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October 29, 2018

Statement of Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Mary F. Platt Regarding the Shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue

Mary F. Platt, Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, issued the following statement today regarding the shooting of worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA.

We are outraged and profoundly saddened by the heartbreaking attack on members of the Jewish community who were gathered for worship at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday. We join all Americans in mourning the murders and injuries that resulted from this tragic act of violence.

The hatred and bigotry that fueled this mass shooting are antithetical to the values of a civilized society and undermine our democracy. We must build a society in which all persons live in harmony by shining the light of tolerance, understanding, and love for our fellow human beings into the dark places where hatred, bigotry, racism, and anti-Semitism are growing.

As lawyers with a duty to defend the Constitution and rule of law, we cannot allow violence to be viewed by anyone as a means to oppose public policy and our laws. We must prevent violence and hate crimes in our society by continuing to advocate for stronger hate crime laws, legislation that keeps weapons out of the hands of those with mental health issues, and programs that support law enforcement efforts to prevent crimes of violence. We also need to call on our leaders to show respect for each other, our Constitution and our laws, condemn acts of violence and bigotry, and act with civility and respect toward the beliefs of others.

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