Religious Groups Renew Gun Control Efforts

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The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia remembered the year anniversary of the Sandy Hook killings by joining many others in a call to action against gun violence.

Jewish organizations are marking the year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings shootings by renewing their efforts to fight against gun violence.

Jewish Federation offices nationwide have bonded under the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, which developed a social media campaign urging people to sign an online “Vote on Guns” petition that currently counts 17,645 signatures.

The petition concludes with the following appeal: “We, the undersigned, ask that President Obama, Congress, and every citizen take direct and unequivocal action to stop the outrageous and unacceptable violence that is destroying the fabric of our society.”

Immediately after the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary shootings on Dec. 14, 2012, a spike in public opinion surged against gun ownership.  Forty nine percent of Americans supported gun control compared with 42 percent who supported protecting individual rights to own guns.

According to the Pew Research Center, which conducted the survey, it was the first time during President Barack Obama’s tenure that a majority of Americans favored gun control. However, a month after a new gun control bill to increase background checks was voted down in the Senate in April, the numbers dwindled back to pre-Newtown levels with 50 percent in favor of increasing gun control laws and 48 percent against.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia lent its voice to the cause by posting this message on Twitter: “We ‪#remember the children lost in ‪#Newtown and gun victims across the country. We demand ‪#VoteOnGuns.”

Other local groups such as CeasefirePA, a group that actively calls for increased gun control laws, have made similar calls to action.

“We hope you will join with us in honoring all the victims of gun violence with action to reduce gun violence and make our communities safer,” CeasefirePA said in a statement.

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