Our View: Adding Domestic Terrorism to Katko’s Priority List | Editorial

The citizen editorial committee

Several hours after the heinous attack on the Buffalo Tops Friendly Market, U.S. Representative John Katko issued a statement similar to many others issued by elected state and federal officials. He expressed condolences to the families of the victims and thanked first responders for their heroism in stopping the shooter before he killed other innocent people.

Contrary to many statements by other Republican Representatives, Katko also addressed the motive for the shooter’s actions:

“As stated by federal and local law enforcement officials, there are indications that this heinous act was racially motivated. and local law enforcement as they seek justice for victims and the community.

Fox News pundits like Tucker Carlson, other far-right outlets, and some of the most extreme members of Congress wasted no time last week trying to redirect the much-needed attention the Buffalo shooting has brought to the rise of violence led by white supremacy.

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A recent Washington Post analysis of data from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, published several weeks before the Buffalo attack, included this stark conclusion: “Incidents of domestic terrorism have reached new heights in the United States, primarily under the white supremacist, anti-Muslim extremists and far-right anti-government momentum, according to a Washington Post analysis using data compiled by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. … This surge reflects a growing threat from homegrown terrorism that hasn’t been seen in a quarter of a century, with far-right attacks and plots far eclipsing those from the far left and causing more deaths.”

Katko, a congressional representative from Central New York, is in a strong position to help Congress, at least a bipartisan majority in Congress, craft a strong response to this issue, which directly caused the death of one of his constituents, Andre Mackniel. The Auburn resident was killed in the Buffalo attack while buying a birthday cake for his son, and the only reason the shooter shot him was because he was a black man .

Katko’s leadership status on the Homeland Security Committee, combined with the political freedom he has in deciding not to run, should lead to a meaningful response from that committee to this issue.

The congressman has stood up to his party’s leadership in the past with his repudiation of former President Trump’s actions that led to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. It must do the same when it comes to tackling this serious and growing problem.

Citizen’s editorial board includes President and Director of Local Sales and Marketing Michelle Bowers, Managing Editor Jeremy Boyer and Managing Editor Mike Dowd.

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