Community Voices

It seems the more people are killed, the more people want to kill

Young people talk after the procession carrying the body of Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus, who was killed in a mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill, left Los Robles Hospital on Thursday in Thousand Oaks, California. A dozen people have died including the sergeant plus the gunman.
Young people talk after the procession carrying the body of Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus, who was killed in a mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill, left Los Robles Hospital on Thursday in Thousand Oaks, California. A dozen people have died including the sergeant plus the gunman. Getty Images

If the latest shooting and killing of innocent people doesn’t send the message home that we need better gun control laws in America, I don’t know what will.

Again, a deranged gunman — identified as Ian David Long — entered a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, a place where people had gathered for fun and fellowship, and opened fire, killing 12.

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Bea L. Hines

I hate to say it, but incidents like this are becoming so common, you almost know that when you turn on your television there will be a news bulletin about another shooting. To say I am tired of such news is an understatement. The question is: What are we going to do about it? Being tired is not enough. It isn’t about taking away somebody’s gun rights. It’s about getting the guns out of the wrong hands. It’s about saving lives.

In thinking about the killings in random places, I want to believe that for the most part, Americans are of sound mind and are concerned about the well-being of our fellow humans. I want to think that we would have learned something from the previous shootings, and the pain they caused when loved ones were lost. But instead, it seems like there is little compassion among the masses and that the more people are killed, the more people want to kill.

We in America are living under a cloud of hatefulness. It’s everywhere — from the White House to the locals in the parks and the angry people on the roads. I was reminded of this when I watched the news conference on Wednesday at which President Trump insulted and cut off reporters as they tried to ask legitimate questions. Our president acted in a rude, angry and unpresidential way. Period.

Reporters are supposed to ask the hard questions. This spirit of hatefulness and disrespect makes it very hard for reporters to do their jobs. Is this not America? When did it become the law that certain questions are not to be asked of our leaders? If our leaders are not held accountable by being asked important, or hard questions, who do we ask? Where do we go for answers?

When our president does not set a good example — when he calls people despicable names — it spills over to the masses. Sick people then think they can be mean and hateful and murderous because of the example he sets. And I believe that such people believe they are doing our president and the nation a favor when they react violently. How sad that some have come to this conclusion.

I know that there are staunch supporters of our president. That’s the way it should be. After all, he is the president of the United States and we should respect him. However, we don’t have to agree with him on all subjects and actions. And that’s the way it should be, too. We are a free country, or supposed to be. When our leaders do something wrong, they should be called out.

It’s like being a parent who has an unruly child. Sure, you love your child and want the best for him or her. But a good parent would never stand by and watch their child doing wrong and never reprimand that youngster. It seems that to some people being the president means you can be as disrespectful and as unkind as you want.

Since before President Trump was elected, I listened to his rhetoric and was often shocked at what spilled from his mouth. I thought about his heart and what must be buried deep inside.

Remember when he said he could walk down the street and shoot someone and would still be elected? The Bible tells us that “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

He believes what he said and, sadly, so do some other folk.

‘Fulfilling the dream’

There has been a lot of celebration going on at New Way Fellowship Praise and Worship Church in Miami Gardens. And for a very good reason.

During September and October, the church recognized 43 years of dedicated service from Bishops Billy and Catherine P. Baskin to the church and community. Using the theme “Fulfilling the Dream”, the congregation showed its sincere appreciation to the Baskins for the work they have done. Throughout a week of Convocation services, which culminates 6 p.m. Sunday with a “Celebration of Service” banquet at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, 3300 SW 27th Ave. in Coconut Grove. The Baskins will officially retire as spiritual leaders of the church at the banquet.

During the Convocation services, speakers included the Rev. Mark Coats, who opened the convocation as the 7:30 a.m. speaker Nov. 4., with Bishop Billy Baskin speaking at the 11 a.m. service.

Other speakers were the Rev. Steven Caldwell, New Providence Missionary Baptist Church; the Rev. Alphonso Jackson II, Greater New Macedonia Baptist Church; and the Rev. Eric Jones of Koinonia Worship Center.

During the 10 a.m. service on Sunday, the Baskin family will render the service with a tribute to the bishops.

Pastoral anniversary

Congratulations are in order for the Rev. Dr. C. P. Preston Jr. on the occasion of his 32nd pastoral anniversary being celebrated at the 9:45 a.m. worship service on Sunday, with the Rev. Richard Howell and the congregation of New St. Mary’s Baptist Church of Ocala.

Preston, the spiritual leader of Peaceful Zion Missionary Baptist Church at 2400 NW 66th St., also serves as president of the Florida General Baptist State Convention.

Other anniversary services will be 9:45 a.m. Nov. 18, with the Rev. Dr. Robert Staley, Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, Pompano, Beach; and at 9:45 a.m. Nov. 25, with the Rev. Douglas Cook and the Jordan Grove Missionary Baptist Church family.

The anniversary services will culminate at 4 p.m. Nov. 25, with the Rev. Dr. W.M. Ramsey and Greater Providence Missionary Baptist Church of Oakland Park.

All services will be at Peaceful Zion. The community is invited.

Blessing of the Pets

A multi-faith Blessing of the Pets will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, in the parking lot of Killian Pines United Methodist Church, 10755 SW 112th St.

The event will be officiated by Pastor Michelle Shrader of Killian Pines and Rabbi Danny Marmorstein of Ahavat Olam, who will bestow blessings on the pets.

Everyone is invited. Call the church at 305-595-288 or the synagogue at 305-412-4240.

Kristallnacht commemoration

A solemn commemoration honoring the 80th anniversary of “Kristallnacht: The Night of Broken Glass” will be 6 p.m. Sunday at the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach, 1933-1945 Meridian Ave.

Holocaust survivor Henry Rosenthal, 92, of Delray Beach, who witnessed the devastation of Kristallnacht on Nov. 9, 1938, in Germany will be the keynote speaker. He was only 12 when he saw vicious mobs attacking Jews in the streets, in their homes and at their places of business. His own home in Oeventrop, Germany, was a target. Rosenthal was arrested and eventually transported to the Oranienburg concentration camp, where he was released a few days later. In 1941, he left his family in Germany and immigrated alone to the United States. His parents and other relatives perished in the Nazis’ Auschwitz death camp.

Other speakers will be Rabbi Ariel Yeshurun of Sky Lake Synagogue, Cantor Noman Falah of Temple Sinai and Holocaust survivors Andrew Hall and Allan Hall. Daniel Andai will perform Jewish musical interpretations on the violin. In case of rain, the event will be at Temple Beth Sholom, 4144 Chase Ave. in Miami Beach.

Veterans Day

The city of North Miami invites the community to a Veterans Day Ceremony and Family Day in the Park 10 a.m. Monday at Griffing Park, at Northeast 123rd Street and West Dixie Highway.

The event will include a family-style picnic and games for children. Bring your own lawn chair or blanket. Call 305-895-9840 for more information.