Guns, Grief and Gonifs


Leonard Zwelling

         As I watched the parade of politicians and talking heads
march across my TV screen this Sunday morning, I only got angrier.

         The Republican insistence that the US does not have a
regulatable gun problem is simply delusional. Regardless of the fact that the
guns used in San Bernardino appear to have been legally acquired, that assault
style weapons are available for purchase by average US citizens is simply
crazy. Why the heck does any one need an automatic weapon for hunting? They
don’t. Supposedly 65 to 75 rounds were used to kill 14 and maim more than 20
last week. The rapidity of the carnage preempts any attempt by local
authorities to respond in time. Let’s just cease the ability of regular
citizens to get these weapons of mass destruction.

         Then, of course, there are the heartfelt tributes to the
fallen by their local communities as well as the national politicos. Better
would be not having to express the grief because all these folks weren’t dead.
But time after time, mass shootings evoke regret but no action on the part of
the people who could actually do something, the members of the US Congress.

         Finally, as was amply shown on ABC’s This Week, there are
several different strains in the Islamic community that are confusing Americans
and opening that community to severe criticism as it refuses to take an active
and vocal stand against the ideology that has given birth to such violence.
Whether it is the Wahhabi schools in Saudi Arabia or other ISIS Sunni sympathizers
or even just the silent majority of American Muslims who do not call out those
perpetrating these acts against the citizens of the West as well as their
Muslim brethren in the Middle East, there is still much confusion as to whether
ISIS is an aberrant and distorted form of a religion or a natural outgrowth of
one. I happen to believe it is the former, but it is the Muslim community that
must speak out against ISIS and its sympathizers.

         So what is a gonif?

         A gonif is the Yiddish word for thief and there are a whole
bunch of them in Congress taking NRA and other money when they should be
leading in the fight for gun control, bullet control and national security
instead of blaming every massacre on mental health and claiming there is
nothing to be done.

         Step one: restrict the guns, the bullets and the ability of
lunatics to get either one.

         Step two: give up on the notion that ISIS is somehow not an
American problem for surely that can no longer be considered.

         Congress needs to pass rational gun laws and declare war
against ISIS and act accordingly on both fronts.

         Believe me I wish I didn’t have to write this stuff, but the
gonifs with whom I worked for a year simply will not do their job and an
executive branch action is not what is called for. The laws need to change with
regard to the availability of automatic weapons, unfettered access to bullets
and people on terrorist watch lists not being allowed to board planes but being
free to buy guns. That’s just nuts! 

         Finally, if it turns out the San Bernardino Two really were
radicalized prior to the large-scale realization that ISIS was even a threat,
another explanation will need to be found as to why these two felt compelled to
turn to violence against people, most of whom they did not know. Again, this is
where the Muslim community in America must search deep into its soul and
understand how such heinous acts could be perpetrated in the name of what
appears to be a peaceful religion.

         As The Donald might say: “what the hell is going on here?”

Leonard Zwelling