In this week’s issue of The Jewish Press, my opinion article, Jews and Guns, argues that observant Jews should be at the forefront of those who support the right to bear arms — the Second Amendment. As I explain in the article, this is a subject that Ariel ZT”L was interested in, and he started making notes for an article that would frame the argument in a Halachic framework. It always amazed Ariel and me how many Jews supported gun control — aggressively so. These well meaning idealists seem to be totally ignorant of history, and Jewish history in particular. One only has to study the Warsaw Ghetto uprising to realize that the Jewish partisans sacrificed their lives before they even could begin to fight, in dangerous and clandestine attempts to secure weapons. Each weapon cost them dearly. One can only speculate what would have been if, during Hitler’s evil reign, each Jewish family in Europe had owned a single pistol with six in the chamber. The Shoah would have a very different face. And of course, there would be no State of Israel without the citizen soldiers who made up the Haganah.
I’m deeply interested in the opinion of my readers. Seraphic Secret friends are an unusually articulate and wise group of people and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the issue of gun ownership.
I wish you all a lovely and meaningful Shabbos.
Karen adds: I believe that every political stance can be traced to a personal experience, some transforming event. Our views stem from a gut feeling, even if it is unconscious. After reading Robert’s article I remembered the first time Robert talked to me about guns. He was recalling his experience fulfilling his “mishmar”, guard duty, in the kibbutz where he lived during the Yom Kippur war. Robert was shaken by the danger that the terrorists posed to the children’s house. He was frightened by the responsibility of protecting these vulnerable innocents, but also rethought the liberal doctrines that were part and parcel of growing up in the sixties. (Make love not war.) Now everything was different, guns were necessary to protect the lives of the children of his kibbutz. The immediacy of the terror triggered (no pun) a transformation. Guns were not evil; they were necessary.