Pray for Pittsburgh

Tahirih Njang, Staff Writer

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In the wake of the recent Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in late October, the pressing issue of anti-semitism has once again come to life. The fatal mass shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation left 11 dead, as well as six officers injured. The shooting, according to CBS News, is the “deadliest attack on Jews on American soil.” Perhaps the most shocking horror of this atrocity is that one of the victims included Rose Mallinger, a 97-year-old Holocaust survivor.

Within the last decade, anti-semitism and hate has been growing rapidly in the United States. According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an international Jewish organization fighting anti-semitism and hate, there has been a 50% increase in white supremacist and nationalist groups within the last few years.

The shooter was anti-semitic and “wanted ‘all Jews to die,’” authorities said. The shooter had radical views about Judaism and Jewish people that he felt must be dealt with. According to ABC News,  investigators said the shooter posted about his intentions prior to the shooting on Gab, a “social media platform popular with white supremacists and the alt-right.” The post before he attacked was, “HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”

Along with hate crimes, the shooting also raises the gun control debate in our nation. The shooter’s guns were reported to have been purchased legally. As a result, Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey proposed to push to strengthen the state’s gun laws even tighter than they already are. Many other state legislatures should be reacting in this way and immediately finding ways to combat gun violence.

Gun control should also be a priority constantly and continuously, not only after a tragedy such as this. Murphy said in a press conference, “Gun violence is not a problem we can eliminate through the passage of a single, magic law.” Gun violence is at the forefront of our day-to-day lives, and should be at the forefront of our political systems as well.

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Pray for Pittsburgh