Do Not Stand Idly By As Your Neighbor Bleeds: We Need to End Gun Violence

October 30, 2014
More than 30,000 people are killed by firearms each year in the United States, according to statistics. Each year, there are more school shootings, more incidents of gun violence in homes and more suicides by guns and yet, each year brings another round of congressional inaction to address this violence. But, there is more we can do in our communities to meet this challenge. The Reform Movement has partnered with Metro Industrial Areas Foundation to reach out directly to local mayors to ask gun manufacturers to lead reform in their industry. To do this, mayors will ask the gun manufacturers to create first-rate networks of dealers that meet high standards of security, record keeping and cooperation with law enforcement and bring child-proof, theft-proof guns to market – along with a variety of other gun safety technologies. As Jews, we have an obligation not to be complicit and to speak out against gun violence. In the book of Exodus (20:13) we are told: “Thou shalt not kill.” And in Leviticus (19:16) we read: “Do not stand idly by while your neighbor’s blood is shed.” These texts collectively teach us that it is not enough to refrain personally from killing or using guns for violent purposes; we must also not be complicit in ongoing gun violence. It is from this moral standpoint that we are asking our mayors to join the Do Not Stand Idly By campaign and sign onto the Request for Information from gun manufacturers. We are targeting six mayors in key regions with our action alert. If you live in Minneapolis, Miami, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, St. Louis or Portland, take action here. If you do not live in one of those targeted regions, you can see if your mayor has signed onto the Request for Information here and use our sample letters to contact them directly, asking them to sign on or thanking them if they have already.

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