Senator Raphael Warnock took a moment to lash out at lawmakers from the floor of the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C. Following the shooting in Atlanta that left one dead and four injured, Warnock received news of the incident after his kids’ schools were put on lockdown as police searched for the suspect, Deion Patterson, 24.
Patterson shot the five women at Northside Hospital in Midtown Atlanta.
“They are there. I’m here, hoping and praying that they are safe. But the truth is none of us is safe,” Warnock said. He also took aim at lawmakers and lobbyists who refuse to pass sweeping gun control bills.
He said the “slow-moving tragedy” throughout the country is the cost of “blind obstinance,” refusing to change course despite evidence, “demagoguery” and greed.
Warnock continued, “In a country where there’s 87 percent agreement on something, there’s no movement in Congress, which means that that’s a problem with our democracy. The people’s voices have been squeezed out of their democracy, and there’s a growing chasm between what the people actually want and what they can get from their government.”
Along with Warnock, Martin Luther King, III, Chairman of the Drum Major Institute, and Arndrea Waters King, President of the Drum Major Institute, released the following statement.
“Once again, we find ourselves trying to make sense of another tragic shooting. Our family has been a victim of gun violence and know the pain being felt by the victims’ families today. While the facts are still unfolding, we do know that one life has been lost and several injuries reported. On what was an otherwise a beautiful Atlanta today, instead has turned to tragedy. Enough is enough.
“Our family has never just accepted the status quo when injustice is occurring, and today is no different. No nation sees gun violence at the levels we are seeing in America today. We have a responsibility to call for change. We cannot afford to become desensitized this. It’s happening everywhere – nearly every day – in schools, in grocery stores, and now in the middle of a major American city. Thoughts and prayers from elected officials who think more guns on our streets is the answer is insulting at this point. We aren’t just calling for change – we’re demanding it. This year, we mark the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, and while we’ll take to the streets of Washington to call for change in August, we need action now because words are not enough.”