Politicians reacted and grieved over the tragic shooting that left one dead and three injured at a Poway, Calif., synagogue on Saturday.
Many, like President Donald Trump, offered their thoughts and prayers and expressed sadness over the shooting, which took place both on the last day of the Jewish holiday of Passover and exactly six months after the “Tree of Life” shooting in Pittsburgh.
“Thoughts and prayers to all those affected by the shooting at the Synagogue in Poway, California,” the president tweeted. “God bless you all. Suspected apprehended. Law enforcement did outstanding job. Thank you!”
Vice President Mike Pence also shared his condolences, condemning in “the strongest terms the evil & cowardly shooting” at the synagogue.
“No one should be in fear in a house of worship,” he tweeted. “Antisemitism isn’t just wrong – it’s evil.”
The shooting happened in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s, D-Calif., home state.
“We share in the grief of all who have been affected & their families,” she tweeted before expressing her commitment to the Jewish community.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., lamented that the shooting happened at the end of Passover and called for an end to “gun violence in America.”
“It is shocking to the conscience that someone would commit such a heinous crime on the last day of Passover,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings tweeted.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also lamented the shooting and blasted “anti-semitism” in the United States.
“Anti-semitism and hate have no place in America. My heart breaks for those affected by the attack on the Synagogue in Poway, California,” he said. “I expect swift justice for the victims and their families.”
Others, like California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom, similarly targeted “hate” with their comments.
“Yet again a place of worship is the target of senseless gun violence and hate,” Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., a 2020 presidential hopeful, tweeted on Saturday. “Anti-Semitism is real in this country and we must not be silent – enough is enough. My heart aches for the Chabad of Poway synagogue and the Jewish community.”
Some, however, started calling for gun control or took a shot at the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said she was “heartbroken” and called on the Senate to pass universal background check legislation.
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who was the target of an assassination attempt in 2011, derided the NRA as it faced infighting and its president, Oliver North, backed out of a second term.
“The shooting today at the synagogue in San Diego reminds us all of what’s at stake,” she said. “While the NRA’s leadership fights with one another over money and corruption, I’m going to keep fighting every single day to make America safer. Enough.”
In addition to Harris, a slew of 2020 candidates, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., expressed their dismay over the shooting.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who officially launched his 2020 campaign earlier this week, said he and his wife were “devastated” to learn about the shooting.
“No one should have to worship in fear,” he tweeted. “As a country, we must speak out against bigotry and gun violence. We’re in the battle for the soul of this nation—and it’s on all of us to act.”
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, who is also running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, said he was “heartbroken” by the event.
“We must act now to end this hatred and gun violence,” he tweeted. “May the memories of those lost be a blessing.”
U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas — whose brother, Julian Castro, is running for president — hinted at gun control when he asked, “How many more innocent people need to die before this country rises up and finally protects its own?”
Praying for comfort and healing for the Chabad of Poway congregation today, as we deal with yet another mass shooting at a house of worship, fueled by anti-Semitism. Gun safety reform needs to happen—now.
Authorities said Saturday that a 19-year-old man armed with a rifle opened fire inside the synagogue. He fled in a car and called 911 shortly afterward to say he was involved in the shooting. He was detained soon after by a San Diego police officer.
Poway is just over 20 miles north of San Diego.