Friday, August 10, 2012

Shootings at Oak Creek Gurudwara

On August 5, 2012, the small city of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, was rocked by a hate crime that shocked the entire nation. A gunman killed six people at a Sikh Temple before being shot and killed by police. The day after this incident occurred, Valarie Kaur, a social advocate for the Sikh community and a filmmaker who documented hate crimes against innocent Sikhs after the 9/11 incident, appeared on CNN addressing her concern and vehemently denouncing this senseless hate crime.
This past weekend, I was at the White House attending the Hindu American Seva Charities (HASC) conference where Valarie Kaur, along with other HASC speakers, spoke about dharmic seva, the concept of helping others through community service. The HASC conference broadened my views on seva since Dr. Varun Soni, the first dean of Hindu life at USC, along with Rabbi Sid Schwarz and an interfaith panel, inspired me by addressing the view that different people of different beliefs could perform seva together in a harmonious and united way.
I support Valerie Kaur in her fight for social justice by educating the public about the Sikh faith. My deepest thoughts and prayers are for those who have been impacted by this senseless tragedy. This shooting, along with the shooting in Aurora, Colorado, the shooting in Arizona, and the Virginia Tech shooting that altogether killed 56 people show us that guns are easily accessible and used to solve emotional issues. Therefore, why do innocent lives have to be spent at the expense of gun violence? This shows us that gun control is an important and pressing issue in the United States and that we should urge our elected officials to pass gun control laws in order to prevent the loss of more innocent lives. How many lives have to be lost in order for us to enact gun control laws?
~Alexandre Samy, Second-year student at University of California, Irvine
~Irvine, California

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