed to a mental hospital to be examined involuntarily.

Still, he was able to obtain the firearms he used in the shooting legally.

When holding his own press conference on Sunday afternoon, Waters addressed the various calls for bans on firearms when he said:

“The story’s always about guns. People are bad. This guy’s a bad guy. If I could take my gun off right now and lay it on this counter, nothing will happen. It’ll sit there. But, as soon as a wicked person grabs ahold of that gun and starts shooting people with it, there’s the problem. The problem is the individual.”