Guns & anti-Semitism: a behind-the-scenes look at the Kansas City shooting

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“Anti-Semitism has not and will not die if people like this still exist,” said junior Josh Weil.

Could we please have a moment of silence for the deceased?

Now, can we take another moment for the families involved?

Amen.

April 13, 2014, will now be a day of mourning for some and one of fear for others. At a Jewish living community in the Greater Kansas City area, a man in his early 70s killed three people in what initially seemed to be a random attack.

It was not.

Around 1 p.m., residents of the community were questioned by the attacker as to whether they were “Jewish.” After many such encounters, the assailant unloaded his shotgun and directed his pistol towards those in his vicinity.

Shortly after releasing a barrage of bullets, he was arrested by police. In his moment of defeat, the shooter made one more sinister gesture and proceeded to yell, “Heil Hitler,” from the back of a police car before the sound of sirens drowned out the carnage left behind.

Three victims lay at the scenes when police arrived: William Lewis Corporon and Reat Underwood at the community center and Terri LaManno at the Village Shalom senior living facility, none of whom were Jewish.

Corporon, a physician, was taking Underwood, his grandson, to a singing audition before the two were fatally struck by bullets while in their car. LaManno was visiting her mother before she was shot and pronounced dead at the scene.

The man capable of the atrocities committed is Frazier Glenn Cross. A known white supremacist and former Grand Dragon of the North Carolina division of the Ku Klux Klan, Cross has a history of violence.

“I learned that this same guy was involved in the Greensboro Massacre,” said senior Sol Weiner. “If the authorities weren’t complicit in the incident, then this could have been avoided.”

Cross has had a history of racism, specifically anti-Semitism. As a member of the KKK, Cross served prison time due to his involvement in the Greensboro Massacre. During this time, he took the time to write “A White Man Speaks Out,” a biography that details his time as a member of what he claims to be “the purest organization on the planet.”

According to the BBC, Cross tried his hand in politics on multiple occasions, using anti-Semitism as a platform for change.

Despite a handful of indications of Cross’ potential for violence, he was freed and allowed to kindle his hatred of minority groups.

“It’s scary to think that anti-Semitism still exists, but it also  scares me that events like this are used in discussions to justify Israel’s existence,” said junior Sara Minsky.

As wounds heal and memories linger in Kansas City, Americans — not just members of the Jewish community — hope for an end to ethnic violence.

“All that we can do now is move on and hope to stop these types of evil against our people in what we call the ‘land of the free,’” said Weil.