Reform, Conservative, Orthodox leaders join gun control call

Reform, Conservative, Orthodox leaders join gun control call

In response to Connecticut shooting, Jewish officials appear at interfaith press conference backing new legislation on violence

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Top figures from the Reform, Conservative and Orthodox movements joined an interfaith call for greater gun controls in the wake of last week’s school massacre in Connecticut.

Rabbi David Saperstein, who directs the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center, and Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, who directs the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, appeared at a press conference Friday outside the National Cathedral in Washington DC along with mainline Protestant, Evangelical, Roman Catholic and Muslim leaders.

Also appearing at the press conference was Nathan Diament, who directs the Orthodox Union’s Washington office.

“We must come together as people of faith, representing the range of religious traditions throughout our country, in a collective call to action to end this crisis,” Saperstein said in a release ahead of the press conference. “The time to end senseless gun violence is now, and as religious leaders, the responsibility to provide moral leadership is ours.”

At the press conference, Saperstein said: “Our worship of guns is a form of idolatry.”

President Obama this week appointed a commission to be helmed by his vice president, Joe Biden, to address controls on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines, as well as broader questions of culture and mental health treatment.

Adam Lanza last week killed his mother and then, armed with weapons registered in her name, continued to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and murdered 20 first-graders and six adults before killing himself.

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