As much as I love Canada—I’m a citizen—I could not live in a place that practically outlaws the right to defend life and property. Ordinary Canadian citizens are de facto barred from owning firearms. Read Second-Amendment scholar David Kopel’s account of Canada’s draconian gun laws:
… it is virtually impossible for an ordinary citizen to obtain a permit to carry a loaded handgun for self-defense. Handgun carry permits for self-protection are issued “only in exceptional cases” where the issuing officer is “satisfied” of the applicant’s need. A 600 page National Firearms Manual, prepared by the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, provides ample reasons for an officer to accept or deny a self-protection application as he sees fit. In contrast, permits to carry unloaded, locked handguns to target ranges are readily obtainable.
… How strict the police departments are in issuing handgun target licenses varies from region to region. In some jurisdictions, a person might legally buy a handgun, but the police would hold the gun for several months, while the central government in Ottawa completed its paperwork. Only then would the police allow the gun to be taken to a target range.
Notice how law-enforcement are first to champion gun control against the populace, by using the pretext that it’ll stop criminals from arming themselves. This is the case in the US too. Currently, in Washington State, one is treated to TV footage of weepy “vaginas” (not my coinage; I’m innocent here) plumping for a ballot initiative that would, as these simpletons promise, stop violence against women. Explains Rachel Alexander:
I-594 has been cleverly drafted to sound like it merely makes small changes to gun laws, not a flat-out ban or gun registration scheme. This is why it is so dangerous. People are less likely to oppose it; in fact, polls show that even a majority of gun owners – 54 percent of the 35 percent of Washington residents who own a gun – are in favor of it.
The initiative, or so the professional criers claims, is backed by thousands of policemen.
But I digress. Gun restrictions impact the law-abiding citizen; criminals by definition are outlaws. The criminal who “ambushed the Parliament building in Ottawa” had no qualms about violating Canada’s pernicious anti-gun laws to carry out an attack on the Canadian parliament.
Still, the moron media stateside pushes more gun control in … Canada.
Quite often, in my travels on these here Interwebz, I find gun grabbers pontificating how cool it would be if we were just like Britain. After all, they have stringent gun control, and their homicide rates are SOOOOOO much lower than ours!
Must be the fault of the evil gunz, right?
After all, the United States, according to recent figures, has 4.7 murders per 100,000 residents, while the United Kingdom has 1.
Must be the fault of the evil gunz, right?
Ehhhh… not so fast.
While the United States does, in fact, have a higher murder rate than the UK and much more guns in circulation, anyone with a shred of an education knows that correlation does not equal causation, and that the presence of guns tells a very limited and very inaccurate story.
Countries such as Latvia, that have the same per capita murder rate that we do, have a much lower gun ownership rate. Whereas we boast 90 firearms per 100 people, and despite this fact, our per capita homicide rates are below those of Estonia and Lithuania, Haiti, the Cayman Islands, and Mexico, which all have gun ownership rates far below ours.
So is it really the guns?
I’m thinking not so much, especially with our homicide, accidental death and violent crime rates on the decline, while gun ownership increases.
The UK enacted its strict gun control legislation after the 1996 Dunblane massacre, which resulted in the deaths of 16 children and their teacher. The ban did not stop murders in the UK. As a matter of fact, they increased dramatically in the aftermath of the legislation, and reached their peak in 2003/2004.
That said, the nation has had historically low homicide rates to begin with, so the increase was definitely noticeable.
What also is notable are the low homicide rates prior to the enactment of the gun control legislation, which left most Britons disarmed and vulnerable to armed thugs.
So in a country with historically low homicide rates, one incident prompted a comprehensive infringement on the people’s right to bear arms, and said infringement had no appreciable effect on the already low homicide rates in this country.
Meanwhile in the United States, we finally got rid of the odious and worthless “assault” weapons ban, gun ownership rates have been climbing, and homicide rates have been declining steadily.
But if you think that the Brits are finished spanking the gun owners for incidents of violence for which they are not responsible, you would be wrong. According the latest news from the UK, if you’re a registered gun owner in Britain, you will be subject to unannounced police visits to your home, and warrantless inspections of firearms storage.
Right to privacy? Forget it.
Right to property? Screw you.
If you are a gun owner in the UK, you have no rights. And yet, we have Mommies Demanding Action for Gunsense screeching about safe storage laws… for the children.
They either don’t understand that such mandates would involve massive violations of Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights, or they don’t care.
My bet is on the latter.
They want more stringent controls. They demand universal background checks that would essentially eliminate private firearms sales, infringing on the people’s right to dispose of their property without government interference.
They want a ban on scary, black rifles for no other reason than they’re black and scary.
And all for what?
For nothing. The UK’s example shows that their gun control laws have had no effect on actual murder rates, but instead of looking at actual causes of violence, the gun grabbers in this country want to be just like the UK.
