Where Do We Go From Here?

Nearly two weeks have passed since a man (Robert Bowers) who was so consumed by his hatred of the Jewish people stormed into a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania synagogue in the in the middle of a ceremony celebrating a new life coming into this world promptly shot and killed 11 innocent people on a day that is dedicated to peace, rest and worship. Hate tinged with violent rage. As the families struggle to recover (some may never emotionally recover) and bring their lives back to some semblance of normalcy we continue our process of mourning for the lives that were lost while still begging for the answer to the questions of how could this or why did this have to happen. Why? Where do we go from here?

Last night (Wednesday, November 7th, 2018) a  former U.S. Marine machine gunner by the now infamous Ian David Long burst into a barn-like Thousand Oaks, California Bar tossed a smoke bomb into the crowd and proceeded to open fire. When it was all over 11 bar patrons lay dead, 18 more were wounded. Included in those whose lives were so abruptly terminated was Ventura Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus who was shot multiple times and ultimately died early Thursday morning leaving behind his wife and his son. The motive for this rampage is not yet clear but in the final analysis, even though the assassin lost his life as well (thank G-d) knowing what triggers went off inside of him offers no comfort or consolation to those who miraculously survived. Why? Where do we go from here?

Tragically some of the patrons of The Borderline bar where the shootings took place were also witnesses to the shooting deaths of 58 people whose crime was attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Many of those people showed up at the 2018 Stagecoach Country Music Festival that saw more innocent lives snuffed out by gunfire. The connoisseurs of carnage had struck once again. More rivers of red blood were streaming past the terrified survivors. Why? Where do we go from here?

In the calendar year 2018 which is nearing its close, there have been 307 mass shootings here in the United States. There can be no sugar coating this number or trying to attach a “boohoo hoo” woe is those poor killers for the lives they led either by childhood, adulthood or any other set of circumstances such as those.

Murder or attempted murder or attempts to cause mayhem to the tune of 307 mass shootings is not an acceptable number. Some of these guns may have been legally purchased while others not. A legally purchased weapon used in conjunction with mass murder does not mitigate the act of spraying bullets directly or indirectly at people with malintent as being anymore benign as a similar crime being committed by an illegally purchased weapon.

A child left without parents, husband and wives who will never again see or feel each other’s society, siblings permanently separated not mention pets now condemned to die as there is no longer a loving owner to take care of them. All the above plus more are just some of the gut-wrenching stories behind those 307 mass shootings. We lift our tear ridden eyes while swallowing our salt ridden tears until they burn every corner of our throat and wonder out loud, cry out loud or softly but uncontrollably to ourselves as we solemnly ask where do we go from here?

The Second Amendment is coming under increased scrutiny as it should be. Do we rewrite it? Do we propose a constitutional amendment removing that amendment? Or do we focus our efforts elsewhere? Is simply letting things be as they are with some misguided hope that this is was just a “fluke” year and things will stabilize anybody’s idea of a sensible solution? Before you decide on your conclusion be aware that 307 was just the number of mass shootings! Do the shootings (in often occasions mortally) of Police Officers in the line of duty constitute a different type of gun incident thereby making them fit comfortably under another category so as not to pad the number of gun-related deaths this year?

In a misguided attempt to put additional security into our schools, houses of worship, concerts, ballgames, along with other places where bullets may be likely to be rocketed towards a human target it has been suggested we introduce more guns that would be carried by those who would protect us from the guns carried by wannabe assassins. Picture a scenario whereby a gunman comes into a school and starts shooting. The armed teacher fires back at the gunman misses and hits a child or becomes overwhelmed by the gravity or seemingly hopelessness of the situation and starts randomly firing at everybody.

There are so many intangibles in a situation like this making it hard to make a sound or sensible decision. It is the belief of this author more guns should not be placed in more hands.

A congregant takes aim at an intruding shooter setting off a scene that resembles the scenes from old Westerns. Would an armed congregant have prevented anybody from getting shot in that Synagogue two weeks ago? Perhaps he could have and perhaps not. Who would have been the more accurate shooter? Blazing guns are not compatible with or companions of the holy Torah, The Christian bible or any other holy book where the name of G-d appears. There are so many intangibles in a situation like this making it hard to make a sound or sensible decision. It is the belief of this author more guns should not be placed in more hands. The irrational thinking of if we have stricter gun control laws along with restricting the sale of guns then only criminals will have guns is I have just said is irrational. Ian David Long (The Paradise, California shooter) was legally in possession of his guns. A legal gun in the wrong hand of the wrong person in a situation that is ripe for bloodshed is just as dangerous as an illegal gun in the hand of the wrong person.

