Is “irony” the right word?

About the time my cousin George, who converted to Judaism (יהדות) upon his retirement from the State Department, was sending me (and others) an e-mail update about his rich experiences teaching and living in Haifa, Israel, a former “Grand Dragon” was going on a shooting spree at the Jewish Community Center and nearby retirement village in Kansas City.* The shooter killed three people.** Two were Methodists and one was Catholic.

The oldest victim was a physician and a grandfather who was taking his grandson, the second victim and a 14-year-old singing sensation, to an audition at the Center. The third victim was a Catholic woman who worked as an occupational therapist assisting the visually impaired. She was visiting her mother at Village Shalom. Thankfully, no Jews were killed or injured.

To any sane person, that the shooter set out to slaughter Jews but mistakenly ended up mowing down Christians stretches the meaning of irony to the breaking point. And that is a good thing.


*According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the shooter had gone to prison in the past on weapons charges after plotting robberies and the assassination of SPLC founder Morris Dees.

**It appears likely that the shooter will be charged federally under 18 U.S. Code § 249.

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