Buffalo shooting was culmination of racism, gun access and internet culture

WASHINGTON —  If it’s Monday … President Biden heads to Buffalo tomorrow after the racially-motivated shooting in the city. … Other deadly shootings take place in Southern California and Houston. … A New NBC News poll shows support for abortion rights hitting all-time high. … The poll also finds Biden’s job rating below 40 percent and three-quarters saying the nation is headed in the wrong direction. … Pennsylvania Senate Democratic frontrunner John Fetterman suffers stroke. … Donald Trump endorses Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania Governor. … And the Democratic Party is the least popular figure/institution in the NBC News poll.

But first: What took place in Buffalo on Saturday was the result of a toxic stew of growing right-wing racist ideology, easy access to guns and a permissive internet culture.

The seemingly endless political debate over what to do with guns and the internet has begun once again. But what sticks out to us is the silence from many conservative commentators and Republican elected leaders who have either stoked it or ignored this rising hate for political gain. 

Wyoming GOP Rep. Liz Cheney called out her own party in a tweet this morning, writing, “The House GOP leadership has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy, and anti-Semitism. History has taught us that what begins with words ends in far worse. @GOP leaders must renounce and reject these views and those who hold them.”

What also stands out to us is that Buffalo now joins Charleston, Pittsburgh and El Paso in experiencing racially and ethnically motivated mass attacks.

This kind of violence has become an epidemic in this country.

Tweet of the day

Data Download: The number of the day is … -19 percentage points

That’s the net-negative rating for the Democratic Party in the latest national NBC News poll, with 50 percent of adults saying they had negative feelings about the Democratic Party and 31 percent saying they had positive feelings about the party. That’s also the highest net-negative rating the Democratic Party has seen in 30 years of the survey. 

Adults surveyed in the poll gave the Republican Party a net negative rating of minus 11 percent, with 46 percent viewing the party positively and 46 percent viewing the party negatively. 

The results are yet another warning sign for Democrats heading into a difficult midterm election, with the Democratic Party’s image struggling across the country. Among registered voters in the suburbs, the Democratic Party had a net negative rating of minus 24 percent, which is nearly three times their negative rating among suburban voters in 2018. The party also had a 2 percent net-positive rating among urban voters, a sizable drop from a plus 15 percent rating in 2021. Rural voters have increasingly reported negative feelings about the Democratic Party, giving the party a rating of minus 32 percent. 

Here’s the positive/negative ratings — from most popular, to least popular — for all the politicians or institutions the NBC News poll measured:

  • Volodymyr Zelenskyy: 62 percent positive, 9 percent