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Bad News/Good News

More gun deaths… and a smart new book to inform and influence the debate.

Bad News/Good News: More gun deaths…and a smart new book to inform and influence the debate.

First the Bad News

Just over these past few days…

Headline: Five Dead; Teen Accused in Killing Spree

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - It was a “horrific” crime scene that confronted deputies Saturday night: Pastor Greg Griego, his wife, Sarah, and their three youngest children lay dead — fatally shot multiple times with an assault rifle and other weapons — at their South Valley home.... Authorities believe the 15-year-old New Mexico teen accused of shooting his parents and three younger siblings to death over the weekend planned to drive to a nearby Walmart, kill more people there and eventually die in a shootout with police, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

Headline: Gunfire at Texas College Sparks Lockdown, Evacuation, Fears of Another Campus Massacre; 3 Hurt

HOUSTON — Luis Resendiz hid quietly in a small room with dozens of classmates after gunshots erupted in a courtyard on his college campus north of Houston. There his mind quickly drifted to last month’s Connecticut elementary school massacre that left 20 children dead, wondering if another gunman was on a rampage on the other side of the door. Report by the Associated Press.

Headline: Las Vegas Officer, Wife and Son Dead in Murder-Suicide

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Las Vegas police lieutenant, his wife and son are dead after an apparent double murder, suicide and arson at their home in Boulder City, authorities said Monday.

Now Some Good News

A book of collected essays on how to reduce gun violence, written by some of our best and brightest, is set to be released next week. In the Foreward to “Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis,” New York City Mayor Michel Bloomberg writes: "The rate of firearms homicides in America is twenty times higher than it is in other economically advanced nations. We have got to change that."

The Johns Hopkins University convened more than 20 of the world’s leading experts on gun violence and policy to summarize relevant research and recommend policies that are both constitutional and have broad public support. Collected for the first time in one volume, this reliable, empirical research and legal analysis will help lawmakers, opinion leaders, and concerned citizens identify policy changes to address mass shootings, along with the less-publicized gun violence that takes an average of 80 lives every day.

"Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis" by Daniel W. Webster, Editor, Jon S. Vernick, Editor, Michael R. Bloomberg, Foreward. You can pre-order this book - due out next week - from The Village Bookstore, 10 Washington Avenue, Pleasantville, NY, (914) 769-8322.  Support your local bookstore.

Please contact the White House to express your support for the new gun control measures. Here’s the link: http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/preventing-gun-violence#share

Please sign the petitions at Demand A Plan, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, One Million Moms for Gun Control, We The People, and Americans for Responsible Solutions.

Please read my previous posts on gun control: Repairing the World: The Truth About Ending Gun Violence Now (December 20);  There is No God: Continuing Thoughts on Gun Control (December 27); Sabbath to Stop Gun Violence (January 3); Christina’s Letter: More Thoughts on Gun Violence (January 10); and President Ronald Reagan on Gun Control (January 17)

Your comments are welcome.

Rabbi Mark Sameth is the spiritual leader of Joyful Judaism: Pleasantville Community Synagogue an inclusive, progressive synagogue – with members from twenty towns, villages and cities all across Westchester and “A Hebrew School Your Kids Can Love.” Read The New York Times article. Follow Rabbi Mark on Twitter . Weekly meditation at the synagogue every Saturday morning at 9 am is open to the public; everyone – without exception - is welcome and warmly invited. OUR MEMBERSHIP DRIVE IS ON. See “Top Ten Reasons to Join PCS” - as well as service times and events - at www.ShalomPCS.com.

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bill of rights January 26, 2013 at 11:25 PM
the obama administration is building a death star that will surgically remove any inconvienience. for example, the great unwashed, the homeless, drug addicts, disabled and unemployed, the opposition, islamist, communist, lazy people, fat people , stupid people, thieves , liars, windshield washers, beggars, homeless children, gun owners, usuars, infertile women, loose women, rude people, people deemed genetically inferior, unionist, et al. so guns arent the problem its who doesnt have the guns.
JJ January 27, 2013 at 11:55 PM
Rabbi, There's NOT one person reading this who will disagree with the things you've written in this article. I ask that we/ you also consider: 1. The gratuitous Hollywood violence; BTW, did you see that anti-gun commercial made by those actors who actually have made violent movies using guns? Hypocrites! 2. Violence based TV shows and video games. Why aren't we addressing those issues harder? Is it because the media & Hollywood are money makers and far too superior to walk amongst the crowds and mayhem they help create? 3. The so called "rights" of the mentally ill who CAN NOT be forced into programs so they "wander adrift" in families or the streets until they commit a horrible tragedy. 4. Medications on the market that have adverse consequences for some of the people who take them. 5. Addressing simple things like "if" you own a firearm LOCK IT UP and be responsible for it. No one ever wants to see this happen again but look at the mental state of the people who are committing these actions; the "signs" where there but NO one REPORTED THEM (another phenomenon in America of "no snitching" that the media has made popular in songs and movies). Something has to be done but unfortunately the world will always have guns. We need to address the CAUSES as well as the EFFECTS. If we REALLY want to address this problem then we need to look at everything. God help us if we don't. I enjoyed your article Sir.
Aidan January 28, 2013 at 01:44 AM
It's people behavior. Inanimate objects DO NOT come to life on their own. Blame the people. Or is that bit of truth too, too much in this age of excuses?
JJ January 28, 2013 at 01:30 PM
Good points ; it will always come down to people's behavior and the behavior of those who surround them who allow it to continue. It always amazes me how these politicians with agendas can wrap themselves in "hand selected" factoids. Senator Dianne Feinstein is a classic example of combining semi-facts with propaganda and yet no one challenges her. I listened to her speak on TV yesterday and realized that she doesn't have a clue what the real issues with guns are. The "assault weapon" issue is just the poster child to gain public support for the anti-gun crowd. It boils down to RESPONSIBILITY.
Jeff January 28, 2013 at 01:42 PM
You are off your meds again!
JJ January 28, 2013 at 03:01 PM
BTW, Senator Feinstein had/ has a concealed weapons permit for years and "carried" a weapon. She doesn't need it now because she has an armed security detail. Here's 3 different articles on this hypocrite: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/01/25/Feinstein-1995-I-Understand-The-Urge-To-Arm-Yourself-Because-That-s-What-I-Did http://marketdailynews.com/2013/01/03/dianne-feinstein-i-carried-a-concealed-weapon-to-protect-myself/ http://www.ijreview.com/2013/01/32591-busted-gun-control-legislator-dianne-feinstein-discusses-why-she-concealed-carry-firearms/

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