This is supposed to be one of my “weeks off,” under my new policy of alternating full-length columns with weeks which may feature nothing more than a cartoon to lure you to take a look at haroldandersen.com every week.
But again this week, I can’t resist comment on some issues very much in the news—President Obama’s nomination of Nebraska Republican Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense and the continuing debate over how to react to senseless killing sprees such as the one which took the lives of 20 children and six adults in a small New England town three weeks ago.
In the debate over nomination of former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense, one of the principal objections from some critics is that a concern that Hagel has not supported a tough enough policy on nuclear-arming Iran and thus is not a strong enough supporter of Israel.
Although it may not have received national or international attention, very significant, as I see it, is the strong support of Hagel which has been voiced by orinubebt Nebraska Jews—Jews who know him a great deal better than those in Washington or New York City or Tel Aviv.
Rabbi Ayreh Izriel, one of Omaha’s most prominent Jews, wrote in The World-Herald Public Pulse that during his 25 years as Rabbi of Temple Israel in Omaha, he has had the opportunity for many long, informative conversations with Chuck Hagel.
“I discovered in Chuck Hagel a staunch, credible supporter of the State of Israel,” Azriel wrote.
Endorsement of Hagel’s nomination came also from another prominent Omahan of the Jewish faith, attorney and former state senator Dick Fellman.
Another prominent Omaha Jew, Robert Eisenberg, took a paid ad in The World-Herald to announce his support of Hagel. Directed to President Obama, the message was:
President Obama, as a proud
American Jew, I urge you to
nominate Chuck Hagel for
Secretary of Defense.
Chuck Hagel would make a
superb Secretary of the
Defense. He is a man who has
the intelligence, worldliness,
and military experience to make
America a safer and
more secure country, with a
more cost-effective defense.
Former Co-Chair of Omaha Jewish Federation Annual Campaign
Former Omaha Jewish Press President and
Recipient of Young Leadership Award
Graduate of Harvard and Columbia Universities
Son of Holocaust Survivor Bella Eisenberg
Proudly born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska
At the same time Hagel was being endorsed by prominent Omaha Jews who know him best, he was also being strongly endorsed by an internationally known and respected journalist of the Jewish faith, New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Tom Friedman.
Hagel has received support from a good many other sources, of course, including a committee composed of retired generals and admirals. Other national figures will be speaking in his behalf.
But as to a charge that he is not a strong enough supporter of Israel, I can think of no response more relevant than the support of prominent Jewish Omahans who know him best.
* * *
Controlling Sale Of Guns Isn’t The Answer
Utterly unrealistic, as I see it, are the demands for controlling the sale of guns and ammunition as a primary means of curbing—or at least significantly discouraging—senseless killings which seem unfortunately to be an increasing part of the American scene.
There are already enough—and far more than enough—dangerous weapons, from handguns to semiautomatic assault weapons, in private ownership in the United States to arm an unlimited number of assailants far into the future.
What then to do about all the killings?
–In the case of gang-related killings such as plague North Omaha, more police officers prepared to react more quickly to threatened violence.
–And for mass killings such as the Von Maur tragedy in Omaha and the recent killing spree in that elementary school in a New England town, more armed security officers in plain view, ready to respond with force if necessary.
–Serious consideration of expanding what some school districts are already doing: More secure lockdowns after carefully-screened admissions have been ended in preparation for classes to begin.
–Strict supervision of sales at so-called gun shows.
–Extremely important, convincing adult gun owners to make sure their weapons are kept securely unavailable to anyone but those owners. Such a precaution might have prevented Omaha’s Von Maur tragedy.
–Perhaps most important of all, the much greater effort to identify, treat or incarcerate young people or adults who give signs of mental conditions requiring such attention.
Now as for the National Rifle Association: If NRA officials do not agree to support strict enforcement of gun purchases, including purchases at gun shows, they should simply be ignored.
Ignored along with an NRA critic, a CNN commentator Piers Morgan, a liberal Briton who seems to think he knows everything about everything. Morgan has savaged the NRA in his typical far-left fashion. Because of his scathing criticism of the NRA, petitions have been circulated urging that he be sent back to Great Britain.
Morgan isn’t worth the bother. The best answer to him is to switch to another TV channel whenever he appears.
* * *
An upbeat ending which I hope even non-dog owners will enjoy:
# # #