PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Back-to-back mass shootings have cast a pall over the country — trauma in Texas and Ohio, reigniting trauma back here.
“Just brings it all back home,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.
“Just reliving Oct. 27 all over again.”
The Tree of Life massacre is always close to the surface. For Mayor Peduto there is a personal connection — a longstanding friendship with Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.
“Never thought that we would end up in the same club that nobody wants to be a member of, but it’s the reality of today,” he said.
“We’re at 250 mass shootings for this year, and unfortunately, I hate to say it: it’s not going to be if it occurs, it’s going to be when it occurs,” said Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich.
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Hissrich says steps are being taken to increase and improve security around mass gatherings and retail outlets in the wake of El Paso and Dayton.
“There’s no specific threats, but we are in constant contact with the FBI and Homeland Security,” he said.
Peduto laid the blame for the shootings squarely at the feet of the country’s gun laws.
“We know all countries have video games,” he said.
“We know all countries have mental illness. But we seem to be the only country in the world that can’t stop a public health epidemic.”
The city faces court challenges for seeking restrictions on assault-style weapons, high-capacity magazines and armor-piercing bullets.
But today, President Trump endorsed the “red flag” provision in the Pittsburgh legislation — allowing temporary seizure of guns from people determined to harm themselves or others.
“Hopefully this continues, and the more we talk about it, the more people engage with their Congresspeople and Senators — that this is the right thing to do.”