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Calling Out Bloomberg on Gun Control

Rabbi makes Jewish argument for firearms rights

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.(Bloomie!)

There are many things I like about my mayor, New York’s Michael Bloomberg. I like the way he runs the city efficiently. I like his contribution to demolishing Coney Island, a bit of the city I consider to be a blight on the face of this earth. I even like how his voice sounds uncannily like that of the dad on Alf (see for yourself).

The one thing I dislike—strongly, vehemently—about Bloomberg is his stance on firearms. If you’re not, like me, a proud member of the National Rifle Association, you may not be aware that Bloomberg is one of the country’s most vocal opponents of the right to own firearms, and a leading force behind Mayors Against Illegal Guns, whose key tactic is to promote the statistic that 34 Americans are murdered with guns each day. Personally, I think there’s another, far more relevant statistic: 2,100 to 6,800 people—according to the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep & Bear Arms—safely use guns each day to protect themselves and their property and prevent criminal attacks.

Which is why I was delighted to read an open letter to Bloomberg composed by Rabbi Dovid Bendory ,of a group called Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, urging hizzoner to search his Jewish soul and reconsider his position on gun control.

Granted, I found some of Bendory’s language a bit hyperbolic. Even though I’m an enthusiastic defender of the Second Amendment, I do not consider our current gun laws to be “Nazi-inspired,” nor do I think that stern restrictions on gun ownership will necessarily and inevitably lead to a second Hitler.

But Bendory’s letter makes some very good points, especially when he quotes that top Talmudic hit, “If a murderer comes for you, strike him down first.” And while my support for gun ownership rights stems from universalist rather than particularly Jewish principles, I did find much to agree with in Bendory’s assertion that “the Jewish people have been at the wrong end of the gun barrel for far too long.” Rather than disarm victims, I hope Americans continue to express support for our right to own firearms, and that Jews, who traditionally pride themselves on being on the vanguard of the struggle for morality and justice, turn out in larger numbers in support of this important and inalienable right.

A Rabbi’s Letter to Michael Bloomberg on ‘Gun Control’ [Grendel Report]
Related: Bloomberg and Relatives of Shooting Victims Push for Stricter Gun Control [NYT]

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Ben Singer says:

So one of those guns shoots ketchup and the other shoots mustard?

Jim Ball says:

Where does the statistic about people defending themselves come from? How is it compiled? Does “people” include police? Frankly, I find this “statistic” hard to believe as it is put forward by a pro-gun group. I, for one, am quite frightened about people walking around with guns. There are enough domestic abuse cases in my local newspaper each week to tell me that there are a lot of people in my own town who use violence as a solution–and I come from an upper middle class community.

Dr. Michael Zidonov says:

All of the Horror Stories dealing with Guns that get blasted all over the Media, are put there expressly to inflame the public, and scare the Sheep, and help erode our God-given Rights …

While we have no Right to murder someone else, we have no Right to let someone murder us, or a Loved One, or a total stranger … But the operative word is, Murder … It was the christianettes who first confused the Divine Utterance and changed Murder to Kill … White-Livered Yellow-Striped Peaceniks have continued to obfuscate the issue for the last fifty years, and hypocrisy abounds among them, witness Senator Soles, Famous Anti-Gun Wimp, who recently SHOT a Burglar in his own home …

The Statistics are kept, by the FBI(Not that thats any recommendation) but numerous cases where Guns were used Righteously, to preserve Life and avoid injury … or STOP some Turd from doing harm, are never publicized, because the government wants to disarm us … The Japanese have stated in Public … that the reason they never invaded the U S was because every American had a Gun … In 1934 Hitler Registered all the Guns in Poland, and the world lived happily ever after … Bendory is Right

frled lapides says:

Why are so many Jews becoming right wing nutters? Ok, the consitution was written at a time when tbher was no standing army and no national guard and so people owned and kept guns. Times have changed. People get murdered and/or killed daily throughout the land by guns, many of which are of course illegal. Concealed guns, guns taken cross state lines etc? when does it end?

ps: my son in the Israeli army, I served two times in the army and my oldest son a former marine and has 3 guns for target shoting.

