Columbine Anniversary Reminds Us We Remain Enslaved in Our Thinking About Gun Violence

With the Passover holiday, I was thinking about how the Seder, the quintessential Jewish family dinner, allows us - forces us - to confront, again, the key questions of our surroundings, our history and our lives. We retell the familiar story of the Israelite Exodus from Egypt not only as a point of religious history, but as a personal journey from bondage to freedom.So when dates and times converge, as they do this year, it helps to make the holiday even more significant. This Passover season, we celebrate not only the Jewish holiday, some will celebrate Easter. And we commemorate 20 years since the Columbine school shooting. Twenty years. Columbine. Passover. Redemption. In the 20 years since Columbine, the 1999 school shooting that left 12 students and one teacher dead along with more than 20 injured, there have been 11 additional school shootings resulting in 127 students killed and scores of people injured and scarred. The numbers are staggering to think about in addition to the other mass shootings that happen at a simply unbelievable rate. Without a doubt we are held in bondage to the mind-set that this is somehow normal or OK; held hostage to the belief that there are no creative and necessary solutions to keeping our families and communities safe while protecting civil liberties and constitutional rights. We have been telling this sad story over and over again, repeating empty prayers and hollow promises as we know the ending: more of the same to come in the year(s) ahead. As Passover is a holiday of questions, one persists in my mind. "Does the story of being enslaved to a mind-set, a cultural milieu, an attitude of creative paralysis, have to be the only story we tell about our future?"   Continue reading...

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