Every year, almost 40,000 Americans die as victims of gun violence. That’s over 100 deaths per day. Americans are 25 times more likely to be killed with a gun than people in other developed nations, despite the fact that gun deaths are incredibly preventable. The scourge of gun violence in America is both a public safety issue and a public health epidemic.
After tragedies in too many communities, we are committed to working consistently and courageously to stem the overwhelming tide of gun violence in the United States. While we have been given much reason to grieve, we have more reason to hope for a better tomorrow.
Enough is enough. As Jews, we will not remain silent. We need your help to call on our legislators and demand that they end the unacceptably high rates of gun violence in our country.
Our elected officials must hear from their constituents that inaction is not an option. No more empty calls for thoughts and prayers. No more excuses for abrogating their basic responsibility to protect the safety of the American people. We are urging Congress to adopt eight policy proposals, all of which would improve public safety, prevent gun violence, and save lives. The policies include:
- Banning the purchase and sale of assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines (H.R. 1808/S. 736, The Assault Weapons Ban of 2021).
- Opposing expanded concealed carry reciprocity legislation, which would allow anyone with a concealed carry permit in one state to carry a concealed weapon in all states.
- Establishing universal background checks, closing the private sale loophole, and strengthening the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (H.R. 8/ S. 529).
- Maintaining and increasing funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institute of Health for research on gun violence.
- Closing the Charleston loophole, which permits federally licensed dealers to sell guns to purchasers if three business days pass without a positive verdict on their background check from the FBI (H.R. 1446/ S.591).
- Opposing legislative efforts to deregulate the purchase and sale of gun silencers.
- Supporting and funding community-based gun violence prevention strategies, including the Break the Cycle of Violence Act (H.R. 4118/S. 2275). This bill will make significant investments in Community Violence Interruption (CVI) programs – a proven and effective strategy for gun violence prevention.
- Passing Ethan’s Law (H.R. 748/S. 190), which will establish statutory requirements for safe storage of firearms in residential properties where minors or other persons not allowed to access firearms reside.
Leviticus 19:16 instructs us, “Do not stand idly by while your neighbor’s blood is shed.” For too long, Congress has stood idly by, mass shooting after mass shooting, refusing to take action to prevent the next massacre from happening.
Further, the Talmud teaches us that “He who takes one life, it is as though he has destroyed the universe, and he who saves one life, it is as though he has saved the universe” (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5). Each victim of gun violence leaves behind loving parents and siblings, family and friends, and every day, over 100 universes are shattered by gun violence in the United States. As Reform Jews, it is our duty to demand that Congress take action to pass common sense gun legislation and save countless innocent lives.
In addition to sending an email through our form above, you can also call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.