The Japanese didn’t invade us because we all had guns?
that has to be the silliest thing I have read this year.

Alexander Diamond says:

What it comes down to is simply do we have the right and or the responsibility for self-defense? I find the idea that one is not allowed to do so totally repugnant. However, gun ownership should require both training and licensing. Absolutist positions by both sides get us nowhere.

Four facts:
1. Studies show that trying to use a gun to defend yourself against a violent attacker or intruder in your home is more likely to lead to your death than to save you.

2. The Constitution sanctions the right to own guns for a “WELL REGULATED MILITIA.” Gun regulation is right there in the Constitution. (Or was it talking about the right to wear short sleeve shirts?)

3. Europeans, Japanese, Chinese, Egyptians… all seem to survive pretty well without toting guns.

4. The vast majority of the American people want guns out of our society. It is only the result of massive $$$ that the NRA infuses into the political system that the will of the people fails.

Let hunters own rifles. Handguns have no positive value.

Rachel says:

Fear begets fear. America should invest its time, energy, and money into improving society, not sustaining some sort of idea that the status quo is dangerous and will never change.

Please aim your guns somewhere else and not on Tablet.

I think it would be awesome if Liel were to write an article about how he got involved with the NRA and why he believes in its principles. A lefty Israeli expat doesn’t exactly fit most people’s stereotypes of the organization.

Old Rockin' Dave says:

Dr. Michael Zidonov, your knowledge of history is on a par with your knowledge of capitalization. The reason you give for the Japanese not invading the US (mainland; they did invade the Aleutian Islands, part of the US) is at odds with every other historical account. The Japanese never intended to invade the mainland US – they knew they lacked the manpower, ships and equipment. They were never able to subdue China; the much richer, industrialized and well-governed US would have been rather a tougher target.
Further, Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, not 1934, and his ability to control the country had little to do with whether a few farmers and hunters had their shotguns and hunting rifles, and a great deal to do with the Wehrmacht’s well-trained, well-equipped and disciplined soldiery, with their tanks, planes, artillery and machine guns, and Poland’s decided lack of same.
You are also mistaken about Senator Soles, who has consistently been graded A or B+ by the NRA for over a decade. The claim that he is anti-gun makes a nice story, but it’s a bubbe meisseh.
Respond to me when you have some facts instead of bluster.

Bryna Weiss says:

Guns are a blight on our society. I’m disturbed that Jews would believe they are an answer to anything. What is this American pre-occupation with violence?! It’s horrifying.

Yisrael says:

Rabbi,

#1 is idiotic. If a “violent attacker” is in my home, are you telling me that this study somehow measures what would have happened had I just put my dukes up and tried to bloody his nose, or more to your pacifist liking, told him nicely to please leave us alone? How does it measure the alternative? Did the study rely on the honesty of the violent intruders that they only planned to commit a little bit of violence?

Louis says:

It is pitiful how some people on here mis-interpret the 2nd amendment” well regulated MILITIA the right of the People to keep and bare arms should not be infringed… and are against and lazy to defend themselves. where does a well regulated militia come from … you got it THE PEOPLE…that means the THE PEOPLE CAN FORM A WELL REGULATED MILITIA … you frigging stupid retarded anti-gunners…. why don’t all of you who hate self-defense and guns go to north korea, or china …. They trust government protection because a lot of so-called Jews are used to living with liberal socialism…people who trust the government for protection are lazy… like being from the eastern bloc, which did them no good anyway … time for change ….

