By The Reporter staff
Jonathan Karp, a professor in the History and Judaic Studies Departments at Binghamton University, won a Syracuse Press Club award for his opinion piece “A "death gratuity" for shooting victims,” which appeared in The Reporter. He was awarded second place in the All Print: Best Editorial category. (To read the editorial, visit www.thereportergroup.org/past-articles/opinion-articles/opinion-stream/a-death-gratuity-for-shooting-victims.)
“I’m very happy that Jon is being recognized for his wonderful oped,” said Rabbi Rachel Esserman, executive editor of The Reporter. “He wrote a few lines explaining his idea on Facebook and I thought it would make an excellent column for our pages. I’m pleased that the Syracuse Press Club agreed.”
Karp noted, “The idea behind the editorial was both serious and satirical. If we accept the current Supreme Court’s extremist interpretation of the Second Amendment as the nearly absolute right of individuals to bear arms, including military-style weapons, then we need to treat mass shooting victims the way we treat American soldiers killed in defense of the Constitution: by providing their families with monetary reparation – known as a ‘death gratuity.’ My point is to show the absurdity, but also the fundamental injustice, of the absolutist gun rights position, where the loved-ones of shooting victims, whose deaths make possible this so-called right to own AR-15s, are not compensated for their sacrifice. I wanted to stir readers up to think differently about the price for gun rights we are being unfairly asked to pay.”
Karp also coordinates the College of Jewish Studies and is the undergraduate director of Judaic studies at the university. From 2010-13, he served as executive director of the American Jewish Historical Society.