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Gun Control

Contribute to CBST's Social Justice Gun Control Project

Since the horrific shooting in Parkland, Florida, people have been asking us how they can get involved in working for change.

On Thursday, April 19th, our regular Thursday Resistance Calls & Cards will focus on actions related to commonsense gun reform. We meet at CBST, 130 West 30th Street, from 12:30 - 2:00pm. 

On Friday April 20th, the anniversary of the Columbine school shooting tragedy, we are supporting the National Student Walkout in two ways. 

  • At 12:00 pm, join us in Washington Square Park for New York Says Enough! This rally is created and led by New York City school students, including teens who are CBST members. You can read more about this walkout here. We'll be there to support them! 
  • From 4:30 - 6:30 pm, join us for a pre-Shabbat edition of our Resistance! Calls & Cards at 130 West 30th Street. (Shabbat services begin at 6:30pm) We’ll provide pre-addressed postcards, phone numbers and scripts for making calls for commonsense gun reform. Students at more than 2,000 schools plan to walk out again—and we will support them by taking action.

Here are suggestions for ongoing action (thanks to Sabrina Farber):

Donate money (even small amounts help) - three of our favorite groups are: Everytown for Gun Safety, Gays Against Guns and the Religious Action Center in DC.

Sign petitions/get updates - the above websites as well as Change.org have petitions and newsletter updates that track this issue.

Stay informed. In addition to reliable news sources like The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN, go to opensecrets.org which is run by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan, independent, nonprofit DC-based group that tracks and reports on money in US politics allowing Americans to be fully informed of its effect on elections and public policy. 

Phone bank from home. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, another grassroots group under the Everytown umbrella, runs phone banking that informs you about the issues and connects you with residents of key states to explain the need to oppose dangerous bills and finally helps you funnel those voters directly to their senator's office. Sign up here

Demand that companies cut ties with the NRA. For an idea of how successful calls can be, check out this spreadsheet of companies with NRA deals as of two weeks ago, and look at all the ones that have cut those ties. Notable holdouts include Amazon, Apple and FedEx. In an even deeper dive, Ira Rosenblum shares these sites tracking banks that finance the assault weapons industry and mutual fund investments in the gun industry

March!  

Things are developing rapidly, but right now there are three actions planned in the wake of the horrific Parkland massacre. We'll be determining CBST's participation in these actions shortly. 

A Message from CBST’s Leadership after the Pulse Nightclub shooting:
We are heartbroken! We are angry! We adamantly reject the use of religion as a weapon against LGBTQ people by anyone of any faith. It blasphemes God's name. Whether Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikkh or others, we stand with all those progressive religious leaders and believers who reject the voices of their traditions by using God as a weapon of hatred and discrimination, to embrace the voices of love and compassion. The attack at Pulse Club in Orlando, Florida, has left many in our community heart-broken. The 49 people who died and the and 53 who were wounded are our family, our people! We stand with the survivors and weep over the slain. We must rid our country of the gun epidemic! Now is the time we in the LGBTQ community must use our skills to organize, as we have in the past. From the Gay Action Alliance, to ACT UP FIGHT AIDS, to marriage equality we stood together and gained precious ground. We must do the same to save the lives of others and fight to win sensible gun control in our country.

Let’s Make Gun Control a Gay Issue. It’s time to glitter bomb the NRA. Who’s in?
by Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, published in The Nation, Thursday, June 16
I join my voice with many other LGBTQ voices to say the time has arrived to once and for all declare that gun control is a gay issue. Of course, all issues are gay issues, but this issue is perfectly positioned to be transformed by the set of skills and the history that the queer world embodies. It’s tragic that it has taken the massacre at the Pulse nightclub to poke the sleeping bear of the LGBT community. But now we are awake. This is the moment; this is the time. Let’s wrap the NRA headquarters in a huge rainbow flag. Who’s in? READ MORE

LGBTQ and Gun Violence-Prevention Groups Call for Hate and Terror to be Disarmed
The Orlando tragedy, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, highlights how vulnerable LGBTQ communities are to hate-fueled violence, especially LGBTQ communities of color.  READ MORE

LGBT Leaders Here Mixing Sorrow With Action
by Hannah Dreyfus, published in The Jewish Week, Tuesday, June 14
Just hours after the shooting rampage at an Orlando gay nightclub that left 49 dead and 53 injured, Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of CBST, the oldest and largest LGBT congregation in New York, joined a vigil in the West Village with hundreds of others to mourn the victims and unite in solidarity with other faith leaders  READ MORE