Old Rockin' Dave says:

Yisrael, think for a minute. If there is an armed intruder in your home in the dark, he’s keyed up and primed for action while you are surprised, sleepy and trying to catch up. He hears you coming, maybe hears you call out, sees you turn on the lights, and he knows where you are. While you are fumbling in the night stand for the Colt, he’s waiting next to the door for you. In other words, he’s going to have the drop on you. Even if he’s unarmed he’s got at least a fighting chance to take your gun away.
Ir you keep your weapon in easy reach, then when the burglar comes in the daytime while you’re at work you have just given the criminal world a gift. If you keep it somewhere that the kids won’t get at it, then you won’t be able to get it quickly when the bad guy comes in your bedroom window.
Your firearm should be your last line of defence after locks, alarms and a dog, not your first or only protection.

Rabbi Gerard (who I’ve met personally) has his “facts” TOTALLY wrong …

1. Studies DO NOT “show that trying to use a gun to defend yourself against a violent attacker or intruder in your home is more likely to lead to your death than to save you.” The data actually shows the EXACT opposite – that you are FAR less likely to be killed or seriously injured if you act to defend yourself – and that a GUN is the best means of doing so.

2. re a “WELL REGULATED MILITIA.” The supreme court in the Heller and McDonald cases affirmed the INDIVIDUAL right to keep and bear arms, unrelated to service in a “militia.”

3. Who says that the Europeans, Japanese, Chinese, Egyptians… all seem to survive pretty well without toting guns. Tell that to the 70 MILLION or so that Mao murdered after disarming the people. See “Innocents Betrayed” from JPFO.

4. The vast majority of the American people DO NOT want guns out of our society. The NRA helps to defend our right, but “gun control” is disfavored by a significan majority of the population (unless you believe the fact-distorting propaganda from Bloomberg and other left-wingers like Rabbi Geraard).

Rabbi Gereard says “Let hunters own rifles. Handguns have no positive value.” Baloney … over 2 MILLION times per year here in the US, a violent crime is stopped by a private citizen who is armed and refuses to be a willing victim … that’s compared to a MUCH smaller number of crimes committed with guns. However, as someone else pointed out, the GOOD uses of guns don’t get any press because of the media’s left-wind bias and complicity with those in government who would trash our rights in order to preserve their power.

Ralph says:

I find it amazing how some just bypass fact and history. You ask for facts, but where are yours? Clearly anyone can look up government web-sites and gove up with facts from the Justice Department. Clearly areas with a high percentage of legal gun ownership have less crime. Clearly my parents, both holocaust survivors knew how gun control works as Jews were stripped first of all gun ownership prior to the final solution. Those like my father who survived had guns hidden. Those who support gun control make up their own statistics and history. Those who suport gun rights like myself learned first hand what gun control really means. Simply, criminals do not obey the law, law abiding citizens do and in the end are made sheeple to the slaughter. I remember one gun control proponet telling me gun suicides in Japan is non existant… I guess its fine if 32,000 suicides in Japan is committed by steak knives. Its fine if the United States Government allows for Mexican drug gangs to purchase machine guns in the USA which are used to kill or law enforcement all inwhile restricting our own citizens and law enforcement to protect themselves an their communities… This is just fine with those who support gun control, it is fine because they have an agenda whih is contrary to those who love life and liberty.

Bill Raab says:

As far as the US having Nazi Gun Laws, Sen. Thomas Dodd of CT, a former member of the Nuremberg trials after WWII, wrote the bulk of the Gun Control Act of 1968, and quite a bit of the verbiage is directly translated from the Nazi gun restrictions of 1934.
2nd Amendment has nothing to do with hunting, and Heller v. DC and McDonald v. Chicago have proved an INDIVIDUAL right to keep and bear arms. Yes, regulation is considered, but only to the point that it does not unreasonably restrict the RIGHT.
I have defended myself against those with the intent of malice both with and without a gun. With was much easier, and most times ended with no shots fired, but the retreat or surrender of the assailant.

