With heavy hearts, the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut feels compelled to express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the children and teachers mercilessly gunned down at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24. Once again in America, gun violence brutally ended innocent lives following gun rampages in Buffalo and Laguna Woods. We grieve these losses along with the broken-hearted of the communities that have endured the unspeakable suffering that these heinous attacks have wrought.
We remember the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT as we do those killed and wounded in the other 948 school shootings that have occurred since the Sandy Hook tragedy of 2012. An incredible but true statistic with a myriad of sweet human faces behind it.
In 2022 alone, as of May 24, there have been 27 shootings in K-12 schools! Since 2018, the year of the deadly gun attack at the Florida Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, there have been 119 school shootings.
School shootings, grocery store shootings, shootings in houses of worship… Across America since 2018 there have been 212 mass shootings, defined as “four or more people killed or injured.” What is the common element in all these horrific attacks on innocent people? High-powered weapons which are easy to obtain legally and a person bent on inflicting maximum harm.
While mental health, social problems, and ideologies of hate are usually factors in perpetrators globally who enact violence against innocents, the gun violence statistics of the US far outstrip those of other countries where gun possession is more strictly regulated. The number of gun murders in the US is 79% of all murders while in Canada it is 34%, in the UK 4%, and in Australia 13%.
We must address the issue of gun violence in America. When will we finally prioritize human lives over gun “rights”? The inaction on gun control legislation by Senate Republicans and a few Democrats is a fact that has even impeded civil debate on this critically important issue. It’s up to us to push back against the status quo and the rising pile of caskets filled with children, shoppers, and teachers that comes with it.
If you feel moved to sign a position urging Congress to act, you may click on this link.
Surah al-‘Asr of the Holy Quran offers a sobering reflection on the human condition that seems especially relevant in light of so much senseless violence: “In the name of Allah (God) the most Merciful, the most Compassionate, By Time, mankind is in loss, except for those who believe and who work righteousness, advising each other to truth and advising each other to patience.”