I am deeply saddened by the brutal loss of life and injuries of members of the Sikh community in Wisconsin.
This senseless and racist attack at a place of worship is not the act of a madman nor is it a random act of violence - this attack was a well-organized and targeted attack by a racist group.
Many people blame slack gun control laws but it is my firm belief that by controlling gun violence we will not be able to stop extreme racist groups from committing attacks against minority groups.
I have lived too long, have seen similar attacks in B.C. and have heard of other senseless acts of violence motivated by racism across the world. The seeds of ignorance are fertilized by hate and racism. These same seeds burn mosques, synagogues and temples and open fire on innocent worshippers in a gurdwara.
The fruits of these seeds of ignorance are bitter, poisonous and deadly. Ignorant racists do not care about the differences in faith and practices or whether the victims of their crimes are women or children, but rather actively seek vulnerable targets.
Racists and white supremacists cause fear in the wider community to demonstrate their force and power. It would be naïve to think that groups like these do not congregate and meet in secret even locally. They wait in hiding and seek any opportunity to create hatred among people of all colour, religion and ethnicity.
Our communities should not live in fear, but must show racists our communities are happy to live in harmony and have an intercultural understanding of one another. Education will not help racist groups - the only language they understand is strict law enforcement and appropriate consequences.
Our community should unite and organize a defense through education and intercultural understanding to ensure no minority group will suffer from racist and senseless violence again.
Charan Gill, Surrey