While students across the country marched in memory of those who died in Parkland, Fla., and for stricter gun laws, one Atlanta Jewish Academy student didn’t join in.
Eliana Goldin was a sophomore at AJA at the time of the walkout. She attended the portion of the event remembering the victims, including Rabbi Adam Starr reciting perek of Tehillim (a chapter of Psalms).
When the time came in the program to discuss stricter gun laws, however, Goldin didn’t feel comfortable participating. In her March 16 piece for the AJT, she explained some of the reasons.
She argued that stricter gun laws would not necessarily reduce the rate of shootings in the United States as criminals would still be able to find ways around the laws to obtain firearms. She also focused not on the guns, but on the people pulling the trigger.
“We live in a society that is devoid of love and acceptance,” Goldin wrote. “We are plagued with depression and anxiety — mental diseases that are so often disregarded as teens just being teens. We call each other bad names, bully one another in person and online, and brush it all aside as if bullying is something regular and normal.”
While students marched for 17 minutes in memory of the 17 victims of the crime and demanding new restrictions, Goldin and freshman Shayna Shapiro chose to learn Torah.
“I chose to stay true to my ideals and beliefs regarding the Second Amendment, and every day I continue to stay true to the idea that we can diminish violence by creating an environment of love,” Goldin wrote.
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