If any demographic in America should embrace firearm ownership with both arms, one would think Jewish Americans would fit the bill. Sadly, for most American Jews, “Never Again” seems more of a meaningless slogan than a way of life. In fact, many Jews hate guns.
Yes, even after the Holocaust, when some Jewish folks in America start to buy guns and learn how to use them, suddenly it becomes international news.
AFP has has the story at France24:
Armed guards, safety assessments and now even a “Tactical Rabbi” to train volunteers on the use of weapons — such is the reality today at synagogues in the United States facing mounting anti-Semitic attacks.
It is at a shooting range in the hills overlooking Los Angeles that a team of AFP reporters met recently with Raziel Cohen, dubbed the “Tactical Rabbi,” who was sporting a 9mm pistol on his hip and carrying a semi-automatic rifle over his shoulder.
Cohen was trying to determine how well books can stop bullets. The idea is to transform a library at a synagogue or Jewish school into a shelter in the event of an active shooter situation.
“We’re trying to bridge the gap between the time that the shooting begins and law enforcement arrives,” he told AFP.
“The expression that goes on is that we carry guns because we can’t carry police officers, which is not just a joke,” added Cohen. “The reality is that there can’t be police everywhere all the time.”
It seems a pretty safe bet that the Tactical Rabbi won’t go quietly into the night along with many in his flock. Unfortunately, he stands as more the exception than the rule among American Hebrews.
Sometimes it takes a “Come to Jesus” moment for folks to take responsibility for their own safety instead of leaving it to others.
In this case, publicity about a pair of recent spree killings at synagogues have spurred some into proactively improving their safety and survivability. And that has the Tactical Rabbi Raziel Cohen working hard to teach these good people self-defense.
Cohen said his expertise in security took on more meaning after the April 27 shooting at the Chabad Poway Synagogue near San Diego that left one dead and three wounded.
It came six months after a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue left 11 people dead — the worst attack against Jewish people in the modern history of the United States.
In addition to the high-profile mass murders at synagogues, plenty of low-profile anti-semitic incidents have gone without mention in the mainstream media.
Anti-Semitic incidents in the United States remained at near-record high levels in 2018, according to the Anti-Defamation League, which recorded 1,879 incidents, the third-highest level since the 1970s.
2017 had marked an unprecedented rise in such incidents, with 1,986 cases of harassment, vandalism or anti-Semitic attacks recorded, the organization said.
Cohen said given the uptick, it was the duty of the Jewish community to learn to fend for itself.
It’s too bad more don’t already embrace firearms ownership along with concealed carry as much as attendees did at the Chabad of Poway synagogue. Note the vastly different outcomes: The synagogue in Pittsburgh where they rabbi essentially forbade guns in his house of worship compared to the San Diego location where some of the good guys brought their guns – just in case.