Eight months ago, following the lethal shooting at the Chabad of Poway, California, I called for American Jews to immediately arm themselves en masse.
After the horrific events of this past weekend, it is now time to renew — and to amplify — that call.
It is no secret that non-Orthodox American Jews tend to disproportionately support the Democratic Party. There are numerous reasons for this, with the bastardization of Torah-true Judaism into “tikkun olam”-inspired social justice claptrap chief among them. Accordingly, American Jews — who also disproportionately live in geographically tight-knit urban or suburban areas — tend to be among the least-armed members of the American polity. A 2005 American Jewish Committee study revealed that just 13% of Jewish homes reported owning a gun — less than one-third of the percentage of non-Jewish homeowners.
Contemporary American Jewish disdain — perhaps outright hostility — to gun rights is deeply ahistorical, as Second Amendment activist Yehuda Remer explained earlier today here at The Daily Wire. As Yehuda wrote, “Jews have a long and storied history of being fierce warriors — not vulnerable sheep.” The story of Chanukah, a holiday that ends this evening, certainly comes to mind. Ditto the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. There are a myriad other examples.
But history lessons aside, the collective lack of American Jewish intimacy with firearms is also a moral travesty. And it is a travesty that simply must be remedied.
A Jew who is trained, armed, and proficient in the use of firearms is necessarily a Jew who the anti-Semites fear the most — which makes this Jew the very best kind of Jew. This is a Jew who is ready, willing, and able, if need be, to heed the Talmudic principle that one must rise to take the life of someone who is trying to take his/her own life. This is a Jew who, while praying in shul, is trained and prepared to act like the Texan heroes of West Freeway Church of Christ. This is a Jew who is physically capable and emotionally prepared to take down an active shooter, if need be.
It is the Jew who fought back against the SS shepherding Jews to their deaths via cattle car. It is the fighting Jew — the Maccabean Jew.
I live in Texas, and it is hardly the least bit unusual for Jews here to pack heat while attending synagogue or attending any other kind of Jewish-themed event. But the reality is that even for Jews who live in blue state jurisdictions with heavy gun regulations, it is oftentimes still possible to secure a coveted concealed carry permit — or at least purchase a weapon to secure home and hearth. I personally know people who obtained carry permits while living in Chicago. Legally purchasing a firearm in Rockland County, New York, home to the recently besieged Monsey, also does not appear to be too terribly burdensome.
It is wholly appropriate for us to demand concrete action, and not mere grandstanding, from those politicians who have allowed this despicable resurgence of the world’s oldest bigotry to fester under their watch. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio should both be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for their tepid responses, to-date, for what is rapidly metastasizing into a full-blown epidemic.
But ultimately, the imperative is on each individual Jew to be the guardian of his/her own security. Why on Earth would Jews, the most systemically persecuted group of humans to have ever lived, delegate responsibility for their own lives to third-party actors?
As I wrote back in April: “Jews, who for millennia have been demographic minorities in every land except for the modern State of Israel itself, ought to be uniquely willing and eager to take advantage of the protections secured by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. … Jews who were properly armed instead of forced to live at the behest of gun-grabbing tyrannical oppressors could have better resisted any number of pogroms and atrocities committed throughout history.”
Do not be a Hellenized Jew; be a Maccabee. Do not be a sheep; be a sheepdog. Do not be a victim; be a hero.
Arm and train yourselves. Now.