GUN CONTROL

Here are the facts: Seventeen people were killed by a crazy guy with an assault rifle. This was the latest in a series of mass murders of innocent& human beings& by obviously disturbed people& in possession of assault rifles.

Isn’t it obvious that if& assault rifles were off the retail market, making them much harder to obtain, that this would help to stop or at least slow the rate of occurrence of these mass& murders?

Mr. Donn — please don’t sidestep the obvious by insulting our intelligence, and trying to distract readers with irrelevant talk about the FBI. It doesn’t matter if the FBI does or does not know what they are talking about. It does not matter whose fake news is more fake.

Let’s assume that all the data regarding guns is fake news. The facts remain: Seventeen people were killed once again by a crazy fellow who had an easy time obtaining& an assault rifle.

To speak about this issue and just assume that it must be the lying Democrats talking — is so beneath the dignity of the readership of this newspaper.

We in the frum community are often more aligned with Republican party thinking, but not& this time. It is about time to ban assault rifles.& 

Ben-Adam, Kew Gardens

Rabbi Donn responds:

Mr. Ben-Adam,

Thank you for your communication.

The facts as you state them are overly simplistic. I have one question: If “assault” weapons were to be banned, as you call for here and as they were for much of the 1990s, would that solve mass shootings? The incompetence which all levels of law enforcement exhibited in the handling of this tragedy makes me just wonder how big a truck would be able to zoom through its loopholes — a full rig or merely an 18-wheeler behemoth.

See, here’s the reason I’m so opposed to gun control. It takes a single issue and allows all the energy wound up tightly after a tragedy to be wasted on something that is not the problem. Of the 300 million guns on the country, I would not even grant that even one million of them are problematic. The federal agency that can confiscate all the guns you want confiscated has yet to be established. And when it will, its massive reach and size will give it so much power I’d be frightened to live in its shadow.

Mr. Ben-Adam, there’s no need to pass more gun laws. Nikolas Cruz should have been banned from getting a gun under existing laws. He was clearly violent and “ready to explode,” yet the FBI didn’t pass on the information to their local office, and Cruz was able to buy his gun. Passing laws without an enforcement mechanism has brought us the ilk of Nikolas Cruz.

As the country rightly demanded after 9/11, the buck stops with law enforcement, and they failed us. It’s not a war on hijackings or box cutters, but on terrorism.

The FBI must cease its irrational focus on Russia and playing presidential kingmaker and return to its roots. It’s not a war on guns but a war on violent people who have lost their moral bearings.

As for your comment about the Orthodox community, I join you in your distaste for machines that end life. The Gemara calls recreational hunting a “moshav leitzim,” and the Medrash (Parashas Shimini) says that hunters will not merit to participate in the seudas Livyasan.

I recognize, however, that there are other cultures — peaceful cultures — all across America for which guns are a way of life, just like cars are to urban areas. What may seem like a no-brainer to me is a full-blown attack on another’s lifestyle and traditions. As Orthodox Jews, we should remember that.

From one Ben Adam to another, I remain,

Yochonon Donn