Considering current events, there are a lot of places that are looking at security a bit differently than they might otherwise have. Synagogues have to be near the top of the list, too.
After all, antisemitism seems to be a level we haven’t seen in decades. As a result, it’s not unusual for people to potentially be planning attacks there.
Some will likely argue that’s why we need red flag laws. If we had such a thing, we could disarm a potential attacker before anyone got hurt.
Yet a 13-year-old in Canton, Ohio is now facing charges of planning a mass shooting at a synagogue, and they didn’t need a red flag law to stop him.
A 13-year-old is accused of planning a mass shooting at Temple Israel, a Jewish synagogue.
The teen faces juvenile counts of inducing panic and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors.
The boy’s trial is set for Dec. 20 in Stark County Family Court.
The suspect “did create a detailed plan to complete a mass shooting at the Temple Israel on the Discord platform which was reported to law enforcement and required an immediate investigatory response and notification of public individuals and agencies including the school system which caused significant public alarm within those agencies,” according to a court filing in the case.
Honestly, he should probably be facing felony charges, but prosecutors have decided to go this route. I have no idea why and we’re unlikely to get a glimpse into that as he’s a juvenile.
Yet it’s also clear that the attack was stopped and the synagogue is no longer under threat by this individual.
The threat was discovered September 1st, which does at least eliminate the possibility this had anything to do with the October 7th attacks in Israel or Israel’s response to those attacks.
We don’t know whether the synagogue was targeted specifically due to antisemitism or due to some other reason, though it’s entirely likely it was motivated by some kind of bigotry on the boy’s part.
There are really two takeaways here, though.
One is that red flag laws aren’t necessarily needed to stop these kinds of attacks. All it takes is someone contacting the authorities when someone starts talking about shooting up some place or another.
The other takeaway, at least in my mind, is that synagogues and other places of worship should have the means to protect themselves. That means an armed congregation to some degree or another. Laws can and should be structured so that members of various places of worship can carry firearms and not risk prosecution.
And I think places of worship should encourage people to carry firearms so as to thwart a potential attack.
If that happens enough, places of worship go from the list of “soft target” to “hard target” and mass shooters will look elsewhere.
Make enough places hard targets and they’ll have to seek a way to vent their rage and seek fame elsewhere. Based on the history of X, formerly Twitter, that’s the place they’ll go, which is preferable anyway.