March 29, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Washington, United States (March 29, 2013): According to a recent press release by Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE) the members of the Sikh community joined US President Obama while he urged congress to pass laws curbing gun violence in America on Thursday at the White House.
“Mr. Obama spoke at the White House, standing with Vice President Joe Biden and mothers of shooting victims, as he pressed Congress to approve several measures, including an expansion of criminal background checks, tougher penalties for straw purchasers and a ban on certain semi-automatic rifles known as assault weapons”, the press release reads further.
According to the press release “Dr. Rajwant Singh, Chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE) and secretary of Guru Gobind Singh Foundation in Rockville, Maryland, Prabhjot Singh Kohli, Chairman of Guru Nanak Foundation of America (GNFA) in Silver Spring, Maryland, Amarjeet Singh Sandhu, an official of Gurdwara Sant Sagar in Burtonsville, MD, and Guransh Singh, a Churchill High School student, joined the White House event. Dr. Siva Subramanian from the Shiva Vishnu Temple in Lanham, Maryland also joined. Over 150 individuals were present at the event and many of them were either directly related to tragedy of gun violence or who are working on this issue”.
“The president expressed his frustration at the lack of action by lawmakers and made a forceful plea to remember the horror of the December massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and to take steps aimed at preventing future gun violence” it reads further.
“Less than 100 days ago that happened, and the entire country was shocked,” Mr. Obama said. “And the entire country pledged we would do something about it and that this time would be different. Shame on us if we’ve forgotten. I haven’t forgotten those kids.”
Dr. Rajwant Singh said, “It is important that we, people inspired by our faiths, must work towards making our society safe and sound for all people and especially for our children. The measures which keeps guns out of the hands of criminals and people with severe mental illness is something which should be supported by all and we urge the congress to take the lead.”
He added, “We cannot afford another Newtown, Oak Creek or Aurora type of tragedies which tears apart families and communities with senseless violence.” Six members of Sikh community were gunned down in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in August last year by a lone gun man.
President Barack Obama said, “This is the country’s best chance in more than a decade to take “common-sense steps” to pass laws that will save lives from gun violence”. Mr. Obama pointed to public-opinion polls showing strong support for some gun regulations, and he urged people to mobilize and contact members of Congress. He urged Americans to find out where their representatives in Congress stand, and push them to pass measures that take immediate steps toward curbing gun violence.
“Right now, 90% of Americans – 90% – support background checks that will keep criminals and people who have been found to be a danger to themselves or others from buying a gun,” Mr. Obama reportedly said
Prabhjot Singh Kohli, Chairman of GNFA, said, “We, four members of the Sikh community, represented half a dozen members in a shoot out at a Gurudwara in Wisconsin on 5th August 2012. This was a great tragedy for all the Sikhs in America and we feared that if this does not stop here, there is a possibility of more such tragedies in other gurudwaras and other places in America. So we are actively supporting the control of guns going in the wrong hands.”
President Obama said that his proposals are consistent with the Second Amendment and simply would keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.
“What we’re proposing is not radical. It’s not taking away anybody’s gun rights,” Mr. Obama said. “It’s something that if we are serious, we will do.”
Supporters of gun control laws were staging a “Day to Demand Action” with more than 100 rallies and other events across the nation today as well. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched a $12 million TV ad campaign pressuring senators in 13 states to tighten background-check rules.
“We’re not just going to sit back and wait until the next Newtown, or the next Blacksburg, or the next innocent, beautiful child is gunned down in a playground in Chicago or Philadelphia or Los Angeles before we summon the will to act,” he said.
As per information the US Congress will vote on the laws to curb gun violence in the coming weeks. The gun control proposals face resistant from some lawmakers from Republican party and also from President’s Democratic party.
Guransh Singh, Online Opinion’s Editor of Churchill Observer, a high school newspaper, wrote in his article on gun violence, “If central tenets of the constitution like freedom of speech and freedom of religion can be limited, there is no legitimate reason to block legislation that requires documentation of all gun sales and imposes severe penalties on those who are found in violation”.
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Related Topics: Barack Obama, Sikhs in United States, United States of America