Site icon The WFY

Gun Violence: Immediate action and commonsense gun reforms, demands Indian-Americans

Indian-Americans reacted strongly to the horrendous massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24. 2022, which took lives of innocent children and their two teachers and injured many. The Nation, parents, friends and families of the victims are in unspeakable agony, anguish and disbelief.
President Joe Biden ordered that flags at the White House, and federal buildings be flown at half-staff in honour of the victims.
“Enough is enough,” tweeted Vice President Kamala Harris. “As a nation, we must have the courage to take action and prevent this from ever happening again. It is long past time for our country to stand up to the gun lobby and pass reasonable gun safety laws.”
“If anyone doubted that gun violence is a public health crisis in America, yesterday was an unequivocal reminder that it most definitely is,” stated United States Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy who has always held that view. “We owe it to the victims, the survivors, our kids, and each other to treat gun violence like the emergency it is. As a parent and as an American, I can’t fathom the depth of pain those grieving in Uvalde are feeling. … We must do better as a country.”
“Words cannot express the heart-breaking and shocking nature of the event that occurred today,” asserted Indian-American Judge K. P. George of Fort Bend County, Texas. “Our children go to school to learn in a caring and safe environment. The horrific actions of this single individual, once again, serve(s) as a reminder, that even in our efforts to keep our schools safe, there are those who wish to inflict harm on the most vulnerable amongst us, our children.”
Judge George honoured the victims with a Candlelight Vigil on May 26, at the Fort Bend County Justice Center, in Richmond, Texas along with Fort Bend County Sheriff, Eric Fagan, District Attorney Brian Middleton, and Attorney Bridgette Smith-Lawson.
Reacting to the shooting, Virginia State Senator, Ghazala Hashmi urged, “This is not the time for words. It is the time for action. It is the time for the federal government and our leaders in Congress to take steps to prevent future mass murders of innocents in our schools, grocery stores, shopping malls, houses of worship, concerts, and anywhere else that should be safe for children and families.”
Indian-American elected officials and candidates for political offices are now demanding swift actions, rather than prayers and condolences from their political leaders. They are appealing for implementation of common sense gun reforms such as strengthening universal background checks, prohibiting easy access to high-calibre assault weapons, and encouraging more states to implement Red Flag laws to address the issue without undermining second amendment rights guaranteed by the constitution.
“Red flag” laws, also known as Extreme Risk Protection Order laws, authorize courts to temporarily seize firearms from people who are believed to be a danger to themselves or society. Currently, 19 states and the District of Columbia have Red-Flag laws.
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, noted that the Uvalde shooting comes just over a week after the deadly white supremacist mass shooting in Buffalo, and nearly a decade after Sandy Hook. “How many more elementary school shootings need to happen before Republicans decide to act?” adding, “year after year, the House has passed sensible gun reform legislation that would save lives. And year after year, the U.S. Senate has blocked those reforms from passing, thanks to the filibuster. It could – tomorrow- find 6o votes to pass sensible gun reforms or eliminate the filibuster, so senators are finally acting to save lives.”
Jayapal also pointed out that America has 4 percent of the world’s population but 42 percent of the world’s guns. “Yet Texas Governor (Greg) Abbott just recently signed laws loosening restrictions on gun carrying. Senator (Mitch) McConnell has led the GOP to filibuster even the most universally supported gun violence prevention laws for years. And Texas Senator (Ted) Cruz – as his own constituents try to pick up the pieces of their lives – is already waving away the call for these common sense reforms.”
“I think all of us are just thinking about the families tonight,” Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, said. “It eerily resembles Sandy Hook and what happened there. And unfortunately, we thought that would be the catalyst for action but that did not result in any gun reform laws.”
Krishnamoorthi contends that “our inaction is recklessly leading to these horrible tragedies.” And suggested the filibuster be revoked in the U.S. Senate, a position the President has not yet supported.
Krishnamoorthi pointed out what polls have shown – that 90 per cent of gun owners support universal background checks, and that Red Flag legislation, would enable family members to intervene and ensure troubled persons do not have access to firearms.
Calling the Texas shooting “a horrific culmination of inaction,” Latina-Indian American Democratic Candidate for Congress from Virginia 8th district, Victoria Virasingh asserted, “We need gun policy reform now. I’m running for Congress to create meaningful change. To prevent gun violence, passing stronger background check requirements to prevent people with dangerous histories from owning and carrying guns, prohibiting the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, requiring licenses before purchasing or obtaining a firearm, and enforcing Red Flag Laws, are essential.”
Alok Srivastava, executive director, of American Hindu Coalition while urging Governor Greg Abbott and Texas public officials to investigate and deliver meaningful solutions, questioned why security measures failed in the elementary school.
“We keep telling students that school is a safe place. How can we keep saying this?” questioned Sabina Malkani, an elementary school teacher in D.C. Public Schools. “Legislators need to come to the table and agree to tighten up gun laws right away. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or Republican. Fighting senseless murder cannot be about politics. It has to be about protecting the precious lives of our children. We don’t need any more thoughts and prayers. We need policy and change.”
Former Republican Candidate for Lt. Governor of Virginia, Puneet Ahluwalia, called it heart wrenching to lose loved ones “through deeds of bad horrible actors who don’t value life or freedom.”

Exit mobile version