When bad things happen we always ask the same questions: “why did this happen?” The real question is, “what led to this happening and how can we fix it?”
The shootings at the JCC of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park and Village Shalom Retirement Community is simply, horrific. At this point, it appears that the shooter was a white supremacist, neo-nazi.
How do we fix our society?
That is a daunting question and I am not sure of the answer. There will always be people, extremists, whose minds have already been taken by harsh ideas and notions that simply cannot be undone. What does this mean for our individual communities? How can we feel secure? As someone who works in the Jewish community, I am always vigilant. Our building is always locked, cameras scan the building and parking lot and it is not easy to be a visitor. It feels safe though.
Precautions are good, but, as in the case in Kansas City, there are those moments when there just is not enough security to go around. This is why it is scary. Kansas City represents “Anywhere USA,” for this horrible act of violence could happen in any of our communities.
While I wish I were raising my daughter in a carefree manner, this is not the case in a post-9/11 world. Everything is heightened due to communications, technology and access. I cannot allow my daughter to go play with her friends down the street on her own, as I was able to when I was a child. There always needs to be adult supervision.
It is as if we are forming a new way of life, a way to feel safer in the world we live in now. My niece goes through metal detectors at her city high school every day. At this point, I don’t believe this phases her.
The question is, will we ever feel safe in our home communities? While I wish for the “perfect” community to raise my daughter, that does not exist. There will always be people who hate and feel the need to act on that hatred. We can’t always find these people early enough to stop the violence or law enforcement does not have enough evidence to act.
What is the answer to this violence?
I am sure there will be much reflection as we sit for our seders tonight.