URJ President's Statement Following Mass Shooting in Las Vegas: We Must Revere Human Life Over Gun Rights

Contact: Lauren Theodore at 212-650-4154

October 2, 2017; New York, NY -- Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued the following statement in response to the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas: 

This latest mass shooting cannot be termed a random act of violence. Even before all the facts are known we know this: rather than revere gun rights our country must finally revere human life. 

We mourn those callously slaughtered in Las Vegas and pray for the wounded. But our prayers must be followed by action, long overdue limits to the easy access to firearms. Common sense measures, like restricting the use of silencers that make a shooter harder to locate and stop, must prevail. Yet we know that instead, Congress is planning to vote on the SHARE Act, which, among other misguided provisions, allows purchasers of silencers on the internet or at gun shows to forgo a background check. This bill must not be allowed to become law. Human lives, like those taken overnight in a horrific burst of violence, depend on it.

We cannot say this mass shooting was “unbelievable.” It is all too believable. We cannot say that there are “no words” to express our grief and our outrage. We must find the words, and we must not stop saying them and acting on them until we stop this plague of gun violence that has gripped our nation for far too long.