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Mass Shooting at Pittsburg Synagogue: Making Sense of Tragedy

In Reaction on

A quiet morning turned tragic on Saturday, October 27th, when gunman Robert Bowers stormed the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA and opened fire – killing 11 and injuring several more.

Bowers had a history of anti-Semitic posts on Gab, a social media site that boasts its defense of free speech, even posting an ominous message just minutes before the shooting began.

He was the legal owner of over 21 firearms including the 3 Glock handguns and one Colt AR-15 he had allegedly been carrying with him when he opened fire on the Saturday Shabbat service.

The chaos lasted the hour between 9:55 when the first 911 call was placed and 11:04 when Browers surrendered to SWAT surrounding his third- floor hideout.

He was immediately taken to the hospital to treat wounds he had sustained in the fight.

Now an entire nation mourns. While the small Pittsburgh community grieves the loss of neighbors and loved ones, the rest of the country is sorting out how to respond to this senseless loss of life. It seems like mass shootings have become part of living in America. Each time we turn on the news to see another mass tragedy, we ask ourselves: what is the takeaway? How can something like this happen and how do we prevent it from ever happening again?

The political community scrambles to make sense of it like a young child does when a family member dies. They might start to blame other people. They might even blame themselves. But some things can’t be explained.

The question I ask myself: is there any sense to be made of the latest massacre?

The short answer is no.

It makes no sense. There was no good reason for him to have done what he did. A reason that is bad is no reason at all. To try to reverse justify his actions would only be to dignify what is otherwise the most evil and brutish of acts. We must not sacrifice our standard of reason because we are confused by the will of a single evil man.

Our collective thoughts and prayers go out to all the families, an entire community in Pittsburgh, and the entire nation.

If you would like to make donations to victims’ families, you can donate directly to the Tree Of Life Synagogue