Yesterday, something happened on social media that has never happened to me before. I changed my personal profile image to a new design I sell on my website. I had a few likes but nothing big. Then six days later, a gentleman who I don’t know, nor did I ever have any sort of contact with him before comments on the post and says, “No one believes you are actually Jewish.” Wait! What? Look, I’ve been called a Right-Wing Nazi, which is amusing in itself, but never have I been told that no one believes I’m actually Jewish.
My immediate response to this was, “Want me to drop my pants?” Score one for my sense of humor, right? I reposted it and got my laughs and likes. But then it started getting real. Despite this man beginning to make sexist jokes and other absurd jokes, I was curious what prompted him to make such an outrageous accusation. So I engaged.
One commenter posted a question to the man: Who exactly doesn’t believe he’s (me) Jewish? And Based on what exactly?
His response to the question was this:
“I don't ... because "pew pew jew" is beneath the intellect and dignity of any self respecting follower of Judaism. Grieving the deaths of 11 members from Tree of Life in my city at the hands of a gunman whose hate was propagated by anti-Semitic right-wing extremists, I find it hard to believe any person of faith would advocate for guns. But, then, I don't live in Texas.”
And there it is. Someone touched my murder and hate at the hands of an Anti-Semitic killer. But once again, the left (the man is a self-proclaimed proud Democrat) blames the object instead of the individual. The gun was a tool used by a murdered in a mass-shooting. But let’s not blame the actions of the man but rather the tool used to perpetrate the heinous act.
So I wrote to the man:
“First, I’m an Orthodox Jew. Have been my entire life. So, let’s put to sleep the notion that no one believes I’m actually Jewish. Secondly, I believe the Never Again means nothing if you’re not willing to do something about it. I wish more than anything that there comes a time when firearms are never needed. We can live in peace without worrying about anti-Semitic hate crimes or war. Unfortunately, that time is not now. We can try and take guns away from everyone, but criminals will find a way. Guns are part of the fabric of our nation. The only thing we can do currently is defend ourselves with firearms. Remember, we are our own first line of defense. My heart broke when the murders at Tree of Life occurred. I understand we will probably have differences of opinion and that’s ok. But I believe in the sanctity of life and I choose to protect mine, my wife and children’s lives, and those in my community at our synagogue with a firearm.”
Please indulge me as I post his response to mine.
Thank you for your reply. You and I are on opposite sides of the same coin. Continuing to arm our nation's citizenry does not protect is from crime. When the "good" guy with a gun becomes the "intimidator" with a gun, he/she infringes on the rights of every other American who chooses not to own one. Guns are not the answer to our nation's ills. Education, equity for POC and inclusion in society will lower the need for people to fear for their safety. Owning a gun will not stop acts of hatred, stopping hatred before it takes root and love for our fellow man is a much more powerful weapon."
I can agree with him on the need to stop hatred before it takes root.
You see, there are two trains of thoughts within America right now. Those who refuse to allow bullying and those that coddle the bullies. A Jew with a gun, defending himself, his family, his neighbors, his community is so foreign to so many Jews that they can’t believe that I exist. I must be faking my Judaism because what normal self-respecting Jew would dare pick up a gun let alone own a firearm.
Gun rights are Jewish rights. Plain and simple. Pro-gun law will help Jews (and everyone else) remain safe and secure. Gun control is anti-Semitic, racist, and anti-life.
I do pray that one day we do live in a society where I don’t need to carry a firearm to my synagogue or to the park while my kids run around and play. I wish for the day where I don’t have to keep my head on a swivel when taking a romantic walk with my wife. Unfortunately, that day is not upon us and at the rate we are going, it seems like it will remain a dream for longer than I care to dream.