In Silveira v. Lockyer, the United States Court of Appeals decided that the Second Amendment did not protect the right to bear arms.
“If a few hundred Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto could hold off the Wehrmacht for almost a month with only a handful of weapons, six million Jews armed with rifles could not so easily have been herded into cattle cars,” Judge Kozinski wrote in his dissent.
“The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision,” he warned.
Jews know better than anyone else that doomsday can come faster than you expect it. In New York and Los Angeles and across the country there are men and women who saw their governments turn on them in the Holocaust.
By the time they realized how desperate the situation was, they had already been disarmed and left helpless to protect their families from Nazi terror. Before Adolph Hitler and the architects of his Final Solution were able to put the plan into effect, it was first necessary to ensure that the victims were disarmed and unable to defend themselves.
When the authorities in Weimer Germany enacted a well-meaning gun registration, it became “a tool for evil.” Law-abiding citizens obeyed – although the criminals, Communists and Nazis committing acts of political terror did not. When Hitler came to power, he used those registration records to identify and disarm political opponents and Jews..
In 1938 Hitler signed a Gun Control Act that actually became the model for the U.S. Gun Control Act of 1968. Jews were prohibited from working in the firearms industry, and ultimately were ordered to surrender their weapons or face concentration camp – and the police had records on all who had registered them. Even those who surrendered their weapons voluntarily were turned over to the Gestapo.
In November 1938 came Kristallnacht, the Night of the Broken Glass; by then the Jews had been disarmed and were helpless to resist the pogrom. And all the atrocities and massacres of millions that followed in its wake.
Ze’ev Jabotinsky – Jewish author, soldier, and founder of the Jewish Self-Defense Organization – tried for years to warn his fellow Polish Jews of the coming storm. His call to arms was “Jewish youth, learn to shoot.” But he was dismissed by Jewish organizations as an extremist.
Imagine how differently the course of history might have run had those six million Jews listened to the “extremist”, if they had learned to shoot and refused to allow their arms to be confiscated by the government.
Foolish claims are made that more weapons in the hands of Jews could not have stopped the Nazi genocide machine. That “gun control did not cause the Holocaust; Nazism and anti-Semitism did.” That Nazism and antisemitism caused the Holocaust. But gun control enabled the Nazi antisemites to carry out the Holocaust with virtually no resistance from the victims, who were subsequently denied the opportunity to fight back.
50 low-quality revolvers, 50 hand grenades and four pounds of explosives helped the Jews of Warsaw resist the Nazi killing machine for a month. We commemorate the heroism of the Warsaw Ghetto fighters, but too many conveniently forget that it was made possible by the same firearms that they hate.
Our Second Amendment guarantees Americans the right to bear arms. But today, anti-gun hysteria is creating a culture of intolerance toward even safe, law-abiding gun owners, who are being harassed by such increasingly restrictive, big-government regulations. Children are suspended from school for pointing their index fingers. Business establishments proudly proclaim that they are “gun-free zones” even though such zones are more dangerous because they announce that everyone inside is helpless. Every mass shooting attack in the United States was carried out in gun-free zones where the people were left defenseless by anti-gun hysteria.
Some say that only law enforcement should be able to protect us from a shooting spree. But when an attack happens, would you rather be armed or disarmed? Would you rather defend your family or wait for the police to draw chalk outlines around the victims? And if we limit the right to bear arms to government authorities, who will protect us against the tyranny of government, as in Nazi Germany, a concern that is the basis for the Second Amendment?
If Jabotinsky were alive today, what would he say? That it is better to have a gun and not need it than to need one but not have it. That keeping to the middle of the road only makes us vulnerable to being hit. That there is a time to lie low and a time to resist. And that the time for resistance is before it is too late. The alternative is to allow evil to prevail.
For Jews Can Shoot, “Never Again” is not just a slogan; it is a call to action, because slogans won’t stop the next Holocaust. We are the new Holocaust resistance. We will not allow any infringement upon our Second Amendment right, nor will we abdicate our right to self-protection.
We know how it starts. We know how it ends.
We Jews need more than the moral high ground to ensure our survival.
Because Nothing Says Never Again Like an Armed Jew.
We are six million against gun control.
by Doris Wise
Doris Wise, President and founder of Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Jews Can Shoot. She is a child of Holocaust survivors, Meyer and Fela Wise(Wajchendler), OBM.