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A Look Into The Pittsburgh Shooting

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A Look Into The Pittsburgh Shooting

Rivka Krause '21

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 On Saturday, October 27, a shooter entered the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. He was armed with multiple weapons, including three Glock  .357 handguns and an AR-15-style weapon. As he opened fire he yelled, “All Jews must die!” This shooter slaughtered eleven individuals and injured four. I’m choosing to not include the name of the shooter because he is irrelevant. This isn’t his story; this is the story of the innocent lives that were taken due to the actions of an anti-Semite.

       The data indicates that mass shooters are motivated by previous mass shooters; this is known as the “copycat phenomenon.” Sadly, the story of a mass shooting is one that we hear far too often. This is the harsh reality of America. According to EveryTown, a gun-control advocacy group, 96 Americans are killed daily due to gun violence. There are multiple factors that contribute to gun violence: gun ownership, mental illness, and the copycat phenomenon, to name a few. Furthermore according to human rights groups , “[t]he US has the highest per-capita gun ownership in the world with 120.5 firearms per 100 people; the second highest is Yemen with 52.8 firearms per 100 people.” The second to highest country, Yemen, is a country that is currently war torn and lacking a stable government. The first is a global superpower. If this fact doesn’t raise eyebrows, I don’t know what will. While gun violence in America is a multifaceted problem, the “copycat phenomenon” can be resolved with taking steps like not romanticizing the perpetrator of a heinous crime.

       A huge factor of the Tree of Life shooting is the blatant motivator: anti-Semitism. As Meira Shapiro (‘21) puts it, “It’s an excellent reminder that we will always be hated as Jews. No matter the amount of religious toleration in a country, there will always be extremists who peddle hatred and unethical violence.” Anti-semitism, while not so blatantly felt in America, clearly still exists. Be it through the rise of nationalism and open new-Nazism. According to the Anti Defamation League, there has been a sixty percent rise in anti-Semitism since 2016. This rise in hatred is largely due to the hateful rhetoric that is being spewed by politicians and social media.

       The horrific reality is that, as time goes on, we as a nation will move on from and forget about this attack. Our responsibility as Jewish people is too make sure that we do not forget about what happened. We cannot let those who have passed be forgotten. We must forge ahead and ignite change, we must vote and make our voices heard. To quote the musician John Mayer, “So we keep waiting (waiting). Waiting on the world change.” We cannot wait on the world to change, we must take proactive actions such as, voting and standing for what is right, in order to stimulate these change.

https://www.cnn.com/2013/09/16/us/20-deadliest-mass-shootings-in-u-s-history-fast-facts/index.html  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_shootings_in_the_United_States

To learn tanach in honor of the neshamot lost in the Pittsburgh massacre click on this link: http://hadranalach.com/index.php?action=na_view&id=628

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