Take Action on Guns | Deborah Wilfond

Take Action to
Prevent Gun Deaths

The American Problem with Gun Violence through a Jewish Ethical Lens

Support legal, advocacy and campaigning groups.

National organizations such as Everytown, Bradyunited.org, Giffords, donotstandidlyby.org and Jewish organizations such as the Religious Action Center and Rabbis Against Gun Violence do valuable work.

Take financial action

If you contribute to a private pension or investments, make sure your money is not being invested in firearms companies (whether American or importing to the US).  The largest brands are:

  • Smith & Wesson/American Outdoor Brands (trading as SWBI/AOBC)
  • Savage Arms/Vista Outdoor (VSTO
  • SIG Sauer (L&O Holdings)
  • Barrett
  • Sturm Ruger & Co (RGR)
  • Freedom Group (Remington Outdoor)
  • 0.F. Mossberg & Sons Inc
  • Taurus International
  • WM C Anderson Inc
  • Glock Inc
  • Henry RAC Holding Corp
  • JIE Capital Holdings/Enterprises
  • Berretta
  • FNS (FN Herstal)
  • Heckler and Koch

Asset managers and mutual funds sometimes enable customers to screen for stocks they do not wish to invest in. If they do not comply with your wishes, move your investments elsewhere.

Sign petitions, vote, write to your members of Congress and your Senators about gun industry practices, and specifically asking for the following:

  • Repeal the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act
  • Reverse Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010), a Supreme Court decision allowing campaign financing that had previously been banned for over a hundred years.  The case has hugely negative implications for democratic processes of free and fair elections
  • New legislation requiring gun manufacturers to meet high security standards:
    • to create networks of dealerships that meet high standards of security, record keeping and cooperation with law enforcement to monitor sales and dealers for risk patterns such as close-in-time repeat sales to the same buyer or sales of multiple guns to one buyerto institute a variety of other gun safety technologies (see ‘smart gun’ technologyto refuse to do business with retailers that frequently sell firearms traced from crimes, require retailersto only be allowed to bring child-proof, theft-proof guns to market andto conduct training aimed at preventing diversion into the illegal market and maintain inventories of firearms and ammunition
  • Regulatory oversight so that gun companies are subject to the federal Consumer Products Safety Commission’s jurisdiction
  • Get full funding for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and fill its position of Director
  • Credit card companies must be required to use specialized merchant number codes to track suspicious sales of firearms
  • An assault weapons ban
  • Full coordination between federal, state and local agencies in enforcing existing gun laws
  • Stock trade reporting requirements for Supreme Court justices and federal judges and for stricter conflict of interest rules
  • New legislation regulating the marketing of firearms:
    • limiting advertising, promotion or sponsorship – as comprehensive as possiblepreventing the specific marketing of firearms to certain demographics (young, at-risk males)
  • Government must produce extensive public warning ‘advertisements’ across all media and packaging warning of gun-related dangers
  • Get CDC research funding
  • Prevent State pension funds from investing in gun and ammunition manufacturers (as has happened with pension funds of public school teachers in certain States)
  • Further legislation dealing with ‘ghost guns’ (kits to build guns at home that have no serial number and are untraceable) under the Gun Control Act
  • Increase taxes on firearms companies

It is not up to you to finish the task, but neither are you free to avoid it.

Pirkei Avot 2:16

Organize locally

  • Community workshops and events hearing the tragic stories of gun victims’ families
  • Increase awareness of the systems of large index funds (such as BlackRock and Vanguard) and mutual funds (such as Fidelity and Capital Group) regarding their investments in gun manufacturing companies
  • Educate about civic responsibility and democratic processes in our schools and communities and press for changes to curriculum in the public school system on these topics
  • Social-emotional discussions in our schools and communities on constructions and understandings of ‘strength’, ‘empowerment’ and ‘male identity’/‘masculinity’
  • Change our discourse to link anti-gun violence campaigning with rights based language (take it away from the pro-gun lobby)

Legal advocacy, research & campaigning

  • Explore more avenues of legal challenges to the gun industry via public nuisance provisions under which dangers to human life or detriments to health are unlawful
  • Examine corporate manslaughter provisions in other countries – could criminal penalties be applied to corporations that indirectly cause mass harm?
  • Examine Australia’s firearms amnesty which allowed the anonymous surrender of illegal or unregistered firearms without fear of prosecution or fines.  Could something like this be replicated in the US?

©2022 Deborah Wilfond
All rights reserved



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