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Rabbi Aaron Alexander Headshot

Let's Choose Certainty and Life

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Jewish Law often determines rulings by a logical equation of "that which is certain" vs. "that which is uncertain." Certainty, obviously, is almost always given more weight.

So here's what we're certain about: Common-sense gun legislation will save lives (loophole-free background checks, safety training requirements for storage and use, limitations on certain kinds of military-style weapons, etc...). Predicting exactly how many lives is impossible, and surely not every mishap will be thwarted, but lives will most definitely be saved. Did you know that 40 children under the age of 12 have been killed unintentionally -- by guns -- since Sandy Hook?

And here's what we are uncertain about: Whether our actual (not perceived) Second Amendment rights will diminish in any significant way. Those who qualify to possess guns will still be able to purchase and own them. Period. All proposed (and mainstream) legislation supports this. Fighting all possible common-sense measures to buttress the uncertain and extremely unlikely claim of "they're coming to grab our guns" is baffling in the face of all the preventable carnage.

More uncertainty: Possessing firearms in the home makes us more safe than living in a gun-free home. In fact, studies show the opposite to be true.

In light of this straightforward legal principle, one wonders how the specious claims of the no-control gun advocates -- so filled with uncertainty and conjecture -- stand against the certainty of any human lives being saved. If this is a clash of simple values, then I choose life.

The Pico National Network recently launched a campaign for citizens to send "no father's day cards" to Congress asking them to pass legislation that will create safer communities where fewer children lose their parents and fewer parents lose their children to preventable gun violence.

In their potent words, "Each day in this country eight fathers lose their children to gun violence, and dozens of children lose their fathers. Sons no longer have someone to teach them how to play catch. Daughters walk down the aisle alone. Fathers no longer have anyone to tuck in at night. This year, send Congress a "No Father's Day" card. Remind them of the real impact of gun violence. Tell them to do their part to stop gun violence by passing legislation that creates universal background checks, ends gun trafficking and keeps guns out of the hands of dangerous people."

Please take a moment to send a card: http://www.nofathersday.org/