AP Photo/Denis Poroy
The synagogue shooting in Poway, California is wearing on a lot of minds right now. While it doesn’t meet the typical definition of a mass shooting, that’s only because of the courage of two members of the congregation and a bit of luck. It could have been much, much worse.
Now, it’s time for the community to mourn, not just for the life lost but for the fact that we live in a nation where shootings like this can happen.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to mourn when you’re arguing.
Hundreds gathered in Valle Verde Park, less than a mile from the attack, including Janith Seidel, who came to the vigil to pay her respects to Kaye. and to question the absurdity of the senseless act. “I knew Lori. Everyone knew Lori,” Seidel told The Daily Beast. “She was just such a big volunteer. If you ever were involved, if you ever came to the shul, if you ever came to the Chabad at all, you knew Lori.”
Seidel, who was not at the synagogue when Earnest opened fire, questioned why–yet again–anyone was allowed access to a semi-automatic weapon. “We need to license every gun,” she said. “Like a car.”
A few feet away, a trio of attendees huddled together, locked in a tense conversation about the root of the evil that shattered their community.
“Thank God we had a Jew with a gun,” Dorina Feygin, an older woman said, referring to the off-duty Border Patrol agent who is credited with helping chase the gunman away. “Thank God for a Jew with a gun.” (The agent said he recently rediscovered his Jewish roots.)
Feygin, who emigrated from Ukraine, came to the vigil from Mt. Carmel, California, where she is a member of the local Chabad there. Feygin, a self-described Donald Trump voter, seemed to believe that anti-Semitism does not come from the right wing, but from the left.
“It’s not right-white nationalism. It’s left,” she claimed. “Fascism is a socialist ideology. I’m from the Soviet Union. I should know the signs. Fascism and socialism are the same sides of a different coin.”
This led to a brief argument about politics, of all things.
Honestly, this is freaking ridiculous. And yet, what can we expect? The media has pushed a narrative over and over again, and that narrative is going to have an impact. There will always be some who will listen to the media and believe it to be accurate.
What Seidel fails to understand is that even if every gun is licensed, so what? Just what in that licensing scheme would have prevented this attack? There’s been no mention of a criminal history or anything that would lead anyone to bar this person from getting such a license. She’s deluded if she thinks a piece of paper would somehow have prevented this.
Yet the media continues to present a biased picture of guns and gun control. Those in favor of new gun laws tend to be met on camera with softball questions, things they can easily answer as the friendly interviewer lays the groundwork for them.
Meanwhile, pro-gun speakers are usually “balanced” with a gun control advocate that makes sure no one gets the pro-gun view in totality. If they’re not, then they get a hostile interview that sends plenty of signals to the audience.
As a result, many seem to believe that there’s absolutely nothing to be done but gun control. More than that, they think that the idea should be mentioned early and often.
And it’s not just guns; it’s politics in general. This is the world the media has helped us built. Isn’t it swell?