Yet again this week in the United States, another mass murder has occurred, this time in Atlanta — 8 people murdered by a lone gunman. This scene has become all too common over the past couple of decades, as men with easy access to guns wreak devastation on the lives of innocent victims and their families.
In this case, 6 of the 8 victims were Asian-American. This is a direct result of the hateful rhetoric against Asians and Asian-Americans perpetuated by the GOP, who were in leadership last year when the COVID-19 pandemic began, and blamed China — leading to an increase of attacks in this country against Asian-Americans. Even so, the sheriff who was placed in charge of this case refused to call it a hate crime, stating that the murderer “had a bad day”.
A “bad day” is not an excuse for hatred. It is certainly not an excuse for murder.
The Torah states that human beings are made in the image of God: “And God created man in His image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27). Murder is the worst sin of all, one that carries with it the death penalty: “Whoever sheds the blood of man through man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God He made man” (Genesis 9:6).
It is past time to stop minimizing or excusing the actions of these violent men, and start taking drastic action to stop these mass murders. We collectively as a nation need to push for tougher gun laws, better education surrounding weapons, better security and greater access to mental health screenings and services. These violent and despicable actions cannot be normalized, by any of us.