In the aftermath of the deadly massacre in a shul in Pittsburgh, more people are engaging in conversations about guns. The talk is not just about the danger of weapons used in the attack, but about exercising our Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Guns and Jews or Jews and guns seem like a societal contradiction. Jews, the stereotype goes, do not shoot, they sue in court. After last week’s events in Pittsburgh, the conversation has shifted. People do not want to feel helpless or defenseless should the occasion arise.
President Trump said it best in the immediate aftermath of the tragic killing of 11 people in the Tree of Life synagogue: had a congregant been armed in the shul, someone that could have returned fire until the police arrived, lives could have been saved. But that was not the case, and it is not a circumstance that will be found in most shuls on a Shabbos or on any morning of the week.
The words, “sitting ducks,” gets bandied about a lot, but that is certainly not the case everywhere. Let’s take some of our local yeshivas here on Long Island, for example. Speaking with security experts Pam and Yehuda Dafna of ISS Security Services, we covered how they see the security situation.
This is a sensitive issue, and we do not want to compromise any institution’s safety, but Yehuda said two things. The first is that he is surprised there is only one yeshiva he knows of in Long Island that has an armed security guard in the building or on campus.
Many of our schools appear to have tight and thorough security, but under severe or extreme circumstances where an attacker has to be stopped, our schools do not have the ability to do so.
Read more in this week’s 5TJT.