Do we want to emulate a nation that routinely infringes on its citizens’ right to privacy, right to property, and right to self defense in vain?
You hear it all the time in writings or speeches about the Holocaust: “Never again!”
This is spoken as a war cry, a cry of defiance and determination. Yet how many of the people raising their figurative fists to the sky and shouting that there will be no more Holocausts are actually doing anything to prevent future disaster?
Damn few. Shouting, “Never again!” doesn’t do one real thing to prevent disaster any more than pink ribbons (which my town is festooned with every October) cure breast cancer. The shouts and the ribbons are both fine if they lead to lifesaving action, but without that, they’re meaningless.
One writer referred to the cancer ribbon campaign as “relentlessly pink optimism”, which can actually be very distressing to women whose cancer has metastasized. “Pink optimism” could lead to greater awareness, but on the other hand it could create false hope, divert research from even deadlier cancers, or end up making people feel less concerned about the problem because their attention eventually blanks out from too much bombardment with those ribbons.
Similarly, “Never again!” creates the impression that something’s being done to prevent Holocausts when there’s little or no action. Since Hitler’s Holocaust, there have been genocides in China, Uganda, Cambodia, Rwanda, and other places known and perhaps others unknown.
The “Never again!” people have done an excellent job of reminding the world of what Hitler did. (My nymsake, Feigele “Vladka” Peltel Meed was one of the earliest to make sure the world wouldn’t forget.) Sadly, though, they’ve also helped create the impression that Hitler was some unique monster and his genocide was the one and only. Yet just as there have been genocides since Hitler, there were also genocides before him. We now know that Stalin probably outdid Hitler when it came to killing his own people and his genocides were well under way when Hitler was barely getting started.
That’s the first big mistake of “Never again!” If you see only one genocide and see it as unique, you’ll always fail to understand the nature of genocide. You’ll look forever at Hitler and Germany, trying to figure out how they were different than everything that came before them and everything after them, which means you’ll fail to understand the full pattern of genocide. You’ll never really understand the attitudes, conditions, and laws that create genocide and you won’t see the next one coming.
One big, vital thing you’ll miss is the role that victim disarmament plays in genocide after genocide. You can’t kill millions of people until you’ve eliminated their ability to fight back. Of course “gun control” is only part of disarming people. It’s part of a package that includes destroying their spirit of resistance, getting them to trust authority even when authority intends to kill them, and other things. Taking away their resistance tools is complicated, but it certainly means keeping the victims less well armed than the perpetrators.
That’s another reason I don’t ever again want to hear “Never again!” Too many of the people shouting those defiant words are working for the very thing that leaves victims unable to defend themselves. How many people who cry, “Never again!” are enthusiastic advocates of “gun control”?
How many of them will tell you that only police and soldiers, the very agents who carry out genocides on behalf of homicidal governments, are the only ones who should have firearms?
No, I don’t want to hear “Never again!” ever again, unless it’s coming from the mouths or the pens of people who really mean it. The way to mean it is to educate people about the wide history of government murder of citizens. Don’t just pretend Hitler was some anomaly. The way to mean it is to stand up for the second amendment, to own firearms, to teach children to shoot and teach them why, to encourage a spirit of resistance, and to understand individual rights and freedom.
Do that and I’ll believe you mean it when you cry, “Never again!”
Years ago – when I had time to write more than an occasional blog post, I wrote an article on faith and firearms for the U.S. Concealed Carry Association.
Having grown up Jewish, I always wondered why it is that major Jewish organizations were always pushing disarmament, and worse yet, leaning on faith to do it!
For an answer in this article, I turned to Rabbi Isaac Leizerowski – a friend of my dad’s and an authority on Jewish law. Rabbi Leizerowski confirmed that the right to self defense is actually mandated by Jewish law.
From the sanctity of Life comes an imperative to safeguard Life. The directive to defend your life is written in the Talmud, the 70-volume Code of Jewish Law, in at least three places. “And the Torah says, ‘If someone comes to kill you, arise quickly and kill him.’”
For a reply on the psychology of disarmament, I turned to another friend, who shed some light on the issue.
Jack Feldman, Professor of Psychology at Georgia Institute of Technology, has one theory: “Jews are called on to care for others who are troubled, suffering, etc. and to stand up for the oppressed,” he says. “It’s a mitzvah. Democrats and socialists (traditional proponents of gun control) have taken that role, in appearance if not reality…A lot of us have yet to get the message about the Left, and [continue to] cling to these fallacies.”
Life is sacred, my friends. We must work to change the mindset that disarmament somehow promotes safety, and is therefore a mitzvah.
Disarmament is death. It’s slavery. It’s tyranny. It’s the antithesis of everything Jews strive to achieve in the social sphere – life, liberty, goodness.
