A leading Jewish rabbi expressed the feelings of millions of Americans when he appeared on CNN and criticized President Donald Trump for some of his remarks which followed the mass murder in Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Rabbi Joshua Stanton directly responded to Trump who had blamed the death toll in the synagogue massacre to a lack of security.
“This is a case where if they had an armed guard inside, they might have been able to stop him immediately,” Trump said when talking to reporters after the shooting. “If they had protection inside, the results would have been far better.”
Stanton said this on CNN about Trump’s ill-considered remarks:
“The words that I heard from our president today were deeply disappointing. He had one job, to provide comfort for those that were mourning, and instead, his words sounded to me like an advertisement for gun companies… In our tradition that is seen as one of the highest acts of kindness is to be with those who are heartbroken and grieving, and instead, we just heard more empty rhetoric from a person who is already engaged in anti-Semitic dog whistles. I was hurt. I was offended, and I was deeply saddened as a human being, a Jewish person, and an American, and a rabbi.”
He also said that Trump’s comments felt like blaming of the victims, which was absolutely true.
“It felt like victim blaming to me,” Stanton said. “I was appalled and I was saddened. His job was to comfort victims. Not to blame victims.”
Many on social media expressed their support for the words of Rabbi Stanton. One person tweeted:
“Listened to Rabbi Stanton on #CNN in the wake of the #synagogueshooting – The world needs more people like Rabbi Joshua Stanton. Let’s all fight to defeat right wing terrorism and republicans who support hate.”
Listened to Rabbi Stanton on #CNN in the wake of the #synagogueshooting – The world needs more people like Rabbi Joshua Stanton. Let’s all fight to defeat right wing terrorism and republicans who support hate
— Farayi Chiro (@MasikaTech) October 27, 2018
The truth is that Donald Trump cares more about NRA and its members than he cares about stopping gun violence in America. The rabbi was correct: Trump’s remarks sounded like a commercial for gun manufacturers, who are currently making obscene profits in a divided America.
The nation is still in shock and we have not heard many new calls for gun control legislation over the past 24 hours. However, the midterm elections are fast approaching, and there is no question that gun control will be in the forefront of the minds of many millions of Americans as they head to the polls.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.