Combating Hate Requires Action to Prevent Gun Violence

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On Tuesday, April 12th, a man opened fire on passengers of a crowded N train as it approached the 36th Street station in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. Twenty-nine people were injured in Tuesday’s shooting, a group of people as diverse and multicultural as the city itself. 

A Climate of Fear and Insecurity

Miraculously, no one was killed. While the relief we feel is understandable, we must be careful not to dismiss the impact this shooting will have on victims and their families in the months and years to come. The effects of these attacks are felt by entire neighborhoods and cities, creating a climate of fear and insecurity.

Interfaith Alliance has long championed policies that would help prevent hate-based violence. We have joined in solidarity with our community members and neighbors across the country when violent acts of hate occur. All too often, when hate turns to violence, guns are the perpetrator’s weapon of choice. Black and brown people, the LGBTQ+ community, and religious minorities are killed with guns with heartbreaking regularity by those motivated by bias and bigotry. 

Guns are Weapons of Extremism

Guns allow someone to act on their own extremist ideas to devastating effect. In an instant, they can cause overwhelming injury and death. Any act of violence committed by one human being against another is a tragedy, and we cannot afford to stay silent when such acts occur. As law enforcement continues to investigate Tuesday’s shooting, we are acutely aware that people across the country are still living under the threat of gun violence – regardless of what the shooter’s motive might be. 

Keeping Our Communities Safe

No matter who you are or where you come from, we all deserve to feel safe in our communities. As long as guns are easily and legally accessible, they will be used to terrorize everyday people in their schools, houses of worship, and public spaces. As a matter of religious freedom, we must support policies that make our communities safer, with the knowledge that our freedoms are inextricably bound together.

Learn more about Interfaith Alliance’s efforts to combat hate and discrimination.