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Jewish social justice group urges Washington to follow Albany’s lead in commitment to reducing gun violence

Press Contact: 
Regina Weiss
Director of Communications
212-213-2113 x 20
Release Date: 
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

– Alan van Capelle, CEO of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, today issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s proposal to reduce gun violence in the United States. Bend the Arc is the nation’s leading progressive Jewish voice dedicated solely to mobilizing Jewish Americans to advocate for the nation’s most vulnerable.

Gun violence is a complex issue which requires more nuanced solutions than simply banning certain types of weapons or ammunition. Yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York Legislature set a model for both the federal government and other states by quickly and efficiently signing into law comprehensive legislation expanding the state’s ban on assault weapons, toughening punishments for those who use guns to commit crimes, and improving means to keep weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill.

This is the type of timely and bipartisan legislative action we need across the country to curb the gun violence which has so drastically and tragically impacted American families. These efforts must be undertaken seriously at the federal, state and even the local level. In a nation where 40 percent of all gun violence takes place in 17 cities, successful prevention of gun violence involves comprehensive collaboration with local law enforcement, teachers and leaders in education, social workers and mental health professionals. The need for effective urban gun violence reduction programs must be a top priority going forward.

Today, President Obama restated the administration’s commitment to the American people: To make our country safer, no matter what it takes. Bend the Arc encourages the administration and Congress to enact clear and strong legislation as soon as possible. The communities in which we live and work depend on it.

Bend the Arc is the nation’s leading progressive Jewish voice empowering Jewish Americans to be advocates for the nation’s most vulnerable.  We mobilize Jewish Americans beyond religious and institutional boundaries to create justice and opportunity for all, through bold leadership development, innovative civic engagement, and robust progressive political advocacy.