Donald J. Trump calls the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pa., an “assault on humanity.”
The president is right. We need to treat this hideous tragedy as a hate crime. Eleven people were killed because they were Jewish. They were gathering at Tree of Life to celebrate Shabbat, the Jewish sabbath.
What does the president suggest as a possible response? He thinks putting “armed security guards” at houses of worship would stop this kind of carnage. Really? No sir. That is the wrong idea.
If we armed guards at the doors of sanctuaries where people go to worship whatever deity they choose to worship, where do we stop? Where do we draw the line on places that attract groups of people, sometimes large crowds of people?
Shopping malls? Grocery stores? Athletic events? Schools? Public parks?
The president suggests an armed society would deter those who commit evil acts.
I don’t accept that. The solution has to be more nuanced. It must require us to talk candidly and openly to each other. It must include a serious lowering of the volume and the temperature — and that volume and temperature adjustment must come from the top of the political food chain.
Armed guards won’t cut it.