Dedicated readers know that earlier this year the Jewish community began discussing the need for European Jews to arm themselves. In January, I informed readers that European Rabbi Manachem Margolin had petitioned European leadership to make special accommodations for Jews to arm themselves in the wake of the Paris kosher supermarket shootings. Later that month, Tablet contributor Liel Leibowitz wrote in support of that same notion.
My January piece also was clear that in my opinion, Margolin's aim was too narrow, i.e. I advocate that all Europeans should have a right to self defense with firearms. Leibowitz has now reached the same conclusion in another Tablet piece. Glad he came around.
It is worth noting that Leibowitz's motive for the expansion of gun rights in Europe is grounded in self-defense from terrorism (and one would assume, other violent crimes). But this misses another major principle embodied in America's 2nd Amendment, which is the right of the citizenry to collectively defend themselves against tyrannical government. It's beyond the scope of this blog to delve into this last issue, I merely point it out as one anecdote of where Jewish thinking may currently be on the subject.
I think it is worth a few minutes to click on the links above to Leibovitz's Tablet articles from February and yesterday. The more influential Jews we have opening their minds to permissive firearms policies, the better. And the more Europeans are allowed to arm themselves, the less we have to listen to the anti-gun lobby's irrelevant comparisons of US and European gun laws!