Why Wise Gun Safety?

Each Yom Kippur we read:  “I have put before life and death, blessing and curse choose life, that you and your children may live.” (Deuteronmy 30:19) This essential and original affirmation of the centrality of life-giving choices and actions drives us to stand up and speak out with our full voices to reverse the epidemic of gun violence that is ravaging our country.

From high schools to neighborhood streets too many Americans die as a result of the presence of guns in the hands of those who are incapable of handling them safely.  Whether due to mental illness, emotional duress, personal struggles or other hardships, the ready availability and uncontrolled access to firearms results in countless preventable deaths.

At Wise we cannot stand idly.  We will continue to seek common sense gun policies, comprehensive licensing requirements, enhanced access to mental health services, and public education programs as we work with partner organizations to change America’s gun culture and save lives.

Take Action:
לֹ֥א תַעֲמֹ֖ד עַל־דַּ֣ם רֵעֶ֑ךָ
Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor (Leviticus 19:16)

Wise is committed to common sense gun control policies in California and to the extent possible across the nation.  We partner with organizations that share our mission, most importantly the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and Reform CA (Reform Judaism’s statewide advocacy organization).  Nationally, we endorse and support the work of Everytown for Gun Safety; California Moms Demand Action, Giffords Law Center; Sandy Hook Promise; The Brady Campaign.

What you can do:

  • Donate to Gun Control Organizations (listed above).
  • Participate in Demonstrations.
  • Pressure politicians to pass sensible laws (direct letters or forms on partner websites).
  • Volunteer with organizations that speak with collective voices.
  • Publicize your position on social media and share information with others.

Gun Safety:
וְשִׁנַּנְתָּ֣ם לְבָנֶ֔יךָ
And you shall teach them to your children…… (Deut 6:7)

When you schedule a play date, you are a responsible parent when you ask if the pool has a fence, you insure that adults are present, you let them know your child’s unique health needs; but do you ask about guns in the home?  More than 2,700 children and teens are shot and killed and nearly 14,500 are injured by guns each year, that’s 47 kids a day affected by gun violence.[i]  Of families that own guns, 85% DO NOT practice safe gun storage![ii] So it’s time to ask about guns in the homes where your kids play and it’s also vital to insure that you as a parent protect your children from the dangers of unsecured firearms in any home where your children are present for any period of time.

The Wise Parent-to-Parent Gun Safety Committee has scoured the web to bring you the most informative resources about gun safety so that you can insure your own child’s security.

Here are the sites we recommend:

  1. Having the conversation with other families about their own gun safety practices: http://www.gunsafemom.com/unlock-the-conversation/
  2. Statistics: https://everytownresearch.org/impact-gun-violence-american-children-teens/
  3. Gun safety resources and safety kits: http://www.projectchildsafe.org/parents-and-gun-owners
  4. Melissa Joan Hart’s Gun Safety Video and resources: http://besmartforkids.org/resources/
  5. Understanding developmental needs and the appropriate gun safety message : https://www.forbes.com/sites/tarahaelle/2017/06/21/gun-safety-programs-wont-save-your-child-but-this-question-might/#4aee9c5655b8

More about Gun Safety:
Gun Safety in the US http://lawcenter.giffords.org/guns-in-the-homesafe-storage-statistics/
Facts about gun laws:  http://lawcenter.giffords.org/facts/statistics/

[i] https://everytownresearch.org/impact-gun-violence-american-children-teens/

[ii] https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/campaigns/gun-safety/Pages/default.aspx