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Garnell Whitfield makes plea for common-sense national and state gun safety restrictions

The former Buffalo Fire commissioner's mother, 86-year-old Ruth Whitfield, was among the 10 people killed in the Jefferson Avenue Tops mass shooting on May 14.

WASHINGTON — Buffalo's Garnell Whitfield continued his push for dramatic changes in gun laws during the March for Our Lives protest on Saturday in Washington D.C.

Speaking at the rally on the National Mall, Whitfield made his latest appeal to a massive audience.

The former Buffalo Fire commissioner's mother, 86-year-old Ruth Whitfield, was among the 10 people killed in the Jefferson Avenue Tops Market mass shooting on May 14. Three others were wounded that day.

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"Why are we sitting here, pretending like we don't have a larger problem? These are ignorant individuals, like the guy who had the gun in Buffalo. He pulled the trigger, but there are sicker and more ignorant systems, and people in high places that are arming them and loading the guns that are radicalizing these people," Whitfield said Saturday.

Whitfield testified in front of Congressional leaders days earlier for common-sense national and state gun safety restrictions.

March for Our Lives organized the nationwide rallies Saturday. The group was created by students who survived the mass school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

"This nation was borne out of violence," Whitfield said. "Built by the blood, sweat, and tears of our ancestors, and propped up by a deep-rooted belief in white supremacy. Well, enough is enough."

"We will not go quietly into the night as victims. We will no longer accept the inherent inequities built into our society as our reality. We will not allow you to continue to steal the futures of our children, and condemn our elders to a life of fear and uncertainty, where the comfort and peace that they've given their lives for is no longer available to them, in the twilight of their years."

Garnell's brother Raymond Whitfield also spoke at the D.C. rally as part of the Buffalo contingency there. The rally landing on exactly four weeks to the day of the mass shooting on Jefferson Avenue.

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