Speak MY Piece – Pat Wandling: Synagogue Shooting and Violence

Pat Wandling speaks with a Holocaust survivor on Speak Your Piece this past June.

I find myself with no words to describe the horrific ambush of innocent, prayerful Jewish men and woman inside a Pittsburgh synagogue last week. We all grieve, again.

Each time a madman with a gun leaves victims in his wake there are calls for gun bans, and more, but now we see this shooting in the synagogue was all abut hate and madness.

We know there are deranged individuals who feel oppressed, bullied, under attack from immigrants, blacks, Jews, Wall Street, police, their classmates and their own families. This paranoia leads to mayhem and the deaths of beautiful human beings locked in the sights of the sick. . .

Signs that say “Hate Has No Home Here” are lawn decorations to the crazies who do not
care one iota if you’re a non-hater. They are steeped in their own evil thoughts.

Maybe we can’t do anything to cure this malaise, but we can begin by toning down political rhetoric. Everyone can agree with that. No finger-pointing, just an understanding that elections are not between the forces of good and evil, but rather partisan Americans out to win an election and, hopefully, do some good.

However, the politicians must change their traditional ways. They cannot engage in hate-speech, either, and shake hands on election night. . . Overall, we need to tone down. We need less violence in our society, as in video games, blockbuster, bloody movies and racist and gender politics. None of it speaks well for our country, as we now see.

Everyone can claim some accountability in this particular crisis of violence. We tolerate too much. But after too many innocent victims fall at the hands of the deranged, we can (and must) set an example on the higher moral ground—seek civility in the political discourse, love your neighbor, be kind, and offer up prayers for the victims, their loved ones, and pray for ourselves.