For the second time in two weeks, just ten days after a racist mass shooting in Buffalo that killed 10 people, our nation must endure another mass shooting. This incident is now the deadliest school shooting in Texas history and the deadliest mass shooting at a U.S. elementary school since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012.
The news out of Texas yesterday is heartbreaking and enraging.
We extend our heartfelt prayers to all of the victims and to their families in Uvalde, Texas.
But we also recognize that thoughts and prayers are not enough; not enough for us as engaged citizens and most of all, not enough for our elected leaders charged with the responsibility of ensuring our safety.
We do not yet know the motive for this heinous crime. What we know is that regardless of the motive – whether in Newtown, Connecticut; San Bernardino, California; Roseburg, Oregon; at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina; at the Pulse Night Club in Tampa, Florida; at a Congressional baseball practice in suburban Washington, D.C.; at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada; at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh; in Parkland, Florida; Buffalo, New York; and now Uvalde, Texas – these acts of violence must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
There is an epidemic of gun violence in this country.
Our leaders have done precious little to address the nation's gun laws instead of using every tool at their disposal to affect changes to our laws to protect every citizen from such senseless violence.
For us at JCRC, the commitment to gun violence prevention runs deep. We reaffirm now what we have said in the past: common sense gun safety regulation, while safeguarding the ability of law-abiding Americans to own firearms for personal use, can save lives.
The organized Jewish community was a leader in the successful 2014 effort by Mass Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence to adopt reasonable legislation that has contributed to Massachusetts having one of the lowest gun death rates in the nation, but we cannot take the strength of our laws for granted.
Today, JCRC renews our commitment to work for comprehensive federal laws to reduce further gun violence and save lives. Such action will come too late for those who were taken from us yesterday. We must not wait even one more day to demand action that will save others still with us.