Tag Archives: gun control

The ER Lost A Patient

I just spent the day at a hospital Emergency Room (for reasons worthy of another column, but this is the wrong venue for that one). What’s relevant to TZP is that while I was there, they lost a patient.

Don’t start with the sympathy yet. He didn’t die.

They lost him:

“Hey, have you seen [xyz]?”
“He went to the restroom.”
“I checked; he isn’t there.”
“Maybe he’s in the other one.”
{insert pitterpatter of sneakered feet}
“He’s not there either.”
“Where did he go?”
“I don’t know. Look.”

There’s garbled talk of hospital security (who eventually showed up to search) and the Sheriff’s department, who also showed up. People in scrubs running up and down the hall, looking in every room. Multiple times. Muttering which I took to be poorly suppressed profanities.

Mildly amusing, you may be thinking, along with, “What the heck does this have to do with self defense, the right to keep and bear arms, or any of the other things that interest The Zelman Partisans?”

Some of you might see where this is going, but I’ll explain anyway.

Thanks to HIPAA — not to mention hospital Public Relations — no one was going to tell me exactly what the fuss was. But I overheard some gossip between staffers and law enforcement.

It appears that Patient Werrdefuqdego was a transferee from the jail. Possibly a mentally disturbed transferee. An unrestrained transferee. -ding!-

And no one from the Sheriff’s department was watching him. -ding!-

Nor was the hospital staff keeping an eye him. -ding!-

In fact, they were letting him run around without a keeper — in a yellow gown, blanket worn like a skirt, and no shoes. -ding! ding!- (Yes, he was a peculiar sight, before dropping out of sight.)

Figured out the relevance yet? For visitors unfamiliar with the Constitution, but hooked on magical thinking: The hospital with an escaped loon — possibly dangerous — from the jail, who was left to roam at will, is a “gun-free” zone.

So with a potentially dangerous nut on the loose due to lack of give-a-sh!t on the part of the staff and LE, I was deprived of my usual defensive tool. True, I could have refused to leave my sidearm behind and told the hospital to blow it their appropriate orifice, or even refuse to go there in the first place. But for personal reasons (possibly appropriate for the aforementioned other column), not going, or getting busted for trespassing, wasn’t an option. I had to go, and under trespass law, I had to disarm myself.

“No problem,” might say the Constitutionally challenged magicians, “the cops and hospital security will protect you.”

Except they didn’t. They turned the loon loose. They didn’t warn me, nor did they hang around to guard me.

Tell me again how gun-free — helpless-target-rich — zones make me safer.

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Dueling Twits

I recently read an article about two candidates competing for Governor of Virginia. The two candidates are touting as their best selling points their great records of working for people control and how many citizens that have committed no crime, they can leave defenseless to those that care to do so. Yes indeed, the thug block has two solid candidates running. Of course they are both Demoncrats.

Let’s take a look at a few figures, shall we?

http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/vacrime.htm

Forcible Aggravated Larceny Vehicle
Year  Population  Index  Violent  Property  Murder  Rape  Robbery  Assault  Burglary  Theft  Theft 
2015 8,382,993 172,869 16,399 156,470 383 1,493 4,441 9,235 21,340 127,019 8,111

From the Virginia State police, I have this:

There were 441,355 Group A Offenses reported by the contributing agencies. (Page 8)

The total number of incidents of crime was 389,019 and the month of July had the greatest number reported. (Page 7)

Of the 17,459 violent crimes reported, 50% occurred in the residence/home. (Page 46)

There were 5,097 victims of the 4,787 forcible sex offenses reported by the contributing agencies; 84.4% of the victims were female. (Pages 14 & 15)

The theft of money accounted for a property loss of $64,061,900. (Page 60)

Firearms represented 24.7% of all known weapons used in aggravated assaults. Of all victims of aggravated assault, 64.3% had some type of injury. (Page 47)

There was a total value loss of $75,278,993 related to 7,955 completed motor vehicle offenses. (Page 61)

There were 126,032 Group A arrests reported by the contributing agencies and 156,390 Group B arrests reported. (Pages 74 & 75)

There were 1,238 assaults on officers reported in Virginia. Just under one-quarter (24.2%) involved some type of injury to the officer. (Page 56)

Of the 155 hate crime offenses reported, 45.8% of these were assault offenses and 31.6% were vandalism/damage of property offenses. (Page 52)

What strikes me, is the number of people willing to assault a law enforcement officer. If they are willing to assault someone they can be pretty darn sure is trained and carrying a gun you think they won’t try Grandma, or anyone else? The number of rapes, 84.4% were female. Since women are typically smaller and a bit weaker than the male of the specie, let’s make it harder to obtain a tool that could level the ground a bit. That sounds like a good plan (for the criminal). Following in the footsteps of their Gov. Terry McAuliff and his high regard for women with his binders full of them. Full of the victims of his political agenda that is.

