Thank you, honorable senators and Chairman Zirkin. My name is Shmuel Frankel and I represent the Givati rifle and pistol club. We are a group of Jewish gun owners from all over the state, but primarily from the Pikesville neighborhood. Chairman Zirkin, I hope we did not trouble your staff too much with all of our phone calls and emails yesterday. But, I hope we got the point across that we are your constituents and we take this issue very seriously. I have also submitted as written testimony a letter signed by over 70 members from our club, a third of whom reside in Chairman Zirkin’s District.
I am not here today to bore you with the data. There are far more boring people who can supply you with all of that. I’m here today to tell you my story, and to let you know how we as Jewish gun owners feel about this issue. My connection with guns starts with my grandfather after whom I am named. During the Holocaust, he fought with a group of partisans in the forest outside of Warsaw. My uncle told me that when he initially tried to join the partisans, he was denied because he was useless to them without a firearm. However, he eventually obtained a firearm and was able to join the partisans and fight the Nazis. His story inspired me to take responsibility for myself and my family and to ensure our safety.
I came today to bear witness that the lesson of the Holocaust for Jewish gun owners is NEVER AGAIN! We will not be left defenseless ever again.
This is not ancient history. Just a few months ago, not more than four hours from here, our Jewish brothers and sisters were gunned down in a synagogue. Jewish men and women slaughtered by a maniac, Nazi, anti-semite murderer!
My response to this is: NOT IN MY SYNAGOGUE!
To the Jewish gun owners of the state, the lesson of the Holocaust and recent tragedies reinforce the meaning NEVER AGAIN!
We will NEVER allow ourselves to be stripped of our means of self-defense! We will NEVER be left defenseless and forced to rely on others for our protection!
I came before you today to say that NEVER AGAIN means that no matter how you try to demonize, punish, and criminalize law-abiding gun owners, we will not forget the lessons history has taught us!
Shmuel Frankel Esq.
President, Givati RPC