Rabbi Yael Romer: Public Hearing Shooting Range Testimony

This evening I am out of town, I have asked that my remarks be delivered on my behalf to the Kingston Planning Board.

I like all of you am still shaken by the most recent gun violence in San Bernardino, California and Colorado Springs, Colorado. As the Clergy person and Spiritual Leader of Congregation Emanuel, I am painfully aware of the statistic that we are living with here in the United States, that on an average there are approximately 92 deaths each day as a direct result of gun violence.

As I write these remarks my community is observing the 8th night of Chanukah. On this festival we are guided by the words of the prophet Zechariah “Not by might, not by power, but by spirit alone, can we all live in peace.”

I am shocked and concerned that the Kingston Community is even entertaining the possibility of approving a Shooting Range on Prince Street in the heart of midtown.

I have listened intently to the elected officials of our Community who speak passionately about their commitment to a thriving future for Kingston. Approving a shooting range in the midst of Kingston is counterintuitive to the creation of a culture that will attract and enhance the influx of new families and new businesses to Kingston. Our School Board has spoken strenuously and unanimously against this proposal. As Rabbi and Spiritual Leader of the Jewish Community I am speaking strenuously with unwavering conviction against this proposal.

We have an obligation first and foremost to the safety of our children and our schools. I ask the Kingston Planning Board to act on its responsibility to assure a community free of weapons. I ask the Kingston Planning Board to protect our schools, our children and our families.

Please do not establish a Shooting Range in the midst of our homes, houses of worship, businesses, and our schools.

I implore the Kingston Citizens and the Kingston Planning Board to reject any proposal that will further the gun culture as part of the future for Kingston.

Rabbi Yael Romer
Congregation Emanuel
243 Albany Avenue
Kingston, New York 12401
(845) 338-4384