Self Defense Advice
I ran across three different articles advising Jews to be armed. Under current circumstances, that might not be a bad idea. Our current high-profile Jewish leadership would probably prefer that we do some interfaith outreach instead. After all we don't want to "sink to their level." Or do we? This is one country in which self-defense is allowed, and we do want to protect our families. And let's face it. Not everyone responds well to outreach or reasoned debate.
From Josh Hammer:
But ultimately, the imperative is on each individual Jew to be the guardian of his/her own security. Why on Earth would Jews, the most systemically persecuted group of humans to have ever lived, delegate responsibility for their own lives to third-party actors?
As I wrote back in April: “Jews, who for millennia have been demographic minorities in every land except for the modern State of Israel itself, ought to be uniquely willing and eager to take advantage of the protections secured by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. … Jews who were properly armed instead of forced to live at the behest of gun-grabbing tyrannical oppressors could have better resisted any number of pogroms and atrocities committed throughout history.”
He's got a point.
So does Joel Pollack:
Unfortunately, the media have politicized the issue through shoddy, ideologically-driven reporting. When President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order protecting Jews, for example, the New York Times reported it as the opposite.
The threat is real, but misplaced, irrational fear can lead to paralysis — or, worse, to mistakes that could make the problem worse.
Fortunately, there are steps that we Jews can take to improve our own safety and well-being.
1. Support, and make use, of, the Second Amendment. American Jews have the unique advantage of living in a country where the right to keep and bear arms is enshrined in the Constitution. Jews need to make it clear that if we are attacked, we will shoot back — whether personally or through the assistance of armed guards at our institutions. Israel is strong today because it is willing and able to use force to protect itself. American Jews should be as well.
Tony Katz goes even further with his advice:
My mistake, however, was that while I have argued the need for being armed, I have never given any advice on what to be armed with. So I reached out to some experts on firearms for advice. I gave them parameters: Must hold at least 8 rounds, must be 9mm, must have a safety and must be small enough to fit inside a Tallit bag (a small carrying case for a prayer shawl, called a tallit.) I chose these parameters not because I have any issue with other calibers or revolvers ( a .38 snub nose is a great carry weapon!) but rather I wanted a selection that was readily available, where ammunition was affordable and plentiful and a form factor that was compact.
(Note - The experts mostly balked at the idea of having a safety as one of the parameters, and many of their selections reflect that. For the record, my carry weapon has no safety, and I carry it on my hip, not in my tallit bag.)
Here is the list:
Sig Sauer P365
Smith and Wesson M&P
In the end, it is up to each of us to decide what's right for us and if we're comfortable carrying a firearm. Don't take too long to decide.