Never Again? Why are most American Jews ignoring history and today's reality?
Preliminaries – my first two essays on gun control:
A Very Personal Opposition to Gun Control (approaching 13K views!)
Gun Control as Psycho-Pathology (annoyingly languishing at < 1000 views)
AND SO I BEGIN…
Earlier this year was the holiday of Purim in which we Jews celebrate our triumph and survival in ancient Persia. It’s mainly a kids’ holiday; like many Synagogues ours had a carnival with games, tickets, prizes, face painting, food (a local shop made falafel and it was amazing – even my normally-finicky progeny liked it!)… it’s a fun day. A lot of preparation and work for the adults, but the kids always have a blast – so it’s worth it.
Naturally, I carried concealed. Which I do every time when I’ve got the kids at a Jewish-themed event. One person noticed – side note to myself: have to get an IWB holster and a longer vest – and asked if I was crazy bringing a gun into the Synagogue. My reply?
“Open doors and oodles of Jewish kids. This is a target rich environment if someone wanted to do something bad.”
They paused and thought for several seconds, then said, “You’re right.”
MY EVOLUTION ON GUNS
In a very early essay (links, bolding, and italics in the original) I discussed my awakening and mind-change about guns:
I was living in the Midwest when my police officer neighbor remarked that I should get a gun for self-defense. Having been raised, all my life, to believe that civilian gun ownership was wrong, it shocked me to my core that – of all people – a cop was telling me this.
Unlike most Leftists – and have no doubt that I still was one – I didn’t dismiss this as a flier data point stated by a knuckledraggingslopedforeheadredneck, but rather it made me think those great two words that often stand at the threshold of a new insight: That’s weird…
I started to pay more attention to the ads being put forth by the gun control lobby; data that, hitherto for, I had accepted at face value because they matched what I already thought (i.e., confirmation bias). I wrote to the NRA and what was then Handgun Control Inc. I would follow up with requests for more information on specific topics; e.g., I’d get something from one side, so I’d write the other side for their data on the same topic. I wrote to the researchers whose works were being cited to ask follow-up questions based on their works (most responded!). And I’d cross-check, compare, and lo and behold, I realized something very fundamental – something that, of course, the Rightward side already knows: In virtually every instance, the NRA was far more accurate and complete in its picture.
One egregious example was this famous ad by gun controllers (multiple versions exist). Utterly convincing on its gut-reaction face, upon considered reflection I realized it did not normalize for the population size. Just that fact alone made me suspicious; years later I heard the phrase “Local instability means global instability” as related to my career – the same holds true for propaganda: once a side is shown to be not just biased (after all, every side puts forth information sympathetic to its argument!), but outright deceptive, all credibility falls away. I, like most people, have a strong aversion to being intentionally lied to.
As a result of this revelation, not only did I switch from being a ban-them-all gun controller, but it was one of the defining moments in my move away from the Left and towards the Right.
MISSING BRANCHES AND A LESSON TO BE LEARNED
I, like most Jews in this world, have missing branches in my family tree “thanks” to the Shoah (Holocaust). As do many peoples across the world; e.g. Stalin starved 1/3 of my wife’s ethnic group to death.
Given the evil that has befallen us, not to mention innumerable other target groups, The Shtetl Mentality of so many Jews seems baffling – but then, maybe not (bolding added):
This brings us to the shtetl mentality. Before the existence of the state of Israel ever since the diaspora Jews have lived in small areas of other people's countries. Among American Jews this now typically means great grandparents who lived in shtetls or ghettos, segregated, isolated rural or urban areas in Europe. One of the major hazards of this situation was that occasionally a few Cossacks would get drunk, ride over to the nearest shtetl, rape a few women, maybe murder a man who protested rather than begging for his life and then ride off into the sunset, big fun... for the Cossacks.