THe “Wild West” fears that are always trotted out every time we talk about the fallacy of gun control (people control) never materialize. When Laws for carrying of firearms are loosened to enable the law abiding to protect themselves and others, crime in general drops, as the miscreant does not know who is armed and who is not.
The police have no sworn duty to protect you; See Warren v. DC. a rather brutal case.
I tire of those with an irrational fear of an inanimate object. They taught me that that is called a “Phobia”. Get help, but leave me to choose whether I want the responsibility of carrying a gun or not. I am not asking you to carry it, just to let those that would to make that choice.

Eric says:

Interestingly, Max Wright, the actor who played the Dad on Alf, also once played a Mayor. He did so on Norm Macdonald’s flop, “A Minute With Stan Hooper” – the most accurately-named sitcom in television history.

Uzitiger says:

Mayor Bloomberg has money and now he wants power and he is and example of the saying: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. He wants power over us and our guns but he can’t get the snow removed from his city’s streets.

Bloomberg being Jewish (at least I think he is) wants to enact Nazi laws against firearm ownership. Gun bans have done a lot of good in New York City, a city rife with crime and a populace defenseless to stop these animals. New York City is an example of gun control not effective in stopping crime but it was never intended to do so. Gun banning only hurts the average citizen. The politicians and criminals gain from an unarmed populace.

Peter says:

@frled lapides

“You cannot invade the mainland United States.
There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.”

- Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto
(Japanese Navy)

Peter says:

Mr Mayor,

NYC, Chicago, LA, etc. have some of the most draconian gun laws in place, but yet some of the highest gun crime, why is that.

States like Vermont have virtually no gun control, and virtually no gun crime, care to explain ?

Something to do with the natives perhaps ?

ConcernedCitizen says:

Fred…
Admiral Yamamoto famously said “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a man with a rifle behind every blade of grass.”

Peter says:

Some of the antis will say, when these laws were created, they had muskets in mind.

yet, they disagree when the same is applied to the 1st Amendment, such as (which ACLU staunchly defends, but a defense for 2A case is avoided):

They did not have people shouting anti-American slogans in mind.
or
They did not have people dressed in leather whipping each other in public in mind.

Peter says:

@Byrna, you supported us with your own question.

“What is this American pre-occupation with violence”,

Unfortunately it’s the criminal element with most of this pre-occupation, and us law abiding element simply want to protect ourselves against it, get it ?

Peter says:

Rabbi Gerard, you probably would be one of the “Capos” in WWII Germany.

I guess the majority of gun owners, 80 Million of them owning 300 million guns are part of the majority of Americans, sorry, you need to go beyond Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn to get your stats.

Peter says:

I wonder why Hitler did not invade Switzerland, could it be he knew every citizen had a firearm in their home? You actually think Hitler would have stood by and let Switzerland be “neutral” if they had no means of self defense?

[I do not consider our current gun laws to be “Nazi-inspired,”]

Liel – you don’t have to “consider” anything. It’s simple historical fact, which you’d know if you were familiar with JPFO’s materials. Spend some time on their web site. They’re one of my favorite pro-gun groups.

Peter says:

@Rachel

How do we improve society? pour $$ into poor performing school districts, we see how that works, not.

Let’s begin here, stress the traditional “family”, 2 parent households (kids need a dad you know), dare I say God?, etc. The problem is when society improving, such as the above, are pushed, liberal types like yourself complain that they are discriminatory, racist, homophobic, etc. So please shut your yenta trap.

Peter says:

The mayor should be holding a derivative in one hand, and a currency forward in the other if he really wants to show what damaged our society, Oh!, that’s right, he made billions from those type of transactions.

Russ says:

Regarding the Nazi origins of our current gun laws.
In this piece you state that you feel the reference to our gun laws being Nazi based as hyperbolic, but for years 2A supporters commented upon the remarkable similarity between the language of the Gun Control Act of 1968(GCA’68)resulting in much speculation to how this language was incorporated into the law, Research done by the JPFO uncovered a request from fmr Senator Thomas Dodd for a translation of The 1938 German Weapons Act, there are many parts of this law that were lifted verbatim & made US law.
The phrase “sporting use” comes specifically from this German law, as does the prohibitions of citizens 18-20 years of age purchasing handguns. This law also required all merchants buying of selling firearms to be licensed with detail records of where they aquired& disposed of all firearms. Are you comfortable with this knowledge?