I keep wondering what is it these two Demoncrats want to do to law-abiding citizens they can not do unless they are disarmed and defenseless.

What could cause a state to want to elect people prone to dictatorial impulses? I remember hearing a lecture a couple of years ago and the speaker was talking about a plan to turn previously conservative states into liberal voting states. Sort of the evil reverse of Molon Labe. It’s something along the lines of this plan. https://www.sisterdistrict.com/ As I recall it’s been implemented in Colorado and Texas was in their sights as well. I can’t remember all the others, but the speaker was Mark Meckler from Citizens for Self-Governance.

I suspect we all know what the end result is of citizens being disarmed by their government, and there is plenty of pain and suffering along the path on the way to the end result. Yet, politicians such as these two knot-heads persist.

At times like these, I try to think to myself “What would Fabio say about this?” You remember Fabio of course. The handsome cover model of probably millions of paperback romance novels? Long flowing golden locks? He’s also a writer and actor, in case you didn’t know.

Nope, I’m not kidding. Fabio. Fabio Lanzoni, who immigrated here from Italy. And he has a few outspoken things to say. Not from talking from the land of Unicorns and fluff, but from experience of what he has seen in Europe and what he is seeing in California now.

Fabio recently bought a gun after his home was robbed. But he is not a recent convert like so many during the Rodney King riots asking fellow actor Charlton Heston to borrow a gun.

As an immigrant from Europe, Fabio is in a unique position to share some advice with American citizens. His first bit of advice is blunt: “Just look at Europe and go the opposite way. It’s as simple as that.” He added, “Europe already jumped off the cliff. They are doomed.”

His second bit of advice is not something one often expects to hear from a celebrity. “Don’t you ever give up your guns,” he said. “If people lose that right, forget about it. Politicians — they will take everything away from you. And then what are you going to do, protest with a rock? Because that’s what they do in Europe.”

He said one major difference between America and Europe is the right of good people to be armed against tyranny and criminals who “are always going to have every single weapon available to them.”

He added, “The day you give up your weapon in the United States, the United States is going to be history.”

The whole interview is VERY interesting!

Apparently the Demoncratic party has not yet realized not everyone that voted for President Trump was not in love with him, but they looked at the alternative who would further obama’s attempts at disarmament and siding with thugs and criminals and said. “Nope”, just nope. This thought hasn’t occurred to them, so they think people control and victimization is a winning plan. YESH!

Yep, “What would Fabio say?”

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How much training? And why?

In ransacking the news for the weekly newsletter, I ran across this letter to the editor which reminded me of a typically ban bunny tactic to make firearms less accessible to honest folk.

Support smart gun laws
On the other hand, I am appalled and always have been by the fact that only one hour of practice is required to get the permit.
[…]
When one picks up a gun and consciously gets a license, it is with the intent to defend yourself, up to and including killing another human being. It is a weapon more intense than an automobile, which requires many more hours of training before someone gets behind the wheel.

When I got my driver license 40 years ago, I had to pass a ten question — as best I recall — written test and a five minute road test. There was no mandatory classroom or road training back then.

My truck has several controls. Steering wheel, shifter, clutch pedal, accelerator pedal, brake pedal, parking brake, headlight switch, hi/lo switch, wiper switch, turn signal switch, dash light dimmer switch, emergency flasher switch. I won’t bother mentioning the rest which don’t relate directly to driving the vehicle safely. But for all that, ten questions and five minutes on the road. Training wasn’t mandated by law, but I undertook that on my own so I’d know how to work all those controls properly. It seemed the sensible thing to do. After all, I’d be operating a device with the kinetic energy of a small bomb while carrying a fuel tank with the chemical energy of a large bomb. Thousands more people die by automobile than by firearm in America.

