Throughout Jewish history, Jews have been subjugated to slavery, pogroms, extermination, and a non-stop barrage of anti-Semitic attacks from all over the world. It was only 75 years ago that the Jews suffered one of the greatest tragedies in history, with the loss of six million people at the hands of Adolf Hitler, a madman hell-bent on the complete annihilation of an entire race.
Ironically, only seven decades later, the call for gun control in America by none other than Jewish Democrats in Congress, as well as a very large contingent of the current American Jewish population, is deafening.
The Jews have a saying: “Never Again.” Never again will we allow our people to be thrown into the ovens or taken to the forests to be shot dead. But with the multitude of American Jews pushing for stricter gun control, whom can the Jews who believe in the term “Never Again” turn to? Where can Jews feel at home without worrying that their right to self-defense be taken away?
I have found that place. It is a place that has accepted me, as a Jew, with open arms. A place that not only encourages me to arm myself but encourages me to reach out to non-Jews as well in the form of an accepting brotherhood. A place where color, creed, and religious preference do not matter. It is Freedom’s Safest Place. It is the National Rifle Association.
Why did I become a member of the NRA and why do I believe that all Jews should join? Simply put, it really is freedom’s safest place. As a Jew, I am always warned that I must be vigilant about the raging anti-Semitism plaguing the world today.
To me, the NRA’s slogan of “Freedom’s Safest Place” has more than one meaning. It is the safest place to be because it fights to protect my individual right to protect myself and my family. They fight on my behalf every day to ensure that my Second Amendment right is not restricted and not stripped away. But more important than that (at least from the Jewish perspective), it is a place I can call home.
I had the honor of attending the NRA convention in Atlanta this year. Walking from the parking structure to the World Congress Center, I bumped into a father and son from Florida and we started chatting. Not once did they look at what was on top of my head, as I was sporting a Yarmulke (or Kippah), the small Jewish head-covering men wear. They talked to me as if we were old friends, all because we both shared a love for firearms and the Second Amendment. Upon walking into the convention, I was floored by how many people were there. There were thousands of people from every walk of life. Was I afraid or nervous that someone might see me and say something that could be anti-Semitic? Not once. The complete opposite happened. I was immediately accepted and welcomed. I did not get any nasty looks or double takes for what I was wearing on my head. I met many people in the gun industry and when someone did mention my head-covering, it was more along the lines of how happy they were to see a Jew championing the Second Amendment (and not trying to restrict gun rights).
In other words, there are a multitude of members that make up the NRA, and the NRA itself does not care if I am Jewish. Actually, let me rephrase that — they very much care that I am Jewish, because they care to make the playing field even. They want me to be able to protect myself from a tyrannical government and defend myself from those willing to harm me only because I am Jewish. The fact that I am Jewish does not exclude me from the NRA. The fact that I wear my Kippah does not restrict me from joining the millions of Americans who care about one thing — to be safe.
Jews note that the world is anti-Semitic. They note that many people seem indifferent to anti-Semitism. They worry that no one will come to their rescue if Nazi Germany happens again. They fear that there is no safe place for Jews to hide.
But they are wrong. There is a safe place. The NRA provides the Jews of America with a shelter. They provide a warm home for those caught in the cold of night. The Jews of America need not look any further than the NRA for a safe haven. They provide training, insurance, education, and support. They do not care if you are Jewish. They want to ensure one thing and one thing only. You have the ability to defend yourself against any enemy no matter your background.
I am a proud American Jew. I am a proud member of the NRA. I live in America’s Safest Place. I am the National Rifle Association.