Washington, D.C. – Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement on behalf of the board of directors and staff of the organization following the tragic shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.:

Today’s shooting is an unspeakable tragedy.  That it happened at a school is devastating, that it was an elementary school is unthinkable.  The young children and adults who needlessly were wounded or lost their lives today to senseless violence will remain in our memory. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and loved ones, as well as to the rest of the victims whose lives were spared.

2012 stands out as a particularly tragic year for gun violence.  A movie theater in Aurora, Colorado… A Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin… A young man in Sanford, Florida… And, countless other victims whose deaths did not draw national media attention. 

“How long, O God, how long?” What will it take to stop these needless deaths.  No doubt, even as many of us grieve today’s losses, opponents of gun control are preparing their response to this tragedy so as to silence rhetorical attacks on guns and preserve people’s rights to use these weapons in killing each other.

As a nation, surely it is time for us to  act in a  manner that prohibits us from arriving at December 2013 only to see the trail of violence extended.

Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.