Imagine you lived in a country where the ability to worship G-d was being outlawed, where your language and culture was disappearing. Where Preachers were jailed or killed for preaching the Bible or Tanakh? You think I’m talking about America, now? Maybe. Because football players are made to remove Crosses from their helmets, because for a time the Navy was told to remove the little Gideon Bibles from the rooms of their guest lodges? Because courts rule a Cross or the 10 commandments can’t be displayed? Maybe. But it’s not the first time in history. Let’s take a little trip back to Ireland.
In Ireland in the late 1600-till the later part of the 1700 there were a set of laws called “The Penal Laws”. The final bits were repealed in 1920. They affected Catholics and other dissidents. They entailed things like:
Exclusion of Catholics from most public offices (since 1607), Presbyterians were also barred from public office from 1707.
Ban on intermarriage with Protestants.
Presbyterian marriages were not legally recognized by the state
Catholics barred from owing firearms or serving in the armed forces.
Prohibition on Catholics owning a horse valued at over £5
‘No person of the Catholic religion shall publicly or in private houses teach school, or instruct youth in learning within this realm’ upon pain of twenty pounds fine and three months in prison for every such offense.
And this is only part of them. But here’s a couple questions for you to mull over. WHY did they want to prohibit the Catholics from owning weapons? Who got to determine what the horse was worth?
The harsh rules gave rise to the hedgerow schools. Parents who were determined to save their children from being indoctrinated with beliefs other than what they held, and what they wanted their children to learn began to form and utilize “Hedgerow Schools”. This was forbidden because England wanted all the children to be taught the way they wanted them to be taught and what they wanted them to be taught. The Hedgerow Schools thrived. They were sometimes held in barns, homes but often in Hedgerows, with one child acting as a lookout. And they needed a lookout. If they were caught there were fines and imprisonment for all. There was a lot to lose. But the parents wanted their children to learn, the teachers wanted to teach and would travel around conducting these early forms of “home schooling” in defiance of the state mandated education.
Their language, culture and faith were under attack, and this is what they had to do to preserve it. They did it.
Now let’s go even further back in time. Achshav Annachnu b’Ysrael. NOW we are in Israel.
Let’s go back to the time of Antiochus, he liked to be called Epiphanes, although the Jews often called him Epimanes, the mad one. While Antiochus reigned Jews were forbidden to practice their religion, own a Torah, let alone read it, or observe festivals,or even the Sabbath. The people could not even admit they were Jewish. 40,000 were killed and 40,000 sold into slavery when Jerusalem was sacked and the temple was defiled. Animals that were forbidden to Jews were sacrificed on it’s alter. Now, during this time there were observant Jews and Hellanized Jews. Meaning Jews that were fine with what Antiochus was doing. Mainly urban upper crust, they wanted to dispense with Jewish law and adopt the Greek lifestyle. As I understand it for political and economic reasons.
And into this hot mess comes The Maccabees. I adore the Maccabees! It all started when Jews were ordered to offer sacrifices to Greek idols. A rural Jew know as Mattathias Maccabee refused. Not only did he refuse, but he killed the Hellenized Jew that stepped forward to offer a sacrifice to the idol in his name. Mattathias REFUSED to allow his name to be put on the offer of a sacrifice to an idol. From there the Maccabees took flight to the Judean wilderness. After Mattathias’ death about one year later in 166 BC, his son Judah Maccabee led an army of Jewish dissidents to victory over the Seleucid dynasty in guerrilla warfare, which at first was directed against Hellenizing Jews, of whom there were many. Judah Maccabee is noted as one of the greatest warriors in Jewish History, alongside David, Gideon and Joshua! So that’s how the Maccabean Revolt began. The Maccabees retook the city of Jerusalem. Judah ordered the Temple to be cleansed, a new altar to be built in place of the polluted one and new holy vessels to be made. According to the Talmud, unadulterated and undefiled pure olive oil with the seal of the Kohen Gadol (high priest) was needed for the menorah in the Temple, which was required to burn throughout the night every night. The story goes that one flask was found with only enough oil to burn for one day, yet it burned for eight days, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of kosher oil for the menorah. A great miracle, nachon (right)?
Which brings us to this, a Dreidel/Savivon. Remember the Hedgerow Schools of Ireland? Well, while Jews were forbidden to study their Bible/Tanakh, forbidden to pass their faith onto their children they would go up into caves and hide. They would begin to teach the children, and they themselves would study. When they heard the Greek soldiers approaching they would put their Torah away and whip out the Savivon/Dreidel and begin to play. It could be a childrens game, or a gambling game. So it would appear to to the soldiers they were merely hiding and gambling. This is what they had to do to hold on to their faith, to pass it on to their children. To retain their culture and customs, they were willing to hide in caves, risk being caught by the soldiers and pay the penalty, death. Like the Irish, they found a way, and they did it.
