Hate, not guns, is America’s true addiction, Malcolm Graham says in Time op-ed

Graham, whose sister, Cynthia Hurd, was killed along with eight other worshipers at Mother Emanuel church in Charleston, said Americans of goodwill must take the lead in addressing the deadly combination of hate and guns.

Glenn H. Burkins

Former N.C. Sen. Malcolm Graham speaks to an audience of more than 1,200 people at the 22nd Annual MLK Holiday Breakfast in Charlotte. (Photo: Kevin Douglas of Captured by Kevin)

As the U.S. marks another in a recent string of mass killings – 12 people shot to death Wednesday night inside a California bar – Qcity resident Malcolm Graham says an abundance of guns is only part of the problem.

The bigger issues, he says, are “hate and racism and discrimination, part of an emerging white-nationalist movement that for years was bubbling under the surface.”

Graham, whose sister, Cynthia Hurd, was killed along with eight other worshipers at Mother Emanuel church in Charleston in 2015, shared his thoughts in an op-ed column published by Time.com. The column was published Nov. 1, days after 11 people were gunned down at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

After the Charleston shootings, police arrested a white supremacist who was convicted in federal court and sentenced to death. In the Pittsburgh case, police arrested a man who is alleged to have told investigators he wanted to kill Jews.

Graham, a former N.C. state senator, said the Oct. 27 killings at the synagogue were like déjà vu, and he called on Americans of goodwill to get involved to end the carnage.

“The issue for our country is twofold: Yes, we need to have a national conversation about commonsense gun laws,” he wrote. “But more important, we need to have a conversation about hate and racism. It’s uncomfortable, but we need to address it.”

He added: “Unfortunately, the President of the United States doesn’t have the moral leadership to lead on this issue. …I’m convinced that if the people will lead, the leaders will follow.”

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