Whenever there’s a group of people who appear to be targeted for violence, the best advice they can get is to arm themselves. While we can all talk about how it would be awesome if we didn’t need to carry guns and sing “Kumbaya,” the real world is a lot messier. There are always going to be people who hate other groups. It’s like hatred is built into our DNA or something.
Because of that, any group that finds itself being targeted owe it to themselves to have some means of protecting themselves.
Historically, American Jews tend to be on the anti-gun side of the coin for some reason. I’ve never understood why, but as I’m not Jewish, I’ve mostly stayed out of it.
However, it seems a lot of American Jews are now arming themselves, to the point that even the Australian media is noticing.
“A lot of Jews in America have been brought up, unfortunately, with the attitude: ‘Guns? That’s not us. That’s not what we do’,” trainer Yonatan Stern tells his class.
Mr Stern, a former Israeli Defence Force soldier who runs a tactical training business, says he’s been swamped by requests from fellow Jews who’ve had enough of the recent attacks against them.
The most recent incident happened a few kilometres down the road.
Just four days prior, a man armed with a machete burst into a rabbi’s home and started stabbing people at random.
Mr Stern says any Jewish leader who urges members of their community not to take up arms has “blood on their hands”.
“Of course, the murderer’s responsible. But just as much, that rabbi who told you not to get a gun because it’s not the Jewish way, he’s the murderer too.”
It’s a debate now raging inside this Jewish community.
It’s a debate the Jewish community likely needs, but they shouldn’t.
One would think that the Holocaust would be all the evidence Jews would need to know that they have more than enough enemies in the world that they should at least consider fighting back. Millions of their people died in Nazi concentration camps and it’s beyond time they recognize that there are way too many people who consider that just a good start.
It’s easy to say “Never Again” when talking about the Holocaust, but unless you’re ready to resist those who would herd you into camps, that phrase is nothing but empty words. It’s nothing but a vague hope rather than a hard and fast declaration.
Look, I get that not everyone is prepared to take a human life. Not everyone should be. It should never be an easy or small thing in someone’s mind. It’s something I ponder each and every day of my life, something I try to prepare for should I ever be required to do so. As such, not everyone is going to be comfortable with a gun in their hands.
I get that.
What I don’t get, though is the idea that none of their people should be armed.
I’m glad to see some pushback within the Jewish community on that idea. While I’m more than willing to protect anyone I can, but I can’t be everywhere and neither can anyone else. It’s on the individuals to protect themselves and it’s good that some in the Jewish community can accept that.