As a member of the Jewish community who spent the first 45 years of his life living in the city of Pittsburgh and the past 18 years in three suburban homes, I read with particular interest the Jan. 31 article “Thinking Suburbs: Jewish communities with distinct identities.”
The story notes the increasing number of Jews who have taken up residence outside of the city for fine schools and affordable housing, to which I say, “Bingo!”
I respect the decision made by many who choose to enjoy the conveniences of city living and who feel that it is worth the cost, but my wife, my 10-year-old stepson and I feel that we have hit the jackpot in our current Peters Township community. We have a fine home with more than triple the lot size that I had in my last Squirrel Hill residence. We are off the beaten track, but reside well under a mile from favorite stores and restaurants to which walking is possible. We live in a community with one of the area’s top school districts. We pay a 1% wage tax versus 3% in Pittsburgh, and our real estate taxes are relatively low. The distance to my synagogue, city cultural events and our beloved PNC Park is not prohibitive. For us, the best decision all around was to find suburban joy.
I find fault with the fact that the Chronicle felt the need to list congregations and their firearms policy (“Gun policies vary widely among Pittsburgh congregations,” Jan. 31). The mere mentioning of which congregations allow or do not allow firearms was wrong.
The criminal will go where they feel the least chance of resistance or they have a perceived advantage. Many schools, malls and government buildings are no-gun zones and thus a favorite target for the shooters. By mentioning which shuls don’t allow firearms is an open invitation for a criminal to act.
By the same token, writing which congregations allow firearms places them in danger as they have lost the element of surprise. In Poway, California, confronting the shooter saved lives. In the Texas church, good guys with a gun stopped the mass killing that could have occurred. There are statistics bearing out the fact that an armed citizen shooting back will save lives.
By writing about which shuls do and do not allow firearms, we are putting all of those congregations at higher risk. Someone scanning the internet can easily find a target to act upon based on this article. The best policy is “Don’t ask don’t tell”! Our congregations need a tactical advantage at all times.
Upper St. Clair
Rodef Shalom gun policy
I am so pleased to see in your article that Rodef Shalom has adopted the policy that no one other than trained security personnel is permitted to bring a weapon onto the premises. I suggest that they wear regular clothes not uniforms. One policeman at the door could wear his uniform.