My usual carry gun has a trigger, magazine release, and a slide lock/release. Note the lack of a steering wheel, because if you can point your finger you can point a pistol.

For that, gun controllers — when they deign to allow us to be armed at all — want us to — just as examples from bills I’ve seen over the years — 1) get a license to purchase a firearm, 2) undergo forty hours of classroom training, 3) sixteen hours of range training, 4) pass a hundred question written test, 5) pass a fifty round range test, 6) get fingerprinted, 7) get photographed, 8) pass a background check, and 9) get a judge’s permission to carry. In some places, not others.

Given the requirements for operating a potential weapon of mass destruction, the requirements for carrying a defensive tool with three controls seems.. a little excessive.

Someone planning to get a gun certainly should get some education and training. I did; some through military and law enforcement sources, and quite a bit more on my own, by my choice.

While I’ve never been a certified instructor, I have informally trained quite a few people. In a couple of hours or less I can get the basic laws regarding carry defensive shooting across to most people of normal intelligence. Then spend another half hour on the “four rules”, familiarization with the new shooter’s specific weapon, sight picture, trigger control (a little dry fire included). I’ve found that when the trainee starts live fire, 50% of them put the first round in center mass. quite a few do the same with the first full magazine. I don’t recall any who missed the silhouette. (As opposed to a law enforcement officer who routinely failed her annual weapons qualification because she couldn’t paper with a shotgun loaded with 00 buckshot at twenty yards. The only time I routinely wore my ballistic vest was when I had to be on the range with her. Another officer tried to buy it from me when he heard she was coming.)

The simple fact is that that defensive handguns are designed to be operated without a huge amount of training.* Clueless “useful idiots” in the gun control camp may not realize that, but their leadership does. The mandates are only intended to restrict honest people’s right to self defense.

Train, yes. Mandated unreasonable, restrictive requirements, no.


* Design is what matters, not mechanical simplicity. A broadsword has no moving parts, the only “control” is the hilt. Yet a new would-be swordfighter might require days or weeks of training before I’d let him armor up fully and engage in a regular full speed bout. Swords are mechanically simple, yet difficult to master. This is why medieval Japan banned firearms; too many highly trained-samurai-backed tax collectors were getting killed by peasants with those newfangled guns.

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Amalek, Haman and a Bucket of Chum

I know, I know Purim has passed and it’s not yet Pesach, but if you’ll indulge me just a little I’ll explain. First we need a bit of background.

When the Hebrews left Egypt, HaShem, the G-d of Israel had just delivered the enslaving nation of Egypt ten, count ‘em, ten devastating plagues, split the sea and drowned the Egyptians as they pursued the now freed Hebrews. NO sane nation wanted to mess with them. The qualifier, did you catch it? Sane. From Aish.com, and I’m going to be quoting quite a bit from this one article.

Remember what Amalek did to you as you were leaving Egypt. He happened upon you, and struck the weakest people trailing behind, when you were exhausted. And he did not fear G-d. (Deut. 25:17-18)

G-d said to Moses: Write this remembrance in the book… that I will surely erase the memory of Amalek from under the heavens. (Exodus 17:14)

To understand, we have to go back to the time of Jacob our forefather. Jacob had a twin brother Esav, who was a lifelong rival ― so much so that Esav sought to kill Jacob (see Genesis 27:41).

The Midrash says that when Esav was getting old, he called in his grandson Amalek and said: “I tried to kill Jacob but was unable. Now I am entrusting you and your descendents with the important mission of annihilating Jacob’s descendents ― the Jewish people. Carry out this deed for me. Be relentless and do not show mercy.”

True to his mission, Amalek has historically tried to destroy the Jews. For example, in Exodus 17:8, Amalek attacked the Jews out of pure hatred ― Amalek lived in a distant land and was under no imminent threat.

So what does Amalek have to do with Purim? The Scroll of Esther (3:1) identifies Haman as the descendent of Agag, King of Amalek. Haman’s desire to wipe out the Jewish people was an expression of his long-standing national tradition.

I’m sure we’ve all heard of the vehicular and stabbing attacks. It’s been all over the new, right?

A young Falestinian woman carried out a vehicular attack at the Gush Etzion Junction. She veered out of her lane, drove at great speed towards the bus stop at the junction and tried to run over soldiers standing there. The soldiers guarding the location shot at the car and wounded her. A solider received minor injuries. Although with that lot, it could mean she ran over his leg a couple times. Their idea of minor injuries and all.

