From time to time, I'll see a post on social media or receive an email poking fun at safety for kids. You know the one that says baby boomers grew up without wearing bike helmets, batting helmets, mouth guards and safety belts while running our neighborhoods unsupervised until the street lights came out. Yet we survived.
On the other hand, back then, we never considered training our teachers to pack heat in order to protect us from mayhem. Nor did our houses of worship hire security forces to watch the front and back doors for gunmen. We didn't wonder if someone in the theater would open fire with an automatic weapon during the double feature. The action was on the screen or at the candy counter.
There is no safety gear to protect a child or adult from the kind of trauma that occurred at the synagogue in Pittsburgh yesterday, where a gunman slaughtered 11 congregants and injured two police SWAT team members. Police said the shooter was armed with an assault rifle and three handguns. This was a hate crime against Jews. Coincidentally, next month will mark 80 years since Kristallnacht, "the night of the broken glass," November 9, 1938. Nazi's rioted in Germany and massacred nearly 100 Jews while they damaged their synagogues, businesses and homes. World War II and the Holocaust were brewing and about boil over.
Hatred always fuels mass murder. And because our media has become ubiquitous, we see it vividly displayed daily. I wouldn't dare compare my childhood to the insanity kids are exposed to in these times. The tragedy is, we boomers can't muster the courage to do something constructive about the madness. As children, we watched our nation send men to walk on the moon. But today, America, with all its financial power and ingenuity is unable or unwilling to solve this threat for our grandchildren and our neighbors. So now, hatred, armed to the teeth, invades the places we pray, again and again. Lord have mercy.