Gun Violence Prevention
Take action with JCJ
End the gun violence pandemic and demand a safer society for all Americans
Join us as we mobilize Jewish communities and pro-democracy people of faith in support of common sense gun safety laws.
What’s the injustice?
The U.S. averages nearly one mass shooting per day.
The bullets have rung out during worship services and graduation parties, in offices and in supermarkets, in schools, in neighborhoods, and often in the home. By May of 2021, gun violence had ended more than 8,100 lives in the United States — about 54 deaths per day, setting a pace to make this the deadliest year for gun violence in recent memory. Each shooting death is a story that has ended too soon, a world shattered. Every incident forces us to confront a grim and devastating reality: Gun violence has come to plague every dimension of American life.
The gun violence epidemic is a uniquely American problem — a public health crisis of which our children bear an unconscionable burden. In 2017, child and teen gun deaths hit a 19-year high. In 2018, gun violence was the leading cause of death among people 19 years old and younger, exceeding car accidents for the first time. In 2019, more children were killed by bullets than by “cancer, pneumonia, influenza, asthma, HIV/AIDs, and opioids combined.” Despite these well-documented trends — and as more families bury their children, parents, and loved ones each year — Congress has repeatedly failed to act. As a result, Americans of every age, community, and background have paid with their lives.
What we believe
Nothing is more important than protecting human life.
The Talmud teaches that “anyone who saves one life, it is as if they have saved an entire world.” Preserving human life is the highest value in the Jewish tradition. We support efforts to pass common sense gun laws such as closing gun show loopholes, banning assault rifles, expanding background checks, reducing easy access to firearms, and holding gun sellers and manufacturers accountable.
At the federal level, we are engaged with our coalition partners in the fight to pass transformative legislation:
- The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 would close the loophole in federal law which currently does not require unlicensed sellers online or at gun shows to conduct a background check prior to selling a firearm; ensure people prohibited from gun possession are not able to obtain firearms; and make it illegal for anyone who is not a licensed firearm importer, manufacturer, or dealer to transfer a firearm to any other person who is not licensed without a background check.
Related Blog Posts
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Connections: Jewish Sources
For this reason, one individual was created first, to teach that anyone who causes one life to be lost it is as if they have destroyed the entire world, and anyone who saves one life it is as if they have saved an entire world. — Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin 37a
And for every stumbling block that threatens lives, one must remove it, protect oneself from it, and be exceedingly careful in its regard; as it says: “You shall guard and protect your lives,” (Deuteronomy 4:9). And if it is not removed instead is placed in front of those who come to danger, one has violated a positive commandment and has violated “bring not blood.”
— Shulhan Arukh Hoshen Mishpat 427