Gush Etzion Car used in ramming attack

The stabbing attack? A Falestinian named Bucket O’ Chum 1, from Beit Fajjar, and a friend, carried out a stabbing attack at the Ariel Junction; both were killed.

This is life in Israel, the media finds it of no interest that cars are used as weapons of mass destruction against Jews on a regular basis. A knife attack against a group of Jews? Cnn (fake news): Ho hum. Did the Kardashians get new sunglasses? Isn’t it odd how these stories never seem to make the mainstream media?

But there was another attack too wasn’t there? This one in London. A Bucket of Chum that had converted to the religion of pieces got a car and drove over Westminster bridge and mowed people down, just like the pieceful Falestinian girl that barry ridiculed Americans for wanting to vet the women and children. Damn skippy. Bucket O’ Chum 2 has killed I think it’s 4 people, injured more than 40 people. Just like the pieceful Muslim in Ohio. And just like that one he jumped out of his car with two knives and begin to stab.

Photo of Some Asshole

Bucket O’ Chum’s stabbing victim was a much admired Police officer, husband and father, Keith Palmer. In America this might raise many eyebrows as we would be wondering why didn’t Officer Palmer shoot Bucket O’ Chum. But this is gun free utopia England. Officer Palmer was defenseless, you read that right. He was unarmed. He had to wait for other officers who were armed to shoot his attacker, and despite the fact that they were very close, it was still too late. Seconds really do count, and Officer Palmer didn’t have them. Want to know who shot Chum #2? A close protection officer for Defense Secretary Michael Fallon. Because you see, politicians are important, other people? Meh. Would you like to know what Defense Secretary Mr. Michael Fallon said about the incident?

“’They did not get into Parliament. They only got as far as the gate. They did not breach the security of the House of Commons and he gave his life to protect the security of our democracy.”

BULL FEATHERS!!! He died for no d*mn good reason! He died for political correctness, he died because the foolish people of Britain confuse the teeth. They can’t discern the protective teeth of an armed citizen or Police Officer from the teeth of the wolves that have come to tear them to shreds. For that matter, if there had been ONE, just ONE armed citizen on that bridge, is it possible Bucket O’ Chum wouldn’t have ever made it to Parliament? We will never know, but it sure might have changed the odds. For that matter, did they do a “universal background check” before the car was rented?

Bucket O’ Chum’s rented car

Oh but there is more ticked off to go:

Former Met firearms officer Roger Gay said Britain may need to move away from the idea of ‘traditional’ unarmed policeman in important locations.

He told Sky News today: ‘In my opinion, I would have all of them in that location, I think, should be armed. What you have there, and I hate to use the term, is perhaps a sacrificial pawn.

No, you idiot. He was a Police Officer, husband and father made defenseless by your idiotic policies. But at least this guy thinks they should consider arming all of the officers, at Parliament. Because, hey, they’re important.

In raids across Britain today they have picked up 8 people for “suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts,”.

And it will not end. As “Mad Mommies” virulently spill their insane bile against schools considering changing some of their policies to make their students at least a tiny bit harder to kill, remember it will not end. There will be other targets, in any country and because kids are taught in school to fear an inanimate object as being evil and to embrace a culture that part of it’s people say they want to kill Jews and Christians in many places, it will continue unopposed.

While Jacob believes that G-d runs the world and there is an absolute standard of morality, Esav believes that life is random ― and morality is therefore subjective. Esav’s hatred for the message of morality actually forms the basis of all anti-Semitism. Just as the Jews stand for the principle of caring for the vulnerable and weak, Amalek is the opposite ― “attacking the weakest people trailing behind” (Deut. 25:18).

……

So why do we have to stomp out Haman? Because we must recognize our enemies and fight them. Not because we enjoy war, but because part of being a “good person” is to actively seek the destruction of evil.

There are evil people actively working to eliminate G-d consciousness from the world. Know your enemy and fight against it. “Erase the memory of Amalek from under the heavens” (Exodus 17:14).

It really, really is about good vs. evil. And we are to fight evil, we are to oppose it. And political correctness is evil. It keeps people from discussing issues that can endanger their lives, and from considering solutions that could save it. Please, Abba, no more defenseless victims, please let people begin to discern good from evil and act accordingly.

