Washington: In the wake of the shooting incident in a Wisconsin gurudwara, US President Barack Obama has stressed on the need to recognise the significant contributions of the Sikhs to the American community.
"The (US) President feels very strongly that in the wake of this shooting, that we need to recognise the significant contributions of the Sikh community to the broader American community," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said today.
Six people, including four Indian nationals, were killed when a gunman opened fire inside a Gurudwara in Wisconsin.
The suspect was shot dead by security forces in counter fire.
"I cannot comment on an ongoing investigation or on the motives behind the attack in Wisconsin. I did note yesterday that since 9/11 there have been occasions where Sikhs have been targeted for violence because they have been misidentified as Muslims," he said.
"That is a terrible thing on two levels because obviously neither Muslims nor Sikhs should be targeted for this kind of terrible violence. And again, I`m speaking in a broader sense here, not with regard to what happened in Wisconsin, because I cannot make judgments about motive there while it`s under investigation," Carney said.
"The President -- as he said in his statement, and the first lady, their hearts go out to the victims, to their families, to the broader community. The FBI is part of this investigation, and more broadly, the administration is certainly assisting in whatever way it can," Carney added.
Responding to a question on gun control laws, Carney said Obama believes that the country is facing a problem of violence which needs to be addressed.
"The president believes we have a violence challenge in this country, a violence problem that we need to address and come at from a variety of fronts because it is not a problem that is just related to gun laws," he said.
"The President believes that when it comes to firearms that we need to take common-sense measures that respect and uphold the Second Amendment rights of the American people," the top Obama aide added.