Changing the Conversation on Gun Violence

By Shira Goodman

Screenshot from ABC News video on YouTube.

Screenshot from ABC News video on YouTube.

Following the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., we are mourning. And we are outraged. But we are not surprised. The truth is, we’re complicit in accepting this carnage, because we’ve allowed lawmakers to pretend there’s nothing we can do to prevent such shootings. We have tolerated losing 96 Americans a day to guns. [Read more…]

JSPAN Supports Assault Weapons Ban

— by the staff of The Jewish Social Policy Action Network

We are deeply saddened by the tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Our immediate thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. This horror reinforces the urgent need to ensure that common-sense gun control laws are in place to help reduce these kinds of incidents.

More after the jump.
As a first step, JSPAN supports legislation to get the weapons of war off our streets by reinstituting the ban on assault weapons that Congress wrongly allowed to expire in 2004. Congress and state legislative bodies should also immediately act to eliminate the gun show loophole and to ban the sale, transfer, transportation and possession of large clips, drums or strips of more than 10 bullets.

Because we recognize that these immediate actions will not solve the larger issue of gun violence in our society, JSPAN is resolved to continue to work in coalition with other organizations such as CeaseFirePA and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. We demand that sensible changes in public policy take place to promote an America where everyone is safe at home, at school, at work and in our communities.

We urge you to share this resolution with your Facebook friends and colleagues. We also urge everyone to phone the White House Switchboard – 202-456-1414 or 202-456-1111 and tell the comment operator that you want the President to push legislation to ban assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines.

It is Time for Meaningful Gun Control

— B’nai B’rith International

Even while we grieve and try to come to terms with the senseless Dec. 14 assault on an elementary school, we must also look ahead to ensuring such a horrific mass shooting never happens again. In the wake of the gruesome Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., where gunman Adam Lanza murdered 26 people, 20 of them children, it is well past time to demand sensible gun control measures.

More after the jump.
B’nai B’rith calls for the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, which went into effect in 1994, but was not renewed when it expired a decade later. At the time, 1,100 police chiefs and sheriffs from across the country urged the law be renewed and strengthened. Other meaningful, enforceable gun control measures are also needed.

Lanza used a .223-caliber Bushmaster assault rifle-a civilian version of the U.S. military’s M-16. The magazine-fed civilian weapon is meant for rapid firing, capable of carrying hundreds of bullets in its magazines. Lanza also had two semiautomatic handguns that he did not use.

Assault weapons enable a shooter to fire multiple rounds without stopping to reload as they automatically expel and load ammunition with each trigger-pull. There is no sane, acceptable, reasonable need in a civilian setting to fire off large rounds of ammunition.

B’nai B’rith has called for gun control reform before, most recently in July after the mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. where 12 were killed and 58 wounded.

Mass shootings come to be known by a macabre shorthand: Columbine, Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora and now Newtown. It’s time for lawmakers to change the vocabulary. Enact and enforce gun control measures.

B’nai B’rith International, the Global Voice of the Jewish Community, is the oldest and most widely known Jewish humanitarian, human rights and advocacy organization.  For 169 years, since 1843, B’nai B’rith International has worked for Jewish unity, security, continuity and tolerance.  Visit