What color is the sky in a world where self-awareness and all sense of irony are totally absent? It’s hard to say with any certainty, but you can probably ask Rabbi Joel Mosbacher who apparently dwells quite happily in just such a place. He and other New York and New Jersey men of the cloth are about to fly to Europe on a mission. As nydailynews.com reports, “The clergy members are seeking meetings with Austria’s Glock, Germany’s SIG Sauer and Italy’s Berretta, which dominate gun sales to police departments and government agencies in the U.S. Glock alone claims 60% of the handgun sales to U.S. police departments.” Shockingly, none of the manufacturers have agreed to talk to them . . .
Why would that be?
They want the European gunmakers, for example, to refuse to allow their weapons to be sold through unlicensed gun dealers. They also want the manufacturers to renounce political meddling in the U.S. through contributions to lobbying groups like the National Rifle Association.
The men of God are fed up with the lack of anti-gun progress in the US Congress. So since they’re getting the cold shoulder from the firearms manufacturers, they’ll instead be meeting with European Union officials who’ve never met a gun control measure they couldn’t enthusiastically get behind.
The outreach, timed just before the one-year anniversary of the Newtown, Conn., massacre, comes after the realization that the lobbying Congress is ineffective and only one option, said Rabbi Joel Mosbacher, of Temple Beth Haverim Shir Shalom in Mahwah, N.J.
“Is the congressional approach the only one that can have an impact, and are we going to put our hopes on one of the most dysfunctional organizations in America?” said Mosbacher, whose work on gun violence also has a personal dimension — his father was shot dead in a 1999 robbery attempt.
Given that the group is likely to be meeting only with those who are sympathetic to their cause, no one Rabbi Joel will be talking to is likely to point out the irony of the leader of a Jewish congregation asking gun makers in former axis countries to help him disarm his flock. You just can’t make this stuff up.