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Political leaders react to mass shooting at Dadeville birthday party

Officials expressed grief and outrage at the incident, and offered thoughts and prayers to the community.

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A mass shooting at a birthday party in Dadeville Saturday night left at least four people dead and another 28 injured according to police.

Many people took to social media Saturday to express their grief and anger at the situation, including political leaders.

“I grieve with the people of Dadeville and my fellow Alabamians,” said Gov. Kay Ivey. “Violent crime has NO place in our state, and we are staying closely updated by law enforcement as details emerge.”

Politicians have long been criticized by some for offering “thoughts and prayers” in response to mass shootings across the country, particularly in states like Alabama that have resisted certain measures to regulate gun ownership, instead of taking action to prevent such situations.

The Alabama Sheriffs Association said these types of incidents are becoming too common in communities across the country.

“This is becoming far too often in our society and it is unacceptable,” said Jimmy Lambert, executive director of the Alabama Sheriffs Association. “The good citizens of our state deserve better, and our sheriffs and all law enforcement will continue to work diligently to do everything in their power to protect their communities from such violence. But this cannot be done alone. We ask our good citizens to get involved in their communities and work hand in hand with your local law enforcement to stem the violence in their communities.”

President Joe Biden released a statement Sunday criticizing laws that “erode gun safety.”

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“What has our nation come to when children cannot attend a birthday party without fear?” Biden said. “When parents have to worry every time their kids walk out the door to school, to the movie theater or to the park?

“Guns are the leading killer of children in America, and the numbers are rising— not declining.”

Alabama has some of the highest rates of firearm deaths in the country, lagging behind only four other states with 23.6 deaths per 100,000 citizens.

“This is outrageous and unacceptable,” Biden said of guns being the leading killer of American children. “Americans agree and want lawmakers to act on commonsense gun safety reforms. Instead, this past week Americans saw national Republican elected leaders stand alongside the NRA in a race to the bottom on dangerous laws that further erode gun safety. Our communities need and deserve better.”

Rep. Ed Oliver, R-Dadeville, said the small town could never have expected something like this to happen.

“Dadeville has never experienced a tragedy like the one that occurred downtown on Saturday night, but with the support of friends, family and neighbors and the prayers of millions of Americans across the country, those who were injured and suffered the loss of loved ones will be consoled and recover,” Oliver said in a statement. “All of us who live in Dadeville have heavy hearts today, but we will unite in our grief and become stronger through the love we have for one another.

“The fact that such violence can occur in a small community like ours, which embraces traditional morals and values, offers a reminder for every individual to remain vigilant and be prepared to respond to the unexpected.”

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More reactions are listed below:

“The Attorney General has reached out and offered assistance to local officials in Tallapoosa County,” tweeted Attorney General Steve Marshall. “We lift up in prayer all who have been impacted by the events in Dadeville and will support efforts to bring accountability to those who caused this tragic incident.”

“My heart is so heavy to hear the news out of Dadeville and Louisville last night,” tweeted Rep. Terri Sewell. “Week after week, we mourn the loss of life from senseless violence and I ask my colleagues how many more will it take? How much more death will it take before you believe enough is enough?”

“I ask all Alabamians to join me in lifting the Dadeville community toward the Lord so He may shower everyone who suffered injury and loss with the strength, love, and consolation that only He can provide,” tweeted Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth.

“Another community is in shock,” tweeted former U.S. Sen. Doug Jones. “Another community in many ways will never be the same. Hearts are again shattered. Families will never be the same. Future hopes and dreams lost—again. Words and thoughts and prayers are never enough, but they are important to all that have been affected so please keep them coming for these folks, not just today, but for a long time to come, especially since that seems to be all we can muster in response to these tragedies.”

“My deepest sympathies go out to the Dadeville community and those grieving over the loss of life,” tweeted House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter. “My heart truly breaks for my fellow Alabamians dealing with this tragedy. Please join me in prayer of those suffering (Sunday) morning.”

“We are filled with grief, anguish, and pain as we learn more details about the mass shooting in Dadeville, Alabama last night that resulted in over 20 victims, mainly teens, from across our state,” said the Alabama House Democratic Caucus in a statement. “We express our deepest sorrow for the victims, their families, and the communities affected by this horrible event. Our sense of loss and outrage is overwhelming, as we grieve for those whose lives have been forever changed by the incomprehensible gun violence that plagues our communities. Violence has no place in our state and we will do everything possible to help those affected by this appalling and senseless tragedy.

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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