By Nicki Fellenzer
Armed Females of America
I’ve been meaning to write on this topic for a while now, but something else always seems to fall into my lap. But because I got yet another email from yet another ignorant, sub-fascist slime bag asserting that Jews fall into two categories: “Zionists or Marxists” and that the cuddly Nazis were woefully misunderstood and didn’t really support gun control, I figured it was time to address the subject of the Jewish faith and firearms.
First, let me say this: ANYONE WHO WANTS TO DISARM YOU IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHETHER THEY USE DOCTORED STATISTICS, COMMUNIST RHETORIC OR RELIGIOUS DOGMA TO MAKE YOU VULNERABLE TO ARMED THUGS OR GOVERNMENT TYRANTS. THE TOOL DOESN’T MATTER. THE CRIME DOES. The crime is civilian disarmament, and the nature of said crime does not change with the tools used to perpetuate it, whether they be perversion of Judaic law or the socialist “common good” mantra.
Is that clear enough for you Jew-phobes out there?
Now, let me get the following out in the open. I was born Jewish. It is my heritage, and I have the utmost respect for it. I do not follow the Jewish faith. My spiritual path has taken me in another direction. However…
…when I read ignorant rants about how Nazis didn’t support gun control – that it’s some kind of Jew-perpetuated propaganda to make Nazis seem like bad guys – I literally want to take a large piece of wood and use the head that spewed such nonsense for batting practice.
According to Jews For the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO) research:
"Until 1943-44, the German government published its laws and regulations in the 'Reichsgesetzblatt,' roughly the equivalent of the U.S. Federal Register. Carefully shelved by law librarians, the 1938 issues of this German government publication had gathered a lot of dust. In the 'Reichsgesetzblatt' issue for the week of March 21, 1938, was the official text of the Weapons Law (March 18, 1938). It gave Hitler's Nazi party a stranglehold on the Germans, many of whom did not support the Nazis. We found that the Nazis did not invent "gun control" in Germany. The Nazis inherited gun control and then perfected it: they invented handgun control."
The Nazi Weapons Act of 1938 among other things:
1. Classified guns for “sporting purposes”;
2. Required that all citizens who wished to purchase firearms had to register with Nazi officials and have a background check performed;
3. Exempted Nazis from gun control;
4. Gave them unrestricted power to decide what kind of firearms private citizens could or could not possess;
5. Gave the Nazis the power to decide what kinds of ammunition would be subject to bureaucratic control;
6. And set a minimum age for firearms purchase.
But heck, the Nazi love for gun control is well documented, and anyone who attempts to paint them as anything other than a band of tyrannical, sadistic monsters needs a good wire brush cleaning between the ears. I’m not here to talk about the Nazis.
I’m here to talk about Jews.
The communications I receive from neo-fascist dregs is nothing short of absurd in their attempts to paint Jews as the root of all evil in this nation. So let’s get a few things straight:
Do many Jews support gun control? Yes, many do. For a reason why they do, when their disarmed brethren perished in Nazi death camps, I turned to a friend of mine – Jack Feldman, professor of psychology at Georgia Institute of Technology, supporter of freedom, libertarian, firearms enthusiast and Jew. “Jews are called on to care for others who are troubled, suffering, etc. and to stand up for the oppressed,” Jack told me. “It’s a mitzvah. Democrats and socialists (traditional proponents of gun control) have taken that role, in appearance if not reality. …A lot of us have yet to get the message about the Left, and [continue to] cling to these fallacies.”
Do some Jewish organizations and rabbis equate Judaism with gun control? Yes, they do, and they’re wrong. For instance, Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz claims:
In the Talmud there are specific regulations that resemble gun control. There is a law against owning a dangerous dog (Bava Kamma 79a). One who owns a dangerous dog must keep it tied in metal chains at all times (CM 409:3). Even if the dog is defanged or trained not to harm people, it must be chained because it may frighten strangers, and as a result may cause stress related injuries such as miscarriage and heart attacks (Shabbat 63b). …These sources demonstrate that halacha would require any gun to be carefully locked at all times, with allowances made in cases where the gun is actively being used for security. Those who are more stringent would avoid guns completely. …
The comparison is patently disingenuous, as well as foolish. A dog is a live creature, capable of acting on its own volition. A gun is an inanimate object that cannot frighten strangers, bark at them or take any action at all unless handled by a live being. A firearm is incapable of independent action. And therefore, keeping your firearms locked up will do nothing but restrict access to your tool of self defense.
And locking up your tools of self-defense, while rendering yourself vulnerable to armed thugs is quite contrary to Judaic law. As a matter of fact, another article JPFO article entitled, “Jews and Gun Control: Fear of Freedom or Freedom from Fear” confirms my assertion:
The Talmud repeatedly mandates self-defense against an attacker. For example, in Talmud Tractate Sanhedrin -- which deals with Legal Judgments – the Rabbis explain Exodus 22:1, which states, "If a burglar is caught in the act of breaking in, and is struck and killed, it is not considered an act of murder." …
On this text, the Rabbis base a general proposition: "If someone comes to kill you, arise quickly and kill him." …
Individual cases differ, and specific regulations are set, explaining when killing another is justified, but the basic message remains the same: you have a duty to defend your life against those who seek to endanger it.
I recently spoke with Rabbi Isaac Leizerowski [*], who, upon having conferred with his colleagues, agreed that the right to self defense is MANDATED (his emphasis, not mine) by Jewish law. The directive to defend your life is written in the Talmud, the 70-volume Code of Jewish Law, in at least three places. And while individual cases of firearms use are subject to law, and Jews are absolutely prohibited from committing murder (willfully taking an innocent life), Rabbi Leizerowski agrees that the gun is the most effective tool of self defense on the market today, and that the right to keep and bear (own and carry) firearms should not be controlled by governments.
Judaic law, much like Christian writings acknowledges and asserts that life is sacred. Ergo that sacred life must be protected. The most effective way that can be done in today’s society is by use of firearms in self-defense. Jews acknowledge this and understand this, as do many others.
The desire to disarm you isn’t endemic to Judaism. It isn’t endemic to Democrats. There are Christians, Republicans, Buddhists and socialists who cling to gun control and disarmament as a means to either subjugate you or vainly try to protect you from yourself. It is prevalent in those who seek power over you, those who want to guarantee your physical weakness, because they’re too inadequate to convince you of their righteousness and those misguided enough to believe that laws and governments are more capable of protecting you than you are.
Nicki is a US Army veteran, who spent nearly four years in Frankfurt, Germany on active duty at the American Forces Network. She is a former radio DJ and news anchor and a Featured Writer and Newslinks Director for Keepandbeararms.com. She is also a former contributing editor to the National Rifle Association's newest monthly magazine, Women's Outlook and writes occasionally for the Libertarian Party. She resides in Virginia with her family. We are also proud to have Nicki as regular contributor to Armed Females of America.
Copyright © 2004 by Armed Females of America. All rights reserved. Permission to redistribute this article for noncommercial purposes is hereby granted, provided that it is reproduced unedited, in its entirety and appropriate credit given.
[*Rabbi, B'NAI JACOB-DERSHU TOV, Philadelphia, PA, USA
and Rabbi and teacher at the Abrams Hebrew academy. lw]