I’ve just returned from another visit to New York City. I was there to celebrate with my family, the holiday of Passover, the redemption of the Hebrews from slavery in ancient Egypt. The night before we were to begin the festivities, breaking news came over the air waves. Jews had been targeted outside Kansas City. Many questions can now be raised about the man who perpetrated these crimes; Since he had been previously indicted on weapons charges, in 1987, how did he get the guns used in these crimes? As a known white supremacist in the area, why was no one able to prepare for and stop the suspect, prior to his attacks. But as we watched the details unfold, these were not my questions.
I asked my family, “When will our people learn that we are sitting ducks?”
My family didn’t argue with me on this. They agreed that there are plenty of groups around America who hate Jews, let alone the world. We know, all too well, that they have acted on this hatred and will act again. I asked them, “are we just too interested in playing the role of the victim to actually get up and do something about this?” My family actually seemed a bit offended by this question. I was glad. I don’t think anyone wants to be called a “victim”.
They responded, “We always have guards stationed outside our synagogues and community centers…” To this I said sarcastically, “Great! So they can check my purse as I walk in? I am a member/ticket holder to that synagogue, why can’t I defend myself while there?” (Of corse this would bring us to the issue of NYC gun laws, and since that was not my point, I changed my approach quickly…)
Jewish law is very clear on the “preservation of life”. Killing is wrong, it’s in the basic ten. However, a lesser quoted concept that’s also in the teachings, is that of self defense. “Halacha”, Jewish laws, clearly state that if you know someone is coming to kill you, it is not only your responsibility to prepare, but you should kill him first. Knowing this, I posed the question to my family: Why do American Jews pick and chose laws that eventually put us in harms way? Do we need more proof than a known anti-Semite spraying a Jewish community center with buck shot?
As more information comes out about the crimes in Overland Park, KS and we came to understand that none of the vicitims were actually Jewish, a new question came to my mind: “How can anyone not prepare when we know that there are hate-filled people out there, waiting to attack?”
I’m sorry to say this, but the Jews in NY are NOT going to do much!! They have been supporting Schumer and won’t do much!!! They will continue to be Liberal and ignore what the Left is doing to Israel!!
I agree, but I’m not going to give up on them. Those who I’ve been able to reach have come a long way and I reach more and open more minds with every visit. It’s a small change, but it IS a change. As for Israel, American Jews should take a page from the Israeli play book and stop fearing the idea of fighting back. They also need to accept that there can be no “liberal” policy when it comes to Israel’s defense.
I support your efforts and commitment to “not give up”. With that said, in my experience, do not expect many, if any, to change their views, or take ANY steps to protect themselves.
There is a healthy dose of Ostrich in the DNA of the human race. If it is unpleasant, just bury your head in the sand, and it will go away (good luck with that).
“course” in the third paragraph, last sentence is spelled incorrectly- needs a “u.”
How did he get the firearms . . . . (did I really read that?) anyway, a known WS in the area, how come he wasn’t stopped? How was he supposed to be stopped? Do we assign agents to tail people who are FREE citizens in the USA? If we are not incarcerated, are we not Free to walk the streets where we please? Where did the system fail with regard to this man and the actions he took? I believe 100% in the right to bear arms, to carry in ALL states anywhere you are with limited restricted zones (less than todays laws attempt to enforce). However, this will not prevent acts such as this from taking place. If this individual was determined to carry out this attack, even with an assigned tail, they could have been able to carry out the act. As much as it would be nice to envision, the possibility of all people accepting the beliefs and culture of others is highly improbable. As for those of Judaic belief being against defending themselves, I doubt it is any more true than that of any other race, faith or political following. I know plenty Jewish folks that are behind the right to bear and that do own & carry. I also know plenty non-Jewish people who support the right to bear and do not carry outside their home. Bottom line, in the USA the belief is we are entitled to protect ourselves from harm, not only with reference to the controversial 2nd Amendment, but because it is a human birth right. The real question and the question that goes round and round decade after decade; who has the right to limit my rights and when are they infringing on them? Arming all who are psychologically sound and legally allowed to carry, is no more an answer than disarming the population.
Being a white supremacist doesn’t preclude him from being able to purchase a firearm. After all, hating Jews, blacks, or anyone else and saying so else isn’t a crime (1st Amendment). His indictment means nothing until he’s actually found guilty (6th Amendment). Those two things together nullify the effectiveness of universal background checks. Beyond that, he wasn’t a criminal until he started shooting up the place, so he wasn’t “stopped” (4th Amendment). Because of all of those things, he was able to buy a gun (2nd Amendment).
I think this is a perfect example of the Constitution at work. We must ALWAYS adhere to its tenets, especially when they result in outcomes we don’t like.
He actually had a felony conviction.
Yeah, that’s true. I’ve also read he got a plea deal, was accepted into the witness protection program, got a new name, ID, social security number etc. Which means he was free to buy guns legally after passing NICS. Like he couldn’t have gotten a gun otherwise/anyway, right?
California has had “universal” background check law since 1990. If there is a single, solitary “prohibited person” anywhere in California who wants a gun and can’t get one, Diane Feinstein, Mike Bloomberg, Chuck Schumer and the Brady Center have never been able to find him.
Prohibition didn’t stop people from buying booze, War On Drugs never stopped anyone from buying weed. Laws against prostitution never stopped anyone from renting a whore. Laws against gambling never stopped anyone from playing the numbers with the neighborhood bookie.
Gun law has never stopped a criminal from getting guns. They aren’t intended to. Gun laws are only designed and intended to discourage decent people from having guns.
Jews now have to register in ukraine or have their property confiscated …prelude to kristalnact. I cannot understand Jews continued endorsement of the muslim potus????
This is a really good article written by Eric King and published in the Jewish Daily FORWARD right after the Heller decision. I’m a bit surprised the Forward published it but they did and it’s excellent.
I understand the collectivist/passive mindset which allowed (most) Jews to survive in other peoples’ countries for 2000 years. Jews should have abandoned that mindset the day the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising started, certainly by the day the modern state Of Israel was founded and recognized by the U.N. A lot Jews did abandon that mindset. We know them as Israelis.
Most American Jews haven’t figured it out yet.
Actually, killing isn’t in the basic ten, a more accurate interpretation is “murder.” Killing by and in itself is a conditional situation, if it makes you feel any better.
Gabby; I have the same argument with family and friends every time something similar happens to Jews anywhere. It has never sunk in, will never sink in, I’m sorry to say. They all consider me the family or shul right wing gun nut.
Remember, NY Jews are NY Jews, they are NOT Israelis!! BIG DIFFERENCE!!
Actually, my family is both. Sigh…
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