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Empowering Kids Instead of Arming Them

By Robert C. Koehler Let’s open the classroom doors — all of them. Open up the schools, open up America, looking for the lost souls. “Woo hoo!” he shouted as he fired off his guns. By the time he was done, ten more people were dead. Eight students, two teachers. More sacred lives tossed to […] more

Two Prongs of a Pitchfork

By Robert C. Koehler Such gentle abhorrence! It almost doesn’t seem like racism. “But they’re also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States, into our modern society. They’re overwhelmingly rural people in the countries they come from — fourth, fifth, sixth grade educations are kind of the norm. They don’t speak English, […] more

Let the Prayer Continue

By Robert C. Koehler “. . . may all members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle. May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws but […] more

Peace and the Nuclear Paradox

By Robert C. Koehler Whenever the topic is nuclear weapons, I remain in a state of disbelief that we can talk about them “strategically” — that language allows us to maintain such a distance from the reality of what they do, we can casually debate their use. Consider, in the context of the sudden rush […] more

Can We Unlock the Golden Door?

By Robert C. Koehler Around 9 a.m., a helicopter began circling overhead. Moments later, as Jonathan Blitzer wrote recently in the New Yorker, a fleet of cars pulled up outside the meat-processing plant in Bean Station, Tenn. . . . And the SS guys stepped out. Oh wait, I mean the ICE agents, who swarmed […] more

Playing War in Syria

By Robert C. Koehler Donald Trump got “presidential” again and fired about $150 million worth of cruise missiles at Syria, accomplishing God knows what. Meanwhile, the United States, in its humanitarian largesse, has so far allowed 11 Syrian refugees into the country this year, of the more than 5 million external refugees the country’s civil […] more

Lynchings Past and Present

By Robert C. Koehler When history is looked at in its complexity, it plays havoc with the present moment. “This wasn’t done by the Klan, or people who had to wear a mask. This was done by teachers and clergy and law enforcement officers.” This is Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative, talking to […] more

Rethinking the Whole Country

By Robert C. Koehler Repeal and replace? How about the Second Amendment? “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Setting aside the antique strangeness of the wording, isn’t it time to give thought to the values […] more

Change Is Coming

By Robert C. Koehler The cries of loss and anguish become public, at last. A million young people seize the truth: “Half of my seventh grade class was affected by gun violence. My own brother was shot in the head. I am tired of being asked to calm down and be quiet.” The stories went […] more

Normalizing Violence

By Robert C. Koehler Addressing the Parkland shootings last month, and the apparent emergence of a movement for tougher, saner gun laws that has followed, a USA Today article asked: “What has been so different from all the other mass shootings over the years?” In one sense, this is a reasonable question. Why now? Why […] more