עם ישראל חי
Am Yisrael Chai

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When the truth won’t do

I’m working a theme this week.

Robin Brulé, “Member Of Everytown Survivor Network,” wants universal preemptively-prove-your-innocence checks. After all…

My mother is gone; others may be saved
My 75-year-old mother, Ruth, and her friend had been shot and killed. My mother had taken a trip to visit her friend who lived in a retirement community. They were drinking coffee and reading the newspaper when strangers robbed them and took their lives in a single instant.
[…]
the glaring loophole in New Mexico state law that allows criminals, domestic abusers and other dangerous people to obtain guns from unlicensed sellers with no background check, no questions asked. SB 48/HB 50 would close this deadly loophole by requiring a criminal background check for all gun sales.

No honest folks really want violent criminals walking around with guns (although one might also wonder what the violent criminals are doing on the loose in the first place, if they’re known). But Brulé fails to explain how universal PPYI checks would have stopped her mother’s murders. After all…

“Wright had no prior criminal record in Arizona…”
[…]
“Court records show Lauro was arrested on a second-degree burglary charge in 2013. The charge was dismissed in 2014.”

And…

Gothic said both men were subject to standard pre-employment procedures, drug screenings, and E-Verify, “which exceeds legal and industry practices.” The company said they are cooperating fully with law enforcement in the ongoing investigation

So, Brulé, how would your background checks stop a couple of guys, apparently with no disqualifying convictions, from purchasing a firearm? From anyone, including an FFL who has to go through NICS?

Another question: Given that, in Haynes, the Supreme Court has rulled that felons cannot be forced to self-incriminate on firearms charges, how do victim disarmers propose to force disqualified persons to comply with PPYI? Your police state dream law would only apply to honest people. You know, the ones who aren’t the problem.

Third question: Even if SCOTUS suddenly decided to toss the Fifth Amendment, how do you victim-disarming whackos propose to preemptively stop strawman purchases?

When victim-disarming ban bunnies start suggesting laws that don’t infringe on honest people’s right, and do apply to the real criminal predators, I might stop regarding them as liars or idiots. Or both.

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Fakes Quotes, courtesy of victim disarmers and the lying media

Liars lie. More große Lüge.

List of reasons people got shot last month makes grim reading
Parents Against Gun Violence summarised news reports as if they had been written in the first person voice, to underline how pointless these reasons are for death or serious injury.

“Quote:” A guest at my son’s New Year’s Eve party got drunk and wouldn’t leave, so I shot him dead.

Reality: There was a fight. The aggressor refused to leave, and was shot in self-defense. The defender was not charged.

“Quote:” Some guy dinged my door in a parking lot and we started arguing about it. We both had guns, so I shot him first.

Reality: “Victim” dinged a guy’s car, and they did get into an argument. “Victim” tried to draw a gun, so defender drew his and fired. Judge threw out the case, and the defender was released.

“Quote:” I accidentally ran over a dog with my car. The guy who owned the dog was really mad about it and was yelling at me, so I shot him dead.

Reality: Self defense; no charges filed.

“Parents Against Violence” — or “Parents Against Gun Violence”?* This brilliant example of große Lüge urinalism gives both versions of the group name — is pulling the standard trick of intermingling criminal use of firearms with justified self defense. They want you to equate defense with murder. All the better to manipulate the ill-informed into supporting “sensible gun laws.”

We have facts. They have disingenuous fake “quotes.”

But look which Metro published.


Edited to add footnote.
* While there is a “Parents Against Violence,” that is an Alabama-based group that doesn’t seem to be related to this. This list of “quotes” appears to have been lifted from the Facebook page of “Parents Against Gun Violence.”

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Intent

LSU art student Jordan Marcell speaks of the “intent” in the creation of firearms. A lot.

Opinion: Guns dangerous by nature, effects not containable
“Even when not performing their purpose, the ever present danger with firearms, is that— somehow— they will.”

Too much, and yet still misses two points.

Let’s start with that intent. Marcell claims to believe that firearms are simply built to be deadly destroyers of biological life, and that this is a continuing and progressive trend towards ever more deadly weapons. If that were true, there would be no handguns produced, as long guns can project bigger, faster, more damaging rounds than could — effectively — any handgun. If simple killing were the goal, I’d stick to a AR-15 pattern rifle and a vest full of 30 round magazines, and junk the compact polymer pistol in wimpy 9mm which I do carry everyday.

