As we prepare for Shabbat our hearts are heavy, holding the senseless loss of 17 students and teachers from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida with us.
In response to Wednesday’s horrific school shooting, our colleague, Rabbi Ken Chasen, asked: “When you learned of Wednesday’s school shooting, what overcame you first – your capacity for moral outrage, or the numb feeling of acquiescence that our national helplessness before these kinds of incidents has produced?”
It is easy to feel numb when we hear of yet another violent attack. It is easy to withdraw when we read that over a dozen shootings have occurred on school properties in the United States since January 1, 2018. But now is not the time for inaction. We urge everyone, whether you are a gun rights advocate or a gun safety advocate, to draw upon moral courage, raising our voices to let lawmakers know that enough is enough.
Please take a moment out of your day to call our Missouri lawmakers and tell them that Missouri does not need one more law allowing even easier access to guns on school campuses. If we do nothing, we become responsible. Action steps, as well as resources for talking with children about the shooting, can be found below.
Our prayers, of course, are with the families of the 17 victims of Wednesday’s shooting. And our prayers, of course, are not enough.
Rabbis Bennett, Goldstein, Zinn, Stffiman and Cantor Warner
Please call the members of the Missouri House General Laws Committee before Monday, February 26, and urge each member to vote NO on HB 1936, which is being heard in committee at 5 p.m. on the 26th. This bill would require that public universities in Missouri allow concealed carry of firearms (with no opt-out allowed for any of these universities) and also allow concealed carry of firearms in Missouri day care centers and bars. If you have a personal story to share (e.g., if you are the parent of a student at a Missouri public university), include that in your message.
Here are the names and contact information for each Committee member. Calls are best, but email is also an option if you can’t get through by phone.
Robert Cornejo (Chair), 573-751-1484 [email protected]
Kirk Mathews, 573-751-0562 [email protected]
Jon Carpenter, 573-751-4787 [email protected]
Sonya Anderson, 573-751-2948 [email protected]
Lauren Arthur, 573-751-2199 [email protected]
Chuck Basye, 573-751-1501 [email protected]
Gary Cross, 573-751-1459 [email protected]
Jean Evans, 573-751- 3859
Tracy McCreery, 573-751-7535 [email protected]
Peter Merideth, 573-751-6736 [email protected]
Rebecca Roeber, 573-751-1456 [email protected]
Nick Schroer, 573-751-1470 [email protected]
Jered Taylor, 573-751-3833 [email protected]
As Reform Jews, our task remains: to challenge America’s conscience and to heed the biblical injunction that we must not stand idly by the blood of our neighbor. Here, yet again, we offer words, prayers, and concrete ways to take action to prevent gun violence.