I missed the March for Our Lives in DC, primarily because I was on a plane to Mexico, but I did read about it, saw the best of the signs, and “kvelled” with pride at the students, as if they were my own family. What those young people have achieved in a short time is amazing and if we as a nation can stay with them and keep the momentum going, we may finally see some real changes to the regulation of guns.
However, this issue is big, sprawling, complex and emotional and one short article would only touch on a small part of it. I have, instead compiled some sources that cover parts of the issue and there are many more out there on the web that present the pros and cons of some of the arguments. And that is, I think, the crux of the matter. It is an argument because we cannot agree on the fact that America has a gun problem.
We constitute less than 5 percent of the world’s population yet we hold almost 50 percent of civilian-owned guns in the world. We live in a time of partisanship, information silos, and have lost the ability to hold civilized debates on this most contentious issue. Our only counter to this is to be informed about the opposition and its playbook, know our facts and present them without hostility. I would suggest that it would be useful, in this season of elections and candidate forums, for us to develop some questions, talking points and positions as we make our case. Go to NCJW.org for their resources on gun control, lobbying and visiting legislators if you’re representing the Section. And remember to use the guidelines and resources that Judaism teaches us.
Here are some resources on the Internet:
Searching “Judaism and gun control” will give you plenty of material
- For facts and figures on guns and gun violence, go to Mother Jones
- For the pros and cons on gun control go to gun-control.procon.org and justthefacts.com and vox.com
- For facts on money and the NRA, go to money.cnn.com and businessinsider.com
- For an article by an emergency room physician following the Parkland shooting, go to theatlantic.com