WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama invited leaders of the Sikh community – which is one of the latest victims of the gun violence when a white man killed six people at the Wisconsin Sikh Temple in August – to the White House for an event where he signed an Executive directive for gun control on Wednesday.
Washington-based Dr. Rajwant Singh, who is the chairman of the SIkh council on Religion and Education and was one of the attendees, said, “The Sikh community, while empathizing with the victims of Sandy Hook, supports President Obama’s initiative to take measures to stop the proliferation of deadly weapons in the American society. Too many innocent people have become victims of these senseless killings.”
The Sikh leader said, “ We used to feel that places of worship are safe but we had Sikh temple being attacked in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and six lives were taken away and we thought schools are safe and we have 20 tended aged children snatched away from their loved ones. This is not the way to create a harmonious and loving nation.
“We are in support of any move to restrict the easy availability of assault weapons and we appeal to congress to step in and show real leadership in this hour of need. It is a moral obligation to create safety for all particularly our young ones.”
According to him, on February 5 which marks six months of the Sikh temple shooting, Sikhs across in the US will pay home homage victims of gun violence in America and ask congregants to pressure their representatives to support gun control legislation.
“We are in support of the 2nd amendment of owning the gun for safety or for recreation use but at the same time, would like to see stoppage of deadly weapons getting in the hands of mentally ill individuals. Mental health is an important component, which ought to be part of the equation.”
Vice President Joe Biden had met Sikh leaders last week to seek their support for the president’s initiative on gun control.
“We are looking forward to working with Vice President Biden, the Obama administration and Congress to find the comprehensive solution that makes our society more secure where we can raise our children free from any fear of violence,” Dr Singh said.