Kansas Jewish facility shootings show
'Never again' must be more than words



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By David Codrea, April 16th 2014
JPFO writer contributor, © 2014.

The twisted monster (a "suspect" at this point who will remain nameless in this account) who (allegedly) killed two people, a grandfather and his grandson at a the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, KS (4/13/14), and a woman visiting her mother at the nearby Village Shalom assisted living facility, had no way of knowing his victims weren't Jewish. His choice of locations to attack the day before Passover, combined with a documented history of anti-Semitic vitriol, and his shouting "Heil Hitler!" from the back of a police car following his arrest pretty clearly demonstrate someone with a fanatical and deranged hatred of the Jewish people.

Image John Altevogt

He also had good reason to suspect his target locations would offer slim resistance. A phone call placed by an ally working with the Kansas State Rifle Association to the Jewish Center went unanswered due to the Passover holiday, but a call to Village Shalom confirmed they are posted "No Guns." A follow-up visit this morning showed both facilities are posted. Even though such signs don't carry the force of law in the Sunflower State, except to pursue trespass charges if a person asked refuses to leave, they serve to establish both a notice to those with evil intent, as well as a cultural expectation among patrons and visitors, so that even people in parking lots who habitually frequent such facilities will likely not be armed.

And while both facilities reportedly went into lockdown, there is apparently not much that could have been done to incapacitate him had the killer chosen to gain entry to either one.

"Due to the policies, procedures and emergency preparedness training that Village Shalom has in place, our staff responded appropriately to the crisis, ensuring the safety and security of our residents," President & CEO Matthew E. Lewis claimed in a statement following the attacks. The thing is, in their job posting for a "security officer," practiced use of a firearm is nowhere mentioned in the job summary and responsibilities, nor is firearms training and certification listed under required experience, education, skills and qualifications.

Image John Altevogt

While the attacks reportedly happened outside, presumably before armed security could have proactively prevented them, the point is a cultural norm of disarmament prevailed, and it was not until the suspect had completed his attacks and left that he was apprehended, and significantly, by armed (police)men, whom he curiously opted not to fire on.

Kansas is a "shall issue" state for carrying concealed handguns, and no permit is required for open carry. Not that any of that would have mattered to the suspect, who, while apprehended with "several weapons, including a handgun and a shotgun," was also reportedly "convicted of a federal felony on weapons charges in the 1980s."

That means he is a "prohibited person," barred by law from so much as touching a gun, let alone possessing and carrying one. That such edicts never stop those intent on evil seems lost on doctrinaire gun rights prevention advocates.

What does?

Something all too few Jewish leaders, from the ADL to local temples seem willing to advocate, and which all too many of them disparage -- an armed response. These are the opinion-makers the late Aaron Zelman, founder of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership called "bagel brained," for embracing the very laws that ensure a government monopoly of violence.

And by aligning themselves with "progressive" politicians and causes, such individuals and the groups they represent are guilty of promulgating another significant denial of reality when they portray Nazis as "right wing extremists" and condemn liberty-minded gun rights advocates as their ideological equivalents, and as "haters."

"It is now clear beyond all reasonable doubt that Hitler and his associates believed they were socialists, and that others, including democratic socialists, thought so too," George Watson, author of "The Lost Literature of Socialism" wrote in The Independent. "Socialism offered [the socialist intelligentsia of the western world] a blank cheque, and its licence to kill included genocide."

The only way to prevent group identity-based extermination, on the individual and societal levels, is for members of that group to have the means to defend themselves. That's the only way words like "Never again" will ever be more than a hollow platitude.

David Codrea is a field editor at GUNS Magazine, penning their monthly "Rights Watch" column. He provides regular reporting and commentary at Gun Rights Examiner and blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance.

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