A Jihadist's Worst Nightmare: Jews Who Are Armed and Ready
Following the October 7th attacks on Israel by Hamas, one of the more shocking and distressing aftereffects was the rise of overt antisemitism, not only in Gaza but in Europe and right here in the United States. There have been incidents of not only antisemitic behavior in places like the nation’s universities but also outright violent attacks aimed at Jewish places of worship. But here in the United States, our Jewish friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens have something going for them Jews in most of the world don’t.
The Second Amendment.
What’s more, many of our Jewish friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens are beginning to take advantage of that right.
Under the keen eye of a trained instructor, who was also Jewish, David was surprised at how comfortable he was handling a gun. As someone who grew up in a community in which owning guns was unthinkable, he was surprised at how many of his friends also owned guns.
“Growing up, the mere thought of owning a gun or handling a gun was taboo. However, once I started having conversations with people after Tree of Life, I found the reality is everybody might be somebody who would buy a gun. It just depends on what it takes to get one,” he explained.
Still, he and his wife shelved the idea five years ago.
Then Oct. 7 happened — and everything else that went with it in the following days and weeks, like the brazen antisemitic graffiti splattered on the front wall of Allderdice High School and throughout the Summerset neighborhood, as well as the tire slashings, the defacing and burning of lawn signs that support Israel, and the woman using a hammer to hit the window of Marvista Design where a sign read “We Stand With Israel.”
This is, of course, one of the primary reasons the Second Amendment exists: to ensure (not to grant — but to ensure) our right to defense of ourselves and our communities. It’s great that more people are coming to see how important that is; sadly, it took a horrific event like October 7th and the rise of outright hatred towards our Jewish neighbors to bring them to that realization. But that seems to be how it’s happening.
In response, Jews like David — who never once considered handling a gun in their entire lives — have been signing up for gun safety classes, either in groups or in one-on-one sessions at local ranges across the city and the region. And buying them, as are many other Americans.
According to the FBI, more background checks on gun sales were run this October than last October. The National Shooting Sports Foundation reports over 1.3 million gun checks, an 8.3% increase over the same period in 2022.
This is the spirit that, one would suspect, animates many in the Israel Defense Forces right now: the “never again” attitude that was spawned after the Holocaust, and that attitude is justified. There is no reason or expectation that our Jewish friends and neighbors — nor indeed any American — should meekly submit to this kind of aggression, to this kind of savagery, to this kind of unreasoning hatred.
We shouldn’t have to put up with it. We don’t have to put up with it.
It’s too bad that it took these horrific events to open people’s eyes, but it’s good that those eyes are open. Self-defense, including the defense of one’s community, is not only a right but an obligation of all civilized people, who must not countenance giving in to savagery. And it is only arms that make that defense effective against all attackers; it is only a firearm, in the hands of a trained and experienced shooter, who can even the odds between a 110-pound woman and a 200-pound male attacker, or between an 80-year old man and an aggressive 18-year-old criminal. The products of the great American inventor Sam Colt were so effective at this in their time that the popular saying arose that “God created men, Sam Colt made them equal.”
The tool must, however, be coupled with the resolve. After Oct 7th, at least among our Jewish friends and neighbors, we can hope that resolve will not be in short supply. As the famous Colonel Jeff Cooper once said:
Fight back! Whenever you are offered violence, fight back! The aggressor does not fear the law, so he must be taught to fear you. Whatever the risk, and at whatever the cost, fight back!
Indeed — fighting back is the only proper reply to savagery. It’s good to see more people understanding this. It’s good to see more people taking advantage of their rights. And their right to protect themselves against aggression is enshrined in the highest law of the land:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Arms are what separate free people from subjects. Arms are what protect free people from barbarity. That becomes more and more apparent with each day that passes.