Responding to what is the deadliest synagogue shooting in US history, the chairmen of the Republican and Democratic congressional campaign committees decried the need for unity in the nation.
“We all bear some responsibility,” National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers of Ohio said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “We need to clean up our act and try to bring more civility to our Congress and, frankly, to our dialogue.”
Eleven people lost their lives in a Pittsburgh house of worship when a heavily armed man entered the premises, firing off all his weapons into the unarmed crowd. In addition to the dead, several others were wounded, including four police officers who were first-responders. The shooter was apprehended after he was shot.
Strivers said that lawmakers have a responsibility to keep political dialogue civilized in the wake of this tragedy.
“Look, another senseless act of hate has stricken yet another community and a place of worship in the United States of America,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico said, also on “Meet the Press.” “The Congress has a responsibility to act to keep people safe.”
Luján and Strivers called for President Trump to lead the country to establish solidarity.
“I sometimes disagree with the way the president treats people,” Stivers said. “I thought after the pipe bombs he initially set the right tone of unity and coming together. I hope that will continue.”
In a speech made on Saturday night at a political rally in Illinois not long after Saturday morning’s shooting, President Trump called the shooting “an anti-Semitic attack at its worst.” He then called on Americans to “stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters to defeat anti-Semitism and vanquish the forces of hate.”
On Sunday Luján said,
“It’s not too much to expect leaders to bring us together, to unite our country, to find a way to reach out to us to our greater good and make sure that we rise above all of the accusations and the hate and the finger-pointing. I am certainly hopeful that we’ll see that out of the leader of the free world, and that we’ll see that out of each and every one of us individually, as well as our colleagues.”