The joint Jewish organizing teen program of Or Tzedek and Beth Emet is working on a campaign to ban guns in houses of worship. Under the Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act, the only legal safeguard against guns in houses of worship (as well as businesses and institutions) is a small “No Guns” sign.
As a community of young, Jewish Chicagoans committed to social justice, we must ensure places of worship remain safe and secure spaces where communities can come together to create solutions for root causes of violence.
As the focus of our campaign to ban guns in houses of worship, we decided to work on moving a decision-maker in the northern suburbs, state Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) to publicly support gun violence prevention legislation.
- During the concealed carry legislation debate, Rep. Sente supported concealed carry, saying that the issue was important to her constituents. On July 9, 2013, Rep. Sente voted to override Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of the concealed carry bill that authorizes an individual to carry a concealed firearm, effective immediately.
With many synagogues in her state legislative district (59th), this is a powerful opportunity to organize a strong Chicagoland Jewish voice against gun violence.
Act now to show Rep. Sente that as Jews, as Chicagoans, and as constituents, we support gun violence prevention legislation.
We ask everyone to take the following action steps, but particularly residents of the 59th district. Below are four ways to reach out to Rep. Carol Sente and ask her to support gun violence prevention legislation: email her, call her, post on Facebook and tweet at her.
- Not sure if you are in Sente’s district? Find out here.
Post on Twitter: @RepCarolSente @OrEmet14 My place of faith is my safe space! Ban guns in houses of worship. #savesacredspaces
Post on Facebook: You know what’s scary? The new concealed carry law enacted in Illinois. You know what’s scarier? The only real precaution against guns being brought into houses of worship is a tiny optional “No Guns” sign in the window. Beth Emet and Or Tzedek’s joint Jewish organizing program are working on a gun violence prevention legislation campaign, #SaveSacredSpaces. Take action here: http://www.ortzedek.org/action-steps.html
Email Representative Sente:
Ask Rep. Sente (firstname.lastname@example.org) to support banning guns in houses of worship through email. Below is a sample message. Please make sure to include your or your synagogue’s address if you live in her district or if you are a member of a synagogue in her district. If you are not a resident of the 59th district, please write instead “Chicagoland Jewish Community.”
Subject: From Wheeling to Waukegan, guns do not belong in our houses of worship
Body:Dear Representative Sente,
As a part of the 59th District Jewish community and a member of (write your synagogue) , I feel that my place of worship should be free of guns. Banning guns in houses of worship makes my congregation a safe place for me, my loved ones and my community.
It is now legal to conceal and carry a loaded gun publicly in Illinois. Life is sacred, and it should be protected; as a person of faith I do not believe having concealed weapons will make us safer. Most worrying to me is the fact that the Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act does not stop people from bringing guns into houses of worship. The only legal safeguard against guns in businesses and institutions is a small “No Guns” sign.
That is not enough. Please vote to ban guns in houses of worship. Join me in making Illinois a safer place.
Call Representative Sente:
Call Rep. Sente at (847) 478-9909. Below is a sample script. Please make sure to include if you are a constituent of her district or if you are a member of a synagogue in her district.
As a part of the Chicagoland Jewish community, I feel that my place of worship should be free of guns. Banning guns in houses of worship makes my congregation a safe place for me, my loved ones and my community. Rep. Sente, please support gun violence prevention legislation and vote to ban guns in houses of worship. Join me in making Illinois a safer place. Thank you, _________.