I don’t carry that handgun to kill. I carry it to defend myself (and others, should the circumstances warrant). My handgun was not designed by Ruger to be the penultimate killing machine. It’s designed to be carried routinely and comfortably and to provide basic protection.

Or take this little number.

Does anyone seriously believe that was designed for anything other than punching holes in paper? One could use it to kill, but so could such a determined person bash in his victim’s skull with Marcell’s coffee mug.

Next, consider Marcell’s fear that all firearms will perform the deadly purpose mistakenly attributed to the inanimate gadgets.

According the CDC, in 2015, 36,252 people died by firearm; that includes homicide and legal intervention (such as self-defense) and accidents. We’ll pretend each death was accomplished with a separate firearm: 36,252 guns.

Conservative estimates of firearms in civilian hands in America range from the wildly implausible 265 million to a more likely 500 million, to a possibly over the top 750 million.

If you studied math, rather than Marcell’s “Studio Art” you probably see where I’m going with this.

36,252 firearms were seemingly used in accordance with the “intent” Marcell believes imbued their design. Out of 265-750 million firearms. If Marcell were correct then — conservatively — 99.98632% of firearms suffered gross design failures: 264,963,748 guns failed to kill anyone (as they are allegedly designed to do).

You’d think that if 60-130 million gun owners (estimates vary as wildly as estimates of firearms) thought their guns had malfunctioned, there would be a monumental class action lawsuit wending its way through the courts. As some anonymous Internet wag noted, “If guns kill people, where are mine hiding the bodies?”

Or, just maybe, those inevitable deadly effects are “containable,” because of the intent of the owners.

There is no “intent” conferred upon firearms. As always, intent resides in the person operating it. Yes, even in negligent or accidental discharges, some had the intent to do something — likely stupid — with the gun.

So Marcell missed two points. Did you notice a third point which he implied?

“A firearm, as a tool, is an instrument that was created with the purpose of eliminating biological life— or killing, if you prefer that term.”

“Killing.” He fails to distinguish between murder and self defense. Or to differentiate between murder and hunting for food. Or murder and putting down a terminally suffering animal. Even in “killing” intent varies. Unless one is a liberal arts student incapable of more than simplistic over-generalizations bearing no resemblance to reality.

If Marcell equates all killing to murder, I wonder what our young student eats. Surely not meat, yet…

And you who feed on nothing but plants
Don’t hold your pride so high
For plants are living, and just might feel
And they take so long to die.
– Fisher’s Chant, Leslie Fish

Does Marcell heartlessly murder suffering plants for sustenance?

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Some things are worth fighting for

Chapter 3 of Maccabees 1

1 Then his son Judas, who was called Maccabeus, took his place.

2 All his brothers and all who had joined his father supported him, and they gladly carried on Israel’s war.

3 He spread abroad the glory of his people, and put on his breastplate like a giant. He armed himself with weapons of war; he fought battles and protected the camp with his sword.

4 In his deeds he was like a lion, like a young lion roaring for prey.

5 He pursued the lawless, hunting them out, and those who troubled his people he destroyed by fire.

6 The lawless were cowed by fear of him, and all evildoers were dismayed. By his hand deliverance was happily achieved,

7 and he afflicted many kings. He gave joy to Jacob by his deeds, and his memory is blessed forever.

8 He went about the cities of Judah destroying the renegades there. He turned away wrath from Israel,

9 was renowned to the ends of the earth; and gathered together those who were perishing.

10 Then Apollonius* gathered together the Gentiles, along with a large army from Samaria, to fight against Israel.

11 When Judas learned of it, he went out to meet him and struck and killed him. Many fell wounded, and the rest fled.

12 They took their spoils, and Judas took the sword of Apollonius and fought with it the rest of his life.

13 But Seron, commander of the Syrian army, heard that Judas had mustered an assembly of faithful men ready for war.

14 So he said, “I will make a name for myself and win honor in the kingdom. I will wage war against Judas and his followers, who have despised the king’s command.”

15 And again a large company of renegades advanced with him to help him take revenge on the Israelites.

16 When he reached the ascent of Beth-horon,* Judas went out to meet him with a few men.

17 But when they saw the army coming against them, they said to Judas: “How can we, few as we are, fight such a strong host as this? Besides, we are weak since we have not eaten today.”

