WASHINGTON (JTA) — The rabbi of a synagogue in Newtown, Conn., joined Christian and Muslim clergy from the place of last year’s massacre of schoolchildren in an open letter to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), urging him to back far-reaching gun controls.
“We pray that you will vote for meaningful gun violence prevention laws that include a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, enforceable universal background checks, an end to gun trafficking, and prosecution of straw purchasers,” said the letter published Monday in the Des Moines Register in Grassley’s home state.
The letter was signed by 12 clergy from Newtown, where a gunman in December murdered 20 first-graders and seven adults before killing himself. Among the signers is Rabbi Shaul Praver of Congregation Adath Israel, who officiated at the funeral of Noah Pozner, the youngest victim of the murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Three religious action networks, the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center, PICO National Network and Sojourners, distributed the letter, and it garnered more than an additional 4,000 signatories nationally.
The letter was hand-delivered to the offices of all 100 senators, but Grassley was singled out in the Register ad because he is the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The committee in the Democratic-controlled body is about to vote on a range of gun control measures. Garnering Republican support in the Senate could undercut GOP opposition in the Republican-controlled US House of Representatives.