This white nationalist, far-right and false conspiracy theory alleges that the government is facilitating the demise of white Americans by replacing them with nonwhite people through immigration, interracial marriage and other things.
Democrats in condemning the attack focused both on the proliferation of assault-style weapons and on white supremacy. U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, who became a gun control activist after her teenage son was murdered, said that she wished there wasn’t another massacre to fuel her cause.
“I am sick at the death and despair we continue to allow with despicable frequency,” she wrote on Twitter. “Weapons of war used to gun down our children, our parents, our families. White supremacists killing Black people, attacking Black communities, ripping apart Black homes. We cannot—we must not—continue to let this happen.”
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, McBath’s primary opponent, also released a statement calling for action on both points.
“We hold the families affected by the gun violence in Buffalo in our hearts and condemn this hateful act of violence and white supremacy,” she wrote. “Again and again this happens. It shouldn’t be such a stretch in this country to ban assault weapons, and to have universal background checks.”
U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams appeared on MSNBC, where she spoke out against the shooter and his apparent motivations but also criticized Republicans for opposing new gun laws and working to relax existing ones. She mentioned that in Georgia, where the GOP controls state government, a law was passed that allows people to carry concealed weapons without a license.
U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock called the shooting “devastating,” although he avoided making a political statement.
“My heart is broken for the loved ones of the ten souls who were taken and for the people who were injured in this despicable, evil act of violence,” he wrote. “I’m praying for their comfort during this difficult time.”
The majority of Georgia’s GOP lawmakers did not immediately address the attack, and most who did avoided addressing the reported motives of the shooter. Jake Evans, a candidate in the 6th Congressional District, released a statement expressing condolences and praising law enforcement.
A security guard at the grocery store attempted to stop the attacker but was shot and killed.
“Baylie and I are sending our prayers to all those involved in the horrific Buffalo Tops Supermarket shooting,” Evans said. “Thank you to the law enforcement officers who responded and brought the killer into custody.”
Vernon Jones, the Democrat-turned-Republican who is now campaigning for the 10th Congressional District seat, took the Buffalo shooting as an opportunity to condemn inner-city violence in other parts of the nation.
“Wanna talk about hate crimes & domestic terrorism?” he said on Twitter. “Don’t stop with Buffalo, include Chicago. Since Friday, 5 killed, including teenagers. Waiting for Sunday’s numbers!”
By Sunday evening, there were reports of another shooting targeting a Taiwanese congregation in California.