Wednesday, January 15, 2014

And the beat goes on.

And the beat goes on.  A 12-year-old boy opened fire with a shotgun on Tuesday at the middle school he attends in Roswell, N.M., striking two among the dozens of students who were gathered inside a gym waiting for the first bell to ring, the police and witnesses said.
The victims, an 11-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl, were flown to University Medical Center in Lubbock, Tex., 170 miles east of Roswell. By Tuesday evening, he was listed in critical condition and she was in satisfactory condition, Eric Finley, a hospital spokesman, said.
The boy suspected in the shooting, whom the police did not identify, carried a shotgun inside a band-instrument bag, pulling it out once he entered the gym at Berrendo Middle School about 8:15 a.m. and stood before the first victim, identified by classmates as Nathaniel Tavarez, 11. The other victim, identified by a family friend as Kendal Sanders, 13, was struck in the chest, according to students who were there. (New York Times online dated 1/14/14)
The boy stopped shooting once a social studies teacher told him to, and then he dropped the gun on the floor, police and school officials said. He was apprehended by a State Police lieutenant whom the school’s principal had flagged as she raced to close the main door to the campus during the shooting.
And the murdering goes on.  Who can remember all the different school shooting sprees?  There are just too many of them.
This Shabbat as we read parashat Yitro we shall accept the 10 commandments again.  We relive this moment by standing during this moment of revelation as if to say "In every generation one must see himself/herself as if he or she accepted the Torah on Mt. Sinai.

I have to ask why should the 2nd amendment take precedence over the 6th commandment jmr, tk, You shall not murder?  Rabbi Avraham Ibn Ezra, a 12th century Spanish commentator, explains all the ramifications of this commandment when he writes: “You shall not murder” means with your hand or your tongue, that is by giving false testimony which results in having someone executed, or by tale bearing, or by wickedly giving someone counsel which you know will result in his death or by not revealing a secret which you are aware of, to someone who would be saved if he new what you know.  If you do not reveal the secret you are a murderer.”

Abraham Joshua Heschel was correct when he said “Morally speaking there is no limit to the concern one must feel for the suffering of human beings, that indifference to evil is worse than evil itself, that in a free society, some are guilty but all are responsible." (Moral Grandeur And Spritual Audacity: Essays, 2001) According to Ibn Ezra and Heschel, we're all accomplices to murder by either by our actions or our inaction." 

Since Noah was murdered, more than 30, 000 Americans have lost their lives because of gun violence. Now is the time to turn indifference into making a difference.  Now is the time to stop the murder of so many innocent children.  Now is the time to act because all of us are responsible.

Our next meeting to curb gun violence is January 27 7:45 p.m. at Marathon Jewish Center. Just be there.

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