Jewish Gun Rights Are More Important Than Ever
America and the Second Amendment were made for Jewish people. Jewish history is replete with examples of Jews dying at the hands of their fellow citizens and in governmental, systematic attempts to wipe them out. It is for this reason Jewish gun rights should be celebrated. Instead, a substantial amount of American Jews and Israeli Jews shun the idea of Jewish gun rights. Israelis, for the most part, cannot understand why Americans have such a fascination with guns. That is an admittedly difficult thing to grasp when everyone is a part of a culture mandated to wield a weapon at the age of 18. And part of a culture whose sole purpose is to ensure the survival of the Jewish people. What individual need is there for a gun when the government will always protect you?
American Jews, on the other hand, have no such assurance. Not because of their Jewishness, but because America does not go out of its way to protect any particular individual or creed. There is no covenant between the American government and its citizens where the government claims it will always protect you. In fact, the opposite is true; the American covenant states it is your responsibility to protect yourself. If the government could do such a thing, it would wield absolute power. But the entire original premise of America’s founding was that too much power in the hands of the government is a dangerous thing.
Jewish people everywhere should be nodding their heads at this point. Don’t think so? Pick a diaspora country with a rich Jewish history. During any time period. Go ahead. Think of one yet? Egypt? Slavery. Spain? The inquisition. Russia? Pogroms. More? Iraq? The Farhud. Ethiopia? Had to fly the entire Jewish population out of the country. France? Poland? Germany? Bad. Despicable. Dear G-d the Shoah/Holocaust. This is why America and the Second Amendment were made for Jewish people. America’s gun rights are the only place outside of Israel where Jews are at least given the chance to defend themselves.
And while things are obviously nowhere near as bad as they were in the mid-20th Century, it’s not exactly an era of open arms for today’s Jewish people. Germany tells you to not wear a kippah. France allows its Holocaust survivors to get slaughtered in their homes. The leader of Britain’s Labour Party is a devout anti-Semite while America is ripe with White Supremacism, anti-Semitic Congresspeople, and anti-Semitic attacks (from all religions and skin colors; because if there is anything the world agrees on, it’s that the Juden are to blame).
In the midst of all this, people are calling for restrictions on gun rights. They say there are too many mass shootings. That gun violence has grown out of hand. It is a terrible, unmitigated tragedy whenever there is a mass shooting. 31 people dead in less than 24 hours is a horrifying reality in today’s America. But if you are calling for a restriction on gun rights, you do so to the detriment of people’s safety, not for their benefit.
Even though the linked article is more than six years old, it is a pretty thorough (and objective) glimpse into American gun culture and its problems. The article is more than likely accurate because it angers people on both sides of the debate; usually, a solid barometer that it holds up to scrutiny. Where it falls short though is through no fault of the author or publication. It is almost impossible to quantify how many lives are saved each year with defensive gun use. The CDC abandoned the study and refused to publish it under suspicious circumstances. So the only statistics available are contested.
This is a major problem. Defensive statistics are of the utmost importance when it comes to Jewish gun rights; guns (from handguns to rifles) are the best means of self and familial defense. A lack of verifiable and quantifiable statistics when it comes to defensive gun use is a boon to anybody who wishes to take guns away from their fellow man. Even without those statistics though, the argument is entirely different when it comes to Jewish gun rights. Anybody that calls for restrictions on gun rights and the Second Amendment needs to explain why Jewish people should trust the government or their fellow man.
That is the real issue. As cynical and depressing as it may be, the question has always been, “should Jewish people trust the government or their fellow man?” Jews throughout history have answered that question with various responses. Almost invariably, any Jews who answered “yes,” have been expelled from the land, beaten, or killed. America is the one place outside of Israel that says, “you can protect yourself here.” Notice; it does not promise, “we will protect you.” Merely, “you have the means to protect yourself.” Americans and Jewish Americans have the Second Amendment to thank for that. Now though, many in America want to rescind that offer. That chance at self-protection and self-preservation.
To the average American afraid of gun violence, they might want to take that gamble of trusting the government and their fellow man. But it is a gamble. A gamble the founding fathers never wanted its citizens to take. The founding fathers did not agree on many things, but being suspicious of a tyrannical government was one of those things. They might not have imagined the scope of the Holocaust, but they knew something like it was a possibility. Now 80 years later, in the wake of rising White Supremacism and anti-Semitism in the U.S., the question is being asked again, but in a slightly different manner; “should Jewish people shirk the philosophies of the founding fathers and ignore their own horrid history?” Or to put it differently, “what makes you think to answer ‘yes,’ would be any different than every time before?”