(Image source from: newcityfilm.com)
On 5 August 2012, a mass shooting took place at Oak Creek gurdwara in Wisconsin claiming lives of six people and injuring many. The deadly incident shook the Sikh community in the United States.
Commemorating the seventh anniversary of the mass shooting in the gurdwara, over half-a-dozen lawmakers on Monday affirmed to continue to advocate for stricter gun control laws and thorough background checks.
Even today the hate crime in the United States is prevalent. The recent shootings in El Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio, and Gilroy, which left several dead, resulted in several people and organizations demanding stricter gun control laws.
“Seven years ago, six innocent Sikhs were murdered in their place of worship by an act of senseless violence. Any attack on a community of faith must be wholly condemned. These moments transcend political boundaries and personal beliefs,” Indian American Congressman Ro Khanna said.
“In honor of those who died at Oak Creek, as well as those who were brutally murdered in El Paso, Dayton, and Gilroy over the last week, I will continue to advocate for stricter gun control laws and comprehensive background checks,” Khanna said.
Indian American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said: “It has been seven years since the deadly attack at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and tragically, mass shootings like this one are on the rise across in the country. We are seeing the real, devastating effects of a lack of sensible gun reform,” she said. The president’s “dangerous racist and xenophobic rhetoric fans the flames of hate and violence against our communities, and Republicans remain unwilling to pass common-sense gun-reform legislation,” Jayapal alleged.
She said her colleagues and she remain committed to addressing rising hate violence against South Asain communities, all immigrant communities of color, Muslims, and Sikhs. Jayapal also said they remain committed to advancing legislation to curb gun violence.
Congressman Gil Cisneros said: “This tragic event is a reminder that the mission is to create a more just, understanding and welcoming world, is never over.
“Our country’s strength is in the diversity of our people, including our Sikh, Muslim, South Asian, and Middle Eastern communities.”
Remembering the victims of the mass shooting at gurdwara Congresswoman Judy Chu said this act of domestic terrorism was carried out by a “white supremacist who was driven by prejudice and bigotry”.
“Unfortunately, the shootings this past week in El Paso, Dayton, and Gilroy are harrowing reminders of how little progress we have made in addressing domestic terrorism and gun violence since the Oak Creek shooting,” she said.
“Though we cannot weed out hatred and racism overnight, we must continue to denounce racial and religious intolerance, especially when it comes from our nation’s highest office,” Chu said.
The lawmaker has demanded that Congress take action to address gun violence so that these tragedies do not continue to recur.
“Seven years ago, six Sikh Americans lost their lives in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Sadly, as we just saw over the weekend, the racism and xenophobia that drove the attack on the gurdwara still permeate in our society today,” Congresswoman Grace Meng said.
She urged the Senate to abide by the House and without delay pass Common Sense Gun Safety Legislation
“On this anniversary, we must reaffirm our commitment to rejecting all forms of hate whenever and wherever it occurs. We must come together to ensure that all Americans, regardless of their race, religion, or country of origin, feel safe in this country they call home,” Meng said.
By Sowmya Sangam