24 March 2008

Why Are American Jews So Anti-Gun?

The Forward magazine has an interesting piece by Berkeley, Calif. writer, Eric King. His story, titled "Why Are American Jews So Anti-Gun?," puts the reasoning squarely on the differences between Jews who emigrated to the United States, and those who stayed behind in Europe, and witnessed first hand -- after World War II -- the depth and breadth of destruction wrought against the Jewish peoples.

These two paragraphs from his piece speak volumes:

"Many American Jews are the direct descendants of immigrants who left the ghettos and shtetls with the shtetl mentality intact and came to the United States between 1885 and 1925. They raised their children, who in turn raised their children, to believe that all weapons were wrong because all violence was wrong — even though the conditions in America were different, the horrible compromise of Europe was behind them, and their survival and self-respect no longer depended on a willingness to defenselessly sit by while members of the community were raped and murdered.

"The Jews who remained in Europe, on the other hand, were confronted by the Holocaust. The ones who survived saw that the rules had changed, and many of them immigrated to Israel. They saw that not all violence was wrong, that violence could be used to preserve the Jewish people, and that the defensive use of weapons was necessary for the survival of the community. The result has been a greater acceptance of individual use of weapons for personal defense."

Well worth the read.

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