By Pastor Rasheed Z Baaith
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
Life is, as we know, a continuum of making choices. And these choices fall into categories like good, intelligent, right and wrong. What America is witnessing on behalf of the President and the majority of those elected to Congress is the making of choices that are everything but intelligent and right.
The President and many of those in Congress have made the choice of rather seeing children die from bullet wounds than limit the availability of weapons like the one used on the streets of our cities and at schools. Children are learning that when it comes to loving them and fearing the NRA, fear of the NRA will win every time.
Not that this is new information to our community. We have watched and wondered for years when will the national government do something to take weapons like the AR-15 and comparable guns out of the hands of killers, both young and old. From LA to Chicago to New Orleans to Miami to New York City to Fort Lauderdale and all points in between, children are dying from bullets. No president, including President Obama, made these deaths of our children a national issue. We need to ask why not? Is it a color thing? Is it economics or both?
But the greater question is when are we going to do something about it?
It has happened so frequently to our children, most people in-cluding a good number of us don’t even notice anymore. But I’m sure the residents of Parkland and the survivors of the massacre are in shock after what they’ve noticed. .
They’ve noticed a number of realities. They now know the community they live in, thought to be a safe haven is not really secure at all. They are shocked that despite who they are and where they live and the complexion of their skin, politicians are treating them and the deaths of their children and their friends the same way they have treated Black children and the daily deaths of their friends. That these horrific events are something inconsequential.
They are also shocked to learn that when it comes the man they knew as their School Resource Officer loved himself more than he loved them. Certainly more than his sworn duty.
A word about that deputy’s behavior has to be said. I have heard too many excuses for his cowardice. That he was out gunned, that he was following procedure or he was on the radio. I know this, if I was the guard or assigned protector of a school and you knew that and your child was killed at that school; when you saw me next, you would not want to hear any excuses.
You would want to know why didn’t I do my duty and try to save your child. Why didn’t I go in despite the odds? You would say to me did I not swear to put my life on the line to save other lives?
He knew the risks of the job when he took it. He knew being a policeman is a very dangerous occupation, especially in these times. He knew it and he stayed on the job. He was a 33 year veteran, so there are no excuses, none. He had a charge to keep that he did not keep.
Some may want to blame the Sheriff for the deputy’s behavior, and I guess a case could be made for that. But in the final analysis, it was the deputy not the Sheriff who put his life above the life of those children he had sworn to protect. He chose life for himself.
As for that nonsense, President Trump vomited about going into the school unarmed; there’s no need to even discuss it.