Hastings’ Statement on Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) released the following statement on the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh:
“The shooting at The Tree of Life Synagogue is a vile act of hatred. As the details continue to emerge, I offer my prayers and support to all those affected by this despicable act. Today is a day of great sadness, of mourning, and of reflection.
“We know members of law enforcement were shot while responding to this event, and that the extent of their injuries are not yet known. These brave men and women deserve our gratitude for all that they do to keep us safe. I commend all of the first responders who rushed to the scene in service to their community.
“We endure heartbreak after heartbreak in this country, and have allowed our places of worship, our schools, and our public spaces to become targets of hate and violence. This is beyond condemnation.
“While some may choose to hide behind political expediency and say that, ‘now is not the time’ to talk about racism and gun violence, I say that now is exactly the time. Over the past two years, our country has witnessed a resurgence of openly aired racism and hate, including a dramatic increase in acts of Anti-Semitism. I, like so many others, have called on the President to tone down his rhetoric and take positive action, only to watch in dismay as he strokes the egos of American neo-Nazis, white supremacists, nationalists, and hate groups.
“Again and again, there have been calls for reforming our lax gun control laws, and again and again these efforts have been blocked by those beholden to the gun lobby. This madness must end! For those who continue to stand in the way of even the most modest reforms, I am only left wondering when enough will finally be enough.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Democratic Chairman of the Florida Delegation.