Airport Security has failed miserably (i.e. 09/11) in their assigned task of keeping any type of potentially dangerous weapon off airplanes. They along with the supposedly sophisticated scanning machines they have put into use have a single-minded mission which is to keep flyers as well as flight staff safe. Thankfully there have been so serious breaches of security but only time will be the judge of their success or failure. What kind of success could we expect from this type of apparatus in a public place? Would it not be possible for the shooter to neutralize security professionals to gain access to their intended victims?

A good many years back my wife and I were living in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn where muggings, robberies, assaults, rapes with the obligatory shootings thrown in for good measure became the norm. Our local Representative at that time urged angry community members at a meeting being held in a Public School that we should not try to fight or resist giving up our possessions for greater harm could ensue. This not so brilliant suggestion was made in all seriousness and sincerity by none other than Chuck Schumer who at that time was a heavy collector of speeding tickets. Chucky had a heavy foot it would seem. Attendees at this meeting were naturally outraged by the lack of promise of more foot patrolmen (they did have patrolmen on foot in local communities back then) or other tangible solutions. Organized community patrols had minimal effect. There were debates as to the logistics of arming our community patrols or Auxilary police.

The same reasons it would have not worked back then are the same reasons they would not work now. To be purposely redundant in order to drive home my point more guns in the hands of more people who may turn out to be the wrong people is to give the green light for repeated and prolonged gun battles with umpteen casualties. A gun in hand can give a person a sense of invincibility with the power to decides who lives and who dies. A bump in the back or the front of the person carrying the gun may take it as a forewarning of an oncoming attack leading him to unleash his gun from his holster and fire away only to discover he shot somebody who had no malintent.

The scenarios I have provided are not unrealistic in their chances of happening. My opinions are that a potential gun buyer must not only undergo a thorough multi-state background check, psychological testing, history of aggressive behavior, history of drug or alcohol abuse, family history, behavioral testing not to mention of requiring a plausible explanation as to why the need to purchase assault rifles and alike. Fees for these checks must be borne by the purchaser. There are no grandiose illusions on my part this is the sole or perhaps even a partial answer. It is, however, a beginning that has a plan of action. Possessing or attempting to buy an instrument of death should require the toughest and most stringent checks and balances that are allowed by the Consitution.


Joel Elveson
Joel Elveson
INDEPENDENT Executive Recruiting By Joel is an "up and coming" Executive Search Firm formed and headed up by Joel Elveson whose visionary ideas, leadership & creativity have brought to life a more "user-friendly" approach to recruiting. His clients and candidates form powerful strategic partnerships that we use to help you. Joel’s Firm offers Permanent, Temporary (case by case), & Temporary To Permanent staffing solutions for all of your Human Capital Requirements. Contract IT/Consultants are available if needed. Above and beyond they are experts (by way of their personal industry work experience) with mortgage, mortgage banking, middle-market banking, accounting, along with many others under the vast financial spectrum of disciplines. Their business goes beyond candidate recruiting as they also train, mentor and develop your internal recruiting staff with an eye towards helping you reduce the cost of hiring. They will also work in areas such as compensation, effective onboarding processes and alike. In other words, their business is to help your business by becoming an extension of you by filling in gaps that cause delay or waste. The recruiting methods employed by Joel’s team are time tested that results in a high rate of successful placements. Joel was trained in the art of recruiting by some of the top staffing industry executives in addition to the best recruiter trainers who to this day drive me to exceed the lofty goals he has set forth.

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  1. Thank you Joel for this article. I stand behind better background checks solely for those who purchase weapons. I also think if someone, if it be only once acts out of discord behavior that they should be refrained from purchasing a weapon, The problem is as I learned in Law Enforcement that if the person with a problem wants to get his hands on a gun there are ways to do so. Look at the Mexican Cartels. Just saying,…… God Bless and those lives taken will never be forgotten in prayer.

    • Lynn, thank you for reading my article. I am somewhat surprised you saw it as I have been sick all morning and have not posted it or shared it any place. As I mentioned I am for gun control in as many ways as it can be done and as a strict method as possible. Enough is enough with these shootings. I agree with you 100% that if a person wants a gun they could find a means or source to purchase it from. That is why the FBI, Police Detective and any other Law Enforcement Agency there is must use every resource they have and then some to make it risky for these people to sell “black market guns.” If the seller knew he could get indicted for murder or face chargers just as the shooter does they may elect not to sell that gun or close down their operations. Any country that is selling guns that are being smuggled into this country should be hit with tough sanctions. I am not going to sit here and tell you that my ideas are foolproof as they probably are not even close.