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Guest Posting: Jew Without a Gun

February 19th, 2013 Posted by Susan's Musings 23 comments

I
have only printed one guest posting before—by my daughter. This time, I am
posting a piece by Hollywood screenwriter, Robert Avrech, because I think it may
save lives. My husband and I have met Robert, but even if we did not know him,
I think his words are well worth reading. I am publishing his piece unedited
and trust my readers to have the maturity and grace to excuse passionate
language that may not be phrased as I might have chosen, but that I certainly
understand after his family’s experience.


“If the Los Angeles riots taught us anything,
it’s that you’re a fool if you count on the authorities to protect you in times
of civil chaos — in fact, at any time. In the end, only I can protect my
family.”

Jew Without a Gun

Part
One

Hollywood
is Burning

Hollywood is on fire.

Karen and I lock every door in the
house, shut tight the windows. We move through the house switching off all the
lights.

Gazing from our bedroom window we
watch orange flames lick at the darkness, pillars of black smoke climb into the
sky. We can actually smell the acrid odor of burning rubber.

“Look how close they are,” says
Karen.

“Just past La Cienega. Maybe eight
blocks away.”

Karen gives me a long penetrating
gaze:

“What do we do if they come here?”

My mind is racing away. The truth is
we are defenseless. Unless I get crazy inventive like Dustin Hoffman in Straw
Dogs.

“After this is all over,” I vow,
“I’m going to buy a pistol.”

Karen
says: “How about a shotgun?”

Dissolve to—

Two Hours Earlier:

The rioters are surging toward the
front doors of the theater. They are shouting, but the glass doors are so thick
we cannot hear what they’re screaming. The visual is quite enough. Their faces
are twisted into expressions of raw hatred. The mob looks intent on some
serious violence.

A few kids are laughing, milling
about aimlessly and in apparent good cheer. Hey, maybe this is just a community
street festival.

We’re at a screening for a new
movie. It’s a Hollywood premiere, a charity event for, get this, inner city
youth.

I’m friends with the executive
producer.

“Bring Karen and the kids,” the
producer chirps on the phone. “It’s a kid-friendly movie, there’s gonna be a
reception, and really, Robert, it’s gonna be fab-u-lous.”

And so: because this producer is my
friend and I want to support her movie, and because I’m a Hollywood
screenwriter and personal relationships grease the wheels of the business, and
because the producer is a player and admires my work, I schlep Karen, Ariel,
11, and Offspring #2, seven years old, to the screening-slash-charity benefit
in the DGA building on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.

What could possibly go wrong at a
swanky premiere?

Inner City Youth Are Outside—But Not
For Long

It is a Wednesday evening, April 29,
1992. The Rodney King tape has been running like an eternal loop on every
network 24/7.

The film, a real stinker, at long
last cuts to its final fade to black. Everyone is now mingling in the reception
area. Guests congratulate the producer, director and stars, assuring them that
the film is: ”great, just great,” and “the best work you’ve ever done,” all the
expected and acceptable lies we tell each other.

Suddenly a chill sweeps through the
room.

Something is happening.

It’s happening outside.

I step towards the large plate glass
doors of the theater. The security men, two burly rent-a-cops, deeply alarmed,
start locking the row of doors.

Snap, click.

Snap, click.

Snap, CRACK!

Mesmerized, I stare as something
hard bounces off the thick glass. There is a tiny white wound.

“Step back from the doors,” the
security men say.

I stay put. I want to see what’s
happening.

“Please, step away from the doors,”
they plead as more guests press forward trying to glimpse the fearful gathering
outside.

I see it happening. A classic shot
unwinding in slow motion: the mob swarms towards the DGA building, towards us:
a thick wave of fury marching with a terrible velocity towards this cocoon
of—there’s no way around this—Hollywood liberals.

Sheesh, talk about a target-rich
environment.

It’s almost funny.

Here we are, inside, raising funds
for inner city youth, and —

— and the inner city youth are
outside trying to get in.

Not, mind you, to express their
ever-lasting appreciation for our spectacular generosity. Nope, hard as it is
to believe, but it looks as if the objects of our charity would like to lynch
us.

Or maybe burn us to death.

Almost funny. But not quite.

Hey, This is Just Like the Movies,
Only Not Really

Abruptly, we are plunged into
darkness.

And as if on cue, a woman screams,
just like in the movies.

Offspring #2 leaps into my arms.

Trembling like a frightened rabbit,
she stutters:

“D-d-d-daddy, what’s happening?”

Karen grips my arm:

“Robert?”

