December 11, 2019 — Today, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of the gun safety group Giffords, released a statement on the news that the shooting at a kosher grocery store in Jersey City.
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:
“Yesterday, our hearts broke for a Jersey City neighborhood terrorized by gunfire. Today, we face the reality that this was an act of hate. We stand with every person who lived through this waking nightmare and with the courageous first responders who brought it to an end. We also can’t shy away from the fact that tragedies like these keep happening.
“America’s strength is rooted in our diversity. We pride ourselves on being a country where how you pray or who you are won’t make you a target. But this fundamental strength is under attack by hateful, bigoted individuals made dangerous by easy access to firearms. This horrific act is another reminder for our elected leaders of the urgent need to make it harder for dangerous people fueled by hate to access firearms and murder innocent people.”
Since 2015, hate crime incidents across the US have become substantially more numerous and more violent; police departments in numerous major cities have reported significant spikes in hate crimes. And the Southern Poverty Law Center reported that the number of active hate groups reached a record high in 2018. Rising hate crime rates have been driven largely by rising rates of violent hate, and data shows that these increases have negatively affected impacted groups across the country.