Essays Gun Freedom

This article was originally published in The Washington Post. Gunshots in a sanctuary of peace. Cries of terror where people sing God’s name. Blood in the prayer hall. A community shaken by hate but coming together to sing, pray and forgive even before they’ve laid the dead to rest. This is what happened three years ago in Oak Creek, Wis., when a white supremacist opened fire in a Sikh house of worship on a Sunday morning and killed six people. It was one of the deadliest attacks on a faith community

The families of three Muslim college students killed last week in Chapel Hill, North Carolina received more than 3,000 messages and prayers of love and support from people across America. The prayers were collected by Groundswell Movement at Auburn Seminary and delivered to the local mosque in Raleigh, NC by Rabbi Eric Solomon of Beth Meyer Synagogue. "Groundswell collected thousands of notes from caring souls throughout the world who declared their willingness to stand in grieving solidarity with these families," Rabbi Solomon told the Barakat and Abu-Salha families. "May the souls

Published on the Melissa Harris-Perry Blog, MSNBC. One year after a gunman murdered six people and wounded many more at a Sikh house of worship in Oak Creek, WI, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department will begin tracking hate crimes against Sikh Americans and six other groups for the first time in U.S. history. Sikh-Americans, along with Hindus, Arabs, Buddhists, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Orthodox Christians who are victims of hate crimes will finally be counted on the Hate Crime Incident Report form. Adding specific categories

Published on Washington Post. Today marks the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, where a lone gunman killed six people in a Sikh house of worship. It was the largest hate-based act of violence on a faith community since the 1963 church bombings of the civil rights era. “I miss my mother every day,” said Harpreet Saini, who lost his mother in the shooting at age 18. “But I want to make her proud, so I’m honoring her memory through seva [service].” Harpreet Saini and the other young people of

I had the profound honor to help MC the candlelight vigil held in Oak Creek, Wisconsin tonight. One year after the mass shooting at the Sikh house of worship, more than one thousand people came together for a night of prayer, music, testimonies, and remembrance. The following are my opening and closing remarks: Welcome to the community of Oak Creek and those joining from their homes around the country and worldwide. I’m deeply honored to stand here with you tonight. One year ago, I arrived in Oak Creek

Published on Huffington Post. One year ago this morning, a lone gunman walked into a house of worship and stalked the prayer hall, communal kitchen and living rooms. Wherever he saw people, he lifted his gun without expression and fired. He killed six people and critically wounded others, including a police officer. The August 5, 2012 mass shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin received national attention for a few days, but then faded into the background as one in a list of mass shootings last year. One year later, people

By Valarie Kaur and Sharat Raju Published on Huffington Post. Six months ago today, a small Midwestern town was rocked by a mass shooting at a house of worship. The massacre in Oak Creek, Wisconsin that claimed the lives of six people on August 5, 2012 is only one in a tragically long list of recent mass shootings. Yet in this political moment - when sustained public pressure could lead to real gun control reform - the Oak Creek tragedy and response offers a vital lesson: the efficacy of resilience. We

Published on Washington Post. When my plane landed in Connecticut early Friday afternoon, I was glad to be home. I had just spent the week in Oak Creek, Wis., with families of victims murdered in the mass shooting on Aug. 5, 2012 at a Sikh temple. Their grief is still fresh, and it was both heart-breaking and cathartic to facilitate discussion and healing. I could never have imagined that I would be traveling from the site of one mass shooting to another, this time in my own backyard. The