As a young woman in the 1970s, Rani Singh was among a group of Sikhs who gathered in a small, nondescript Sikh temple in Los Angeles to pray.
When the shooting happened, she was the only Sikh to attend.
“I just wanted people to go home safely.
That’s what I wanted to do,” she told CBC News from her home in San Francisco.
Singh was the first Sikh woman to be shot and killed at a mass shooting in the United States.
“If people want to talk about gun control, they should talk about guns.
People need to realize that the gun has to be a tool,” she said.
Singh is now a self-described “prayer warrior.”
She has since become a spiritual leader for the Sikh community, and is helping spread the word about the Sikh faith to others.
“When I first heard about the shooting, I was like, ‘What did I do wrong?
I should have listened to the elders and stayed home,'” Singh said.
She hopes that people will continue to pray, which is what she hopes will inspire others who are feeling fearful or anxious.
“We should be looking at these problems as if they’re real.
But we’re just like the average Joe,” she added.
Singham is not alone in her beliefs.
In fact, according to a recent Pew Research Centre report, “the overwhelming majority of Sikhi Americans say that religion is more important than gun control.”
Singh hopes that the Sikhs of the world, particularly those living in the US, can learn from her experience and continue to embrace the power of prayer.
“What I’ve found in my lifetime is that people are not afraid to try something new, that you can’t change people, but you can change the way you treat people,” she concluded.
With files from The Associated Press