I will not mince words: the violence we witnessed this weekend is sickening. Twenty-nine people were killed in separate mass shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH—not to mention the 47 injured and four killed by guns in Chicago, and the countless more who didn’t make headlines across the United States.
Just hours after the shooting in El Paso, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, offered these words of comfort:
Clergy colleagues throughout El Paso will faithfully and lovingly hold up the families of the slain and wounded. So too our hearts – indeed the hearts and prayers of all people of good conscience across the nation – are with those families. In the words of Psalm 147:3 we pray, ‘May the Holy One heal their broken hearts and bind up their wounds.’
He followed with a call to conscience:
There is also a righteous rage that wells up in the hearts of so many of us as we call on responsible leaders of our nation to act decisively to address the growing epidemic of hate that too often is manifested in America’s plague of mass shootings. It is not enough for elected officials to muster their ‘thoughts and prayers.’ Like millions of Americans I’m sick of the pathetic excuses offered by too many lawmakers for not passing strong and effective common sense gun laws.
We, at the Religious Action Center, are also sick of avoidance and inaction on commonsense gun violence prevention legislation, so we’re demanding Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell save lives by calling a special session of the US Senate to vote on the Background Check Expansion Act. You can, too.
The House of Representatives passed their own version of this bill in February. Because Senator McConnell has not called a vote in the Senate, this imperative and potentially life-saving legislation is collecting dust. We can change that.
Join me in ensuring the period of “thoughts and prayers” without action is over—that instead, we prioritize real, lasting change to keep our communities safe. Act now.
P.S. This will be a hard battle—and we’re in it for the long haul. If you are with us in the fight to end gun violence, consider donating to ensure we can continue this work for as long as it takes to stem the tide of senseless gun violence in the United States.