The Relationship Between Jews and Guns

Very interesting article on the New Jersey Jewish News site. Most of the jews I know are gun nuttier than many gentiles, and my club has many Jewish members, including one of my fellow club officers. So clearly there are many Jewish people, in this area at least, who like guns. Perhaps if you go to New York you will find many Jewish folks with no exposure to firearms, and who don’t think highly of them, but I’d suggest that’s more a product of being a New Yorkers than being Jewish.

Speaking of which, I better get going so we’re on time to meet Jason, who is Jewish, and has a machine pistol :)

21 thoughts on “The Relationship Between Jews and Guns”

  1. My experience – based on marrying into a jewish family – is that jews are more urban, and their circle of relations and friends is more urban. As a result, they are less likely to have exposure to gun people in general.

  2. The article that this one is “clarifying” (his previous) speaks in favor of reasonable things like sizeable magazine bans… I have a couple friends who were pretty successful in stage arts in NY in the 80’s. Both have commented to the effect of what SPQR says. I’d certainly like to believe that that particular minority would never allow itself to be disarmed based on current fashion… but I don’t think that’s realistic. We need effective approaches to turn the overly controlling toward freedom.

  3. A large part of my shooting club here in south Florida is Jewish. Just like the rest of us, they cover the spectrum from Marksman to Master (or at least so says the NRA).

  4. After realizing what Herr Hitler did to them after disarming them, I should think they would never neglect nor give up their right to keep and bear arms again!!! NEVER FORGET!!!

    1. That’s it in a nutshell. Jews know the 2nd Amendment isn’t about hunting.

  5. One of the stronger determinants of whether someone in America owns a gun is if his or her father owned a gun. Because gun ownership in the Old World was limited to the nobility in most countries, the number of generations that you have been in America has a lot to do with whether the gun ownership tradition has grabbed hold or not.

    Surveys that I have seen showing gun ownership broken down by religious tradition show Protestants most likely, Catholics somewhat less, and Jews least of all. This is also roughly the breakdown of when the various religious divisions arrive in America. While there are Jews in Colonial America, there are not many, and most Catholics are here because their ancestors arrived in the 19th century. Jews tend to be later arrivals, and often ended up in big cities on the East Coast where gun ownership was less common (and sometimes severely discouraged).

    Of course, many Protestants are descendants of people who were REQUIRED to own guns in the Colonial, Revolutionary, and early republic period. One of my ancestors was the New Haven colonial armorer in the mid-17th century, and I have read the will of my ancestor George Soule from 1680 in which he lives some of his guns to his descendants.

    1. Ah! And Cajun Catholics, like my mother, who’s father hunted, would be more likely to own guns, since they left France in the 16th Century and migrated to Louisiana by the mid-1760s. Wikipedia has this uncited bit about Cajuns (who were then living in a Spanish domain) and the Revolutionary War:

      “[Spanish General] Galvez leaves New Orleans with an army of Spanish regulars and the Louisiana militia made up of 600 Cajun volunteers and captures the British strongholds of Fort Bute at Bayou Manchac, across from the Acadian settlement at St. Gabriel. And on September 21, they attack and capture Baton Rouge.”

      And for general info with a lot of names, positions, etc., Wikipedia cites this page.

  6. It’s more a product of where you live and – echoing Clayton – who raised you. If your parents were gun owners, you will be more inclined to view them rationally. Urban dwellers were denied arms for a good part of the last few decades, especially those in the NE, near south and to some extent the west coast.

    As more and more arms are pushed into these realms, and as the younger generation takes them as their own – the urban inclinations will evolve. Some. I don’t think we’ll see a NYC/Chicago mindset that favors arms. But it’ll become more normal.

    Religion is not such a big deal in my mind. There are Mormons who don’t like guns, and Jews and Catholics who do. All flavors in between.

  7. I’ve also noticed that a lot of the Jewish people I’ve met have been liberals. There are liberals with guns, but guns are not real popular with most of them.

  8. I recall reading a memoir of a former Jewish partisan during WWII somewhere in Eastern Europe. He and his group bugged out into the woods instead of going to the ghettos that were being organized. They gradually acquired guns. However, he said that they were so inexperienced with them that for the first year or so they lost more comrades to accidents than to German action.

  9. I’ve seen a huge divide between the more secular Jews (who also tend to be more Urban, and often do many contradictory things like stand against Israel, and who favor National Socialism in its various forms)

    And the devout Jews. Of course history is part of it too. Orthodox and Hasidic Jews who live in the Urban Northeast have likely never been exposed to lawful gun culture, and still see guns as something carried and owned by criminals.

    I personally know a TON of Jews who are serious gun nuts, and know of several Rabbis who not only carry themselves but encourage those in their temple to exercise their rights.

  10. Sebastian, go far enough back in our club’s history, (37 years in this case) and the guy who held the job you have now was a member of the JDL.

  11. I’m 1/2 a jew, and I prefer my AR15’s uncircumcized. You know… with the flash hiders and bayonet lugs and such. I can’t speak for the other 1/2 jews, though…


  12. A dear friend of mine was Jewish, but not a devout practicing Jew (he came over for Easter Ham dinner), and he was a gun nut!

    An entire room was filled with his gun collection.

    Sadly I’ve lost touch with him over the years……

  13. Note that Jewish opinion is not universally anti-gun — and could not have been, or there’d be no Israel. What’d Gideon end up with, 300 out of 10,000?

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