"Even before we had a moment to try catch our breath from the horror of the gun deaths of 11 people in California over this past weekend, we are now confronted with another mass shooting that has taken another seven lives.  Senseless and savage, heartbreaking and heinous, either of these events on its own would leave us shocked and grief-stricken; coming together, they are bewildering.

"Of the gunmen - one alive, one dead by his own hand - so far we know next to nothing of their motives.  Perhaps we never will; and, likely, even if we did, it would bring precious little clarity, and almost certainly no relief.  What could possibly explain such indifference, pain, and inhumanity?

"We do know both incidents involved victims who were members of the Asian community.  For Asians and Pacific Islanders, who have been targeted these past few years with increasing violence and bigotry, these murders come as a terrible, fearful addition to their pain, regardless of the motive or the background of the gunman. We want the Asian/Pacific Islander community to know that we grieve with them, and stand beside them in support, as we do with all the victims and their families.

"At moments like this, our community’s values - reason, discourse, truth-seeking, peace, analysis, problem-solving, a belief in individual human dignity and worth - may seem feeble against the spasm of gun violence, and particularly mass shootings, that has come to grip the United States (nearly two per day since the beginning of the year).  However, I continue to believe that in the fullness of time our values will prevail, that we will come to our senses, and that this kind of gun violence will decline and, I hope, cease.  And it is only by standing in solidarity with one another and holding fast to those values now, in challenging, tragic moments such as these, that that day will eventually come."

—NYU President Andrew Hamilton



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John Beckman
John Beckman
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