Mar 2, 2018

Federation Statement on Parkland Tragedy

In the aftermath of the February 14th shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the impact of seventeen needless deaths and the wounds of survivors and families remain raw. As neighboring communities, we are deeply interconnected. Parkland residents participate throughout our Federation and affiliated agencies. Many in our Federation community have been personally touched by this tragedy. Many are providing assistance. And we are all profoundly affected.

The horrific dimensions of the Parkland tragedy compel us to speak out. Virtually unrestricted availability of semiautomatic assault weapons places our schoolchildren and their teachers in unacceptable jeopardy.

No other nation comes close to our level of gun-related deaths. The tide of senseless gun violence can no longer be ignored. We must pursue remedies that will protect us, while guaranteeing the rights granted by our constitution. Access to weapons that have no legitimate recreational or protective purpose must be restricted.

Carefully considered yet urgent action is needed to save lives. Failure to act, avoiding measured discourse, or working to silence those who fall on the other side of the political spectrum will result in additional suffering, continued gun terror and further widening of our country’s polarization. Meanwhile, young lives hang in the balance.

As Jews, our Mishnah wisely tells us that whoever saves one life is considered to have saved the entire world. As tragic mass shootings become commonplace, let us not become numb. Let us act.