NEW YORK, NY, Aug. 06, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In remembrance of the tragic shooting that claimed the lives of six people at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek in 2012, UNITED SIKHS shared its condolences for the victims and families affected by the recent string of mass shootings across America. As an international advocate for human rights, the global nonprofit is calling upon Congress and the Trump administration to introduce legislation that would require mandatory mental health screening for firearm ownership and strict penalties for online hate groups.
“We are deeply saddened by the recent string of shootings that claimed the lives of dozens of innocent Americans,” said Jagdeep Singh, UNITED SIKHS CEO. “Seven years ago, the global Sikh community mourned the loss of six Sikhs who were the target of a hateful, racist attack. Sadly, we are still seeing incidents of gun violence and hate crimes reported throughout the country at an alarming rate, mounting to a humanitarian crisis that cannot be ignored. We call upon Congress and the White House to pass stronger gun safety measures and internet use laws, as we have seen the recent proliferation of online hate groups that support militant attacks against minorities.”
Two mass shootings occurred in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio within 13 hours between Saturday, Aug. 3 and Sunday, Aug. 4. On Saturday morning, police said a shooter opened fire at Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 20 and injuring 26. Federal authorities are investigating the shooting as a case of domestic terrorism and hate crime, as the shooter allegedly posted a racist, anti-immigrant document prior to carrying out the heinous attack.
Early Sunday morning, a masked gunman in body armor opened fire in a popular entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio, killing nine people, including his sister, and wounding dozens before he was quickly slain by police, officials said.
Sunday also marked one week since a gunman opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California, killing three people and injuring 13 others.
“At a time when documented hate crimes against minority communities continue to be on the rise in the United States and around the world, UNITED SIKHS are committed to leading in the fight against incidents of hate, bias, discrimination and intolerance,” said Ruben Singh Gill, UNITED SIKHS Operations Manager. “In light of such tragic loss of human life fueled by racist attacks, it is more important than ever to come together as a country and demand justice for victims in the form of better mental health assistance as well as stronger gun ownership and internet usage laws. We must ensure stronger penalties against perpetrators of these senseless killings and the hate groups that spur them.”
To honor victims of the Oak Creek massacre and recent mass shootings across the country, UNITED SIKHS shared interfaith prayers at a candlelight vigil hosted by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams in Grand Army Plaza on Aug. 5 alongside local officials, including U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Carolyn Maloney. The organization strongly urges anyone who has experienced a hate crime to call 9-1-1 and report it to the local authorities. Hate crime victims may also report it to UNITED SIKHS legal advocates via the online form available on their website: https://unitedsikhs.org/report-hate-bias-crime-incident/. Gurdwaras and houses of worship may request active shooter security training by calling UNITED SIKHS at 888-243-1690.
Last month, UNITED SIKHS human rights advocates met with the Dept. of Justice, U.S. Census Bureau, and U.S. Reps. Stephanie Murphy and Don Beyer to discuss hate crimes against minority groups across the country. The organization has also written to U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks requesting a meeting to discuss the need for stricter gun control legislation and funding for mental health programs. The non-profit will continue to engage members of Congress, the Dept. of Homeland Security, U.S. State Dept. and other federal agencies, and the White House on these issues in the coming days.
For more information, please follow UNITED SIKHS on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. All advocacy efforts are made possible due to the generous contributions of our supporters. To donate, please visit: https://unitedsikhs.org/donate/.
ABOUT UNITED SIKHS
Associated with the United Nations Dept. of Public Information UNITED SIKHS is a global humanitarian charity that advocates for civil and human rights across 10 chapters. Our International Civil & Human Rights Advocacy helps advance the economic, social and spiritual empowerment of minorities and other marginalized groups and individuals in need, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social status, age or ability. We achieve this by protecting and enforcing the civil and human rights of minorities and marginalized groups in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Visit us at www.UNITEDSIKHS.org
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