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.” Read more