Statement from Jewish members of Pa. House on Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

HARRISBURG, Oct. 27 – State Reps. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, and Michael Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, today issued the following statement on the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh:

“We are shocked, horrified and deeply saddened by the tragic shooting today at the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Our deepest sympathies are with the victims, their families and friends, and the entire community as we all begin to come to terms with what transpired today. We are also immeasurably grateful to the swift and courageous response of local law enforcement who managed to force the suspect into surrendering, and we salute particularly those officers who were injured in the fight.

“These acts of hate and violence have no place in our communities, our Commonwealth or our country. Sadly, they have become all too common. And for it to occur in a synagogue on the Sabbath is all the more heartbreaking, that someone would take the holiest of days to murder innocent worshipers.

“With each shooting we all ask, 'Will this be the one that prompts real change?' Yet, instead of fostering change, it seems to foster a numbness and a callousness in our culture, a culture that accepts these incidents as a fact of life. We cannot and will not live in a society where we have to explain to our children and their children that this behavior is something that just happens in the United States in the 21st century. Instead, we must have strength like those who stood in the way of the bullets, courage like those who charged into, not away from the fight, and steadfastness like those who bring villains like this to justice. Thoughts and prayers are no longer enough.”