18 But Judas said: “Many are easily hemmed in by a few; in the sight of Heaven there is no difference between deliverance by many or by few;

19 for victory in war does not depend upon the size of the army, but on strength that comes from Heaven.

20 With great presumption and lawlessness they come against us to destroy us and our wives and children and to despoil us;

21 but we are fighting for our lives and our laws.

22 He* will crush them before us; so do not fear them.”

23 When he finished speaking, he rushed suddenly upon Seron and his army, who were crushed before him.

24 He pursued Seron down the descent of Beth-horon into the plain. About eight hundred* of their men fell, and the rest fled to the land of the Philistines.

25 Then Judas and his brothers began to be feared, and dread fell upon the Gentiles about them.

26 His fame reached the king, and the Gentiles talked about the battles of Judas.

I’ll be honest, I love Hanukkah. I didn’t grow up loving it, but once I understood it, and what it meant, I fell in love with the Maccabees. The real ones, the real meaning of Hanukkah. The one Y.B. wrote about. The Hanukkah that makes me realize in every and all generations we must safeguard those things that we hold most dear. Judah knew what was at stake, he assumed command after his father Mattathias died, he and his brothers had been with Mattathias as he began the fight to save the Hebrews from the orders of Antiochus that were meant to eradicate the practice and knowledge of Judaism. To restore the land and the people to a way of live they were meant to live. But they had to survive the soldiers to do that. Judah didn’t just pray and hope for the best.

Verse 3, “He armed himself with weapons of war; he fought battles and protected the camp with his sword.”

Weapons of war was not a “bad” phrase, or a “hate speech” or used in a denigrating way. It was a fact of life. You want to live? Be prepared, because there are bad evil people out there, they do not care if you’re a pacifist or not. This phrase always makes me pause. A couple years ago I was in Tel Aviv and I was a woman with a mission. I wanted to find a model of a Centurion tank circa 1973 Yom Kippur war. I went in a toy store and looked around and a clerk, a young man, came up and asked if he could help me. They had a model battleship, and some airplanes, I couldn’t find the tanks. I explained as best as I could what I wanted. He finally got it and had a shocked and appalled look on his face. “You mean a weapon of WAR??” he exclaimed horrified. Yes, I want a tank. “We do not want weapons of war in this store!” he informed me self-righteously. I shot a sidelong glance at the battleship. Uh huh. I was pissed but it wasn’t worth the argument and I didn’t know enough good words then. I thought to myself, buddy, if it weren’t for those “weapons of war” and some of the people that knew how to wield them you’d have been in a world of hurt more than once. It was a couple weeks after that Hama$$ began firing rockets into Israel again from Gaza, the prototype of how the two state solution will work. Weapons of war can be an excellent thing you have to defend your camp.

13 But Seron, commander of the Syrian army, heard that Judas had mustered an assembly of faithful men ready for war.

14 So he said, “I will make a name for myself and win honor in the kingdom. I will wage war against Judas and his followers, who have despised the king’s command.”

15 And again a large company of renegades advanced with him to help him take revenge on the Israelites.

16 When he reached the ascent of Beth-horon,* Judas went out to meet him with a few men.

17 But when they saw the army coming against them, they said to Judas: “How can we, few as we are, fight such a strong host as this? Besides, we are weak since we have not eaten today.”

18 But Judas said: “Many are easily hemmed in by a few; in the sight of Heaven there is no difference between deliverance by many or by few;

19 for victory in war does not depend upon the size of the army, but on strength that comes from Heaven.

The Maccabees, my partisan heroes. The Warsaw ghetto partisans, the partisans of the forests, the hills, the caves. Small but determined groups that were willing to fight and risk all for freedom. Because what they fought for was what they treasured. Just as Judah knew and told us, deliverance comes from Heaven. To G-d deliverance from a few or from many is all the same. 1967, 1973 and for the Maccabees G-d does not respect political correctness or numbers and no task is too much for G-d. He’s in the miracle business and he’s very good at it. Do I know why he hasn’t granted miracles every time I think there should have been one? No. But maybe someday I will understand, or ask him. Zelmans Partisans may be a small group, but we are a small group of determined people who know what we are about and are tenacious as wolverines. We understand what we fight for.

