I’m Jewish. I wish that didn’t make any difference to this post. I wish I could ask “Why are Jews are so pro-gun control?” without people jumping to the conclusion that I’m anti-semitic. But them’s the rules, apparently. If you’re in a group you can criticize its obvious cultural characteristics. If you’re not, any criticism based on race, sex, religion or nation is considered racist, sexist, anti-semitic or xenophobic (what’s wrong with Lucy Lawless?). All that said, I get the distinct feeling that TTAG commentator Jimbo!!! is racist and anti-semitic. Something to do with his tone, punctuation and spelling. Does that make me grammaticist? Anyway, he’s right about one thing: Jews are extremely active in—and generally supportive of—gun control. [See: post below] Why’s that then?
If ever a people should be pro-gun rights it’s Jews. When over a dozen European governments unite to exterminate six million of your people, it’s a pretty good indication that you need to do something to defend yourself and fellow tribe members from murderous tyranny. Something like, I dunno, founding a Jewish state in the Middle East that’s a safe haven for members of your religion, and then arming yourself to the teeth, both individually and as a nation. Men and women. Dark or light skinned. Urban or rural. Reformed or Orthodox. Sephardic or Ashkenazi. Everyone gets a gun.
Check. It would also seem logical that members of the Jewish diaspora would follow suit. Make no mistake, plenty of Jews do. This website is proud to present the philosophy and advice of the rabbi. David Kenik is armed to the teeth. He’s ready, willing and able to defend himself, his family and his friends with firearms. Ready, willing and able to train both Jews and goys alike in the art of armed self-defense. (Arab-Americans too, BTW.) And again, I’m Jewish, My antagonism towards gun control couldn’t be more clear. Or profound.
There are plenty of Jews in the TTAG community: readers, writers and shooters with which I hang. But there’s no denying that Jewish politicians are leading the way in the gun-grabbing department. Mayor Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns is America’s most “effective” gun control organization. The Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence is organized by Jews. Many of the heavy hitters in the gun control movement are Jewish: Metzenbaum, Feinstein and more. The pol responsible for the odious Gun Control Act of 1968, Emanuel Celler, was Jewish.
Writing in thejewishweek.com, Steve Lipman offers some insight into the rationale behind Jewish support for gun control. The scribe chornicled the [carefully selected] Jewish community’s reaction to this summer’s Supreme Court’s McDonald decision, striking down Chicago’s handgun ban and incorporating the Second Amendment.
The Anti-Defamation League called the decision, in a case brought by a Chicago community activist who had sought protection against street gangs, “a disappointing setback in the fight against extremism and violence.”
“Extremists and those who commit hate crimes pose a serious threat to law enforcement, the general public and, more specifically, to members of the discrete racial, ethnic and religious groups who are often their targets,” a statement by ADL National Chair Robert Sugarman and National Director Abraham Foxman read. “We deeply regret that the Court has restricted the latitude that cities and states retain to keep guns out of the hands of extremists, terrorists and violent bigots.”
The Religious Action Center is a longtime supporter of gun control legislation, as a way to reduce the general level of violence in the United States, he said. “We’re concerned about the safety of all Americans. We’re concerned about the neighborhoods where we live. We’re concerned about the streets where we walk.”
Disarmament as the key to safety and security? How f’ed-up is that? You couldn’t get it more wrong if you tried; it’s exactly backwards. Jews need to arm themselves against extremists, terrorist and violent bigots. You know; like Israel. Speaking of which, these same anti-gun Jews are pro-Israel, sending them billions of U.S. tax dollars to beef-up the country’s formidable supply of advanced armaments. Disconnect much?
If I had to hazard a guess as to why Jews are gun-ho anti-gun, I’d say it’s because we/they have a strong streak of utopianism. A deep faith that humans can make things better for each other if they all work together for the common good. That society can be good, fair and just. If only we could pass the right laws.
Jews are also prone to the odd belief that authority figures can sort out society’s ills for them, especially if Jews are the authority figures in question. The concept flies in the face of both simple common sense and unfathomable tragic experience.
As a gun-owning Jew actively engaged in the act of protecting gun rights for all Americans regardless of sex, race, color or creed (John Forgarty rocks!), I will do what I can to convince my people that they are so very wrong on this issue. Meanwhile, I won’t bury the fact that “they” are deeply misguided. The truth hurts. Ignorance hurts worse.