Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

How to stop gun violence in the United States

Stricter gun laws are not the silver bullet (pardon the pun)

IMHO, the American People is a wonderful bunch. Hospitable, eager to go the extra mile, curious, adventurous, creative, innovative, moral, spiritual, artful, persistent, playful, traditional, respectful, on the whole.

However, also some negative aspects color American society. One is that it has a violent trigger-happy culture where life is cheap. Also emotional life, looking at the rape rate.

This is not innate. Historically, something went wrong. It is amendable.

By now it is well-known (and soon it will also be well-understood) that something was seriously off at the time of the funding of the Republic. Racism is the short term for a went wrong in a country that got started on mass-murdering the Native population, inventing modern (skin-color-based) racism, and trading in and employing (exploiting) Black slaves.

Furthermore, the Nation got rooted in war. Its War of Independence and (the aggression wasn’t over) a Civil War (nothing civil about it).

In this violent mix of bloodshed, the Constitution was written and it included the Right to Bear Arms. So that citizens could defend themselves if a government would start infringing on their basic rights.

But now, firearms hurt more than they prevent injury. We’ll return to this.

Around the Globe

This is very different from the situation in the Jewish part of Israel. Here many people wear a loaded weapon but for personal safety and the safety of the people around them. The permission is given on a personal basis after careful evaluation and selection. No mass shootings or bank heists.

On Island they love rifles. Fire arm sales boom. They are cruel enough to consider hunting animals a nice hobby. But they don’t shoot each other. Maybe they kill (!) their aggression on animals. Gun owners first get shooting lessons. Semi-automatic and military-style weapons are banned.

Switzerland hasn’t had a mass shooting in two decades. Some 8 million people there own some 2 million guns. The murder rate is about zero. Teenagers train there in shooting competitions. No killing involved. No military conflict since 1815. No enemy will invade. Too many arms around. Very strict gun laws. Been aggressive or drunk, no gun. No walking around with guns. They do have gun suicides as in all rich spoiled countries.

Japan sees some 10 shooting deaths a year in a population of 127 million. Owners must first pass a mental-health evaluation at a hospital, and a background check including interviews of friends and family members. No handguns, only shotguns and air rifles. The Japanese were known as the most vicious around. Losing a world war seems to help. (Ask Germany.)

In The Netherlands, murder is mainly the prerogative of the mafia. Ever since women are equal in number in the police force, much violence is diffused and prevented. This has a ripple effect on the whole of society.

So Much Can Be Done in the USA

. One of the Ten Commandments is against murder, not against all killing. Planning to kill someone is a category in itself. It must be taught properly.

. Restrictive gun laws seem to help most. Countries, that had authorities massively buy back weaponry, saw murder rates plummet too. So, those are the first two things that should happen in the US. But there’s more.

. The armed police must no longer interfere in cases of domestic disputes, or physical or emotional distress. Social workers are trained to do so.

. Life seems too cheap in the US. Besides getting most people out of jail (not the worst murderers), the US should abolish capital punishment. The laws to see if someone ‘deserves’ the death penalty are contradictory to Biblical Law. The Talmud explains that the judges had to try to exonerate every accused. If someone was still guilty, G^d could deal with him. It calls a court that convicted more than one person to death per 7 years: a bunch of murderers. And some Sages say that with more than one in 70 years! Also, death row is considered cruel and so are the ways the US executes.

. Eating less meat may help too in teaching that death is a horrible thing.

Next on the list to make life in the US more peaceful: uproot poverty and homelessness, free health insurance for all, a basic income, and real social security. No one who lost her or his job should feel that now life is over.

. Last but not least, history needs to be reevaluated. White America needs to admit, regret, disavow, mourn, and right the historic wrong of racism. In the same way, the American People needs to revisit its violent past. There is a need to deeply regret all the killing and bloodshed that drenched the foundation of the State. Stop denying and stop falsely blaming the Natives for having been vicious. From now on, the best hero is not someone who killed the most or got sacrificed, but someone who prevents bloodshed.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 2000 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe too, here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here:
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