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CONECT Exploring Gun Violence Issues

by Debbie Shindell on March 31, 2013

A group of 10 CONECT leaders traveled to Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, NY on the evening of March 14, 2013 to join in an internal action with about 70 leaders from Westchester United, our IAF sister organization, and Rabbi Joel Mosbacher, a key leader in New Jersey Together (another IAF sister organization).

The focus of the session was about gun violence. We heard a moving personal story from Rabbi Mosbacher about his own father’s murder and about the newly developing IAF initiative, Do Not Stand Idly By. We then heard from two Westchester United leaders about their personal experiences with gun violence, and then our own Rev. Bennett and Therese LeFever shared their own testimonies and reflections. Adam Barbanel-Fried, lead organizer of Westchester United, then delivered a primer on the history of gun legislation and private sector/market efforts to curb illegal gun sales.

Our CONECT delegation huddled after the close of the meeting and agreed to begin to do our homework:
• 1-1’s with other leaders to grow the talent and energy of our team;
• Research actions with local police, elected officials, ATF agents, gun dealers, and others to try to understand the trade in illegal guns;
• Reporting back to the CONECT Strategy Team;
• Staying in contact with our sister IAF organizations engaged in this effort; and
• Look to eventually engage local CT gun manufacturers.

If you are interested, join us for our next Team meeting on Friday, April 5, 2013 at 12noon at Church of the Redeemer, at the corner of Whitney and Cold Spring (185 Cold Spring Street) in New Haven. Please RSVP to Matt McDermott.

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