Another School Shooting

By | January 4, 2024 | 0 Comments

“PERRY, Iowa (AP) — A 17-year-old opened fire at a small-town Iowa high school on the first day of school after the winter break, killing a sixth-grader and wounding five others Thursday as students barricaded in offices, ducked into classrooms and fled in panic.” Perhaps he was teased or bullied. I was bullied in junior high. I had bruises to prove it. I learned to cope.

I vaguely knew my father had a shotgun – a Winchester Model 12 – and shells in his closet. But entering his closet without permission was literally unthinkable – I never thought of it. Actually shooting a human being was beyond unthinkable, it was unimaginable – I never imagined it. But then, I never played violent video games, where everything that moved was a target. I saw John Wayne movies, where bad guys were targets.

I had a religious and social community. I had Sunday school, where I learned the Ten Commandments, not the Ten Suggestions. I had 2 parents. But what did I not have? I did not have a 2-year lockdown, where I learned to spend all day watching porn and playing violent video games, but not interacting with real kids and adults. And I did not have winter break, I had Christmas vacation. We observed the birth of the Prince of Peace. As a Jew, it was not the birth of my Savior, but it was the birth of the Savior of our community. In those days, community meant a nation of shared values, not a subgroup with similar melanin content of their skin. If you fail to see the difference, that’s your lack, but our problem.

When I was a kid, guns were available in the sense of being physically accessible, but unavailable in the sense that we would never use them to kill. We can’t destroy the ties that held civilization together, then pretend to be shocked when it falls apart. We did it. We can undo it.

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