It had to be inescapably clear to these Jews that there were dozens if not hundreds of them, able-bodied and sober, surely a match for 8 or 10 drunk Cossacks. It would have been easy, even for people not trained in arms, to kill them and bury them someplace, but it is obvious why they did not. If they had done so, all the Cossacks would have come to the shtetl fully armed for battle. They would have massacred every Jew in this shtetl and every other one within 100 versts. Defense was just not an option, not a survival trait. The women raped and the men murdered had to be seen as the price Jews paid for living, for surviving as a people. Since no Jew ever even remotely considered the possibility that without some major provocation someday the Cossacks would try to kill them all, it seemed like a reasonable if awful compromise.
Such a compromise must have taken a devastating and horrific psychological toll on the people forced to make it. Sooner or later someone among our traumatized ancestors had to make the following rationalization to justify this situation: "We are better than those people because they are violent and we are not. They handle weapons, and we do not." In order to maintain self-respect people in such a condition had to explain it as the result of something that made them better than their oppressors. This was the notion that they voluntarily (rather than of necessity as was the actual case) eschewed the use of weapons of any sort because they understood that violence was evil while their tormentors did not. It was the key to survival, self-respect and eventually the shtetl mentality which American Jews, far removed from the shtetl, still carry with them despite the fact that it has long since lost its utility.
I think the author’s nailed it, for in multiple conversations I’ve had with family members, the “we’re better people” argument has come up time and again. They forget the hard reality of history (accurate, even if from fiction):
“Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers
BUT SOME HAVE LEARNED
Groups like Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership have made very clear that one of the enablers of genocide is a disarmed population. Other Jewish groups have also chimed in, like The Zelman Partisans and Jews Can Shoot – anyone I’m missing?
From ancient history onward some Jews have understood the very, very clear cost of disarmament; David Nahban: Gun control – where science has no business treading (Daily Mail Opinion) (bolding added):
Rome, also, was a great proponent of disarmament — for everyone else, of course. Ancient authors have chronicled the frenetic attempts by Jews to rectify their awful mistake and manufacture weapons after having surrendered their arms to Roman proconsuls.
This Pax Romana didn’t just descend on Jews alone, but upon hundreds of other ethnicities too. The indomitable Caledonian leader Calgacus, who refused to disarm and accept the benefits of Roman civilization, has given us a pithy truism from 2,000 years ago: “they make a desert and call it peace.”
But read the whole thing as it chronicles time after time after time where a disarmed people learns, bloodily, the cost of losing the ability to resist. An armed citizenry, ready to respond, is the best defense a nation, or a people, can have against enemies foreign and domestic.
(HT EvilBloggerLady’s article “Self Defense is Smart...and Sexy” – IDF cheesecake alert for those faint of heart)
And contrary to the Shtetl mentality, self defense is – absolutely – religiously justifiable; The Torah and Self-Defense (bolding added):
This article surveys the Torah's teachings on the right and the duty to defend oneself and others. Part II examines the Book of Genesis, in particular, the "Jewish natural law" which was given to Noah, and the story of Abraham, the patriarch of the Jewish people. Part III studies Moses and the Exodus of the Hebrew people from Egypt. Part IV looks at Torah laws regarding home defense against burglars, and the duty of bystanders to rescue third parties who are being attacked by a "pursuer." The examination of the Torah laws includes analysis of the extensive Jewish scholarly commentary on the Torah. Part V turns to the Sixth Commandment, whose language "Thou shalt not kill," has been frequently, but implausibly, misconstrued as a prohibition on self-defense. The article concludes that the Torah clearly creates a right and a duty to defend oneself and others.
TWO KINDS OF JEWS
But if you ask a majority of American Jews that question, the answer will be the same:
That can’t happen here.
One kind of Jew, like myself, are prepared to not let ourselves or our children get mowed down – at least, not without a fight; God and Guns in the Synagogue:
In synagogues across America, the teachers, actuaries and small businessmen rising early for morning prayers are preparing for a mass shooting attack. Every synagogue I have been to lately has members who carry concealed firearms. Members are attending security courses, training to identify, disarm or kill active shooters, while also preparing for the ugly aftermath of another synagogue massacre.
