This post is part of a new feature on RACblog. On Friday afternoons check in for a roundup of stories in which the RAC has been featured!
Over the past few weeks, gun violence has permeated the news cycle as we continue to pray for victims and their families in Aurora, D.C., Wisconsin, Texas, New York City, and Chicago. The fact remains that this trend of violence threatens us all and violates the values of respect for others that must be paramount in American civic and political life. However, out of these tragedies we hope a conversation will begin about gun control among elected officials, victims’ families, affected communities, law enforcement, and more.
JTA, St. Louis Jewish Light, the Washington Post, the LA Times, and the Christian Science Monitor all featured stories about the RAC’s response to gun violence and Rabbi Saperstein’s urging for common-sense gun control laws.
The gun debate within the Jewish community has travelled to Israel, as an article in Haaretz compared Israeli gun laws with those in the United States. Rabbi Saperstein was interviewed in response to the alarming rate of gun-related crimes in the U.S. and he cited some alarming statistics: “More children are killed here in one year than the total number of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan put together. That’s an extraordinarily alarming statistic, and American Jews are overwhelmingly in favor of gun control.”
The Jewish Chronicle also wrote about our concern over Missouri’s “Right to Pray” amendment, which passed by an overwhelming majority in its state-level primaries last week. The article quoted Rabbi Saperstein, who said: “Missouri voters were misled at the polls (Aug. 7) by a ballot measure perpetuating the claim of a war being waged on religion across America. The ostensible reasons for this amendment are unnecessary because the stated goals of the measure are already protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In its broad language, Amendment 2 reflects dangerous encroachment on our constitutional standards.”