Your time is near, the mission's clear....
Have been thinking a lot lately about guns and gun safety. The Orlando tragedy was just that. Tragic. I do believe that people have access too easily to very dangerous weapons and many people act irresponsibly.
However, others act responsibly. I don't really like bringing up this topic since it can often get ugly, but I am doing it anyway. Feel free to bash me. When thinking about being a synagogue goer, and thinking about having spent time in Israel, I don't have to think too much to come to the conclusion that, overall, our synagogues are a lot safer in Israel (the 2014 Har Nof synagogue attack and tragedy comes to mind and is very sad). Many synagogues are beefing up security around the United States. It's about time, I think. At least in Europe it's easy to find a synagogue when you're a tourist because you just look for the police car outside. Back in the states, what this that means is that community members are carrying weapons. And these weapons are stored in local homes.
It's a sad state of affairs, but it's not just swastikas being painted on synagogue walls anymore.
The topic was covered recently in the 5 Towns Jewish Times.
This all being said, I am concerned about my children's safety. Five years ago when I moved here I heard murmurs that people owned guns. I didn't think about it too much. But now I decided to ask the question that the Brady Campaign's ASK Pledge recommends. Which is, before you send a child over to play to another family's home, ask the simple question:
"Is there an unlocked gun in the house?"
So far, I asked twice.
The first time was a huge bomb because I didn't ask word-for-word. The mom was highly offended and thought I was meddling which I wasn't. I had only asked wrong, and I made a mistake. Call me stupid, call me an airhead. I did it wrong. It was a mess and it took me a few weeks to ask the question again but in the right way.
The second time was totally fine. This family happens to let their children know they own a gun. The mom said it was a well-worded question. Her children know that the parents go to a shooting range. I have no idea if the children know where the gun is located in the house, but at least I know the parents keep it locked up.
A friend who lives on the Upper West Side said not to be fooled; just because she lives in a liberal area, there are gun owners. She is just too chicken to adopt the pledge.
But you know what, it's like asking if there's a gate around the pool. It is well-worded and an educated question. If you don't like guns, and especially if you're a shul-goer, you're basically gonna have to get with the program and realize it's the reality. Or just live in ignorance. Or just hope that the people you send your children to play at are responsible. But that is the whole point of the Brady Ask Campaign.
Not that I personally think a person can beat down ISIS when they come knocking down their door. Especially when the gun is hiding behind the Manolos in the closet.
Personally, I prefer serpent deflectors and ribbon reflectors. Happy Summer Tour!