The shock waves of last week’s mass shooting at a Jewish community center in Los Angeles reached Baltimore almost instantly, and the repercussions still are reverberating.
Security at Jewish institutions around the community has, historically, been its top priority. For all of the safety measures that are routinely undertaken to prevent incidents such as last week’s tragedy, Jewish leaders are just as resolute in declining to discuss them publicly.
They may or may not have tightened them in response to the wakeup call of the shooting of five persons. That is top secret.
A spokesman for the Baltimore office of the FBI said thatjJewish organizations had been assured that
“the incident in California was an isolated act.”
At a bagel shop on Reistertown Road in Northwest Baltimore yester-
day, patrons talked about the tragedy. Wendy Grable, a young woman with a subtly strong demeanor, gestured toward the windows in the large room and noted how exposed the shop was. “It is sad and very scary,” she said. “You never know who is watching you and what their motives are. I have friends who have kids who go to [a nearby summer camp]. They are scared. It’s even worse that they are outside, playing. It’s sad to think like that, but you do.”
Grable said that the Jewish community has always been tight-knit, and one reason is a need for religious Jews to walk to synagogue on the Sabbath. While she did not know whether Jewish organizations were tightening security, she felt comfortable that “things were happening.”
Farnell noted that she recently had attended a flea market in a gritty city neighborhood, and she was surprised to see a table full of guns for sale.
“They don’t want to come to the city, but they will come to sell guns, right out in the open,” she said.
One person who requested anonymity wanted to send a message to the hate groups in America. “Tell them we have guns,” she said. “I have a friend who goes to gun shows just to let them know we are watching.”