The Murderers Among'us

Your neighbor may be a murderer! Who knew? Actually, only a potential murderer, not a hard-core criminal. They're amateurs, not professionals. They keep the equipment at home, but like other amateurs, they may never use it. Their trigger may never get pulled; but then, there's a small percentage . . .

They're not murderers per se; not beady-eyed hooligans. Nope, can't pick'em out of a crowd, and most will never do it. But they're capable of picking up a gun and destroying a life, when all the pieces fall into place just right, or maybe "just wrong."

These are normal citizens; folks we live among daily. One sits in a bar on the next stool, and after a couple of beers he gets pissed off, and boom -- a dead man on the floor.

A high school student, brain still developing, insufficient moral and impulse control, which he'll gain later if he lives that long, plans an attack. He can become (in)famous by taking a life. Or, in taking his own, the world will suddenly know who he is. He'll die, he feels, known by the world, just like Michael Jackson and Mohammed Ali.

These are not mob murderers, not guns for hire. They are our neighbors, and if they did not have such easy access to guns: in the car, in their dad's closet, in a neighborhood store with a brief background check, they might never actually do it.

How we define a problem will determine how we think about it. The NRA says, "A criminal will find a way to get a gun, and leave the innocent people unarmed." But these are not criminals, until something snaps, and suddenly they are. The circumstances determine the outcome. Change the circumstances, change the outcome.

The NRA says lots of things. When people say untrue things knowing they are untrue, in order to deceive, we call them lies. The NRA lies. Like, "Only thing needed to stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun." Really? I understand there were two cops in the school in Texas, and there was one in the school in Florida. In Texas, the assailant murdered 10 and wounded 10, then the good guy with the gun stopped him, when the next door neighbor who decided to be a murderer turned himself in. So much for "a good guy with a gun is all that's needed."

The murderers among us may never be triggered. Or they may be triggered, and without immediate access to a gun, may never act. We could save lives if we compelled people to be responsible for their guns. But the NRA is not interested in saving lives, and therefore, neither is Congress.

What a shame! I say, vote for congresspeople who will try sane measures to save lives. Save your children or grandchildren.

And think about it: they're not murderers, yet. Change the Kansas congressional delegation, and you'll possibly save lives.

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© 2016 by Rabbi Mark H. Levin.