Hey California: 8 Ways to Prevent the Next School Shooting
Today, California has a chance to save lives and take the first big step toward the safest gun laws in the nation.
Bend the Arc is partnering with the Courage Campaign and a score of community and faith groups to support the Lifesaving Intelligent Firearms Enforcement (LIFE) Act, a series of bills in the California legislature to prevent gun violence.
More than 18,000 Californians illegally possess more than 36,000 guns. They have these guns despite committing dangerous crimes or being diagnosed with severe mental illness. The result: more than 1,220 Californians lost their lives to gun violence in 2011.
The NRA is planning a big rally outside the Capitol, and this is our chance to knock them back on their heels. Every legislator in the Capitol needs to know that we have their back when they stand up to the NRA, and that the LIFE Act has overwhelming public support.
What we do in California is more important now than ever to set an example of how to address our country's epidemic of gun violence.
One of the most important principles in Judaism is regard for life and, true to its name, the LIFE Act will protect our children and make our communities safer.
The LIFE Act includes eight bills, all backed by Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), including:
SB 140 (Leno/Steinberg) would give law enforcement the resources to confiscate the guns of Californians who are known to illegally possess them; currently there is an 18,000 person backlog;
SB 53 (de León) would require a background check for all ammunition purchases;
SB 47 (Yee) would close a loophole in California's assault weapons ban that allows guns with a "bullet button" to sneak through;
SB 396 (Hancock) would outlaw "mega-magazines" that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition;
SB 755 (Wolk) would expand the list of Californians who can't legally own guns to include those with multiple drug or alcohol convictions, or who have carried ammunition onto school grounds, or actively participated in street gangs;
SB 374 (Steinberg) would ban semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines and retroactively require an ownership record for all guns;
SB 683 (Block) would expand safety certificate requirements to long guns, rather than just handguns;
SB 567 (Jackson) would close a loophole in California's definition of an illegal shotgun to include a shotgun with a revolving cylinder and a rifled bore.
When you sign on as a citizen co-sponsor, you demand the attention of our elected representatives and assure them that public support for the LIFE Act is real and widespread.
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditorfor Landingham & Kaepernick, our angels in the wings
Sometimes, it isn't about nuance. Sometimes it just comes down to facing the storm, calling God out, standing at the center of a whirlwind holding your ground.
No cathedral is immune to agony, no soul impervious to life itself
no nation purely noble. If it were any other way, there would be no need for cathedrals in the first place.
To kneel is to submit
to lower oneself
to step down
To kneel is to call attention
to touch the Earth's face
to listen to those
whose blood saturates
the very roots of our story.
To kneel is to step aside
to step outside
to invite others to come closer
To kneel is not to stand
not to stand
not to stand idly by. Speak your truth, God damn it.