Gun Violence Prevention
The Reform Movement, led by students and NFTY, is outraged at the current lack of legislative action and political leadership that allows this horrible violence to continue. This epidemic is not natural, nor normal and gun violence can be prevented.
The epidemic of gun violence continues to plague individuals and communities across the United States, including our own Jewish communities as well as those of our friends, neighbors, colleagues, and partners. The Reform Movement, led by students and NFTY, is outraged at the current lack of legislative action and political leadership that allows this horrible violence to continue. This epidemic is not natural, nor normal and gun violence can be prevented. Drawing on Jewish traditions and values, we remain committed to taking action by engaging in community and legislative advocacy to end the gun violence epidemic.
Why Should Jews Care?
Jewish tradition emphasizes the sanctity and eternal value of human life. The Talmud teaches that:
“One who takes a life, it is though they have destroyed the universe. And one who saves a life, it is as though they have saved the universe” (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5).
The dehumanization of individuals and the carelessness with which human life is taken during incidents of gun violence stand in direct violation of these affirmations of our tradition. We are called upon to take action to prevent the loss of lives and end gun violence.
Urge the Senate to swiftly fill the position of director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is responsible for enforcing laws on the use, manufacture, and possession of firearms and explosives. However, the ATF has not had a permanent director since 2015 and has had only one confirmed by the Senate since 2006. In response to the rise in mass shootings and gun deaths, the Senate must not delay in voting to confirm a permanent director.
very 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.
The vast majority of Americans, including gun owners, support common-sense policies like background checks for every gun sale to prevent senseless violence. As Reform Jews, it is our duty to demand that Congress take action to pass gun legislation and save countless innocent lives.
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NFTY Students Leading Gun Violence Prevention
- Youth and students around the United States have been the victims of gun violence, including horrific shootings at schools, and we refuse to stay silent. We are passionate about making the future—and present—safer, better, and full of hope. Join NFTY in advocating for gun violence prevention.
- Join the Gun Violence Prevention Fellowship to learn more about gun violence prevention and how to organize your community. Contact Logan Gerber for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn More and Get Involved
Civic Engagement Campaign
Get involved in Every Voice, Every Vote, the Reform Jewish Movement’s 2020 Civic Engagement Campaign, a nonpartisan effort to strengthen our democracy by encouraging everyone to participate in the upcoming U.S. election and ensuring that Reform Jewish values are represented in the public square. Voting and civic engagement are vital to ensuring we have partners in elected offices who can make changes on a whole host of issues, including gun violence prevention.
Engage Your Congregation
- Educate, Pray, Engage: Community Resource Guide for Jewish values on discussing and advocating for gun violence prevention
- Avoid stigmatizing mental health as a cause of gun violence: educate yourself and others with these Resources on Mental Health and Gun Violence
- Join a local march or rally and bring a sign
- Use this Wear Orange Toolkit to commemorate Wear Orange Day on June 5
- Check out Chicago Sinai Congregation’s Interfaith Initiative Against Gun Violence
- Join the Gun Violence Prevention Group in the Tent
- Teens: Join the Gun Violence Prevention Fellowship to learn more about gun violence prevention and how to organize your community. Contact Logan Gerber for more information at email@example.com.
- Is your congregation doing interesting work for gun violence prevention? Let us know by emailing Logan Zinman Gerber, firstname.lastname@example.org, National Teen Campaign Organizer!
a prayer for gun violence prevention
Shine Your light through the gloom. Heal us and local, national, and global communities.
Lead us toward homes free of affliction and strife, bodies and spirits untrammeled by gun violence.
Help us to be the change we hope to see. Soon and in our own lifetimes. -- Amen
Adapted from “A Prayer Amid Gun Violence,” by Virginia Spatz