Jews and Jewish organizations lead the gun control campaign
Given the Parkland shootings, I thought it appropriate to rerun this article, originally posted on January 1, 2013. See also Andrew Joyce’s article, “Jews and gun control: A reprise.”
In Cooper Sterling’s TOO article (“Guns, profiling and White males“), he notes
The Left’s irrational obsession with gun control goes beyond the latest mass shooting. It is endemic among the cosmopolitan literati, who loathe Middle America, to dwell on the risks associated with firearms while disregarding or minimizing the benefits of firearm ownership. …
Anyone monitoring the national scene since Newtown is witnessing an emotional antipathy toward the last trace of political leverage among an identifiable demographic: an overwhelmingly White male gun culture. What the MSM and gun control advocates ultimately detest is the gun culture in America, which is too White, too male, and too conservative. …
The tradition of gun ownership is as old as the Republic. It reflects the pre-1965 demographic of America as an overwhelmingly White—and more civilized—nation. As a native Midwesterner, guns were rampant in our neighborhoods where few homes didn’t have some sort of firearm. We came of age hunting with our fathers, uncles and cousins, acquiring rifles and shotguns in our mid-teens.
An article from The Forward notes that the Jewish community has taken the lead in gun control and that part of it is hostility toward the gun culture of White America that is especially apparent in rural White America. Jews “instinctively recoil” from this culture (“After Newtown Jews lead renewed push on guns“).
Jewish organizations pride themselves on gun control stances that date back to the early days of the debate, following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and of President Kennedy. Most played a supportive role in passing legislation then limiting access to weapons, and have since reaffirmed their commitment to reducing the availability of guns.
One reason for broad Jewish support of gun control, Mariaschin said, has to do with the community’s sense of security, “which perhaps leads us to feel that the possession of assault weapons is completely unneeded.”
Rabbi Eric Yoffie, former head of the Reform movement, listed in a recent Haaretz article several reasons for Jews siding with supporters of gun control: the community’s affiliation with the Democratic Party; the fact that Jews are urban people and detached from the culture of hunting or gun ownership, and suspicion toward the NRA, which is “associated in the minds of many Jews with extremist positions that frighten Jews and from which they instinctively recoil.”
Although Jews certainly attacked and eventually overcame the elite WASP culture of pre-1965 America (e.g., by displacing WASPs at elite universities), another critical point of conflict between Jewish organizations and the main Jewish intellectual movements has been with rural America. This conflict can be most clearly seen among the New York Intellectuals, a group that is discussed in Chapter 6 of The Culture of Critique.
The New York Intellectuals were attacking populism in favor of themselves as an intellectual elite. The New York Intellectuals associated rural America with
nativism, anti-Semitism, nationalism, and fascism as well as with anti-intellectualism and provincialism; the urban was associated antithetically with ethnic and cultural tolerance, with internationalism, and with advanced ideas. . . . The New York Intellectuals simply began with the assumption that the rural—with which they associated much of American tradition and most of the territory beyond New York—had little to contribute to a cosmopolitan culture. . . . By interpreting cultural and political issues through the urban-rural lens, writers could even mask assertions of superiority and expressions of anti-democratic sentiments as the judgments of an objective expertise. (Cooney 1986, 267–268; italics in text)
The last line bears repeating. The New York Intellectuals were engaged in a profoundly anti-democratic enterprise given that they rejected and felt superior to the culture of the majority of Americans. The battle between this urbanized intellectual and political establishment and rural America was joined on a wide range of issues. Particularly important was the issue of immigration. In this case and in the entire range of what became mainstream liberal politics, the New York Intellectuals had the enthusiastic support of all of the mainstream Jewish organizations. (Review of Eric Kaufmann’s The Rise and Fall of Anglo America“)
The gun culture of traditional America, especially rural America has been particularly loathed by Jewish intellectuals. There is also a deep fear of Christian culture that is most vibrant in rural America. For example, Israeli patriot Elliott Abrams acknowledges that the mainstream Jewish community in America “clings to what is at bottom a dark vision of America, as a land permeated with anti-Semitism and always on the verge of anti-Semitic outbursts.” According to Abrams, because of this vision, Jews have taken the lead in secularizing America. In fact, the key role of Jewish organizations in shaping the Constitutional law on Church/State relations is well known. And it’s not much of a mystery who’s behind the war on Christmas.
And by successfully changing immigration policy, Jews have reduced the political power of the rural White subculture of America to the point that even though roughly 7 in 10 White males voted Republican (and ~60% of White females), Obama and the Democrats won the recent election. Even if the current push for gun control fails, we can expect that Jewish organizations will continue the push to disarm White males.
Jewish organizations are not at all against guns when they are in the hands of the police and other authorities. The ADL (see the ADL’s Law Enforcement Agency Resource Network) and the SPLC (Law Enforcement Training and Law Enforcement Resources) have made strong alliances with law enforcement in America.
Further, it has often been observed that Jewish organizations have historically favored a strong central government rather than states’ rights. For example, Jacques Berlinerblau, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education (see here), notes that “Jewish voters … prefer cities and federal governments to backwaters and volatile statehouses. … All things equal, Jews like strong central governments, not a pastiche of local decision makers catering to majorities.”
Although Jewish organizations would not phrase it this way, the net result is that the thrust of Jewish activism has been to favor a strong central government with a monopoly on lethal force. Given Jewish hostility to the traditional people and culture of White America, this is a very foreboding combination as we head into the era of a non-White majority America.
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