“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
— Second Amendment to the US Constitution
I was raised in Teaneck, New Jersey. Those words, despite being in the most important governing document throughout America, are not relevant to those who live in the Garden State. In New Jersey, you don’t have gun rights.
When I grew up in Teaneck, very rarely did I encounter anti-Semitism. I think I might have had the easiest life a Jew can have growing up, if we are being honest. There were no crusades, pogroms, intifadas, and we had our own Little League.
However, I heard about the incident in Teaneck, of the guy who entered a bagel shop and attacked three people. The police determined that it is not a bias incident. I’m sure the police did their due diligence, and I thank them for their thankless job. But whether it was a bias incident or a crazy person, that is unacceptable.
Not that Monsey, New York, is any better in that regard. You can’t get a weapon in Monsey, New York.
My grandmother still lives in Monsey. And while I don’t expect her to start packing heat, there are plenty of Haredi Jews there who, despite our differences, I wish would start arming themselves as well.
After Shabbat, there was an attack at a Hanukkah party at a rabbi’s house. Five attendees were stabbed.
My other grandmother lives in San Francisco. There, you aren’t even allowed to look at a gun, much less own one.
Some of the worst anti-Semites in America live in California, and regularly invite vile speakers who call for intifadas to university campuses. But ignoring the anti-Semitism in California, I definitely would not want to go up against some of those homeless people without at least a machete.
And that is ignoring the remaining Jews in Europe, who live at the whims of their “civilized” European neighbors. There, you can’t even pretend that the government will protect your rights. Should a Muslim man break into your house and murder your grandmother, he won’t be charged because he was high on weed. Apparently, weed makes you want to kill people. Funny that this is the first time I’ve heard of it.
Israel also has very strict gun laws, but at least we have a standing Jewish army. What army protects the Jews from tyranny abroad?
Listen, I know that Jews and guns are not the best of friends. For whatever reason, Jews don’t like guns. They focus too much on the prophecies of tomorrow, which say that one day the swords will be turned into plowshares. Or maybe you just can’t convince a nation whose members have been second-class citizens for 2,000 years to all of a sudden take their destiny into their own hands.
I understand that. I get it. But please, stop it already.
I know Jews don’t get along all the time. In fact, I probably hate a good majority of them myself. But don’t mistake our infighting lack of care. In fact, I think we fight because we care. So please, let’s agree on one thing today: YOU need a weapon.
If you are sane enough to read this and old enough to vote, you should be proficient in handling a weapon. Learn how to take care of it, fire it, and assemble and disassemble it.
We can discuss how to do it. Should it be individual or collective? I obviously have my opinions, but American Jewish communities are too damn vulnerable, we need to change that. Figure out how you will defend yourselves, and just do it.
The Jewish right doesn’t need any convincing that you should be armed to the teeth. But even Karl Marx, father of Communism, said that “Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary.” Not that you should be looking to Marx for this stuff, but if even one left-wing Jew defends himself from terror because of Marx, then I’ll take it.
And if the authorities won’t let you defend yourselves, do it illegally. But please defend yourselves. Don’t wait for the police to draw your outline on the sidewalk. Your family will miss you. I don’t care if you are religious, secular, right-wing, left-wing, male or female, life is a lot better when you are around.
Stay strapped or get clapped my Jews.