Monthly Archives: May 2011

Remembering Jewish Troops on Memorial Day

“Men sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”-George Orwell
Tomorrow is a day we remember and honor all of the troops in the US Armed Forces who have given their lives for all of our freedoms (including the right to bear arms…). If you are so inclined to pay special homage and support to our Jewish troops their are a few web sites you might want to check out:

Jewish War Veterans of the US (http://www.jwv.org/)

This organization once published a book called “Jews in American Wars,” and I was lucky to find a copy recently. It covers Jewish service from the Revolution forward, a great read if you can find it! They also have a newsletter with great historical entries, and a recent edition identifies Jewish soldiers fallen in our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kosher Troops Care packages to US Jewish Soldiers (http://www.koshertroops.com/index.html)

National Museum of American Jewish Military History (http://www.nmajmh.org/)

Jews in Green (http://www.jewsingreen.com/)

May G-d bless our troops.

Jewish Marksmen Need to Take a Stand

The primary focus of this blog is Jews who participate in shooting sports. There are other organizations with web sites that focus on gun rights, notably Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JFPO), so as a rule I try to avoid duplicating their efforts.
I need to make an exception to that rule and inform my readers about a controversy that has arisen in the most gun-unfriendly state in the Union, my native state of Illinois. The controversy was caused by the graphic above which was used by a gun rights group. In case you cannot clearly read the text, on the left it says, “Armed people fly their colors,” and on the right it reads, “Disarmed, victims wear them.” Apparently, the anti-gun crowd finds the graphic offensive. In fact, our fellow landsman, Illinois state senator Ira Silverstein had this to say: “It offended not only me but a lot of Jewish individuals and non-Jewish individuals who know the history of the Holocaust. [This group] should think before they print these things.”

Rabbi Dovid Bendory has written a letter to Mr. Silverstein, wherein he criticizes Silverstein’s viewpoint (link at http://jpfo.org/rabbi/rabbi-silverstein-letter.htm). I strongly urge you to read Rabbi Bendory’s letter to Silverstein, which also gives a little more of the background, and links to the newspaper article that kicked things off.

I strongly agree with Rabbi Bendory. Like Bendory, I am disappointed and ashamed that a fellow Jew like Silverstein learned nothing from the history and events that lead to the Holocaust. Note that Silverstein’s quote says it offended “individuals who know the history of the Holocaust,” not that Silverstein actually confirmed that any Holocaust survivors are actually offended by it. To borrow from Reagan, “the trouble with our gun-fearing Jewish friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”

If you would like to write to Silverstein and express your views, his email address seems to be silverstein@senatedem.state.il.us It is important that we take a stand.

Robert Farago – (Best) Gun Blogger

Some time ago I discovered thetruthaboutguns.com blog, and it has quickly become my favorite destination for intelligent and honest discussion on most things gun-related. The Truth About Guns (TTAG) has a broad view of firearms, which I find refreshing. TTAG’s blog posts are presented as point of view, as opposed to point of fact. So unlike most other gun blogs, TTAG does not suffer from annoying self-righteousness and self-certainty that makes other gun blogs unreadable.

After noticing a few passing references to Judaism, I began to wonder if TTAG’s main editor was Jewish. As it turns out, Robert Farago, TTAG’s Managing Editor and Publisher is indeed a member of the tribe. He graciously agreed to participate in a Q & A exchange about himself and his blog:

1. Where did you grow up, and where do you live now?

I grew up in Providence, RI. I live in Providence, RI. In between the two, I’ve lived in Boston, Atlanta and various parts of southern England.

2. What motivated you to start your blog, thetruthaboutguns.com? What motivates you to keep doing it? Are there any particular goals for the blog?

I started TTAG to combine my passion for writing and shooting (though not both at the same time). I did so after I sold my website www.thetruthaboutcars.com to a corporate conglomerate that had no more interest in nurturing artistic talent than raising ferrets (despite their ferret-like behavior). I’m motivated by OCD, low self-esteem, an inflated ego, a wicked sense of humor, a hatred for lousy editors and a love of the the truth. My goal for the blog is to A) make money for myself and my writers and B) reach 1m unique viewers per month to achieve A.

3. Who introduced you to firearms? How old were you the first time you went shooting?

I introduced myself to firearms. Hello firearms. Nice to meet you. I put the bullets where? Seriously, I just decided to take it up at the ripe old age of 50. OK, 51. I’d shot some as a kid. Plinking with a friend who had a gun. Hunted ducks with my Dad. Once. But it never really “took” until I started the website and got into the tactical and political aspects.

4. Are you involved in shooting sports? What shooting sports have you competed in? Have you earned any awards or classifications?

I’ve got no time for formal competition; I’m something of a Mr. Mom as well as a blogger. I take as much training as possible and shoot at least three times a week. Mostly defensive handgun (MOVE!) but also shotgun and rifle.

5. What do Jewish family members and friends think about your affinity for guns and your blog?

My Mom is a typical jewish liberal. But she’s old enough now where she doesn’t really care as long as I don’t put on too much weight (go figure). My U.S.-based kids go to a Quaker school that preaches non-violence. Naturally, we have a semi-secret militia. Lots of parents shoot. As for my friends, they’re all gun nuts too. Either that or they’re not my friends, as I tend to be both reclusive and monomaniacal.

6. Have you “converted” any Jews to gun ownership? Any interesting stories about that?

I’ve certainly renewed some of my Jewish friends’ acquaintance with firearms. They hadn’t shot in years before I got them back to the range. There was one gentlemen who said he’d never fire a gun at another human being. After two targets, I put up a human silhouette. He drilled center mass and we talked about the difficulty of doing it in the heat of the moment. He now keeps a Kimber by his bed.

7. Is there anything else you would like to say to the readers?

I am the son of a Holocaust survivor. I am deeply shamed by the gun control perpetuated by Jewish politicians. They are our own worst enemies. God directs that we should defend our lives. To remove the single most effective instrument of that defense from ourselves and our people is to affront God with our ignorance and stupidity. This is the single most important issue we will ever face. Do not vote for any Jewish politician who favors gun control.

Go check out Robert and the other authors over at thetruthaboutguns.com. I have also added him to my list of prominent Jews who support the Second Amendment.