Back East, in a Pittsburgh synagogue—Tree of Life Congregation, it was called—eleven people lay dead, their crumpled bodies cool and stiff. Hours later they had been celebrating the most joyous of occasions, a bris—a ceremony to mark a child’s birth.
It was a chilly morning, just 43 degrees, and a light rain was falling, when a man burst in, his finger on the trigger of an AR-15-style assault rifle.
In case that wasn’t enough to polish off the parents, grandparents and others who had come to celebrate a new life, he also had at least three handguns. Shouting anti-Semitic slurs, he began firing.
It was 9:53, and when the alleged assailant was done, in addition to the dead, six others—including four police officers (good guys with guns) and two others—had also been shot.
Later, an FBI agent, Robert Jones, called it the “most horrific crime scene” he had ever seen in his 22 years with the bureau. The victims, he said, were “brutally murdered by a gunman targeting them simply because of their faith.”
And here was the president of the United States, that very afternoon, with the nation stunned by yet another senseless massacre—in a house of God no less—cracking a joke about his hair. ##