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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

US Sikhs back Obama on gun-control laws

PTI  Washington, March 29, 2013
First Published: 19:13 IST(29/3/2013) | Last Updated: 21:28 IST(29/3/2013)

Sikh Americans on Friday joined US President Barack Obama in urging lawmakers to pass laws to curb gun violence in the US.

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Several eminent members of the Sikh and Hindu communities were invited to the White House to attend an event where Obama reiterated his call to the Congress to urgently pass gun-control laws, so as to curb the recent spike in shooting incidents in the country.

"It is important that we, people inspired by our faiths, must work towards making our society safe and sound for all people and especially for our children. The measures which keeps guns out of the hands of criminals and people with severe mental illness is something which should be supported by all and we urge the Congress to take the lead," Rajwant Singh, chairman of Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE), said after the White House event.

Rajwant attended the event along with a delegation of Sikh leaders, including Prabhjot Singh Kohli, chairman of the Guru Nanak Foundation of America (GNFA); Amarjeet Singh Sandhu, an official of Gurdwara Sant Sagar in Burtonsville, Maryland, and Guransh Singh, a Churchill High School student. Siva Subramanian from the Shiva Vishnu Temple in Maryland was also present.

"This (Wisconsin gurdwara shooting) was a great tragedy for all Sikhs in the US and we feared that if this does not stop here, there is a possibility of more such tragedies in other gurdwaras and other places in the US. So, we are actively supporting the control of guns going into the wrong hands," said Prabhjot.

In his remarks, Obama expressed his frustration at the lack of action by lawmakers and made a forceful plea to remember the horror of the December massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, and to take steps aimed at preventing future gun violence.

"Less than 100 days ago that happened, and the entire country was shocked. The entire country pledged we would do something about it and that this time would be different. Shame on us if we've forgotten. I haven't forgotten those kids," Obama said.

"This is the country's best chance in more than a decade to take common-sense steps to pass laws that will save lives from gun violence," Obama said.

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