Ariel squeezes my hand, and asks:

“What happened to the lights?”

I’m thinking: Do I really look
like I have the answers?

A rent-a-cop calls out: “We turned
off the lights so they can’t see inside. It’s a safety precaution.”

Panic spreads like a virus through
the crowd.

During the 1973 Yom Kippur War I had
a long and detailed conversation with an Israeli officer, an incredibly brave
and highly decorated tank commander who explained why Israel always beat the
Arabs in war:

“We maneuver, we remain flexible,
creative and liquid. The Arabs have a fatal tendency to fall back into a
defensive posture. You cannot win a battle or a war when your position is
static. We shoot and scoot. We keep moving, we probe the enemy’s flanks and
then move in for the kill.”

Excellent advice.

We are trapped in the lobby and
outside a mob of rioters is moving in, surrounding the building.

Time to go Israeli.

Part
II

The
Getaway

I have to protect my family.

I’m pretty sure the mob outside is
dead serious about breaking in and getting down to some serious violence.

Not to mention liberating some
pretty major karats. At the reception, I noticed huge diamonds whose glitter
could induce seizures; watches: at least a dozen Cartier Tanks; I could not
count the Rolex Oysters, and no doubt there’s enough loose cash to make your
average L.A. rioter reasonably satisfied. This is, after all, an affluent
Hollywood crowd.

Armed & Dangerous With a Swiss
Army Knife—Just Kidding

I have to protect my family.

In my pocket, as always, a little
Swiss Army knife.

“I’ve never yet seen an eyeball who
felt that the Swiss Army knife was not a dangerous weapon.”

This charming and somewhat gruesome
comment — advice, really — was given to me by my Israeli buddy, a grizzled tank
commander who, one drunken evening, cheerily listed for yours truly all the
common, everyday objects that have lethal potential. My friend was a big fan of
the ordinary Swiss Army knife and its zillions of nifty attachments.

So: it is pitch black, rioters are
gathering outside the DGA building, and to make matters even worse, women and
children in the lobby are yelling, sobbing—every moist and yucky sound
imaginable—in panic.

I feel like announcing:

“People, shrieking does not help.
Really, it doesn’t.”

But why bother? It’s a mob mentality
and there is no reasoning with such people. Unless maybe you’re Gregory Peck in
To Kill a Mockingbird.

Which I am not.

Anyhoo.

I’m busy formulating a plan, trying
to figure out a way to escape this building before the rioters break in, before
they figure out a way of crashing through one of the numerous doors.

Interpolation

Karen does not scream or yell.

Unnaturally calm is the love of my
life. Even as stones—where do the rioters get rocks?—thwack sharply against the
front doors, Karen does not even flinch.

It’s almost eerie. Basically,
everyone else is losing their collective minds, but Karen’s expression just
builds into this magnificent wall of serene composure. Her posture goes taut,
as if a steel rod is welded into her spine and molding her into an incredibly
cute Marine.

Ten-shun!

I have this really weird urge to
lift her sleeve and seek out the Semper Fi tattoo. And then there’s her lovely
face. All the open and generous softness has receded and been replaced by a
look of, by a look of — well, the only way to describe her expression is — have you ever seen those military
paintings of seventeenth-century generals? You know those huge canvases where
you get to see a full battle, say Austerlitz, or Waterloo, thousands of men are
fighting, dying, blood and guts strewn about, rearing horses with eyes wide as
saucers, but the general, the reason for the painting in the first place —
well, he’s usually sitting on his white horse, on a hill, watching the battle,
and his expression conveys determination, resolve, bravery, a self-assurance
that says to the viewer: Look, believe me, I know exactly what I’m doing.

Anyway, that’s what Karen
looks like tonight.

End Interpolation

“Karen,” I whisper, “I think we
should get to the car and get out of here.”

“I was thinking the same thing.”

I’ve been in love with Karen since I
was nine years old
and have come to the realization that she’s one part Antigone and all Patton.

“Everybody, everybody! Attention,
please! We cut the lights. We don’t want them to be able to see inside. Do you
understand? We shut down the power. Not them.”

There is a collective buzz as a
rent-a-cop repeats this vital announcement.

“What are we supposed to do now?”
people shout.

“We’ve called the police,” comes the
weak reply.

More nervous buzzing.

“Please, ladies and gentlemen, just
wait for the police to arrive.”

I’m thinking: famous last words.

Offspring #2 is still in my arms,
still glued to my hip, and though seven years old, she has regressed and jammed
her thumb in her mouth; she trembles mightily, as if freezing. I can actually
hear her teeth chattering.

