Thursday, October 18, 2007


The other librarians at work have found out about my new hobby. Some of them are curious, some are excited and wanting to join me at the range, but most are silent on the matter. My manager has been curious, asking questions about how it feels to shoot, if you need to be strong physically, if it's loud, that sort of thing.

The other day, I brought up the fact that I often see Orthodox Jews at the range. (I mention this in an earlier post)We have a rabbinical college and a sizable community of Orthodox Jews in the area and they frequently use our library.

My manager was shocked to find this out. She just couldn't believe it.

I suppose it's hard to imagine the old rabbi with his black suit and prayer shawl at the range shooting a pistol, or the young man in his yarmulke trying out a shotgun while his even younger wife looks on...but I saw them. They were shooting, smiling and generally having a good time. There's this camaraderie that happens at the range...color, religion, sex, it all just disappears. Everyone has stories to tell, advice to be offered, ammo to long as you're back there shooting, you are part of the gang. It's kind of beautiful really.

Anyway, back to the story. My manager, child of the sixties, ex-hippie and generally a liberal politically, was completely aghast at the thought of Orthodox Jews at the range. She said to me, "Why do you think they have guns? Do you think someone has been making threats against the community?"

Well, let's see...threats against Jews...only for the past 2000 years, maybe? Do the words "Never again" ring a bell?

You'd think my manager would know this.
She is Jewish herself.

Not Orthodox, but still fairly religious, she has somehow forgotten the history of her own people and how they have suffered.


Civis Proeliator said...

The attitude of your manager reminds me of the old adage that "Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

Good on ya for being an ambassador.

Sebastian said...

Taking new shooters to the range is the best thing you can do for the movement as a whole. It's really the only way we'll win this long term, because the fundamental problem we face is large swarths of the public being completely unfamiliar with firearms.

I have several Jewish friends who are shooters. In my experience, the more conservative jews tend to have a more favorable outlook on gun rights, and are also more strongly pro-Israel. It's reform jews, in my experience, who have issues with firearms.

BobG said...

Send your manager this .

triticale said...

Some years back, I was doing a computer install job in the Kansas City area. One of the bankers was a good ole boy; chewed tobacco and had a vanity license plate on his pickup truck suggestive of using hounds for raccoon hunting. We got onto the subject of gun rights, and he mentioned a particular bumper sticker he'd seen and wanted. I told him that it was produced by the Jews For the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. His response was "They ought to get it if anyone does." And yet your manager doesn't.

comatus said...

Y'know what, bob (Breda being off in the past, and her bandwidth being available), I've got issues with that Dr. Ruth story, sweet as it is. For one thing, she claims that they "discovered" she was a "lethal" shot. Now, I don't coach for military applications, but I know a lot of other coaches and some military instructors too. None of them believe in the "natural" at the expert level. Perhaps it was different among kibbutzim in '48, but the line just sounds wrong. Then comes loading the "Sten" automatic rifle blindfolded. You do drill with a Sten that way, because they jam a lot. They're also a short, cheap submachine gun, not a rifle. A BREN is a rifle. So I suspect that Dr. Ruth was very much in the struggle, probably did some scouting in defense parties, probably stood guard and reconnoitered a lot, but wasn't really a sniper (the article does say she never killed anyone). It's been a long time, and by the time of that interview she was "remembering with advantages." Happens in the best of families--hell, happens at the VFW--and this is not to say that short Jewish women are not the hardest substance known to G-d, but I don't think the whole story's wholly true. At least she's not anti-gun. And AFAIK she was a very nice sex therapist.

A real covenant Jew must believe the creator gave us the gun just for their survival. I know Browning felt that way about LDS.
On bad days I've felt the same.