Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Before my son Ariel passed away a year and a half ago, he and I spent a great deal of time discussing the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms. Ariel was always amazed at how many Jews - shomer Shabbos Jews - aligned themselves with the advocates of gun control, in reality a movement to banish the private ownership of guns by lawful citizens.

During the Los Angeles riots of 1992, my wife Karen and I, along with Ariel and our daughter Leda, were inside a film theater. Abruptly, an angry mob congregated outside; soon they were trying to break down the doors. Trapped inside, we were all terrified. I held Leda in my arms; she shivered like a frightened rabbit. Karen held Ariel`s hand. "Don`t worry," I said with false confidence, "the police will be here soon." But the police did not arrive that night, nor did they protect the city from arson and widespread looting. In fact, we watched in disbelief as news cameras captured images of police officers standing idly by while looters gleefully committed their crimes.

A few days later, I bought a gun. I bought a gun because I realized that the day might come again when the people who were sworn to protect us would once again choose not to.....

One of the hallmarks of modern liberalism, Ariel suggested, is an astonishing inability to recognize, much less confront, evil. Therefore it becomes psychologically necessary for the liberal to place the blame on an inanimate object - the gun - rather than on the person who pulls the trigger. It is easier to fault the gun manufacturer for the horror at Columbine, rather than admit that two 16-year-old boys are capable of such evil.....

Ariel concluded that Jews in America should be at the forefront of the right to bear arms. Jews should join the National Rifle Association. For Jews to rely on the power of the state for protection is sheer foolishness. Time and again, Jewish history reveals governments cruelly betraying their Jewish citizens. And though Ariel felt that America was different, he still maintained that allowing the state to make the ownership of weapons illegal is an unwise policy.

More here

Hiding their heads in SF: "With no conclusive relationship between civilian disarmament and murder rates, the onus of proving that law-abiding gun owners represent a threat to public health and safety rests firmly with the SF supervisors. Unless, of course, they intend to force a legal system upon residents that presumes guilt. ... Internationally, the US compares even more favorably, rated 24th overall in murder rate. All countries with higher rates have far more gun control; they have no Constitutional right to own guns, and self-defense is not a valid reason for ownership."

San Francisco: Bid for handgun ban faces hurdles: "San Francisco supervisors want to make the city the second in the nation to ban the ownership of handguns, but whether such a law would prove to be more than symbolic remains to be seen. First, legal challenges are being readied by those who see the proposed law -- set to go to voters next fall -- as bucking state law, which says law-abiding citizens do not need permits or licenses to keep handguns in their homes. Then there are practical hurdles: How do you enforce a ban in the absence of a public registry of gun owners in California? And of what value is such a measure for police, who already have the authority to take guns from criminal suspects? Supporters of a ban say it would curb gun violence in the city by reducing the number of weapons available. Bill Barnes, spokesman for the campaign, said many guns used in crimes were purchased legally -- and later stolen."

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