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January 16, 2013: President Obama Announces Action to Prevent Gun Violence

01:41 PM Jan 16, 2013

Jewish Umbrella Welcomes Action to Prevent Gun Violence

Washington, DC - The Jewish Council for Public Affairs today welcomed the White House’s recommendations for Congressional and Executive action to curb gun violence, which includes 23 Presidential directives, increasing access to mental health services and robust enforcement of the current gun safety measures. The new policies announced today also call for restrictions on certain assault weapons and high capacity ammunition clips, universal background checks, and a strict probation on gun trafficking and straw purchases. 

“We thank President Obama and Vice President Biden for these thoughtful and comprehensive proposals to prevent gun violence in America,” said JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow. “We recognize that this is a complex issue. In the month since 26 first graders and educators were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary, over 900 Americans have lost their lives from gun violence. The memory of Newtown is still fresh, and so is Aurora, Tucson, Fort Hood and other massacres that remind us that something must be done – and that there isn’t a single solution to preventing mass violence.  We appreciate the Administration’s understanding that there are multiple causes which must be addressed. It is crucial that passions not ebb nor our country return to complacency. Gun violence claims new lives every day.  We encourage the President to continue to move this conversation forward during his State of the Union address, keeping the protection of Americans front and center.   As a community that has experienced mass violence, we appreciate the careful consideration that is being given to this issue.  It is a national priority and we must keep up the momentum.”

In the days after the shooting in Newtown, the JCPA called for a comprehensive approach to prevent gun violence that addresses access to guns and ammunition, mental health care, and violence in our culture with a petition signed by over 16,000 at www.endgunviolencenow.org.  Preventing gun violence will also be discussed in DC this spring at the JCPA’s Plenum.

“Signaling a seriousness of intent to address all components of preventing gun violence, the President’s recommendations reflect the comprehensive approach that we and thousands of others have been calling for,” said JCPA Chair Larry Gold. “This is a welcome move. These proposals recognize that law abiding Americans will still be allowed to own guns and ammunition.  They also frame some reasonable efforts to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the most dangerous weapons and ammunition off our streets.   While we appreciate that the President seeks all available courses of action, the most successful strategy is a comprehensive legislative solution passed with the cooperation of both parties in Congress.”

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