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Shooting at the Holocaust Museum in Washington

The Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. opened in 1993 as a memorial to the Jewish victims of the Nazi persecution during World War II. The museum contains belongings of some of the victims, film footage of witnesses, testimony of the atrocities committed by the Nazis, and pictures of the ghettos, gas chambers, and detention camps. The museum is a gruesome place that serves to remind us of the malice that one person can inflict on another.

On June 10, 2009, an 88-year old man who had a record as a white supremacist, brought a rifle into the museum and shot a guard. The shooter was immediately shot by security staff, thus preventing further chaos. At the time, there were many school children touring the museum and they fortunately escaped injury due to the fast action of the security staff.

In trying to find the motivation for the shooting, the news media have reported that the shooter had a long history of writing hateful racist and anti-Semitic diatribes, and that he had been arrested in 1981 for entering a Federal building with a handgun and a shotgun for the purpose of holding hostage the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board so that he could voice his opinions through the news media.

How is it that someone who emanates so much hatred and who has shown dangerous tendencies is free to walk the streets? It is equally incomprehensible that Muslims, Christians, and Jews should hate each other, given that the Biblical patriarch Abraham established the principles of monotheism practiced by all three religions. Frequently, Christians often forget that Jesus himself was Jewish. Is a harmonious world too much to hope for?

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