If you look at what lengths the Irish and Jews went to back then to ensure the survival of their culture and religion it seems pretty sad now that some voices can be shut down by screeches of “racism” or “intolerance” or “hater”, simply for wanting to discuss an issue, preach from the Bible or Tanakh doesn’t it?
We are losing our culture so fast. When I was young, you saw rifles in racks in pick-up trucks everywhere. No one really thought anything of kids getting a .22 rifle. My Grandpa taught my cousin and me how to shoot his. My sisters and I all knew where Dad kept his revolver and shotgun. We KNEW if someone tried to break in and harm us either he or my Mom would do whatever needed to be done to keep the children they brought into this world safe. We knew not to mess with them when we put the clean clothes away, and we didn’t. It baffles me that I am more willing to protect my pet chickens (my little feather darlings) than some people are their flesh and blood children. I look at it as I bought the chickens, I’m responsible for them. I have no idea how they look at it, but I suspect they have bought into the culture shift of “no one is safe with a gun around”. If you get in trouble you just call the Police. Then they will come with guns and if you’re still alive, they’ll help you with their guns. Following their logic, I hope they forgo a smoke detector or fire extinguisher. After all, they can call the Fire Department and wait for them to come.
If you don’t think Hollywood has had an effect on this country, watch the following clip!
Can you imagine Gwynth Paltrow or Ben Affleck singing something like this? NO! Ben Affleck still thinks ISIS is peaceful and no threat. Obviously, I see very few movies as I have no desire to put money in the pockets of people someone like Paltrow who thinks Mr. Obama should be given all the power he wants.
Now if a child’s picture is posted on Facebook proudly posing with a new gun it may merit a visit from the Police. Gnaw your pop tart into what a teacher decides is a gun shape and you would think the world was ending. Now we aren’t just talking about consequences of real crime, but consequences of “thought crime”.
Can you imagine such a toy being advertised today? I had a hard time finding a cap pistol when I wanted to start getting my horse used to gunfire.
For those of us raised in a culture of freedom, responsibility, and self-defense, the changes we see are not only disgusting, but alarming. Think about what you can do, to preserve the culture. To recognize the threats, and push back. I used to work gun shows with a man who gave out pocket copies of “The Citizens Rule Book”. It had the Bill of Rights, a Jury Handbook and The Constitution. On the back is a warning, “This Document May Be Hazardous To Bad Laws.” and II Chronicles 7:14.
“If My people which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land”.
I personally carry a Dreidel/Savivon in my purse. All the time. It reminds me to be vigilant and committed to doing everything I can to ensure freedom.
Many gun grabbers challenge us by asking why we don’t want more gun control laws. After all, why wouldn’t we want to make the nation safer?
Many of them just don’t understand the unintended (or intended) consequences.
Background checks. Fingerprint technology. Onerous licensing requirements. These things all require money – whether it’s funding for a bigger bureaucracy, databases, research, resources for investigators. It is resources the government has to spend on new databases for background checks. It is resources it has to spend on funding new research and technologies. It is resources gun shops (many of which are small businesses) have to expend on paperwork, legal bills, etc.
These are cost increases they invariably pass on to their customers.
Guns are already fairly expensive – several hundred dollars for a basic pistol. It’s a fairly sizeable investment – especially for people who are struggling in this economy. If faced with the choice of armed self defense, or food on the table, I’m betting most would choose food.
Making guns even more expensive through regulation makes them cost prohibitive for many poor folks, who may live in neighborhoods that don’t have the gates and the armed guards that people like Bloomberg and Shannon Watts can afford.
By making self defense tools cost prohibitive to poor people, we are depriving them of their ability to defend themselves with the most effective tools on the market today.
Meanwhile, the background checks, the technology, the bureaucracy, and research do nothing to deter criminals from getting their hands on guns. Most get guns illegally, or from a family member or friend, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
In 2004, among state prison inmates who possessed a gun
at the time of offense, fewer than 2% bought their firearm
at a flea market or gun show, about 10% purchased it from
a retail store or pawnshop, 37% obtained it from family or
friends, and another 40% obtained it from an illegal source
So while gun controllers make tools of defense more inaccessible to people who truly need them, criminals continue to purchase them with impunity, and there’s not a single law that will prevent a criminal from violating it.
As a good buddy of mine, who just happens to be a sheriff and 30-year law enforcement veteran says, “Laws are for the law-abiding.”
Those celebrating the demise of the DC gun ban may want to hang on a bit. If you think your freedoms have been restored in the nation’s capital, that is just not true.
To be sure, it was yet another kick in the groin of statist gun grabbery when a US District judge ruled in July that Washington DC’s ban on carrying guns outside the home was unconstitutional.
