This article was co-written by Rabbis Menachem Creditor, Sharon Brous and Ronit Tsadok.
Dear Average NRA Member:
I know it feels like we are worlds apart right now. But we both know that there is more that unites us than divides us.
We both love our country deeply.
We both celebrate and defend liberty, which stands at the core of our American ideal.
We both work hard -- really hard -- to protect the lives of those we love.
And here's what else we agree on:
We both recognize the absurdity of blocking background checks designed to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of violent criminals and people with severe mental illness. We, like most Americans, think that high capacity magazine clips and assault weapons, designed only to maximize deadly impact, ought not be available to everyday folks like you and me and Adam Lanza. We know that about 90 percent of Americans -- including many members of the NRA -- support reasonable gun restrictions, just as there are reasonable restrictions on who and how one can get their hands on a driver's license or Sudafed.
The NRA leadership claims that their interest is in protecting the 2nd Amendment and representing its many members. But, as former NRA-member Adolphus Busch said just this week: "The NRA appears to have evolved into the lobby for gun and ammunition manufacturers rather than gun owners" And as gun-toting mama from Wyoming, Sarah Zacharias, wrote this week:
"I have not seen a gun sale that didn't seem worthy of a short background check, nor have I seen a sale impeded by that process. I have never seen any form of wild game hunted with one of the guns that was once banned under the previous assault weapons ban. I have never seen a sportsman with a magazine on his gun and I have never seen a competition shooter loaded down with more than a few bullets either... I betcha that if enough of us told the gun industry that we aren't spending more money until they drop the fallacious propaganda storm and start contributing to a meaningful gun responsibility conversation, that good, meaningful laws might come pouring out of the woodwork."
You have a voice. You, a gun owner and a member of the NRA, can speak to your leadership and demand they listen to you. You can speak to your senators and representatives and tell them that they were put into office not to cow to the pressure of lobbyists, but to represent the people. And the people have spoken.
The first question asked in the Bible is "Am I my brother's keeper?" The answer -- which echoes across the generations, cutting through all social, ethnic and communal borders -- is YES. We are our brothers' and sisters' and neighbors' keepers. We are our children's keepers.
We need to work together, you and me. This is not a red state/blue state issue. This is not even a Second Amendment issue. We don't want your guns. We do want to make our streets and schools and parks safe. For your sake. For our sake. For our children's sake. For the sake of our great country. Join us. Speak up.
Your Unlikely Partners in Liberty and Safety
Rabbis Aaron Alexander, Sharon Brous, Menachem Creditor, Ronit Tsadok