Reaffirms Call for Minnesota to Adopt Common Sense Gun Violence Prevention Measures
August 6, 2019
Minneapolis, MN – Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement:
“The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) condemns Saturday’s terrorist attack in El Paso, Texas, in which at least 22 people were murdered by a white supremacist who targeted that border city’s vibrant Latino community, as well as the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, less than 24 hours later in which nine more people were killed.
“We are devastated by these horrific acts of violence, and we send our condolences to the families of the victims and pray for the swift recovery of the survivors.
“The JCRC also expresses our sympathies to and stands united with our local Latino community in the wake of Saturday’s massacre, which was apparently perpetrated to terrorize not just El Paso’s Latino community, but Latinx everywhere.
“This weekend’s massacres come only six days after six people were murdered by another white supremacist at a festival in Gilroy, California. Additionally, on the same day, a Jewish parishioner was shot and wounded outside a North Miami Beach synagogue by an assailant who still remains at large.
“We note that this rising tide of racism, xenophobia, and antisemitism is also playing itself out within our own community. On August 1st, Nazi-inspired graffiti calling for the murder of Jews was sprayed painted on an exterior door of the Lake Harriet Community School’s Upper Campus. This is the 17th antisemitic incident reported to the JCRC in 2019. (Saturday, a swastika was also discovered at an Edina park in the parking lot).
“Members of our Jewish community have asked us what we can do to help prevent these tragedies from happening over and over again. The JCRC is committed to a multi-faceted approach to safeguarding Jewish individuals and institutions, as well as being a resource to our interfaith partners and the greater community. This includes our work to enhance physical and cybersecurity and our trainings and educational offerings.
“Our JCRC Board has also affirmed that passing evidence-based gun violence prevention legislation, such as ‘red flag’ laws and expanding background checks, are part of a comprehensive approach to safeguarding our community.
“More than 150 years ago, President Lincoln called upon Americans to ‘bind up the nation’s wounds.’ Let us build upon the overwhelming support, for example, across the political spectrum for expanded background checks for private gun sales and a state and national red flag law as steps towards a safer United States.
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.