Tag Archives: Gun Violence Prevention

A Gun Violence Prevention Update

Since last writing on gun violence prevention , the United States has seen more tragic reminders of gun violence in America. However, there have been  many positive developments. Here are the biggest stories from the last two weeks: Read more…

What Next?: The Role of Faith in Gun Violence Prevention

On Friday, the RAC hosted “What Next?”, a meeting of faith leaders, experts, survivors and advocates  exploring next steps for the faith community to reduce gun violence. Professor Daniel Webster, Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research was the keynote speaker. He discussed the efficacy of fingerprint licensing laws. You can read some of Professor Webster’s work here. Read more…

Campuses as Havens of Learning, Not Violence

By Jane Wiesenberg

There are quintessential images the word “college” tends to evoke: classic literature, complicated equations, and state-of-the-art labs – to name a few. Yet, in recent years, months, and weeks, another – less fitting and certainly more lethal – term has been added to the list: gun violence.

The history of gun violence on college campuses is both extensive and alarming. The 2007 Virginia Tech Massacre, in which a student killed 32 people and then turned the gun on himself, remains the most deadly shooting in U.S. history. In 2013, there were 27 shootings on or close to college campuses, and just last month, a shooter in Isla Vista, California killed six students and then himself at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Read more…

House Takes Action to Prevent Gun Violence

Two weeks ago, after just a two-day call-in blitz from the gun violence prevention community, the House of Representatives passed the Thompson-King Amendment (260 to 145) as part of the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill to improve our national background check system for gun purchases. The amendment provides an additional $19.5 million dollars to states to input their criminal and mental health records into the national system to avoid a dangerous individual purchasing a firearm, as happened in the Virginia Tech Shooting. Read more…

Rapidly Changing Gun Laws Protecting Some, Putting More at Risk

Across the country gun laws are rapidly changing and new technology is changing the legislative landscape. In the last few weeks, Georgia has passed a new law, the availability of smart gun technology is evolving and more attention is being paid to how gun violence affects women. Read more…

Solemn Gun Violence Anniversaries This Week

Too often we are reminded of the presence of gun violence in our society—there seems to be a moment of silence or remembrance far too often. On Sunday, we were reminded yet again by the shooting in Overland Park, Kansas ,  yesterday we remembered the seventh anniversary of the shooting at Virginia Tech.  and next Monday we will again remember those lost at Columbine High School. These tragic anniversaries, which, unfortunately, occur year-round, remind us of lives taken before their time and the plague that is easy access to guns in America. Read more…

Kansas Jewish Community Center

Responding to the Tragic Shooting at Jewish Community Sites in Kansas

In response to today’s shootings at several Jewish communal institutions in Overland Park, KS, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

We mourn the tragic loss of life in today’s shootings in the Overland Park, Kansas Jewish community. Information about the perpetrator is still being uncovered, but early reports indicate that anti-Semitism may have been a factor. If so, it is a tragic reminder, this day before Jews around the world observe Passover, of the hatred that continues to plague our world. It is also yet another horrific instance of an act of senseless violence involving the use of guns to take innocent lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed and injured in today’s shootings. May the memories of those lost be forever a blessing.

The main gate at the Fort Hood Army Base is seen on South Fort Hood Street in Killeen, Texas on November 7, 2009. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is charged with the deaths of 13 and 29 others wounded after a shooting spree at the Fort Hood army base on November 5. UPI/Robert Hughes

Fort Hood Tragedy Reignites Mental Health Debate

In response to the shooting at Fort Hood last week that left four dead and sixteen injured, Rachel Laser, Deputy Director of the Religious Action Center released a statement:

“We are deeply saddened by the tragedy that occurred yesterday at Fort Hood. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. This horror cannot help but remind us of the 2009 shooting at the same base. Though the details about the perpetrator’s motivation and the means through which he obtained his weapon are still developing, yesterday’s events reinforce the need to ensure that common-sense gun violence prevention laws are in place to help prevent these incidents and others in which guns lead to the loss of innocent lives.” Read more…