As President Barack Obama seeks support for his sweeping gun control reforms, and states enact their own legislation -- including the nation's toughest in New York -- a faith-based coalition is promoting a national Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath.
After Newtown, some firearm owners ready to consider control measures.
Chavie Lieber / JTA
The day Eric Schaefer learned that a .233 caliber semiautomatic Bushmaster rifle — a type of weapon he owned — was used to kill 26 people in Newtown, Conn., he sold his rifle to local law enforcement near his home in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Schaefer, a 40-year-old commercial real estate agent, says he has been hit by an unshakable feeling of shame, and he no longer wants his two children exposed to the many weapons he owns for sporting purposes — guns he keeps locked up and away from the house.
As America continues to mourn the victims of the horrific slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the issue of gun control has predictably and rightfully been placed back at the center of public discourse. Within the Jewish community, the debate has centered on two distinct but related issues. The first concerns the State of Israel, namely, whether its relatively low rate of firearm deaths, despite the ubiquity of guns and the military in Israeli society, results from better gun laws or from a healthier cultural attitude toward weapons.
When the names of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut were announced, Jewish media outlets immediately published articles about the youngest victim Noah Pozner, the 6-year-old who was laid to rest earlier this week in a traditional Jewish funeral.
As the world struggles to understand the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., and the 27 lives lost (including 20 beautiful, little, precious children), it is impossible to resist asking a series of questions: How did this happen? Where was God?
After Newtown, administrators working overtime to communicate with parents.
When reports began surfacing on Friday morning about a school shooting in Newton, Conn., Carmel Academy in Greenwich, quickly sent out an e-mail to its parents, letting them know “we were aware of what was going on and that you don’t have to worry, your kids are safe,” said Nora Anderson, head of school.
As soon as I heard the news about the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school, I immediately thought to myself in horror “What if one of my kids had been a victim?” I also knew as soon as I thought it that there would have been absolutely nothing I could have done to prevent it had either or both of my 11-year old twins been in the worst possible place at the worst possible time.
But my next thought was even more upsetting: “What if one of my kids had been the shooter?”