Nuñez: When will hate-based mass shootings end?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

On Saturday May 14, a horrific tragedy struck a predominantly Black community of Buffalo, New York. Ten people lost their lives and three were injured during routine trips to their neighborhood grocery store, gunned down by one person, barely out of his childhood years, who acted on the racist, murderous hatred that consumed his soul.

The San Jose-Silicon Valley chapter of the NAACP stands in solidarity with the NAACP New York State Conference in offering our deepest condolences to the family members and friends of the victims and to the city of Buffalo. We will pass along information when it is available about best ways to help those whose lives have been abruptly and catastrophically affected by this heinous act.

It is with continued outrage and sorrow that we have witnessed yet another hate-based mass shooting in the United States of America, the latest of many in recent years intended to terrorize and snuff out the lives of people of color, of Jewish faith and ancestry, of the LGBTQ community and on and on. In the end, all of humanity pays an enormous price when this sort of hatred, this cancer of the soul, is allowed take root and flourish unchecked.

It is with continued horror that we witnessed the devastating tally of all lives lost to gun violence in this country increase by 10 on Saturday. News reports were just unfolding at the time of this writing of another mass shooting at a church in Laguna Woods in Southern California, and our prayers are with that traumatized community as well.

We have learned from many decades of hard work pursued at great cost that progress toward ensuring a just and safe society for all people is a long-slog marathon. We are in this race for the duration and committed to serving as a catalyst for change. To that end, we will continue the NAACP’s stated fight for sensible gun legislation that will keep military-grade weapons within the confines of the military and out of the hands of residents.

We will continue our work in support of and in collaboration with members of impacted and marginalized groups such as the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, which has experienced a sharp increase in hate-based attacks during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

We call on all communities and individuals to step up and research ways in which to take action and fight back against racism and hateful aggression, to come together in unified commitment to making a difference. Collective, dedicated action based on mutual respect is the only viable answer to the question, “when will this end?”

Bob Nuñez is president of the San Jose-Silicon Valley chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

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