With Jersey City, Let's Keep Focus Where It Belongs

Earlier this week, Jersey City, NJ was rocked with a violent shootout between police and two individuals. At the end of the confrontation, six people were dead, including a police officer and three civilians. Also killed were the two gunmen.

This led to the usual suspects calling for more gun control, which isn’t overly surprising. They’re a broken record and utterly predictable in their responses.

However, as news came out that the kosher market at the epicenter of the fight was targeted, it became clear that we need to keep our focus where it belongs:

New Yorkers saw terrorism on their doorstep yesterday, when two people opened fire on a Jewish kosher market in Jersey City, N.J.

This isn’t about gun control or mass shootings, even though some on the left would like it to be. This is not about the NRA.

It’s about the threat that radical, religious-fueled terrorism still poses to Americans, even if the violence is sometimes on a smaller scale than what we saw on 9/11 or during other attacks around the world.

And it’s also about the new wave of anti-Semitism we’ve seen in recent years, which should concern everybody. We’ve seen it in the capitals of Europe. We’ve seen vandalism and graffiti attacks at synagogues and Jewish cemeteries in the United States. We’ve seen American lawmakers, including Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, shamelessly traffic in anti-Semitic tropes.

And on Tuesday, we saw hate-filled violence, an eruption of gunfire that killed New Jersey police detective Joseph Seals and three bystanders in Jersey City. The two people who wielded the weapons, identified as [names redacted], died in a prolonged gun battle with police.

Sources told WNBC-TV News that [the male gunman] had followed the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, a group whose members believe they are the true descendants of the ancient Israelites.

There was a note with religious writings in the U-Haul that [the killers] allegedly drove, the station said, and online postings connected to Anderson’s social page contained anti-police and anti-Jewish writings.

In other words, this was terrorism. Plain and simple.

While anti-gunners will probably still try to use this to advance their narrative–they already have, of course–a couple of black supremacists with anti-Semitic views launched an attack that left four other people dead. Do you really think that domestic terrorists like this wouldn’t find another way to kill Jews if they wanted to? Oklahoma City isn’t ancient history, after all.

No, we have a cause for the violence. We know anti-Semitism and racist ideologies are to blame here. In that regard, it’s little different from El Paso.

What I fear, though, is that because this brand of racism doesn’t feed into the narrative of white supremacy, it will be completely ignored unlike El Paso when we were told over and over again that the rise of white nationalism was a pervasive issue and that it, along with guns, needed to be addressed.

Well, hatred needs to be addressed. Racist ideologies of all stripes need to be addressed and debated and debunked. They need to be fought, not ignored. We need to understand these groups and whether people like these two represent a fringe element within their religion or whether they are the totality of it. We need to focus on this kind of thing.

It’s about terrorism, not guns, so let’s treat it as such for a change.