After Newtown, Jews lead renewed push on U.S. gun control
Lawmakers and community play key role in debate as the U.S. debates federal measures to rein in mass murders at its malls and schools.
A Jewish community strongly supportive of gun control plus Jewish lawmakers eager to enact new gun control laws may bring Jews into a lead role as the nation debates federal measures to rein in mass murders at its malls and schools.
The new openness to legislation and other measures following the slaughter of 26 elementary school children and school staff in Newtown, Conn. — plus the killer’s mother — is welcomed by most Jewish organizations, which have long supported gun control. But in recent years, with the prospects for progress on this front all but hopeless until the December murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School, those organizations have been largely passive on the issue.
Now, activists are fighting to seize the moment and get gun control back on the front burner.
“[This] is an issue we as a community care deeply about, but it didn’t find itself at the top of the agenda of Jewish groups,” said Dan Mariaschin, executive vice president of B’nai B’rith International, one of the groups calling for legislation to limit the sales of assault weapons.