July 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Things to Think About on The Subject of Guns

As a forenote, I want to make it clear that I own no stock in or of rifles, nor have I decided where I stand, sit or otherwise laze on the issue of establishing my own armory. Since I don’t know my final position on this, I can be sure that I won’t know exactly how it will or has already influenced my statements.

In your recent issue, you published a letter from Gary Moses who objected to your presentation of advertisements from guns and gun ranges (“Cease and Desist,” June 6, 2024). Ranges on their own, I am assuming, are still OK. I feel that this position, and the underlying approach to any individual’s safety is not the only, nor even necessarily most persuasive stance.

The first concern is the letter writer advocating that a newspaper, without any editorial stance on this particular controversy, stop accepting advertising (and its dollars … no offense but I’m not subscribing when the business model changes) because of political sensibilities. The newspaper then becomes an economic political influencer, using its readers as pawns when trying to attract business but trading those dollars for the access to the readership and thus, votes. So yeah, I’m against that.

Then I run into the problem of trying to ban ads because of some fear of an outcome. If there are ads for alcohol, if there are ads for cars, if there are ads for ice cream, should we ban them for fear of the potential negative of misuse? I’m not saying that ice cream makes you fat, just that not eating ice cream won’t make you fat.

The letter also insists that Jews should not “provoke violence,” as if simple ownership and proper training is a red flag that will be exactly what sets the Nation of Kill-Dan-Rosen at my doorstep. Does the alarm on my house encourage robbers? Maybe I should remove the sign so they don’t know that I have an alarm. No, that would be like my not announcing to everyone that I have a gun and know how to use it everywhere I go. Oh, people don’t do that? People won’t know that I have a gun? So how will my ownership provoke anything?

The writer is also concerned because we live in peace with our neighbors.

That’s pretty OK as a statement but it misses the point. I assume that the person who tries to break into my house, abuse my teddy bear and tie up my leftover chicken is not the kid from across the street with whom I play catch on alternate Tuesdays. I don’t think America has a nuclear arsenal to ward off Canada.

Though I may be wrong.

Heaven forbid a member of our community is the victim of violence and did not even have the training and ability to protect himself and his family. By advocating ignorance of firearms as a means of self protection, the writer of the letter is complicit in any resultant victim’s victimization.

And if the concern is the use of lethal force, the ads indicate that people can become trained in the non-lethal arts, but that’s like going to a steak place and getting the fish, IMHO.

I don’t own a gun; I don’t know where I would put it if I had one. Heck, I haven’t ever been shooting and I never even went paintballing. (Alon, must you go late in the fall? It’s so cold out there). It isn’t that I am endorsing anything related to guns. I just respect that my decision of what I believe to be the right way to approach the concept of a well-regulated militia is not the same as everyone else’s, and other positions have been equally and comprehensively vetted by their supporters, so maybe dismissing them out of hand is a bad idea.

Some people would say that their faith is in Hashem, but they recognize when he sends three boats.

Rabbi Daniel Rosen
Teaneck
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