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The Increasing Gun Ownership Among Jews After Oct. 7

Jews are increasingly likely to buy firearms after the Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

By: Lucy Gilbert, The Daily Signal

After the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, many Jews around the world are choosing to arm themselves for self-defense, according to a panel of Jewish professionals.

“Jews tend not to own guns, and that’s very unfortunate, because if you look at our history, we could’ve used one or two throughout that time,” Karol Markowicz, a columnist for the New York Post and Fox News, said at the Jewish Gun Ownership and Self-Defense event at The Heritage Foundation on Thursday. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s news and commentary outlet.)

The Oct. 7 attack is what convinced Markowicz, who is Jewish, to become a gun owner and get both a handgun and an AR-15. She said she believes the terrorist attack has created a shift in the Jewish community and now more people are inclined to arm themselves.

“When I went shooting on Oct. 10, [there were] tons of Jews at the shooting range. [A] girl walks out with a Chanel bag and a big Jewish star, and we give each other kind of a nod,” Markowicz said.

“I don’t understand how one can look at Jewish history and think that leaving Jewish security unto others is a winning strategy,” said syndicated columnist and Newsweek senior editor Josh Hammer at the self-defense event.

“A core foundational component of American democracy is this idea of the natural law—that there are certain rights as human beings that we are endowed by our creator with—the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness—and out of this naturally flows this right of self-defense,” said Amy Swearer, a senior legal fellow at Heritage.

Americans use their guns to defend themselves or others somewhere between 500,000 times to several million times a year, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, said Swearer.

The claim that guns are more dangerous than useful is not true, according to Swearer. It is only more dangerous to own a gun if you are actively suicidal or prone to violence.

“If you are a sane, sober, moral, prudent person engaged in basic levels of responsible gun ownership, then it is simply not true that possessing a gun exacerbates the likelihood that you or someone in your family is going to be killed or injured by that firearm. That gun is not going to suddenly whisper mean things into your ear and make you violent or suicidal,” Swearer said.

A lot of Jewish people are currently feeling politically adrift, according to Heritage senior research fellow Jay Greene.

“I actually think we should be very welcoming and tell them [Jewish people] they have a home here in the conservative movement. They actually belong here naturally. This is where their values are best represented,” said Greene.

“If all of this collectively does not red pill [get people to start seeing the truth], so to speak, some of these lethargic assimilationist Jews with trembling knees, then I honestly throw my hands up and say nothing will,” said Hammer.

“I have yet to be at a pro-Israel rally that does not thank law enforcement for doing its job … for protecting religious liberties for all. That’s a major difference, by the way, between pro-Israel rallies and the pro-Hamas rallies, which are typically burning the American flag and standing against American values,” Hammer said.

“And that’s the message that Jews should take away,” said Markowicz. “No one is coming to save us. We have to save ourselves.”

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