President Obama said today that the deadly shooting outside a Jewish community center in Kansas is a call to action to “combat the ignorance and intolerance, including anti-Semitism, that can lead to hatred and to violence.”
“As Americans, we not only need to open our hearts to the families of the victims; we’ve got to stand united against this kind of terrible violence, which has no place in our society,” Obama told guests of the White House Easter prayer breakfast.
“We’re all children of God, we’re all made his image, all worthy of his love and dignity,” he said, “and we see what happens around the world when this kind of religious-based or -tinged violence can rear its ugly head. It’s got no place in our society.”
It was the second time in as many weeks that Obama condemned a shooting that claimed innocent lives and terrorized an American community. The latest incident occurred Sunday outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kan., where parents and their children were gathering for a singing contest and another event.
Police say the alleged gunman, who killed three people, was a known white supremacist with a prior criminal record.
“That this occurred now, as Jews were preparing to celebrate Passover, as Christians were observing Palm Sunday, makes this tragedy all the more painful,” Obama said.
Synagogues and Jewish community centers across the country have added security measures in the wake of the attack. The federal government is assisting the investigation, the president said.
“Nobody should have to worry about their security when gathering with their fellow believers,” he said. “No one should ever have to fear for their safety when they go to pray.”