In the ruling, Judge Frederick Scullin ordered the DC government to stop enforcing DC’s odious ban on carrying firearms. Two days later – two days of unbridled joy and freedom – the District was granted a motion to stay the ruling until it could either appeal or adjust.
That adjustment came in the form of new licensing laws that make it odiously difficult to get a license to carry.
As of October 22, a DC resident may apply for a license. Good luck getting one, however. DC officials claim that merely fearing for your safety in a city where you can get shot just for stepping foot in a particular neighborhood is not reason enough to be granted a license to carry.
Want to carry while sightseeing? Nope. Monuments are federal property, and Park Police won’t let you carry on the National Mall.
If you can prove you have a stalker, you may be granted your right to carry a firearm.
The mere idea that some government bureaucrat has the authority to “grant” you a right negates the very idea and principle of a right.
And the mere idea that you cannot exercise your right as a free person whenever you see fit without begging permission from a faceless, statist desk-jockey in the capital city of the only nation in the world whose Constitution expressly protects the people’s right to keep and bear arms is repugnant.
So don’t celebrate quite yet. While Palmer was a terrific blow to the gun grabbers’ cause, there’s a long way to go until we achieve freedom.
As for Gottlieb, I always knew that the “stupid” act he played after support of Manchin-Toomey was a ruse. He has a deep character flaw that enables him to support totalitarian measures. We all have our flaws, but this one runs deep and dangerous. In fact, read again his excuse for supporting universal background checks. Basically it boils down to this: if you don’t voluntarily agree to it, they will do it anyway. Or by way of analogy, if you don’t give a pick pocket you money, he’s just going to take it anyway.
Someone please try to convince me that isn’t what he is saying, because it looks to me like it is. And that’s puerile and childish reasoning, and in this case I think he advances it not because he really believes that it is logically compelling, but because he is frightened, or a publicity hound, or something dark. As I said, I don’t know exactly what, but the character flaw runs deep in Alan.
Gottlieb appears to want universal background checks, despite his Washington state initiative that, on the surface, opposes them. The very short text (pdf) of his I-591 manages to include language completely unnecessary for the stated purpose of the measure — and it’s language that virtually invites the federal government to try again to impose the very UBCs he supported last year.
Gottlieb just wants background checks and the inevitable firearms registration on on terms that he considers favorable — even as everybody else in the gun-rights movement (even the normally limp and compromising NRA) draws their line in the sand in front of UBCs. And “favorable” means favorable to Gottlieb in some way.
What Gottlieb is up to, nobody really knows. The only thing anyone can be sure of is that whatever he’s up to will benefit Gottlieb. That’s been his way of business for a very long time.
One Jewish gun-rights activist I know calls Gottlieb a Kapo. The Kapos were prisoners, sometimes Jews, that the Nazis used to help them rule others in the concentration camps. The Nazis couldn’t do it alone, so they enlisted sellouts — men interested in saving their own skin and working to their own advantage — to help them rule and destroy their fellows.
The system was also designed to turn victim against victim, as the prisoner functionaries were pitted against their fellow prisoners in order to maintain the favor of their SS guards. If they were derelict, they would be returned to the status of ordinary prisoners and be subject to other kapos. Many prisoner functionaries were recruited from the ranks of violent criminal gangs rather than from the more numerous political, religious and racial prisoners; those were known for their brutality toward other prisoners. This brutality was tolerated by the SS and was an integral part of the camp system.
Prisoner functionaries were spared physical abuse and hard labor, provided they performed their duties to the satisfaction of the SS guards. They also had access to certain privileges, such as civilian clothes and a private room.
Yep, that shoe fits. When Gottlieb supported (and even claimed to have helped write) last year’s Manchin-Toomey-SCHUMER bill, he repeatedly cited petty privileges that the bill supposedly granted, ignoring the principles and rights it would have slaughtered and the millions of gun owners it would have put at risk.
And this is the man to whom JPFO’s weak, tired, willful, and (in one case) quite possibly senile board members sold Aaron Zelman’s legacy. That they sold it “on the cheap” and without even considering better options makes matters worse. But a Gottlieb-owned JPFO, cheap or dear, is a travesty and an abomination.
Poor Aaron. He must be so weary from rolling and rolling in his grave.
I didn’t get to see all the outside exhibits. I did get to see the ones that really called to me, and one that didn’t, but it stopped me cold when I got to it.
The first one we came to on the path we took was the cattle car. Beside the cattle car engraved into a wall behind it was testimony given at the Nuremberg trials. It’s the story of a man who was a prisoner in one of the cattle cars. He told what gems he traded a German towns person at a train stop for a cup of water. He traded some outrageous sum, a diamond maybe? But I think it was all the wealth he had left for that cup of water. There was a woman in the car with him who was determined he was going to give part of it to her little son. Not herself, her little son. And she kept after him, and kept after him until finally he did give her a little of the last for her son. He said when he left the cattle car the little boy was laying on the floor unresponsive and not moving. Yes, you can be unresponsive and the body still move.