RICK ZIMMERMANN says:

Dear Liel Libovitz, I am of german decent,I am a small part of this site but, I am a Loyal and Patriotic Americam first and formost, and I can assure You that unless You live under a rock You should listen to those far more educated than You on the Nazi gun control act,and the gun control act of 1968,they are almost identical in wordage, this is fact, and any Politition that does NOT PROTECT AND DEFEND the Constitution and his or her own oath of Office,should not have a voice in Our lives, Mayor Bloomberg,Nancy Pelossi,the Clintons,and Yes even the Obama’s should be held accountable and the Gun Control Act of 1968 should be abolished forever before Our Country is destroyed from WITHIN, with their help and the help of the United Nations,then where will any of Our Freedoms be?? WAKE UP AMERICANS,OF EVERY RACE AND RELIGION BEFORE IT’S TO LATE.!!!!! Sincerely,Rick Zimmermann

Old Rockin' Dave says:

The Yamamoto quote doesn’t signify unless you can show context to prove he was referring to American gun ownership. I don’t think he was referring to farmers and ranchers with Winchesters and Marlins, but to an army with Garands. Before the war he consistently warned against war with the US because the US had a greater capacity to wage war and Japan would lose in any prolonged conflict. It sounds to me like he was referring to that – a larger population and a better, larger industrial base, and those were exactly the things that led to Japan’s defeat. They never conquered China despite having every advantage but population.

CalTex says:

The good rabbi should stick to Torah and leave right-wing BS to the goyim on CBN who are so much better at it.

Ronald Pies MD says:

Firearm violence is an enormous problem in this country. According to research from the UCLA and the Harvard Schools of Public Health, homicide rates in the United States are nearly seven times higher than rates in other high-income countries, driven by firearm-related
homicide rates nearly 20 times higher. In the population aged 15 to 24, firearm-related homicide rates are almost 43 times higher here than in other high-income countries.
Moreover, contrary to some much-publicized claims, both homicide and firearm-related homicide rates in the United States are generally higher in areas with increased gun
prevalence. Furthermore, permissive policies regarding carrying guns have not reduced crime rates, according to Dr. Garen Wintermute in the April 3, 2008, New England
Journal of Medicine. Unintentional firearm-related deaths were also about five times higher in this country than in comparison countries.

Placing sensible restrictions on firearms is not a “liberal” or a “conservative” position. Such restrictions have been advocated by groups as diverse as the APA and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Ronald Pies MD
Professor of Psychiatry
SUNY Upstate Medical University,
and Tufts USM

[Please see my upcoming Op-Ed on this topic in Psychiatric News]

Craig L. Toth says:

Greetings My Fellow Compromisers & Victim Disarmament Sympathizers:

With all due respect, Rabbi Bendory’s correspondence to Mayor Bloomberg was absolutely flawless; plus, our Bill of Rights motto stands for “Government Keep Out”, and never be settled by mutual concessions. Remember the past, honor around 170,000,000 to 200,000,000 civilians were slaughtered by tyrannical Governments during the 20th Century due to Victim Disarmament. Finally, anyone whose an elected servant that endorses Mayor Bloomberg’s agenda should be indicted for Treason. Thank you for your time!!

Claire M. says:

@ Ronald Pies MD, “homicide” includes both justified (self defense, for example) and unjustified (murder) death. The ages 15-24 were specifically selected by gun-ban advocates because they include those ages deployed in the military so they can include those who die in wars. The US tends to be the world’s policeman, so we have more than our share of those. It also includes suicide, and in other countries where guns are banned, the suicide rates aren’t generally lower–they just use different means.
The December 2010 statistics from FL showed those with carry permits are less likely to commit crimes than ordinary citizens. And most crime is criminal-on-criminal crime. When you talk about “prevalence”, you’re not talking about people keeping a firearm for self defense and/or recreation. You’re talking about areas frequented by gangs and cartels. The laws don’t apply to them anyway, since they ignore them (otherwise they wouldn’t murder or commit armed robbery, for example). So you’re talking about abridging rights of the very people who actually try to follow the law–ordinary citizens. They aren’t the ones committing the crimes. JPFO is spot on in their analysis.

