Resolution Adopted by the CCAR

ENDING GUN VIOLENCE

Resolution adopted at the 111th Convention of the
Central Conference of American Rabbis
March, 2000

WHEREAS, too many Americans, especially children, die as a result of gun violence every day and statistics strongly affirm that gun control laws prevent gun violence, as evidenced by Canada's experience with decreasing gun violence after the enactment of strict gun control laws, and

WHEREAS, in prior resolutions, the CCAR has taken a strong stand in favor of gun control, and

WHEREAS, the power of the National Rifle Association (NRA) in controlling the debate on gun control by raising money and mobilizing a determined minority has yet to be met with an equal fervor on the part of those favoring effective gun control, thereby allowing the NRA to score victory after victory, and

WHEREAS, if we take our task seriously as Reform rabbis to challenge America's conscience and to heed the biblical injunction that we must not stand idly by the blood of our neighbor, then we must embark on a moral offensive and send a message to our elected officials that we care deeply about this issue and will hold them accountable and we must lead our congregations in getting actively involved in this cause in our communities, and

WHEREAS, the next nine months are critical in the battle over gun control, with several gun control bills on the legislative schedule, and

WHEREAS, if the horror generated by recent shootings across the United States is not enough to open the eyes of our elected officials, it is likely that gun control will be consigned to the dust heap for a generation, exposing our society to ever more violence caused by guns, and

WHEREAS, UAHC President Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie courageously established this issue as a priority for the Reform Movement in his Biennial Address in Orlando, Florida, therefore

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Central Conference of American Rabbis call upon its members to:

  1. organize a gun control advocacy effort, and urge their congregants to write to their Representatives and Senators demanding that effective gun control be enacted during the current Congressional session;
  2. utilize the Religious Action Center's legislative action guide to implement their strategy for addressing gun control advocacy;
  3. take a leadership role by extending personal invitations to elected officials to appear in the congregation to explain their positions on gun control;
  4. become involved in broader anti-violence coalitions in their local communities that press for effective gun control at all levels, and
  5. urge members of congregations to participate in the million mile march against gun violence of May 14, 2000 on the Mall in Washington, DC.