There was a section called “The Garden of the Righteous Among The Nations”. There are walls arranged by country. On each countries wall are the names of those who are not Jewish that risked their lives to save the lives of Jews. On each tree is the name of a person and their country. No, it’s not a forest. There are a lot of trees, but it’s not a forest. I can only hope there were many cases of just regular people helping, that no one ever heard about.
There is a a HUGE pillar called “Pillar of Heroism”. This is probably my favorite sculpture. It’s so tall I can’t even get the whole thing in a picture! This picture is from the Yad Vashem site. At least you can see what it looks like.
There is a stone plaque near it inscribed “Now and forever in memory of those who rebelled in the camps and ghettos, fought in the woods, in the underground and with the Allied forces; braved their way to Eretz Israel; and died sanctifying the name of God”.
A few thoughts on all this. First, the movie Defiance. It starred the anti-gun twit Daniel Craig as Tuvia Bielski. Why does this anger me so much? Because part of the movie shows him going to a poor Russian farmer he had connections with and begging for a gun and ammunition. The farmer manages to procure one and gives it and the ammunition to him. The next time you see the Russian farmer he has been tortured and killed and the message left it was because he helped the Jews. One would think old Daniel might use some of his wealth to buy a clue, but that seems to happen with actors and actresses about…… never. He never catches on this stuff happened, and there is no reason it couldn’t again. And yet he uses the platform he gains from his movie fame to preach his anti-gun screed. No, I don’t see many movies. Most actors and actresses I refuse to enrich with either money or fame.
I think the world’s moral compass has gone nuts. While we see the outcome of allowing a group to be isolated and vilified, we now allow groups to freely play the “victim” or “racism” card to shut down open discussion on any topic they don’t want people to talk about, or when facts are about to get in the way of their agenda. And the opinions they seem to try hardest to shut down are the Judeo-Christian values that are most likely held by most of the population of this country at least. Politicians on the left and the “news” media freely join in this game labeling those that support traditional ways of life as “extremist”. They label returning military veterans as “extremist” and a threat. Then they condemn them to a socialized health care system, made worse purposefully by the VA. Politicians and the elitists on the left are creating different classes of citizens, but to what purpose I wonder. The majority in the past has rather meekly backed down when faced with such accusations of intolerance or racism or_____. I mean after all, most of us were raised to be polite, not purposefully giving offense to any. Far too many do not understand that giving offense, is the least of their problems. The left does this with a reason. It seems those preaching most loudly for “tolerance” have—none.
I remember when I first made the “hummus team” the fellow in charge at the time and I were having a discussion on guns. I know shocking. But he asked me why I was so insistent (ok, maybe he used a stronger word, I don’t remember) I turned and looked him in the eye and said “Because when I say NEVER AGAIN I MEAN IT! Not your people, not my people. Never again will any group of people be at the mercy of government that wants to exterminate them. EVER. I want to make sure there are tools there that can back it up. Words sometimes aren’t enough”. After he started breathing again, we ended up having a really good discussion about his time in the service and his M1.
The sculpture that tore at me? The one I hadn’t looked for, the one that didn’t call to me? The one that was on our path out of the gardens. It was made of iron I suppose. It appeared to be just stick bodies piled up, arms and legs supporting the layer on top, horrifying in it’s simplicity. Perhaps I was meant to see and share it. There are things in this life that are not a game. They are a warning, a message. We ignore it at our own peril.
Why do I write about such sad things? Patterns, for one. Are you seeing them? Such a tragedy in the history of man-kind? Because if I can put enough detail about some of these people out there that you remember them, and you think about them from time to time, even though you never met them? Then in a way their lives are still touching others. The nazis failed. They didn’t snuff out their lives. People are still thinking of them, they are remembered, perhaps their surviving family will merit a prayer? Perhaps our country will get a prayer? Then the nazis failed. I win. You win. They lose. Good plan.
I’m not really Israeli, I’m not Jewish, but I care deeply about Yad Vashem, and you should too. Why? Read on.
Get coffee, get a BIG cup of coffee.
This was my first big adventure, after landing at Ben Gurion airport with it’s plaque telling when it was freed by the IDF on the 10th of July 1948 in the War for Independence.
