The recent massacre in Buffalo, New York has elicited a spate of promises from New York Governor Kathy Hochul. She has recently vowed that she will enact measures to remedy gun violence throughout the state.
She has already executed some of these endeavors. For instance, she ordered the creation of a new State Police unit that will monitor extremist activity on online platforms to forestall similar shootings in the future.
Since the perpetrator of the recent Buffalo attack livestreamed the tragic event on Twitch and had also frequently used Discord to fraternize with other adherents to his white supremacist ideology, Hochul has ordered investigations of these two platforms in particular.
She also issued a directive imploring State Police to more stringently enforce New York's red-flag law -- this will entail confiscating the guns of anyone who has been deemed a threat to themselves or others.
New York's "red-flag" law, which was implemented three years ago, stipulates that parents, school administrators, or law enforcement officials can seek a judicial order to have a gun-owner's guns impounded if they exhibit dangerous behavior.
Hochul made the following comment related to the recent carnage at a news conference:
"This is white supremacy in this nation at its worst. It’s infecting our society, it’s infecting our nation and now it’s taken members of our family away."
New York already has some of the most rigid gun control laws in the country.
Hochul has indicated that she specifically intends to squelch attacks inspired by race-related extremism, noting that the perpetrator espoused "replacement theory," which asserts that the left is committed to "ethnically replacing" white people with people of color.
Some left-wing advocates have argued that replacement theory has crystallized as a fixture of right-wing rhetoric, amplified by Republican luminaries and politicians. The Buffalo perpetrator's manifesto, which was largely repurposed from screeds written by other racially motivated mass shooters, was replete with references to "replacement theory."
Hochul and New York state attorney general Letitia James contend that these ideologies are commonly circulated on social media platforms, precipitating unparalleled levels of racially charged violence.
As James said in a statement,
Time and time again, we have seen the real-world devastation that is borne of these dangerous and hateful platforms,” she said in the statement. “And we are doing everything in our power to shine a spotlight on this alarming behavior and take action to ensure it never happens again.