The Maccabees were having none of this compromise our rights, compromise our Torah, our feasts our way of life, our Shabbat. No. Compromising on “evil black rifles” “high capacity (adequate capacity) magazines is the same folly. We can follow “man’s” “king’s” laws to the death, or we can live by G-d’s commands.

I was talking with a friend about wars, Israel and history. I was told that today Israel doesn’t fight to win. Not really. They fight a little. Enough to keep things at bay, enough to keep the status quo. Yes, yes, I suppose that is right. Fight that battle and get it done. Fight it fast and hard and keep the knowledge of what you are fighting for in the front of your mind. Fight to win. If you have to fight, no halfway measures.

The Maccabees didn’t fight for sufganyot or latkas, not even the yummy jalapeno cheddar ones. They fought to live as G-d commanded them. And the things that we hold most precious, most dear are the things we must be willing to fight for. I suppose one could evaluate what really is most dear to them by looking at the things they really are willing to fight for.

I have seen miracles, this time of year. I don’t believe they are limited to this time of year at all, but I have seen some rather amazing things happen this time of year. I believe G-d is still in the miracle business. And so I pray for my much loved teammates and for our members and readers a season blessed with miracles.

Happy Hanukkah.

Judah Maccabee Meme
Judah Maccabee Meme
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Sandy Hook: My Failure?

I don’t think so.

When will it end?
The killings on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School will be forever remembered as a monumental failure of otherwise law-abiding gun owners to take responsibility for their freedoms.

I don’t know when it will end. But it seems highly unlikely that it will completely end until overly-emotive nonthinkers like Mr. Nehring base their victim disarmament decisions on fantasy rather than reality.

Let’s talk about the “failures” of law-abiding gun owner Mrs. Lanza.

  • Her son had mental problems. She spent years trying to address them.
  • She bought firearms through licensed dealers, going through background checks.
  • She reportedly kept most of her firearms locked up, some reports indicating specifically to keep them out of her son’s hands.

So what was her failure; what allowed her deranged son to get those guns and murder those people?

She fell asleep.

Yes, for those with no long-term memory, like Nehring, Mrs. Lanza’s son murdered her in her sleep so that he could steal the guns he would take to the school.

Many vocal gun owners refuse to acknowledge that with their freedoms come responsibility. Instead they try to sweep this tragic result under the rug.

I suppose in Nehring’s deranged world, he has a point. The right to sleep without being murdered is not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights.

Ban sleep and high capacity king-sized beds.

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A good guy with a

sprinkler system.

24 bodies recovered in Oakland warehouse fire; 80% of building still much be searched
The death toll from the fire that raced through an Oakland warehouse during a music concert rose to 24 as searchers continued sift through the ruin of one of the deadliest fires in modern California history.

Those with a vested interest in a disarmed, helpless populace would have us believe that a good guy with a gun stopping something bad is a myth. They carefully maintain that false narrative by ignoring numerous cases of exactly that. Or, worse, pretending the bad guy had a gun and no one else did. Every case of some asshole managing to do bad things — no matter how transiently — is viewed as proof that us “should-be” serfs must be unarmed for the common “good” (presumably the “good” of violent criminals who have a right to a safe workplace).

But how things change. In last week’s Oakland warehouse fire, in which…

  • the structure was being used as a multi-dwelling residence
  • the building lacked required fire alarms
  • the building lacked required fire sprinklers
  • unapproved wooden structures had been erected within
  • “rooms” were created by hanging flammable curtains
  • welding of “art works” was apparently being done
  • and an unlicensed rave was reportedly being held

…I haven’t seen a single call for banning the private possession of fire extinguishers. No one has screamed that zoning laws and building codes didn’t work (and apparently were actively ignored by authorities) and should be repealed.

In fact, crappy fire inspections seem to be a known problem in Oakland.

Let’s compare. Some asshole attacks a dozen people with car and blade, and if a private citizen doesn’t stop him with a gun, that’s a failure of our lax gun laws, and clearly proves that Evil Black Rifles should be banned.

But dozens die when the city fails to enforce its own rules, leaving the mess to firefighters on the ground, and…

-crickets-

I sense a double standard here.


Ed. note: This commentary appeared first in TZP’s weekly email alert. If you would like to be among the first to see new commentary (as well as to get notice of new polls and recaps of recent posts), please sign up for our alert list. (See sidebar or, if you’re on a mobile device, scroll down). Be sure to respond when you receive your activation email!

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