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NEWS: SHJ Supports Federal Ban on Assault Rifle Sales;
Calls for Boycott of Stores Selling Assault Weapons

Farmington Hills, MI, January 11, 2013 As Humanistic Jews, our hearts are broken as we grapple with the loss of 26 lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. For more than a decade, we have been witness to mass shootings with no relief. Across the United States, in schools, theaters, and malls, from Virginia Tech, to Columbine, and now to Sandy Hook, the senseless violence has continued. It is time to say enough. Committed to taking responsibility for improving our world, the Society believes it is time for us to come together to demand a change in our gun laws.

The Society for Humanistic Judaism has adopted a resolution calling for a federal ban on the sale of assault rifles and high capacity magazines. The resolution recognizes “that the response to such mass shootings is complex and must be approached with a multi-faceted solution that includes better mental health treatment and screening as well as a society committed to less glorification of violence; nonetheless, we believe that a federal ban on assault rifles and high capacity magazines needs to part of the solution. ... Accordingly, we, the Society for Humanistic Judaism, urge support for federal legislation banning assault rifles and high capacity magazines as well as increased efforts to prevent people from buying guns through unlicensed dealers without a background check. ” Read the full resolution on the Society’s website, http://www.shj.org/AssaultWeaponBan.html.

Recognizing that the huge profitability from the sales of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines provides a disincentive for retailers to remove these items from their shelves, the Society for Humanistic Judaism is calling for a boycott of retailers who sell assault rifles and high capacity magazines. People can join the boycott at http://tiny.cc/k3tpqw.

Signing the petition is a pledge to boycott the retailers that continue to sell these weapons and instead shop at stores that have removed such weapons from their online catalogues and stores. The Society will be notifying retailers of the boycott.

The Society for Humanistic Judaism is the national umbrella organization for Humanistic congregations in North America. Humanistic congregations embrace a human-centered philosophy that celebrates Jewish culture. Humanistic Jews value their Jewish identity and the aspects of Jewish culture that offer a genuine expression of their contemporary way of life. Humanistic Judaism embraces the belief in the human capacity to create a better world rather than in reliance on a supernatural power or an omniscient deity.

There are currently nearly 30 congregations in the United States and Canada affiliated with this growing movement. Forty-nine percent of the United States 5.5 million Jews say that their outlook is secular and forty-eight percent do not belong to a synagogue or other Jewish organization according to the American Jewish Identification Survey undertaken by professional statisticians under the auspices of the Center for Jewish Studies at the City University of New York. The Society helps to organize local congregations and havurot, creates and disseminates celebrational and educational materials, provides national programs, including programs for teens and young adults, and serves the needs of individual members who do not live near an existing Humanistic congregation.

For more information, contact the Society for Humanistic Judaism.

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