NEW YORK – In response to Wednesday’s failure in the Senate to pass an amendment supporting a compromise on stricter background checks on firearms for private-party gun sales at gun shows and online, Gerald Skolnik and Julie Schonfeld issued the following statement:
The Rabbinical Assembly looks in utter shock at the moral failure of our elected officials to pass even the most inadequate background check legislation. We wonder where our society is headed when, after years of children being gunned down in our cities without even public notice, even a brutal massacre of six-year-olds goes unheeded. We can only say, with deep regret, and frankly, shame today as Americans, that you have failed us.
We appreciate the tireless and courageous efforts of President Obama and Vice President Biden in their commitment to prevent further heinous acts of gun violence, but we must say to the ladies and gentlemen of the Senate: "Lo ta’amod al dam re’eicha" – "Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor" (Leviticus 19). We all must face the fact that left unchecked, acts of gun violence will happen again, whether it be today, tomorrow or the next day. There can be no mistake, because of your neglect of your moral obligations to the American people, that you bear responsibility.