ICYMI: Senator Reverend Warnock Responds to Horrific Shooting in Midtown Atlanta, Calls on Congress to Turn Prayer into Action

Senator Reverend Warnock spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate to acknowledge pain in the Atlanta community, thank law enforcement, and demand Congress act to curb the ongoing gun violence crisis

Senator Warnock: “I rise today in shock and sorrow and in grief for my home state and, if I am honest, I rise really with a deep sense of anger about what is happening in our country in the area of gun violence and death”

Senator Warnock to MSNBC: “This is a defining moment; we have to stand up”

Senator Warnock to CNN: “87% of Americans, according to a Fox News poll, support universal background checks. In spite of that, there virtually was no conversation happening here in this building on this issue”

Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, following a horrific shooting in Midtown Atlanta that claimed the life of one woman and injured four others, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate to express sorrow for the Atlanta community and anger at the inaction on the federal level to curb the growing threat of gun violence. His remarks in response to yesterday’s shooting followed a meeting earlier in the day with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) where Senator Warnock pressed the moral urgency of addressing the worsening gun violence crisis in the United States.

Watch the entirety of Senator Reverend Warnock’s floor remarks here

See additional coverage of Senator Reverend Warnock’s response to the mass shooting in Atlanta:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Warnock pushed for gun control an hour before Atlanta shooting

Thursday, May 4, 2023

  • “On Wednesday morning the Georgia Democrat met privately with Senate Leader Chuck Schumer to encourage him to push forward with legislation to enact new gun control measures.”

  • “Things changed quickly roughly an hour later when Warnock learned that a gunman was on the loose in Midtown Atlanta after opening fire in a medical office waiting room. Not only were several people injured and one woman dead, but Warnock’s two small children were on lockdown in schools nearby.”
  • “He quickly prepared a speech and delivered it on the Senate floor. The senator and pastor was also an outraged Atlantan.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: ‘We must act’ on gun safety, Warnock says on Senate floor
Wednesday, May 3, 2023

  • “U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock urged his colleagues on the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon to take further legislative action to crack down on gun control in the wake of Atlanta’s Midtown shooting.”
  • “‘This is knocking on all of our doors, and I feel it this afternoon in a very real sense. I feel it in my bones because my own two children were on lockdown this afternoon,’ he said.”

  • “He said that although Congress recently passed significant gun safety, it does not go far enough. ‘Shame on us if we allow this to happen and we do absolutely nothing,’ Warnock said.”

11 Alive: ‘Thoughts and prayers are not enough’ | Sen. Warnock demands action after Midtown Atlanta shooting

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

  • “Warnock had a message following the 190th mass shooting in just five months, according to the Gun Violence Archive. ‘As a pastor, I pray for those who are affected by this tragedy, but I hastened to say thoughts and prayers are not enough,’ Warnock said. ‘And in fact, it is a contradiction to say you are thinking and praying and then do nothing.’”

Politico: Raphael Warnock said his own children were put on lockdown due to a shooting in Georgia — and asserted that thoughts and prayers were “not enough.” 

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

  • “Details: The Georgia Democrat began his remarks expressing ‘shock and sorrow’ for the lives affected by the tragedy, disclosing on the Senate floor that his own two children were put on lockdown within their schools. Warnock, a pastor, said that while he was praying for their safety along with those impacted by the shooting, there needed to be more action.”

  • “’But I hasten to say that thoughts and prayers are not enough. In fact, it is a contradiction to say that you are thinking and praying and then do nothing. It is to make a mockery of prayer. It is to trivialize faith. We pray not only with our lips, we pray with our legs. We pray by taking action.’”

ABC News: Sen. Warnock, in grief for his home state, begs Congress to take action

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

  • “Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., gave a passionate speech on the Senate floor in the wake of the latest mass shooting to strike the nation, this one unfolding in his ‘own backyard.’”

  • “’We behave as if this is normal — it is not normal. It is not right for us to live in a nation where nobody is safe, no matter where they are. We’re not safe in our schools. We’re not safe in our workplaces. We’re not safe at the grocery store. We’re not safe at movie theaters. We’re not safe at spas. We’re not safe in our houses of worship. There is no sanctuary in the sanctuary. We’re not safe at concerts. We’re not safe at banks. We’re not safe at parades. We’re not safe in our own yards and in our own homes,’ he said. ‘And now, today, we can add medical facilities to that list.’”
  • “As a pastor, Warnock said, ‘I’m praying for those who are affected by this tragedy,’ but he stressed, ‘It is a contradiction to say that you are thinking and praying and do nothing. … We pray by taking action.’”
  • “Warnock said he’s ‘pleading’ with his colleagues in Congress to pass stricter gun reforms to ‘do everything we can to protect all of us and certainly all of our children.’”

Huff Post: ‘None Of Us Is Safe’: Senator Calls For Gun Control After His Kids Go On Lockdown

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

  • “‘The unspoken assumption is that ‘This can’t happen to me, this won’t happen to me, it won’t happen to people that I love.’ But with a mass shooting every day, the truth is, the chances are great,’ he said. ‘I shudder to say it, but the truth is, in a real sense, it’s only a matter of time that this kind of tragedy comes knocking on your door.’”
  • “‘In a country where there is 87% agreement on something, there’s no movement on it in Congress, which means that that’s a problem with our democracy,’ Warnock said on Wednesday. ‘The people’s voices have been squeezed out of their democracy, and there is a growing chasm between what the people actually want and what they can get from their government.’”