Stop the Racism Stop the Hate. Francisco Sanchez, Dylann Roof, James Holmes – All use Guns to Kill
Too many times we hear reports of people being killed by guns. Guns whether in the hands of a male, female, child or law enforcement, permanently destroy and devastate many lives. On average 31 Americans are murdered with guns everyday, 55 people kill themselves, 46 people are shot or killed in a firearm accident. A gun in the home is times more likely to be used to kill or injure in a domestic homicide, suicide or unintentional shooting than in self defense. This year alone there have been 25, 579 verified incidents with 6,584 deaths and 2,259 involving law enforcement. Guns cause permanent damage and death in much higher numbers.
The recent shooting of Kathryn Steinle has created a media and political frenzy attacking immigrants and the city of San Francisco. The death of Kathryn Steinle is a tragedy. It is senseless — a young woman lost her life and a family lost their daughter. Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an undocumented male immigrant from Mexico, allegedly shot and killed 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle as she was sightseeing with her father along a popular local pier.
The way the media and the politicians are describing this incident it is dehumanizing to immigrants, allowing. This allows their audiences to justify their xenophobia, bigoted, and racism towards others. As the New Sanctuary Coalition of NY a network of faith organizations that works with immigrants to fight against racism and economic injustice we are compelled to respond. This dehumanizing and demonizing of a community goes against our scriptures and has led to murders of millions of people throughout history, including the lynching of Africans and Native Americans who were not seen as fully human.
The generalization that this death was because Sanchez was an immigrant is inane. If that was the case then everyone would be at each other’s throats as descendants of immigrants. We would have to wary of Presidential candidate Canadian Ted Cruz. Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindal are all first generation immigrants. There are millions of immigrants documented and undocumented in the country. A recent report, The Criminalization of Immigration in the United States by Walter A. Ewing, Ph.D., Daniel E. Martínez, Ph.D., and Rubén G. Rumbaut, Ph.D. confirms that immigration is associated with lower crime rates and immigrants are less likely than the native-born to commit serious crimes .
Sanchez is a male, should we then put all males in custody? According to the right-wing he committed this violent act because he is undocumented. Are they saying that being undocumented makes someone more susceptible to violence? Let’s make everyone citizens and the violence will stop . Sanchez was also guilty of having prior felonies. There are 65 million people who have gone through the system but most of them have gone on to change their lives and become part of their communities. These generalizations become absurd; focusing on them will not create a safer place.
What we do know is that Sanchez had a gun in his hand, which he fired. The authorities agree that this was a random act and that Kathryn was not a target. But that does not matter. When you use a gun the damage is permanent. It is also very destructive. Although this may have been an accident, when we see how guns are used we see their destructive nature. Dylann Roof methodically stood and shot 9 people in cold blood. Jayden Fryberg killed 5 in Marysville high school, Jared Loughner killed 6 in an attempt to murder Congresswoman Giffords in Tuscon Arizona, Aaron Alexis killed 13 in Washington Navy Yard, Adam Lanza killed 28 children in Newtown Connecticut, and James Holmes killed 12 in Aurora Colorado. All citizens, all males and with the exception of Alexis all white but all of them using guns in a mass murder spree.
Had Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez and all of the others not had access to guns, we would not be having this tragic conversation.