NJ Politics Digest: State Responds to Pittsburgh Synagogue Attack

Some elected officials and candidates send their thoughts and prayers to the victims' families while others have called for renewed efforts to curtail the epidemic of gun violence and mass shootings in the U.S. and criticize President Donald Trump for his divisive and incendiary rhetoric.

People gather outside the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh after a shooting on Saturday that killed 11 people and injured six more in the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in recent American history.
People gather outside the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh after a shooting on Saturday that killed 11 people and injured six more in the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in recent American history. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

State law enforcement personnel and officials spent the weekend responding to news of the attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue that left 11 people dead.

Police stepped up patrols, particularly near the state’s synagogues, and elected officials spoke out—some sending their thoughts and prayers to the victims’ families while others have called for renewed efforts to curtail the epidemic of gun violence and mass shootings in the U.S.

There were also renewed calls to reduce the political divisions and anti-Semitism that led to the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, with many Democratic officials and candidates taking aim at President Donald Trump for his divisive and incendiary rhetoric.

Sen. Robert Menendez, locked in a tight re-election campaign with Republican challenger Bob Hugin, blasted Trump for saying the shooting had little to do with the nation’s gun laws and the president’s claim that placing armed guards in public places would deter such killings.

“The President’s callous comments show us why we need reasonable gun safety measures in our country. Instead, the President is again dismissing common sense gun laws in favor of more guns—this time in our houses of worship,” Menendez said in a statement. “Houses of worship in the United States of America should not require armed guards.”

In a statement on Twitter, Hugin said he and his wife “are devastated & praying for all those in Pittsburgh who are impacted by this senseless violence & attack on the Jewish community. Anti-semitism, hateful rhetoric, & violence has no place in our society. We must hold this person accountable for this atrocious act.”

Quote of the Day: “We are definitely making our presence known today,” —A Ridgewood officer, on stepped-up patrols around the area’s synagogues.

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NJ Politics Digest: State Responds to Pittsburgh Synagogue Attack