My Dad, Col. Simeon Wilson, alav ha-shalom, was a world class marksman. He rated “superior” on every weapon that the Army issued 1932-1962, including “Pistol-M,” mounted on horseback.
He kept three weapons and ammunition at home: .45 caliber pistol, .38 police revolver, and 9 mm German Luger that my Uncle Harry brought home from WWI. The first two were work-related and the Luger was a keepsake, but no fancy overloaded clips or killer modifications for any of the arms.
As a kid, I knew precisely where he kept his weapons and their ammunition. It was not a secret.
But, my parents lovingly trained me to be a well-behaved, obedient boy — sometimes with candy and sometimes with the stick. And so my kids are to me.
A repeated element of our training was to be “SCARED” of weapons. Not “respectful,” nor “forbidden fruit,” but blood-draining “SCARED.” There were bogeymen lurking in his dresser drawer, each one hiding a mortal sin, and dire consequence for even touching them without supervised permission.
They were truly loving, caring parents, but they were still capable of swift punishment, inculcated me through adulthood to be “SCARED” of weapons, and nothing less. Through no-nonsense parenting, they have molded my conscience to observe not “gun control” but to be abjectly terrified of the dire consequences thereof.
So, here is the ultimate antidote to young, and not so young, men fiddling around with lethal weapons until something twisted snaps and murder with regularity ensues: Columbine, Las Vegas, Sandy Hook, Orlando, Charleston, now Sutherland Springs, and all the tragic rest.
The resolution to ending the killing sprees is unequivocal, loving, persistent, positive parenting. It was the kind my folks gave me, the kind that teaches, candy and stick, to fear weapons and “death-making.” Otherwise, we must rely by default on largely ineffective school, church, neighborhood, youth groups or, God forbid, the schoolyard and gangs. Forget about the vigilance “practiced” by the NRA. It is like feeding chickens to the foxes.
Get deficient parents into parenting classes. I have taught them in inner-city communities. The results aren’t perfect, but they are stunning. Linda has had the same experience with the same uncanny results.
To be sure, there are too many parents incapable of caring, loving, positive parenting. But neither are they blind: All the young murderers have unimaginable stashes of weapons, ammo, and manuals. So, go into their bedrooms and see for yourself, and preside over their disposal. You would do the same for drugs. Wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you? And if your kid manifests any form of “mental instability,” you will know that too, and you will seek help for him before the illness explodes.
Make your kids “SCARED” of weapons. But, at the same time,vigilant, affirmative parenting is only part of the solution. Nontheless, it will still stop many young murderers before time runs out. It might one day even save your own kid’s life.
“Halavi” we say in Hebrew, “Dear God, may it only be so.”
WILUDI (Marc Wiludjanski-Wilson) is a retired rabbi who writes from Greenville, SC. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.