In the wake of Saturday’s synagogue shooting outside of San Diego, freshman congresswoman Ilhan Omar tweeted, “Love is the answer, love is the way and yes less gun! #nomorethoughtsandprayers.” Beyond the platitudes and crass exploitation of a tragedy, the comment offers a keen insight into Omar’s political party and ideology. Could there be a more concise summary of contemporary leftism than “no more thoughts and prayers”?
Most obviously lacking from Omar’s comment is thought. She called for new restrictions on firearm ownership — or “less gun!” as she puts it. Omar’s congressional colleague Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez quickly followed suit. “The longer the Senate delays holding a vote on [gun control],” she insisted, “the more we put Americans at risk.” But during Saturday’s synagogue shooting, it was precisely private gun ownership that prevented the killing from turning into a massacre.
When combat veteran Oscar Stewart and off-duty border patrol agent Jonathan Morales heard shots ring out at Poway synagogue, they leapt into action, chasing the shooter out of the temple. Morales fired as the gunman fled, missing the suspect but hitting his car. “It takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun,” explained Stewart.
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein agrees. “I had spoken to him in the past about coming to the synagogue armed because he’s trained,” Goldstein told reporters. “And I want trained security as much as possible.” One congregant gave her life to protect the rabbi from gunfire. Three others are wounded but recovering. Had Morales not come to the service armed, who knows how many would have been slaughtered?
Preparedness helped to protect the congregation at the Chabad of Poway. Perhaps providence played a role as well. “Here is a young man standing with a rifle pointing right at me,” recounted Rabbi Goldstein. One shot went high and missed, taking with it Rabbi Goldstein’s finger as he lifted it above his head in defense. But then, he recalled, “miraculously, the gun jammed.” Rabbi Goldstein and his congregation do not dismiss the value of prayer. Neither does the shooter, who targeted his victims as they prayed in their temple on a holy day.
In recent years, Democrats have becoming increasingly hostile to thoughts and prayers. “Spare us your thoughts and prayers,” wrote Eric Swalwell to President Trump after the shooting, apparently unaware that the President’s thoughts and prayers were not meant for him.
“No more thoughts and prayers,” declared Democratic Senate candidate MJ Hegan.
“How helpless it feels to only have thoughts and prayers to offer a community and a country that deserve much more,” wrote the partner of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg.
Thoughtless infidels reject thoughts and prayers as worthless in the vain hope that some new government policy or regulation might banish evil from the human heart. But not a single gun control measure proposed in recent years would have prevented the shooting. No greater attention paid by police could have nabbed the killer, who had no prior run-ins with the law, before he committed his crime. No social policy can ever eradicate evil or perfect human nature.
Thoughts and prayers work wonders. At the Chabad of Poway synagogue, the forethought to arm a congregant limited the scale of a mass shooting from a potential massacre to a single heroic death. As worshippers prayed for deliverance, an improbable, perfectly-timed gun jam stopped a killer dead in his tracks.