Thanks to Adam Langer for his fascinating article on the JPFO, “Arming the Tribe” (May 2). It’s no surprise that the liberal establishment within the Jewish community would oppose such a “marginal” group, since many of those speaking out are woefully ignorant of Jewish law and texts. Jews don’t glorify guns, there is no Jewish gun “culture,” but I think most rabbinic authorities would concur that the protection of Jewish or any innocent life is not only permitted, but commanded.
JPFO director Aaron Zelman uses the Holocaust as a rationale for why Jews should be armed. Why not? If six million murdered relatives isn’t a good enough reason, what is?
Professor Jack Porter asserts that “A Jew bearing guns is not really a Jew.” Gee, I’m glad an Orthodox rabbi didn’t say that. He continues, “Our secret to success is we’ve talked our way out of trouble….We are the people that use talk and charm and mediation and discussion to get out of trouble.” When? Where? In Mayence? Kishinev? Auschwitz? Perhaps the good professor could teach a seminar entitled “Charm ‘Em, Don’t Harm ‘Em: A Victim’s Guide to Self-Defense.” I respect his wish to live in a fantasy world, and no, I don’t think genocide is around the corner. But I hope that those who favor gun control do so with a clear mind and a realistic, historical perspective rather than simple wishful thinking. It’s well-intentioned naivete imposed on all of us that could get somebody killed.
David S. Brochin