Law enforcement and other officials are right to take the possible threat against the Kansas City area Jewish community seriously.
Helene Lotman, president and chief executive officer of the Jewish Federation, said in a written statement that Jewish agencies became aware of a potential threat Tuesday morning to the “broader Kansas City Jewish community,” The Kansas City Star reports.
There have been too many acts of violence against targeted groups for people to shrug off any threats. On April 13, 2014, F. Glenn Miller Jr. drove from southwest Missouri to Overland Park where he gunned down William Corporon, 69, and Corporon’s grandson Reat Underwood, 14, at the Jewish Community Center, and Terri LaManno, 53, at the nearby Village Shalom care center.
The 75-year-old neo-Nazi, who was tried, convicted and now faces the death penalty, declared that his intent was to kill as many Jewish people as possible. However, none of the victims was Jewish.
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But Miller’s horrific act of violence in the Kansas City area and now the threat that the Jewish community faces mandates that law enforcement and security agencies do whatever they can to shield area residents from harm.
The terrible weekend tragedy at the gay night club in Orlando, Fla., also is another indication that mass shootings continue to be a bloody part of the American culture.
Inside Pulse early Sunday morning, a gunman killed 49 people and wounded 53 others before he was shot to death by law enforcement officers. The killer’s motives range from a self-declaration of allegiance to the Islamic State or self-hate over him being a closeted homosexual.
What is clear is the culture of guns across America and the ease in which people can purchase and carry firearms fuels their continued use in unpredictable acts of violence. People who seem stable on the surface could come apart later, and guns make it too easy for them to pull the trigger, harming others.
Jewish officials in the Kansas City area said they are working with law enforcement agencies to ensure the community’s safety.
Jewish community facilities are to remain open “with regular security protocols in place, and normal activities will continue as scheduled,” Lotman said.
Giving in to terrorists domestic or foreign gives them too much power and limits the freedom that everyday Americans enjoy. Vigilance against the threat, however, is essential.
More security and a heightened sense of vulnerability have become 21st century fixtures in the United States and throughout the world because of the ongoing wars and attacks by terrorists. It must be how people felt globally during World War I a century ago and a few years afterward during World War II.
Sadly that sense of insecurity has returned.
Yet, people want to feel safe. But that’s difficult in a world filled with off-the-chain anger that volcanically erupts in explosions of violence. It creates a new, profane normal for the population.
What’s also sad is today’s generation of children will grow up never knowing a time without terrorism and this worldwide fearfulness and angst and hardly being able to imagine a time when a lasting post-Cold War peace was possible.