Anyone from the United States who visits Israel cannot help but be struck with the two following observations: 1. There are guns everywhere. That includes pistols and semi-automatic handguns worn on the hips of civilians (some carry Uzi sub-machine guns) and guards at malls and theaters, rifles slung over the shoulders of teachers and guards accompanying school children on class trips and outings, and the ever present – and from my middle-aged perspective – impossibly young-looking soldiers, both male and female, carrying M-16 and Gallil automatic assault weapons. 2. One feels very safe. The reason is simple: Those carrying the guns are the good guys.
On the other hand, two observations about Chicago, where I grew up and currently reside:
1. Despite the fact that Chicago has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country (Illinois has completely outlawed concealed carry), 440 school-age children were hit by gunfire here in 2012. Of these, 60 died. Just in case it is overlooked, that is triple the number of those tragically murdered in Newtown, Conn. In fact, in a very bloody 2012 Christmas eve, 7 people were shot in the free-fire zones on the South and West sides of the city. 2. I do not feel safe. The reason is simple: Those carrying the guns are the bad guys.
First obvious conclusion: When good guys have guns we feel safe. When only bad guys have guns, you end up with…well, Chicago.
In late July of 2012 Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, lashed out at Chick-Fil-A CEO, Dan Cathy, for making the following statement:
“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that … We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that.”
“Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values; they’re not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members. And if you’re going to be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect the Chicago values.“
“Chicago Values”, of course, are notoriously corrupt politics and 440 school children hit by gunfire. We certainly wouldn’t want dangerous notions like “strengthening families” or “family values” interfering with that!
A simple perusing of the Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics of the FBI informs us that between 1964 and 1993, violent crime per-capita quadrupled in the United States. The murder rate doubled and rapes more than tripled. What happened? What happened was the cultural revolution of the 60’s and 70’s where many of our traditional values and societal mores were trashed in the name of “progress,” “freedom,” and “social justice.” What happened was that the value systems of certain political ideologues (like those who shaped the ideas of Rahm Emanuel) and their counterparts in academia began to win the hearts and minds of Americans, particularly among the younger generation. In a manner of speaking, what happened was “Chicago Values.” Although it is true that crime rates have come down since then, violent crime is still double what it was in 1964. It seems we paid a very high price in the form of murdered human beings, grieving families, women brutalized and traumatized by rape, armed robberies and assaults to effect a liberal/feminist/pro-abortion/anti family-values/sexual revolution. We haven’t even mentioned the catastrophic results of single-motherhood and the creation of what might be a permanent underclass consisting of children born out-of-wedlock. Perform more abortions and hand out more condoms? I don’t think that will do it.
Second Obvious Conclusion: It is post-1964 values that are the biggest problem in our country, not guns.
Final Conclusion: There is nothing new under the sun; we reap what we sow and the choice is ours. Yes Virginia, it’s as simple as that.
Rabbi Moshe Averick is an orthodox rabbi, a regular columnist for the Algemeiner Journal, and author of Nonsense of a High Order: The Confused and Illusory World of the Atheist. It is available on Amazon.com and Kindle. Rabbi Averick can be reached via his website. If you wish to be informed when new articles appear, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the email address and the word “Subscribe” in the subject line.