Washington, D.C. – The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) released the following statement responding to the rash of mass shootings across the United States. Yesterday, in San Bernardino, California assailants killed 14 and injured another 21; less than a week after a heavily armed gunman stormed a Planned Parenthood center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, leaving three dead and wounding 9 others. To date, there have been 353 mass shootings this year throughout the United States.
“No American should have to live in terror, knowing a gunman with a semi-automatic rifle could walk into any building and kill dozens. No American should have to die that way. It is up to all of us to prevent this butchery and bring a sliver of justice to victims, said Susan W. Turnbull, JCPA Chair, “We’re done waiting patiently for meaningful reform. Now we act.”
“Almost three years ago, a heavily armed gunman walked into an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut murdering twenty first graders and six teachers and staff members. At that time we launched our campaign #VoteOnGuns advocating for a comprehensive approach to prevent mass killings,” said Ethan Felson, Senior Vice President of the JCPA. “Since that time, in over 1,050 incidents, more than 1350 have been killed and other 3800 wounded in mass shootings. After Sandy Hook we said, ‘It is our duty, in the wake of such horrific event, to ensure that we answer the terror with a stronger, more enduring sense of compassion and justice.’ Too little progress has been made in the past few years. Today, we rededicate ourselves to this work and call on Congress to take meaningful action to reduce access to dangerous weapons, prevent those with deadly aspirations from getting high-powered firearms, and providing the needed social services to identify troubling behaviors and intercede when necessary. We refuse to accept a dystopian vision of America where schools, social service agencies, houses of worship, community centers, shopping malls, theaters, and other venues are locked-down and fortified, or where our public and community spaces host massacres.”
JCPA, the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community, serves as the national coordinating and advisory body for the 16 national and 125 local agencies comprising the field of Jewish community relations.