Buffalo shooting vic decried gun violence in letter last year

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Buffalo shooting vic decried gun violence in letter last year

One of the victims slain in Saturday’s hate-fueled mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket had penned an open letter last year pleading for stricter gun control laws.

Katherine Massey, who was among the 10 people allegedly killed by avowed white supremacist Payton Gendron in the weekend slaughter, was a local activist who sent a letter decrying gun violence to the Buffalo News, which published her missive on May 30, 2021. 

“The recent News story about Erie County Legislator April Baskin’s cousin — who was fatally gunned down near her district office — is another gut-wrenching account of the escalating gun violence in Buffalo and many major U.S. cities,” Massey, who was 72 when she was killed, wrote in the piece, referencing a county legislator’s fatally shot cousin. 

“There needs to be extensive federal action/legislation to address all aspects of the issue.” 

Massey, who volunteered in schools and as the secretary of her block association, wrote that universal background checks and a ban on assault rifles aren’t enough to stop gun violence and that legislators need to do more to crack down on out-of-state arms trafficking. 

“Two federal laws of longevity — which are continued roadblocks to law enforcement efforts to prevent and solve gun violence crimes — are the Tiahrt Amendment (parented by the National Rifle Association) — and the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA),” Massey wrote.

A body lies covered in the parking lot of a supermarket where several people were killed in a shooting, Saturday, May 14, 2022.
A body lies covered in the parking lot of a supermarket where several people were killed in a shooting, Saturday, May 14, 2022.
Mark Mulville/The Buffalo News via AP
Barbara Massey, sister of shooting victim 
Katherine Massey,  on Sunday, May 15, 2022 in Buffalo, N.Y.
Barbara Massey, sister of shooting victim Katherine Massey, on Sunday, May 15, 2022 in Buffalo, NY.
James Keivom
Investigators work the scene of a shooting at a supermarket, in Buffalo, N.Y.
Investigators work the scene of a shooting at a supermarket, in Buffalo, N.Y.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke
People gather near Tops Friendly Markets supermarket following a mass shooting on Sunday, May 15, 2022.
People gather near Tops Friendly Markets supermarket following the mass shooting.
James Keivom
Massey called on Congress to pass legislation that would remove such restrictions, but she lamented that the political motivation to do so just wasn’t present.
Massey called on Congress to pass legislation that would remove such restrictions, but she lamented that the political motivation to do so just wasn’t present.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

“The intention for both is to bar lawsuits against firearms sellers and manufacturers for crimes committed with their products. Incredulously, the amendment requires the FBI to destroy all approved gun purchaser records within 24 hours.” 

Massey called on Congress to pass legislation that would remove such restrictions, but she lamented that the political motivation to do so just wasn’t present. 

She pointed to a bill before the Senate that sought to repeal the Tiahrt Amendment and said after it was read twice, it was “sent … i.e. banished” back to the Committee on the Judiciary. 

Tears form in Steve Carlson's eyes as he speaks about his former neighbor Kat Massey who was among the victims of a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.
Steve Carlson cries as he speaks about his former neighbor Kat Massey, who was killed in the mass shooting.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke
People pray outside the scene of a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., on May 15, 2022.
People pray outside the scene of a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo on May 15, 2022.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke
A man is detained following a mass shooting in the parking lot of TOPS supermarket.
A man is detained following a mass shooting in the parking lot of Tops supermarket.
BigDawg via REUTERS
Police officers secure the scene after a shooting at TOPS supermarket in Buffalo, New York on May 15, 2022.
Police officers secure the scene after a shooting at Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York, on May 15, 2022.
REUTERS/Jeffrey T. Barnes

Massey’s sister Barbara Mapps, 64, told The Post on Sunday her sibling used to work for Blue Cross Blue Shield and frequently wrote opinion pieces for the local papers in Buffalo. 

She was also known as a local civil rights activist.

“We lost a voice [Saturday]. We lost a powerful, powerful voice,” former Erie County legislator Betty Jean Grant, who was friends with Massey for more than 20 years, told the Buffalo News

More coverage on the Buffalo supermarket shooting

“She was unapologetic about making sure our community was not ignored.”

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