The visit to Yad Vashem starts out in a theater. It has a looping film showing slices of life, conversation and music in the days before the madness began. It’s like being behind the lens of a camera that is panning a street. There are apartment buildings and you see people through the windows doing things like having dinner, practicing a violin, teaching, visiting. Then you might see a office building, or a factory. Through their windows you see people doing things. Eventually the panning shifts and you see country side with people working, children playing. Slices of normal life, the way life should have remained for them, but didn’t. Yad Vashem covers why it didn’t, what happened when it didn’t and the final “victory”, which it was, but at a fearful price.
The first of the displays talks about what life was like, before the nazis (nazis don’t deserve capital letters) really had power, they were just beginning to grow in their influence. How many of the Jews were professional people, like doctors, lawyers, teachers. Many if not most, I imagine, of the children went to school, like other children. They had families, lives and their synagogues. Slowly that began to change. Initially Germans resisted the attempts to vilify their neighbors that had lived among them for so long. It took hitler (he doesn’t get capital letters either) a while to change people’s mindsets. When he first began to attempt to blame the Jews for all the ills Germany was undergoing, they didn’t buy in. Given time, and help they were not only willing to turn a blind eye, they did buy in.
I think if we look at where some of that help came from and what it was it could be very useful for us today. What is it they say? Those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it.
I guess one of the things that struck me about how life was “before” was the feeling of trust. The Jews thought they were safe. The Germans, Poles, and others were their neighbors. They had “coexisted” for a very long time. Co-exist is a lovely sentiment, makes a darling bumper sticker (or an advertisement for who would be an easy target when things go south) and if all parties were willing it would be wonderful. But history seems to show us one of the parties in the “coexist” will decide they don’t want to “coexist” they want to rule, or destroy another party, and they set about doing it. The rest of the museum deals with the result of the “coexist” mindset.
Some of the exhibits, many actually would have film clips you could watch. Some of footage shot during the holocaust, some of survivors, some of observers. One was of a woman that told of her Mother having made a hiding place in the closet and when the nazis would come she would shove them in it. The last time the nazis came she talked them into letting her get her coat. She opened the closet, quietly said “Good-bye girls, if I’m not back by night, go to the TenBooms” I have to wonder if that would be Corrie TenBoom, the author of “The Hiding Place”. Quite a book and a movie. She didn’t come back. Some of the people knew who betrayed them. It was their friends, and neighbors. People they had known and trusted for years. But why would these former friends betray them to such a horrific fate? The museum had some very compelling evidence how it could happen.
A very charismatic leader came to power using the slogan “Hope and Change”, whoops wrong slogan, hitler’s was just “Hope”. Hope for Germany. Germany had been in a sad state of affairs since the last war they started, their debt was crushing them. And Mr. Germany (who wasn’t really German) knew who to blame. The Jews, he was very upfront about his feelings, but the low info voters blew off the warning signs in his book Mein Kampf. So hitler promised Germans he would provide ice cream, rainbow strew and free hitler phones to all when he was elected. He purchased a newspaper to spread his screed. Tyrants today do not need to go to such lengths as the print media is pretty well on board and does the screed spreading for free, as they’ve bought in to the ideology. Pretty much the same with TV, for those that get out of line and really are investigative journalists you can read my post on Sharyl Atkisson. Or perhaps study the late Andrew Breitbart. And, he had his new propaganda minister to help out. I don’t know if the media back then were willing participants, or if they were forced but you began to see “cartoons” of Jews handing out poison candy to unsuspecting children. In fact there is a whole collection of these cartoons. Some of them were used in schools, proving “common core” is really nothing new. You can see several of them here. http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/thumb.htm They sort of remind me of the way that cartoonist for the Kansas City “Red Star” portrays gun owners. I haven’t taken that rag for years, if they can’t report a story involving a firearm accurately after it has happened why would I think anything else they report is accurate? Vilification of Jews in cartoons was nothing new, it occurred in the middle ages as well, and the nazis happily revived some of the old woodcuts. Wikipedia has info here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewpig it’s called Judensau. I will tell you before you look, it’s vile, the only reason I’m giving the link is I saw a platter with that woodcut image in the museum. Yep, people served food on them, there were also plates so people ate off them.
The culture was changing that made it not only acceptable but desirable to isolate and vilify one group of people. An artist named Charlotte Salomon (Apr 1917-10 Oct 1943 Auschwitz) did a series of paintings that chronicled her life entitled “Life or Theater”. They showed the changes in life the longer the nazis were in power. Her family had been quite comfortable before all the “hopey-changey” stuff took place. Her Dad was a surgeon, which became one of the prohibited professions for Jews. Charlotte had gained University acceptance to the United State school of pure arts, but in time she refused to go as it wasn’t safe. She and her husband fled to France where she continued to paint. When the nazis intensified their search in France for Jews, she and her husband were found. They were sent to Auschwitz, she was gassed the day she arrived and she was pregnant. Charlotte had turned over her paintings to a trusted friend for protection. She told the friend they were her life, she painted frantically towards the end. She lives on through the series of paintings. You can read more about Charlotte in wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_Salomon
There was a picture of a beautiful young girl, she had long thick auburn braids in the picture. The braids are in the display case below, still braided, still thick and rich in auburn color. The owner long ago murdered. Part of the piles of things collected in the camps, like hair, teeth, glasses, shoes, some of this was re-purposed for the German army. And piles of bones and bodies, lots of the bodies those things used to belong to. The jewelry of course had been confiscated.
