Help Take Dangerous High-Capacity Ammunition Off Our Streets
Over 32,000 Americans die each year as a result of gun violence. The number and severity of violent shootings in recent years can only be described as an epidemic, and it is imperative that Congress take action to reduce the ammunition capacity of weapons.
In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed into law the federal Assault Weapons Ban to curb civilian possession of deadly, military-style assault weapons. The ban outlawed 19 types of high-capacity ammunition weapons and their copycats, including Uzis and AK-47s. According to United States Department of Justice data, the number of assault weapons traced to crimes dropped by 66 percent during the ban’s existence.
Unfortunately, the assault weapons ban expired in 2006 and it was not renewed. Disasters like the recent shooting in Tucson, Arizona, which wounded Representative Gabrielle Giffords and left six people dead and others injured, could be greatly mitigated if we took high capacity ammunition clips off our streets. Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) have introduced H.R. 308/S. 32, a bill that will once again make high capacity ammunition clips illegal.
Jewish tradition emphasizes the sanctity and value of human life. The Torah commands us “Thou shalt not murder.” The Talmud teaches us, “He who takes one life it is as though he has destroyed the universe and he who saves one life it is as though he has saved the universe.” The dehumanizing of the human being and the carelessness with which human life is taken by guns stand in direct violation of these affirmations of our tradition. Furthermore, Isaiah exhorts the people of the earth to “beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.” (Isaiah 2:4) We are commanded to turn weapons of destruction into tools for the greater good of society and therefore believe that any opportunity to make weapons less lethal is our obligation as Jews.
Ask your Members of Congress to cosponsor and support H.R. 308/S. 32 banning high-capacity ammunition. You can send an e-mail by entering your Zip Code below. To call your Members of Congress, the Capital Switchboard can be reached at 202.224.3121.
For more information, please contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Deborah Goldberg at 202.387.2800.