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Tops mass shooting survivors react to Senators reaching bipartisan deal on gun safety

"This is like putting a band aid over the problem and actually creating a new problem."
David Hamilton
Posted at 11:18 PM, Jun 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-12 23:19:03-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A bipartisan group of Senators announced a deal on gun reform Sunday focusing on preventing future shootings similar to Tops mass shooting that involved a hate crime towards Blacks in Buffalo and in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were killed in their school.

"How do we have this in ten days from each other? That's not a coincidence that's American violence coming ahead and are they really going to do something about gun control," says survivor of Tops mass shooting, Grady Lewis. "So more of these crazy people can shoot people or if they're going to do something by teaching people probably."

Turning it over to the city of good neighbors, some survivors like Grady Lewis of the Tops mass shooting feel this announcement by Senators isn't really targeting the issue for Black Americans.

"He would've shot me and I'm thinking do I want this? Balloons and my picture? Or do I want people to actually push for a real chance for people like me won't get shot again," says Lewis. "This is like putting a band aid over the problem and actually creating a new problem to where Black people don't have guns anymore and where White Supremacist people have their guns because they have acres of land and they will just bury their guns."

Fragrance Harisstanfield who was near death, survived the Tops mass shooting and she says having support from both parties is a good thing.

But she also feels what lawmakers are considering as gun reform is a target on Black people.

"I did see there are some laws that will reflect law enforcement's ability to go in and take guns from people in certain circumstances," Harisstanfield says. "Like I said I do agree with protecting a large amount of people, but I do feel like a lot of times it leans towards what people fear– us."

Mayor Byron Brown says in a statement:

"The US Senate bipartisan negotiators announced a deal on gun reform. It doesn't do everything that many Americans want to see, but it's a step in the right direction after years of inaction in Washington."

"Now we're just stuck with some gun laws, so we will work on that and work on making it fair and equitable across racial lines," says survivor Fragrance Harisstanfield.