Magical Thinking and Newtown

It’s hard for me to believe it’s been less than a year since the terrible, tragic actions of a disturbed young man took 27 lives in the State of Connecticut. I believe in armed self-defense precisely because I value the lives of myself, my loved ones, and the innocents of our society, and precisely because when the predators and the madmen come for me and mine, I’m prepared to stand between them and their prey.

Yesterday, the Connecticut State Attorney’s office released their preliminary report on the Sandy Hook massacre, and it’s interesting, if unsurprising, reading. It contains more detail about what happened, but not even speculation about why it happened. But it did include a couple of interesting facts which make what I think is an important point that people often overlook: “Crazy” is about motive, not method. And this is why Gun Free Zones and other gun control laws that only control the law-abiding are doomed to fail to prevent future tragedies.

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Lessons from the Clackamas Mall Shooting

585836_31371578The mainstream media is whipping itself into a frenzy this morning after a shooting at a mall in Oregon yesterday. Although the details are fuzzy, current media reports suggest a killer with body armor and a semiautomatic rifle killed two people and wounded a third before taking his own life. Law enforcement response was gratifyingly fast — by some accounts, the first officers on scene arrived in less than two minutes — but by then the incident was already over and the killer lay dead of what sounds to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

I think there are some good lessons that can be learned from this incident, and I’d like to talk about a few of them. As tragic as yesterday’s events were for the victims and their families (and for the family of the killer, a victim of his crime and yet often overlooked), they’d be even more tragic if we didn’t learn anything from them.
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Another One

My condolences to those killed and injured in today’s shooting in College Station, Texas. May the families of the dead find blessing in their memories, and may the wounded soon experience refuah sh’leimah, a complete healing and renewal of body, mind and spirit. May the sacrifice of the brave law enforcement officers killed and wounded today never be forgotten.

Whatever your personal religious views, and whatever deity or deities you worship, please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha’olam, dayan ha’emet. Blessed are You, the Eternal our G-d, Ruler of the universe, the Righteous Judge.

I have more to say about this topic, but now isn’t the time. Right now, I’m going to light a candle for people who I don’t know who are suffering because of the actions of this murderer.