Detroit — I watched in horror last week and this weekend, along with the rest of our nation, as the headlines rolled in once again with reports of bloodshed, terror, tragedy and senseless loss of lives. America woke up Friday morning to the news of a mass shooting in Indianapolis, Indiana that took the lives of eight innocent people and injured several others. By the end of this weekend, at least nine more people had been killed in shootings across the country — in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Ohio, Nebraska and Louisiana.
More lives lost to gun violence.
Sadly, these images are all too familiar. Friends, family, community members gathered, watching in horror and disbelief. The victims in Indianapolis lost their lives for simply showing up to work at a FedX facility. In Wisconsin, three people were killed and others wounded at a local tavern early Sunday morning. In Louisiana, six were injured in a shooting at a 12-year-old’s birthday party and in Columbus, Ohio, a gunman opened fire on a small group who had gathered outside a local store to remember a community member who lost his life to gun violence last year. In that incident, one person was killed and five injured.
People with families, hopes, dreams — people just like all of us.
On behalf of the UAW and all my sisters and brothers, I want to extend our sympathies and prayers to the families of all of these innocent victims of gun violence and express our prayers for the recovery of those injured.
Friday’s shooting came just 16 days after the mass shooting in Orange County, California, where four people lost their lives, including a young child. The week before, on March 22, the shooting at a local grocery store in Boulder, Colorado took the lives of 10 people. Sadly, I could go on here because there have been at least 50 mass shootings since the March 16 shooting in Atlanta that took the lives of eight innocent people.
The loss of life is staggering. Women, men, children, old people, young people, people of color, people of different religions, backgrounds and races.
People, just like all of us.
I’ve said this before but it certainly bears repeating — these horrific incidents where innocent people are gunned down in our communities for doing no more than going to work or to the corner grocery store — have become commonplace.
Will we really allow this to continue?
I own guns. I am not only a gun owner, I would, and have described myself as a gun enthusiast. But I am also a father, a grandfather, a son, a brother, a friend, and a member of my community and I say here, loud and clear: We must have reasonable gun control reform in this country. And we must have it now.
To do this, we have to come together as a nation. We have to agree on measures that will protect the sanctity of life. In the wake of these tragedies, our president has called for rational gun control. Reasonable regulations and measures that will safeguard our communities and protect us all. It is the hard work that we must face.
So, I appeal once again to our leaders and our elected officials to get this work done. To put aside our differences, our fears and political expediency. To do the right thing for this nation.
Please, let us see no more of this bloodshed and senseless loss of lives.
I want to send our prayers to all of those across our nation who are grieving today.
God Bless us all.
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