Apr 3, 2013

JCPA: 3075 Since Newtown

JCPA: 3075 Since Newtown

President Obama, Vice President Biden, and mothers of victims of gun violence at the White House

With an average of 33 Americans being killed by guns every day, comprehensive action on gun violence is needed to make our country safer. But the proposals currently making their way through the Senate face a very uncertain fate. The package approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee  is almost certain to be filibustered, and already, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has said that the ban on assault weapons will not be included, but can be offered as an amendment – an extra hurdle that will make its adoption unlikely. Now, an alternative bill that excludes background checks or bans on military style weapons and high capacity ammunition is being written by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA). These threats to gun violence legislation mean it is more important than ever to demonstrate our support for *comprehensive* action to end gun violence

That was the message last week at the White House where President Obama, surrounded by mothers of children killed by firearms, spoke powerfully about the need for meaningful gun violence prevention legislation. The President challenged us all to remember the victims and their families, to remember the hurt and heartbreak that propelled this conversation to the political forefront, and remember the 3075 people killed by guns since Newtown.  

That is why the JCPA has launched a campaign to end gun violence --  Zichronam Livracha, "for their memory as a blessing". We will continue to remember those that were lost from gun violence.  However, just remembering them is not enough; it is our responsibility to make meaningful change to prevent these types of tragedies. At the White House event last week, JCPA Washington Director Jared Feldman spoke with leading advocates on gun violence legislation on political strategy and some of the unresolved policy issues.  Negotiations are at an uncertain point.  We must show the Senate that there is a broad constituency demanding action on this issue.  To that end, if you haven't already, we urge you to write to your Senators in support of a comprehensive approach to prevent gun violence and share the petition with others. So far, thousands have written, and we hope to double that by the time the Senate begins debate on a package of legislation on April 8th.  

Our campaign is about translating loss into the action, and now is the time to act.