Dozens of San Fernando Valley residents took to the streets of Porter Ranch and Woodland Hills to speak out against racial hatred and gun violence in America.
At the same time, they hailed as “one small step” the recent bipartisan agreement in the Senate on a limited set of gun safety measures.
The Senate agreement includes better criminal background checks on any potential gun buyer under the age of 21, to give authorities time to check juvenile and mental health records.
A further provision would extend the ban to dating couples where domestic abusers possess weapons.
“For the first time in 30 years, we have taken a small step towards our ultimate goal of eliminating assault rifles,” Stacy Moseley, spokesperson for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, told La Opinion. ), participant of the march.
“The agreement is bipartisan, but no legislation has been reached,” he said. “Although it is a step in the right direction, it is not all that we want.”
The demonstration by members of the Interreligious Solidarity Network in the San Fernando Valley coincided with a new massacre in the Boyle Heights area, where three people were shot to death and three more were injured. The shooting took place at a clandestine party inside a building in the 1400 block south of Lorena Street, during the early hours of Sunday.
Moseley noted that since the massacre in Uvalde, Texas, in late May, more than 2,500 people have been shot or injured.
“Gun violence is relentless,” he said.
Mosely released data and research from Everytown for Gun Safety revealing that every day, more than 110 people in the United States are killed by firearms and more than 200 are shot and wounded, in incidents of violence, suicide, homicide, shootings and unintentional shots, in addition to the fact that the homicide rate with firearms in the country is 26 times higher than that of other developed countries.
The Rev. Daniel Tamm, president of the Interfaith Solidarity Network, which brings together 54 faith communities in Los Angeles, stressed that gun violence “is really what is plaguing our cities, our communities and our families on a daily basis.”
The religious of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills recalled May 14, when Payton S. Grendon, an 18-year-old gunman entered a grocery store and took the lives of 10 African Americans, in Buffalo, New York.
“To claim that he was there because his purpose had to do with his white supremacy and the reason for the replacement theory, which is a very wrong theory that there are people who are not white who come to this country, with the purpose of replacing white people and take their place that’s obviously [el pensamiento de] a sick person, a twisted ideology,” Tamm told La Opinion.
Tamm added that this ideology seems to have taken root among young white men who are trying to assert their masculinity and power, “but in a terribly misguided attempt to become an advocate for something that doesn’t really exist.”
Reverend Tamm considered that such ideologies are crumbling.
“At least since the beginning of this country, we had people working to make the United States an example, like Benjamin Franklin; then we had the Civil War and the end of slavery; then in the 1960s the civil rights movement and in recent times we witnessed the resurgence of this philosophy of racism that found its champion in Donald Trump.”
Due to the above, he said he did not know if the United States is losing the values on which the nation was founded, “but certainly the fabric of our soul as a nation has been torn, and we have to go back to practicing the principles of non-violence and continue practicing the principles of compassion.
Among the protesters who marched from Zelzah Park in Woodland Hills to Porter Ranch’s Temple Ahavat Shalom was 11-year-old Soleil Mandel, whose parents belong to the Santa Clarita Atheist & Freethinkers organization. She described that “it is very sad” that there are continuous killings in the United States.
“If I had the opportunity, I would tell the president and Congress to eradicate all guns, or put more restrictions,” said the little girl. “People should feel safe wherever they are; I feel safe in my school, but other children may not”.
against racial hatred
Knowing that, in 2021, Los Angeles recorded more hate crimes than any previous year, the 594 reported crimes included an increase in unprovoked attacks against Asian, Black, Latino and Jewish victims, as well as against gay men.
However, in the first quarter of 2022, between January 1 and March 31 there were 138 hate crimes, according to data from the Los Angeles Police Department. The number represents 104 more crimes in the same period last year.
“In less than a month, on the 4th of July we will sing that we are proud to be Americans, that we are free,” said Rabbi Emeritus Jim Kaufman of Temple Beth Hillel in Valley Village, California. But we are not free. We are not free from fear, violence and senseless mass murder that vastly outnumber other democracies.”
“We are not free from racist hatred and harmful divisions,” he added. “We have so much work to do to heal the country.”
Brenda Gazzar, spokesperson for the Interfaith Solidarity Network, disclosed a specific incident of hate against the Jewish community, in September 2019, when a message was written in a synagogue: “Six million $ was not enough” (Six million dollars). dollars were not enough).
Said anti-Jewish message was written on the welcome sign at the Ahavat Shalom temple, in the city of Northridge.
The graffiti made reference to the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. Apparently the dollar sign was intended to smear Jews as rich or greedy.
“Anti-Semitism has a long history, and in the United States it has the worst elements of hate,” Mark Novak, an older man, told La Opinion. “The forces of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) are not over; there is still hatred against Jews and that is intolerance.”
In fact, the annual audit of anti-Semitic incidents conducted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) found that Los Angeles, which includes Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Kern counties, witnessed 182 incidents of racial hatred against Jews. , in 2021.
The total in that region represented a 29% increase from 2020, including 64 incidents of vandalism at businesses, places of worship, public spaces, and schools; 104 incidents of targeted harassment online and in person, and 14 incidents of assault.
The 182 incidents in 2021 represent a 217% increase over a 5-year period from the 84 incidents recorded in 2017.