WASHINGTON (JTA) – An interfaith telephone effort in support of increased background checks on gun purchases is being held on the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Jewish groups from the major denominations are among the 45 faith-based organizations participating in Faiths Calling, in which callers contact their senators on Friday in support of the Manchin-Toomey background check compromise.
The proposal by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) calls for the expansion of background checks to include commercial sales, as well as sales at gun shows and on the Internet. It also strengthens the existing system by encouraging states to put their records in a national system.
“When 30,000 Americans are killed each year by gun violence, we recognize our moral obligation to speak out,” said Rachel Lasser, deputy director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, a leader in the calling effort. “Over the course of the past year, Americans from a vast array of faiths and traditions have joined together in calling on the Senate to pass gun violence prevention measures.”
Along with the Religious Action Center, other Jewish organizations participating include the American Conference of Cantors, American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, Bend the Arc, B’nai B’rith International, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Jewish Council on Public Affairs, Jewish Women International, National Council of Jewish Women, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, Rabbinical Assembly, Reconstructionist Rabbinic Assembly, Union for Reform Judaism, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and Women of Reform Judaism.
Earlier this year, the participants placed 10,000 calls against gun violence to their senators.