SEVERAL NEW JERSEY rabbis were among the attendees of a March 12 press conference in Jersey City where Gov. Phil Murphy, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, and State Police Col. Patrick Callahan announced actions designed to increase public awareness about the causes of gun violence in New Jersey by releasing reports on the manufacturers of crime guns found in the state.
The rabbis, fellows in the Jewish Organizing Institute and Network for Justice (JOIN for Justice), were part of successful lobbying efforts to get Gov. Murphy to sign on to the “Do Not Stand Idly By” demand letter which seeks information from gun manufacturers on their practices to protect public safety.
“Naming and shaming gun manufacturers and holding them accountable for illegal guns that flood our streets is part of our commitment to not stand idly by while our neighbor’s blood is shed, fulfilling the command in Leviticus 19:16, from which this campaign was named,” wrote Rabbi Jesse Olitzky of Congregation Beth El in South Orange in an email to NJJN. “We believe that we have the moral responsibility to act and since Congress has refused to do so, we are grateful the governor and attorney general have taken these steps to fulfill our biblical obligation to not stand idly by.”