Mayor Michael Bloomberg Wants Tougher Gun Laws in Wake of Sikh Shooting in Wisconsin





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Published on Aug 9, 2012

New York City's mayor Michael Bloomberg has spoken out against US gun laws at the Sikh Cultural Society in Queens, New York, in the aftermath of Sunday's mass shooting in Wisconsin, which saw six worshipers killed, along with the gunman.

Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg
"Just two weeks after the tragedy in Aurora we've seen another mass shooting, one in which it appears there were some warning signs about the shooter, and still the two presidential candidates have not given the American public a plan to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people."

Wisconsin authorities have said they believe the gunman to be a 40-year-old man, Ward Michael Page, who served six years in the U.S. army before being kicked out in 1998 following a 'pattern of misconduct'. He is reported to have links to far-right groups, and has been known to the Anti-Defamation League for several years, in particular for his leadership of white power group End Apathy. The gun used to carry out the attacks was a legally purchased 9mm handgun. The shooting is now being considered a race-hate crime, for Sikhs, the latest in a string of attacks on their community.

President of Sikh culture society Gurdev Singh Kang
"I think there was hate crime because of looks, our identity. They targeting our identity."

Nephew of shooting victim
"If we're going to be a melting pot in America, we need to melt. To think that I am dangerous because I am Muslim, I think, is ignorant. It's over generalizing these incidents that have happened like 9/11 and attributing them to an entire population across the world and it's not fair."

Due to their dress, Sikhs have, on occasion, been mistaken for Muslims, with a gas station owner in Mesa, Arizona, being shot and killed in the wake of the Twin Towers attacks in 2001, and last year a New York City subway worker and Sikh, 30-year-old Jiwan Singh, being assaulted on a train and accused of being related to Osama bin Ladan. 2011 furthermore saw two Sikh men fatally shot during an afternoon walk in California, with no one yet charged for the crime.

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