About the Blog

Educating fellow Jews about the sporting and defensive use of firearms. Especially Jews in North America, too many of whom are instilled with the belief that guns aren't for nice Jewish boys and girls.

If you know of notable Jewish shooters that should be documented on the blog, even if it is only at the local club level, I am happy to report and profile them. And don't be shy if that person to be documented is you! Please drop me a line at jewishmarksman at gmail dot com. Also follow me on twitter @JMarksmanship.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Jews, Comic Books,Guns and Marksmanship

Superheroes in America
Like most American kids born after WWII, I grew up with superheros as part of popular culture.  As a kid in the 1980's, some of the my favorites were Spider-man and Batman (the latter in re-runs of the live-action show with Adam West). I also remember watching cartoons of the Justice League of America, and the Fantastic Four.  Those shows did a great job of communicating strong American (and in-fact, historically Jewish) values and ethics to American kids.  Values and ethics like: standing up for the weak, bravery, fighting against evil, modesty, humility, work-ethic.

Jewish roots of American Superhero Mythology
Of course, anyone with a modicum of knowledge about the superhero "industry" in the US will grant that much of it was created through the work of Jews, and Jews remain actively involved and influential.  Stan Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber), although not observant, is still at the top of the food chain and a creative giant with Marvel comics (Captain America, Spider-man, etc..) .  His wildly popular X-Men series, in particular, contains all sorts of Jewish themes, including major characters who are explicitly Jewish.  On the DC Comics (a rival publisher) side, Superman had a Jewish creator, as did Batman, just to name a few.

And what does this have to do with Guns?
Many people misunderstand the 2nd Amendment, and the reasons so many Americans own guns.  The reason is simple: we choose to be strong, brave and to fight against evil.  We refuse to be victims of crime.  We refuse to be victims of tyranny.  And this attitude was shaped, in part, by our childhood superhero stories.

The American superhero stories teach a life lesson very clearly: the weak can and will be abused and enslaved by the strong.  In order for the weak to defend themselves, they need to level the playing field.  They need powers.  To emphasize that point, every comic book hero's lore includes an arc where the hero loses his or her powers, and becomes vulnerable (think Superman and kryptonite).  We can't take pills (yet) that give us Superman's powers, but we can learn to use guns to level the playing field with the bad guys.

and Marksmanship?
Through Spider-man, Stan Lee (again, born Stanley Martin Lieber) tells Americans that "WITH GREAT POWER THERE MUST ALSO COME--GREAT RESPONSIBILITY!" That means developing excellent safety habits and marksmanship skills.  Another value taught to American children through superhero stories.

Currently my 4 year old daughter and I are enjoying a number of animated superhero series on Netflix, including "Spider-man and His Amazing Friends" and the "Incredible Hulk."  Her favorite is the mutant Fire Star, of course.  These are great shows we can watch together, and discuss the moral and ethical conflicts that the shows address.  Unlike "Barney" and other politically correct garbage fed to kids today, she is learning that indeed there are good guys and bad guys in the world, and we must all stand up to the bad guys.  On her own, she commented that "people shouldn't be afraid of the Hulk just because he looks different, they should talk to him and learn that he is really very nice and a good guy."

I'm enjoying using Marvel's Marvel Unlimited app to explore their library...there are plenty of comics that are interesting for adults.  Check it out!

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