The tragic events Tuesday in Jersey City, N.J. serve to remind us all of the heroism of law enforcement, the horrors of anti-Semitism, the terrifying experience of school lockdowns and the violent consequences of lax national gun laws.
The revelation later in the investigation that this appeared to be a targeted attack on a kosher supermarket should shake all of us to the core. Anti-Semitism continues to rise across the country, due in large part to a manifestation of unchecked hate speech online and a White House too inept or complicit to condemn and combat it.
In this day and age, we ought to be more respectful and loving of each other’s diversity. We ought to condemn and crush hate where it exists. All of us must do so much more to educate ourselves and stop the spread of hate, wherever it rears its ugly head.
Once again, police officers put their lives on the line to protect those who can’t protect themselves. They went and confronted the shooters when others ran for their lives. Not every person has the capacity to sacrifice life and limb to protect people they don’t even know.
During the shootout itself, police traded fire with shooters who had no regard for any other life but their own.
The shootout also led to the lockdown of every school in Jersey City. Cellphone videos captured the images of the reality young students face daily in this era where school shootings occur with alarming regularity.
No school was targeted in this incident — but the shock and fear felt by students on the videos from within locked-down schools was palpable. Without question, the parents and teachers of these students felt the same fear and concern as the lockdowns went on.
Lockdowns are an unfortunate, yet traumatizing necessity in this country, where gun violence is rampant and the efforts to implement some kind of gun control fail at almost every turn.
States like New York and New Jersey have their own gun laws, which work only to a certain extent. But the extensiveness of gun violence nationally cries out for federal action to better regulate the types of weapons available to citizens, the amount of ammunition one can own, and the ability for law enforcement to keep guns out of the hands of individuals who pose a proven threat to themselves or others — including, potentially, the bigots who attacked Jersey City yesterday.