Today, we are grieving yet another senseless act of violence, a crime motivated by hatred and carried out in a sacred place of worship.
The horrific event at Tree of Life Congregation, believed to be the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the United States, is a devastating reminder that our country is seeing a historic increase in anti-Semitic incidents. We are heartbroken that gun violence has leveled such trauma on the families and community of Squirrel Hill and beyond.
Sadly, this tragic event followed on a week marked by racist, targeted attacks by white supremacists that shot and killed two Black individuals in a grocery store and threatened to kill elected officials and members of the media with pipe bombs. We condemn these acts and offer our deep condolences to everyone affected by these events.
More than 33,000 lives are lost annually to guns in the United States. A broad range of gun control policies garner widespread public support – including public health approaches that can reduce death and injury. It is past time for our political leaders to act. Our local, state and federal officials should move forward with a public health and health care policy agenda to turn the tide on this epidemic that continues to take more lives with each passing day. For the sake of justice, we must demand more.