My hands down favorite part of the museum was the section dedicated to the resistance. It was pitifully small. When you realize what the nazis did to the children of G-d, I suspect it might make the Egyptians look like a bad date. The weapons of resistance were pitifully few, and pitifully poor. I saw a rifle labeled as a pistol grip. Phooey! It was a rifle with the stock broke off. I’m sure it was easier to hide, but that’s all it was. There was one or two magazines laying beside it. Yes, there were a few other things in that section, but not enough. There should have been a room piled with magazines, rifles and all manner of things that had been used to defend the people. Two quotes struck me from this section.
Today it will be half a year since our destruction began [July 1942]. Had we but resisted then, at least as much as we resisted during the last deportation [January 1943], the Nazis would not have succeeded so easily in destroying such a large Jewish community. If the Jews had at the very least not gone of their own free will, but stubbornly hidden as they have been doing in the last few days – then the deportation would have lasted for months on end. One shudders to think that it required a quarter of a million Jews to give their lives, for the remainder to understand the reality of the situation and come to the right conclusions. From the diary of Shmuel Winter
“It is impossible to put into words what we have been through. What happened exceeded our boldest dreams. The Germans fled twice from the ghetto… My life’s dream has come true. Defense in the ghetto has become a fact. Armed Jewish resistance and revenge are actually happening. I have witnessed the glorious and heroic combat of the Jewish fighters.”~~Mordechai Anielewicz, Warsaw Ghetto, April 1943
I had coffee with a friend not long ago, we were talking about this. I said “If I were in charge, Yad Vashem would be a very different place. There would be rooms and rooms showing the different methods that were used to fight off an aggressor dedicated to erasing a section of the population off the face of the earth”. There would have been rooms showing the trials, and what happened to those that became tyrants and served tyrants. There would have been rooms dedicated to the victory celebration and one room to commemorate the six people that died fighting to save the lives of the innocents, because six people would have been all of the innocents that died. The death toll on the tyrant side would have been much higher.
So while the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto realized they were in a fight for their lives (finally) and news of the uprising began to come out, the rest of the world seems to have emitted a collective yawn. And so the poison gas flowed through the sewers, the tanks rolled in, fire spread and the people died. In recent times events have occurred that should make people sit up and take notice or at least open their eyes a bit wider in alarm, seems only to prompt only the changing of the channel to American Idol and people grab a coke with a smile. Putin rolls into the Ukraine and barry draws another red line in the sand. Isn’t it interesting that Putin is using the same excuse hitler did to invade countries? Well, when a country has ineffective leadership (at least in a positive direction, taking the country down the drain he’s a master at) you get things like the first lady holding up a sign begging a terrorist group to give back kidnapped girls. Yeah Mooch, that’ll do it.
Women in the camps didn’t have it any easier. They had to deal with things like Bloody Brigitte, she always struck till there was blood, she released her dogs on the prisoners. This sadistic German nurse spent time in prison for her crimes. I’m quite sure the prison she spent time in was much nicer than the ones she presided over.
There were also displays of pieces of medical equipment that could be used to determine if someone was Jewish, based on facial feature measurements. Now we don’t need those things, we have biometrics. They had helpful little “family tree” examples to determine the fate of someone’s life based on their grandparents.
I tend to look at patterns, and I’m seeing one. I’m seeing a pattern of a segment of a population being vilified by politicians, cartoonist ridiculing political and religious beliefs. Any attempt by the pitifully small remnant of a “news” media to point out the corruption is stifled. Anyone speaking out against it can look forward to IRS intervention to shut them down. And one party has called for the IRS to shut down political dissent. And yet from those espousing “tolerance” (but only for certain groups) are the very ones that push such policies using bully politics. You think people aren’t losing their jobs because of political or religious beliefs? Ask a pair of twin brothers that lost their new show on HGTV because it came out they were……..sssshhhhh, “Christians”. The same tactics have been tried against a store selling chicken sandwiches and a man that made & sells duck calls. WOW. So, HGTV pulled the new show. Darn, I will miss “Property Brothers”, but hey, they don’t want “my kind” of viewer,so I will oblige them, and their sponsors. You know, that’s the thing about a pattern, I’ve never bought a pattern for a shirt and ended up with a saddle blanket. They are worth paying attention to.
Jews. Guns. No compromise. No surrender.
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