Newtown tragedy a symptom of spiritual malaise

Op-ed contributor Mickey Fenzel recently wrote about "the malady of America's soul" and whether we have the will to heal it ("The malady of America's soul," Dec. 18). The tragedy in Newtown should challenge us all to begin a conversation has long been needed.

My first thought on reading his commentary was of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel's most famous quote: "Some are guilty, all of us are responsible."

The culture of the United States has changed in the last several decades. We are not as righteous as once we may have been. We let things slide and rarely get outraged when we should be doing something about the wrongs of life.

Witness the recent wars that we have been involved in and can't seem to get out of. To question why we are in these wars is considered unpatriotic, even though they have led to many killings, including of innocent civilians.

My point here is that even though most of this takes place overseas, it does not go unnoticed and unanswered in our minds and souls. Wrongs have a tendency to fester, and they have an impact whether we realize it or not.

By not standing up for the human rights of all, Americans are left to drift toward a more individualistic society that is not truly caring. It makes us let our guard down and allows us to tolerate more of the same rather than raise issues.

When this happens, we begin to see some individuals, like the shooter in Newtown, erupt in ways that are unconscionable and hard to understand.

It is a step in the right direction that a real conversation will now take place on gun control in the United States. But I hope we can also go beyond that to a conversation that addresses where we can again find America's soul again as well.

Raymond D. Bahr, Baltimore

  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts
  • Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
    Related Content
    • Guns and the 'permanent darkness'

      Guns and the 'permanent darkness'

      By overwhelming margins, polls show Americans support universal background checks for those seeking to purchase a firearm to help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those who are dangerously mentally ill. Clearly, the last thing you want is for some paranoid personality, ranting and raving...

    • Punish the gun enablers

      Punish the gun enablers

      Thank you, Dan Rodricks, for continuing to focus on how criminals acquire guns ("Enablers of gun crime hard to trace," April 2). A felon's access to guns would be limited to theft without enablers. And thefts of guns would be easier to trace.

    • What gun rights and marriage equality (should) have in common

      What gun rights and marriage equality (should) have in common

      In the article, "A unique Maryland marriage sits at center of Supreme Court case considering gay nuptials" (March 13), Carrie Evans, executive director of Equality Maryland, is quoted as saying the following:

    • Hogan, guns and the attorneys general

      Hogan, guns and the attorneys general

      During the recent gubernatorial campaign, The Sun and several thoughtful citizens were perplexed about the discrepancy between the National Rifle Association's notorious A- rating for Larry Hogan and the candidate's repeated promise that he won't overturn Maryland's gun law if elected. In fact,...

    • Maryland's gun law is working

      Maryland's gun law is working

      The gun lobby's lawsuit against Maryland's life-saving Firearm Safety Act described in Saturday's front page article does not challenge the constitutionality of the key provision of the act — requiring handgun purchasers to first obtain a fingerprint based background check and license from the...

    • Politicians who claim to understand gun crime don't have a clue [Letter]

      Politicians who claim to understand gun crime don't have a clue [Letter]

      The two clowns in Annapolis who claim to understand gun crime don't have a clue ("O'Malley, Brown are kidding themselves with the 2013 Firearms Safety Act," Oct. 6).

    • NRA's paranoia is catching

      NRA's paranoia is catching

      The Sun's editorial reflecting on the National Rifle Association convention in Nashville is an important statement on how the NRA has devalued our lives and our society ("Guns and the 'permanent darkness,'" April 16).

    • Md. gun law is working [Letter]

      Md. gun law is working [Letter]

      Jack Mccauley's letter belittling the Firearms Safety Act fails to mention the most important parts of the new law — the requirement that handgun purchasers get a fingerprint-based license and the authority for the state police to regulate firearms dealers ("O'Malley, Brown are kidding themselves...

    Comments
    Loading