Andrew Harnik, AP
First lady Melania Trump, accompanied by President Donald Trump, and Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, right, places a white flower at a memorial for those killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Oct. 30.

President Donald Trump was criticized this week in the national media for going to the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh where 11 persons died of gunshot wounds by a deranged shooter. The shooter was not a member of the congregation. He just walked in the door and began shooting. This was an absolute tragedy, and it had all the elements of anti-Semitism involved.

This was another case where the shooter was certain that no one inside had a gun to shoot back at him. The president and others have raised the possibility of having armed guards or the granting of a concealed carry privilege to certain members of the congregation or school or just persons on the street. A deranged shooter would not know for certain that there were no guns inside a synagogue, church, school or other situations.

There has been a pattern of these deranged shooters who seem to want to commit a public suicide but kill other people along with themselves. Usually, they carefully select an area or a situation where they assume no one can shoot back at them immediately. Yet, they seem prepared to commit suicide when the police do finally arrive. Perhaps they dream of a blaze of publicity.

I found it strange that Trump was criticized by some for going. He is the president of the United States, and when a tragedy of this sort occurs, the president is sharply criticized if he doesn’t make a trip to join those grieving for a short time at least. Trump did not speak there; he merely said some prayers, lit some candles and then visited the wounded in the hospital. I praise Trump for his magnanimous act and for handling the situation so sensitively. The national press just won’t give Trump a break in situations such as this.

Former President George W. Bush was criticized for doing a “flyover” during Hurricane Katrina. The former president didn’t want to land on the ground because when the president of the United States comes, many first-responders must leave their jobs to protect the president’s route. Bush did exactly the right thing. To this day, one still hears that he just looked at the hurricane damage outside from his airplane window.

It is true that Trump has been irresponsible in some of his tweets and the taunting of his opponents. But when they do the same thing back, they are putting themselves in the same category. What is needed is more suggestions for solutions, and we must talk solutions.

With the number of guns in our society and the certain percentage of deranged people, more of these incidents will probably happen in our complex society. I do not accept them as inevitable, so we have to do our very best to recognize and grieve with the people affected and to try to prevent them in the future.

Due to the passion for the Second Amendment in our society, we will not be taking peoples’ guns away anytime soon. There are more guns in our society than there are people. My present thinking is that we should have more armed guards, but this is very expensive. Such guards have to be highly trained to know how to respond without killing even more people.

We must consider expanding the “concealed carry” law to include responsible, specially trained teachers, and responsible people in churches, synagogues, schools and similar places. However, even this would not have solved the Las Vegas shooting in 2017 where a shooter shot out of a hotel window into a defenseless concert crowd below. There is no easy solution to this problem, but we must not give up.

Some say we could constitutionally severely limit the sales of ammunition, but there is already enough ammunition in peoples’ possessions to last 100 years. Meanwhile, let’s not be too harsh in criticizing our president and our commander in chief for taking time to grieve and talk about some possible solutions. Some have become so instantly critical of Trump that they are adding to the problem of harsh language, no compromise and criticism for partisan reasons.

I am very much afraid that I will be writing this same article again within the next year.

15 comments on this story

Voters also have to inform themselves on this hard issue and not just vote against candidates whom the National Rifle Association says are anti-gun, and the anti-gun people cannot make such a harsh judgment of somebody, such as Trump, for trying to reach out and be involved. Voters will also have to work hard to inform themselves on this difficult issue.

The loud voices criticizing Trump for going to Pittsburgh were not constructive. The only real solution to this problem is the repeal of the Second Amendment, and that would be absolutely impossible in my judgment.