Harris to visit Monterey Park to meet with victims’ families
Written by ABC Audio ALL RIGHTS RESERVED on January 25, 2023
(WASHINGTON) — Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Monterey Park, California, on Wednesday to meet with victims’ families days after a mass shooter there killed 11 and wounded at least nine others at a Lunar New Year celebration inside a dance studio.
“As we grieve Saturday’s mass shooting in California, we already face two more this week alone in Half Moon Bay and Oakland,” Harris wrote on Twitter Tuesday, acknowledging the subsequent shootings in her home state this week.
“Tomorrow I will visit Monterey Park to stand and mourn with the community. Doug and I continue to pray for healing and recovery for all those impacted,” she wrote.
In Monterey Park, Brandon Tsay disarmed the shooter. Tsay later told ABC News he realized “everybody would die” if he didn’t take control of the situation, adding, “Something came over me.”
On Monday, seven people were killed in Half Moon Bay, in a mass shooting across two farms, authorities said, with workplace violence believed to be the motive. And only hours later in Oakland, at least one person was killed and seven more injured in another mass shooting at a gas station.
It’s unclear if the vice president will renew calls for an assault weapons ban while in Monterey Park — an action she and President Joe Biden support but which lacks the necessary backing among Republican lawmakers, many of whom say restrictions on firearms are ineffective and unconstitutional.
Congress broke a nearly 30-year stalemate last year by passing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), the first major piece of federal gun reform to clear both chambers since what’s known as the 1993 Brady bill. The BSCA was crafted in the aftermath of the Robb Elementary School massacre in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 young children and two teachers.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, alongside Connecticut Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, on Monday reintroduced a federal assault weapons ban and legislation that would raise the minimum purchase age for assault-style weapons to 21. But that legislation is unlikely to move forward.
Harris spoke about the Monterey Park shooting at a Sunday appearance in Florida to mark 50 years since Roe v. Wade, saying, “Yet another community has been torn apart by senseless gun violence.”
“All of us in this room and in our country understand this violence must stop,” she said then. “President Biden and I and our administration will continue to provide full support to the local authorities as we learn more.”
According to the Gun Violence Archive, the U.S. has seen more mass shootings than days in 2023.
ABC News’ Molly Nagle contributed to this report.
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