On Saturday morning, a man opened fire in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, massacring 11 Jewish worshipers. The devastating news closed a week of violent threats. Throughout the week high profile figures associated with the Democratic party — including the Clintons, the Obamas, George Soros, and Rep. Maxine Waters — received explosive devices in the mail. Another explosive device was sent to CNN. Luckily, none of the devices exploded.
Responding to the events of the week, political cartoonists have expressed concerns with the response of President Trump.
Armed guards or metal detectors in houses of worship?
Following the massacre in Pittsburgh, Trump told reporters that "if they [Tree of Life Synagogue] had protection inside, the results would have been far better." Trump said the gun control has "little to do with it [the shooting]" and that "this is a case where, if they had an armed guard inside, they might have been able to stop him immediately."
Florida Cartoonist Ed Hall responded to Trump's that more guns in places of worship could prevent another tragedy.
Earlier this year, Philadelphia Inquirer editorial cartoonist Signe Wilkinson questioned the idea of metal detectors as a part of church services. She re-shared the cartoon on social media after news broke about the Pittsburgh shooting.
The MAGA van
Trump and his supporters argue that there's no connection between the president's rhetoric and acts of violence, but many cartoonists drew the line between the two after seeing the van belonging to Cesar Sayoc, who has been charged with sending explosive devices to prominent Democrats. Sayoc's van is covered in Make America Great Again posters, images of the president, the vice president, and stickers praising the GOP for tackling immigration..
The President’s rhetoric
Some cartoonists chose directly to criticize the president's explosive language for its contribution in inciting violence.
One of the most powerful cartoons about the synagogue massacre came from Pittsburgh based cartoonists Rob Rogers. Rogers was fired by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette earlier this year following disagreements with his editors over his criticism of Trump. On Sunday morning, Rogers tweeted a cartoon which compares the shooting in Tree of Life synagogue to Kristallnacht — the night of the broken glass — in which gangs of Germans vandalized synagogues all over Berlin in 1938. Kristallnacht symbolizes an escalation in the Nazi's treatment of Jews and is often considered the first act of the Holocaust.