While others prepare to don kneepads to, once again, fellate The State for protection:
When Moskowitz had previously proposed allowing congregants in New York City to carry guns, he met with a cold response from local Democrats.
“We need fewer, not more, guns on the street, period,” City Councilman Mark Levine had insisted. “This would make us less safe, not more safe.”
Even the Left-leaning Haaretz is noticing that Jews are waking up again to the threat:
In the six years since Stern started the academy, demand for firearms training had never been higher than after Saturday’s attack. Hundreds of interested students contacted Stern in the last 72 hours. All but three or four were Jewish.
Though the tone, as I read it, is cluck-cluck-clucking with disapproval. I reply by asking how dare anyone, Jew or Gentile alike, be so cowardly?
One who values his life and takes seriously his responsibilities to his family and community will possess and cultivate the means of fighting back, and will retaliate when threatened with death or grievous injury to himself or a loved one. He will never be content to rely solely on others for his safety, or to think he has done all that is possible by being aware of his surroundings and taking measures of avoidance. Let's not mince words: He will be armed, will be trained in the use of his weapon, and will defend himself when faced with lethal violence.
This disarmament push is becoming especially critical for Jews in Europe as the governments in Western Europe clearly value the new people over the established peoples; How gun control is causing another European Holocaust (bolding added):
It is very much like the 1930s for Jews in Europe: Jewish businesses smashed, synagogues attacked, Jews killed for being Jewish. The main difference is that instead of Nazi gangs doing the killing, it is radical Muslims. Jews are no longer safe in Europe.
Why should this concern you? Because if you're living in America, you're next. President Obama has imported three hundred thousand Iraqi "refugees" and is in the process of importing thousands more Syrian ones. Most of the refugees are Muslim, and if they are typical of the Muslims of the region, a substantial minority are followers of radical Islam. As we get more and more of them, America will become less and less safe.
When you look at the two trends together – increased gun control and a larger and larger population of hostile Muslims – you can see why we're only a few years behind Europe.
Now, this; Man tries to run down Jews leaving Los Angeles synagogue (link in original):
A security camera video shows the driver trying to run down the two men leaving the Bais Yehuda Shul, and then reversing and trying to hit them again, CBS LA reported. The victims wore clothing typically worn by Orthodox Jews on Shabbat. The driver also reportedly shouted anti-Semitic epithets at them. He was stopped when his car ran a stop sign and slammed into another vehicle.
“Why he chose us? Probably because of the yarmulkes on our heads,” one of the victims told CBS.
The terrorist specifically screamed Allahu akhbar! – the Islamic war cry – while intentionally targeting Jews. Here. In America. This is the same demographic the Left wants more of… and American Jews cozy up to the increasingly anti-Semitic Left (a multi-part and ongoing series) and scream to be disarmed – disarmed in the face of an ascending Left with an openly anti-Jew constituency that is growing both by population and ideology spread. Yeah, give up your guns; The State will protect you...
Instead, take up arms. Learn to shoot. Even a .22 is better than an empty hand when you are attacked. Ultimately, let history – again – be the guide:
19 Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!” 20 So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plow points, mattocks, axes and sickles[a] sharpened. 21 The price was two-thirds of a shekel[b] for sharpening plow points n mattocks, and a third of a shekel[c] for sharpening forks and axes and for repointing goads.
King Shaul and his son, Yonatan, were said to have received spears from G-d to preserve Israel and maintain freedom and independence. How dare we – how dare we – not take up arms now to be ready to fight to preserve G-d’s twin gifts: life and liberty?
(Buy the bumper sticker! The real thing too, of course.)
I’d sooner French-kiss a rattlesnake than trust a Democrat.
© 2018, NITZAKHON