Memphis NAACP condemns Buffalo mass shooting, asks lawmakers to take action

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 9:20 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Days after a deadly racially motivated shooting in Buffalo, New York, Shelby County leaders are speaking out about gun violence in Memphis and nationwide.

The NAACP Memphis Branch, the Shelby County Democratic Party and others came together to condemn the violence.

“I think it’s important that we recognize that the Buffalo community had a great loss of life and we here in Memphis, Tennessee stand in solidarity in their mourning,” said Shelby County Democratic Party Chair Gabby Salinas.

After meeting Tuesday, NAACP Memphis Branch President and Shelby County Commissioner Van Turner says the NAACP and the Shelby County Democratic Party plan to send a three point plan to Governor Bill Lee and other Tennessee lawmakers.

“They have to do more,” said Turner. “They should be here with us. They should be struggling with this problem like we’re struggling with this problem.”

Turner and Shelby County Democratic Party Chair Gabby Salinas say they want Republicans to also re-consider the state’s permit-less carry law, which has drawn heavy criticism from citizens and law enforcement.

“Knowing what we know about what’s happening everywhere. Are we going to wait for something to happen here in Tennessee to change our laws? Or are we just going to give up and ‘These things are just who we are as Americans,” said Salinas.

Community members say they’re tired of the “thoughts and prayers” each time a tragedy like this happens.

Instead, they want the people to come together with local, state and national leaders to take action.

“Until our community can come together. Black and white, rich and poor, Millington to Whitehaven to Collierville,” said Memphis attorney Michael Derrick. “We’ve got to lock arms and we’ve got to tackle this problem and we’ve got to address this problem once and for all.”

The groups would also like more funding for mental health resources and for social media platforms to join their cause.

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