(May 7, 2013) Yesterday ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid met with Vice President Joseph R. Biden and other religious leaders for over two hours to discuss the critical issue of gun violence prevention. Religious leaders included Rev. Franklin Graham, Rabbi David Saperstein, and several others.
Vice President Biden shared progress and setbacks on advancing gun violence prevention legislation and assured the group that he would continue working to advance this issue. There is been a great deal of misinformation about this legislation; for example, some believe that the legislation would create a national registry of gun owners, when in fact such a registry is explicitly banned by the bill. Imam Magid urged the Vice President to create a resource that separates the facts from the fiction on gun violence prevention legislation. â€œIt is critical that community members understand the billâ€™s clear protections of the right to bear arms and how this will help us prevent gun violence,â€ said Imam Magid. â€œI know many other religious leaders feel the same way that I do — that we must stand up to protect our communities. The children who lost their lives in Newtown could have easily been our children.â€ The Vice President reiterated his commitment to work on behalf of all those who have lost their lives to gun violence in our nation.
Over the past couple of years, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) has continually spoken out after each major tragic shooting. It is time to stop the epidemic of gun violence once and for all. ISNA supports and reaffirms the constitutional right of all citizens to bear arms, and calls for sensible federal policies to ensure that guns stay out of the hands of those who pose a risk to society. As such, ISNA is an active member of both Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
ISNA was among those devastated by the U.S. Senateâ€™s failure to move forward critical legislation to prevent gun violence. We applauded Senator Manchin and Senator Toomeyâ€™s heroic efforts to draft a bipartisan bill that would significantly expand background checks to those who purchase firearms through private sales at â€œcommercial venuesâ€ like gun shows and websites. Right now such privates sales are completely unregulated in many states, and this is a major threat to our public safety.
Now, two members of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives are sponsoring H.R. 1565, the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2013. This legislation mirrors the Senateâ€™s Manchin-Toomey amendment and ISNA urges everyone to call on their members of Congress to pass this bill.