Ronald Pies MD says:

from:Hemenway,D,Vriniotis M: “Comparing the Incidence of Self-Defense Gun Use and Criminal Gun Use,” Bulletins, (Issue 3)An update on firearms research provided by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center
Spring 2009

“The opportunity for a law-abiding gun owner to use a gun in a socially desirable manner–against a criminal during the commission of a crime–will occur, for the average gun owner, perhaps once or never in a lifetime. It is a rare event. Other than self-defense, the use of a gun against another human is socially undesirable. Regular citizens with guns, who are sometimes tired, angry, drunk, or afraid, and who are not trained in dispute resolution, have lots of opportunities for inappropriate gun uses. People engage in innumerable annoying and somewhat hostile interactions with each other in the course of a
lifetime. It should not be surprising that inappropriate, socially undesirable “self-defense” gun uses by
people who believe they are law-abiding citizens outnumber the appropriate and socially beneficial use
of guns.”

Dr. Pies,

The “regular citizens … will do bad things” just doesn’t prove out.

I would refer you to statistics from Florida.

Florida has issued well over 1.6 million licenses to carry since they enacted “shall issue” (contingent on background check, training, and a rather steep fee).

As of the last data I have seen, they have revoked only 166 because the licensee did something bad with his/her gun.

That’s about one one-hundredth of one percent.

“Regular people” are VERY responsible in their exercise of the right of self-defense.

On the other hand, the numbers show that nation-wide, every year, 1.5 – 2 million times, law-abiding citizens use a gun to prevent or stop violent crimes. (in 90+% of the cases, no shot is fired … merely presenting the weapon causes the thug to “suddenly realize he has an important appointment elsewhere.”

Crime overall drops dramatically when/where citizens are not denied their right of self-defense. (“More Guns – Less Crime”, John Lott)

DC, Chicago, NY, LA, and other areas with onerous bans on the self-defense rights of law-abiding citizens, on the other hand, have the highest crime rates in the nation.

Old Rockin' Dave says:

Peter asks, “I wonder why Hitler did not invade Switzerland, could it be he knew every citizen had a firearm in their home? You actually think Hitler would have stood by and let Switzerland be “neutral” if they had no means of self defense?”
The real answer is that Hitler did not need to invade.
Do you really think that the antiquated and tiny Swiss army of the era was a real deterrent?
The Swiss manufactured arms for Germany, tried to shoot down every Allied plane that strayed across the border, interned Allied servicemen that crossed over, laundered Nazi gold, provided a place where international deals could take place and allowed trains with deported Italian Jews to cross their territory. Do not doubt that Hitler would have crushed the Swiss the moment they became a nuisance.

G. Lee says:

W., 05/18/11 common era

The same Power Elite who would disarm ordinary American citizens so often have armed security details. Some of them also have, like Rudy Guliani, Charles Shumer, and Dianne Feinstein, concealed carry handgun permits. I am reminded of the saying in George Orwell’s ANIMAL FARM,
“Some creatures are more equal than others.”

I’ve said that least 3380225 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

I get read a person’s article. It’s actually helpful. We could benefit significantly from the application. Fluent writing style and even vivid key phrases make united states readers take pleasure in reading. I might share a person’s opinions together with my pals.

Great post! I’m all for it. The article is basically helpful to my advice. Reading a person’s article produces me content. At one time, I can certainly learn additional knowledge. Thanks quite definitely.

Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

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Calling Out Bloomberg on Gun Control

Rabbi makes Jewish argument for firearms rights

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