A policeman at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin
Washington: As President Joe Biden condemned the 2012 attack on a Sikh shrine in Wisconsin on the 10th, he called for reducing gun violence and banning assault weapons to defeat all forms of hatred, including domestic terrorism and the poison of white supremacy. Anniversary of the heinous act.
On August 5, 2012, a white supremacist opened fire at the Oak Creek Gurdwara in Wisconsin, killing six people. A seventh person who was severely paralyzed died of his injuries in 2020.
“The Oak Creek shooting was the deadliest attack on Sikh Americans in our nation’s history. Unfortunately, attacks on our nation’s houses of worship have increased over the past decade. It is up to all of us to reject this hateful safe harbor. No one should fear for their lives when they bow their heads in prayer or live their lives in America,” Biden said in a statement Friday.
The president said the Oak Creek incident “showed us the way” and recalled how the Sikh community returned to their gurdwara after the attack and insisted on cleaning it themselves.
The son of one of the victims became the first Sikh in American history to testify before Congress, successfully urging the federal government to track hate crimes against Sikhs and other minority groups. Every year, the congregation now holds an annual memorial run to honor the victims. The program has the words ‘Chardi Kala’, which means “Eternal Optimism”, he noted.
“Fueled by that sense of eternal optimism, we must continue to take steps now to reduce gun violence and keep our fellow Americans safe. We must do more to protect places of worship and defeat all forms of domestic terrorism and hatred, including the poison of white supremacy. ” “We must ban assault weapons—used in many mass shootings at houses of worship and other sites across the country—as well as high-capacity magazines,” Biden asserted.
He said the Senate must act as well, noting that the House of Representatives passed a bill to do so last week. “We must all stand together to stand up for religious freedom, to ban weapons that terrorize our congregations across our country,” Biden said.
Recalling the attack, the President said, “When generations of Sikh-Americans in Oak Creek built their place of worship after renting a local hall, it was their own sacred place and connection to the wider community. On August 5, 2012, the peace and sense of belonging was shattered when a white supremacist entered the gurdwara with a semi-automatic gun and started firing.
The gunman killed six people and wounded four others that day, as well as another victim who survived his injuries and died years later.
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“Jill and I know that today brings back the same pain as yesterday, and we mourn with the families of the victims, the survivors and the community devastated by this heinous act,” he said.
The U.S. will match or surpass its worst year ever for the number of mass shootings, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit that tracks incidents of gun violence nationwide.
There have been at least 246 mass shootings this year till June 5. That’s the number the country has seen through June 5 in 2021 — the worst year on record since the Gun Violence Archive began tracking mass shootings in 2014.
In June, CNN reported a total of 692 mass shootings in 2021. That 246 number means that there have been more mass shootings in 2022 than ever before — which has been repeated every year since 2020 — underscoring the growing prevalence of gun violence in American life, the report said.
Several mass shootings and a continued rise in gun violence across the US have prompted law enforcement officials and lawmakers to push for more gun control measures.
President Biden signed into law the first major gun safety legislation passed in decades in June. Although the measure failed to ban any weapons, it included funding for school safety and state crisis intervention programs.