Karen and I edge our way to the
staircase; we are not going to wait for the police. We are not going to sit
here like victims.

We are going to make our way down to
the parking garage, jump into the car, and drive home. We are going to take our
fate in our own hands.

The cavalry, I’m pretty sure, and
with all apologies to John Ford, is not coming to the rescue.

The Police Are Coming—But Not Really

“Where are you going?”

A rent-a-cop is posted at the
staircase.

“To our car,” I tell him.

“That’s not a good idea, sir.”

“We think it is.”

“We’ve called the police.”

“Where are they?”

He says nothing.

“How long before they come?”

“Any minute.”

I gesture toward the rioters doing
their hostile little dances outside the DGA building:

“What happens when they start throwing
Molotov cocktails?”

Rent-a-cop takes a deep breath.

“The police are coming,” he insists.

“Excuse me, we’re going to our car.
You can’t stop us.”

The rent-a-cop has about two hundred
pounds—all muscle—on yours truly and I’m terrified that he’s going to challenge
me.

Thank G-d, he steps aside, murmurs
something about not being responsible for our safety.

No kidding.

Poor guy. He’s trying to do his job,
but he no longer knows what his job is.

Robert’s Rules for Driving Through a
Riot

1. Do not stop for anyone or
anything.

2. Not even to help someone. My
first responsibility is to my family.

3. If rioters try to blockade the
car, drive straight through.

4. If the car stalls, don’t leave
the car.

5. Unless the car is on fire.

These rules flash through my mind in
a split second.

The Fashionable and Magic Backpack

The stairwell is pitch black. Not
good. In fact, it’s bad, very bad.

Suddenly, a golden beam of light
slices through the velvety darkness.

“Look,” says Ariel, “Mommy has a
flashlight.”

The children are delighted.

Me too.

Karen carries an extremely cool and
very feminine leather backpack. It’s something of a joke in the family that the
backpack is magic. Whatever you need, whenever you need it, it’s gonna be in
the backpack.

Except for a pistol.

Sigh.

Cautiously looking for signs of the
rioters hiding in the garage, we make our way to the car. I’ve definitely seen
too many movies. I almost declare: The coast is clear.

I snap Offspring #2 into her car
seat. Ariel, 11, also sits in the back with his younger sister. He is pale with
fear and confusion. I touch his arm and murmur: “Everything is going to be
fine.”

Ariel gives a weak smile and nods
his head.

Our children trust us to protect
them.

The burden of parenthood has never
felt more grave.

Starting up the engine, I realize
that I am drenched in sweat, my shirt clings to my body.

Karen reaches into the glove
compartment, pulls out the Thomas Guide to Los Angeles.

“We may have to find a different
route home,” she says.

“Right.”

Using commencement-of-production
bonus money from my most recent film,
we bought a Lexus outfitted with a massive eight-cylinder engine. It was a good
move. The Lexus is a gas guzzler, but who cares? It’s our Centurion.

And as we cruise up the ramp, my
breath catches in my throat, for there are a dozen rioters milling about the
exit.

Oh, man — am I going to be able to
put pedal to metal and smash through a bunch of real live human bodies?

My Israeli friend, the tank officer,
had something like sixteen kills in a Sinai tank battle during the 1973 Yom
Kippur War. When I complimented him on this huge kill ratio, he waved it off
and said:

“It’s no big deal killing an
Egyptian tank. They have this habit of hunkering down and using their tanks as
artillery platforms. All wrong. Picking them off was a bit too easy. Remember:
always fight an offensive battle. Most people are cowards, so if you keep
coming at them, chances are they will retreat.”

Okey-dokey.

 

Part
III

The
Gauntlet

 “Attack, always attack.”

My friend, the heroic Israeli tank
commander, told me that in the first few days of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, both
fronts, the Sinai and the Golan Heights, were so weakly defended that had the
Egyptian or Syrian high command been strategically bolder, tactically smarter,
and their soldiers braver… well, the Arab armies could have achieved massive
breakthroughs, and Israel would have found herself facing genocide.

But small — actually, tiny — pockets
of brave, determined and very well-trained Israeli troops — in some cases just
two or three tanks on the Golan Heights — held their ground and attacked enemy
forces sometimes a hundred times their strength.

Screenwriter Escapes DGA
Building—Note the Irony

“We had no orders except to hold our
ground and whenever possible to attack—always attack.”

All this whips through my mind as I
aim our car—I’m already thinking of the Lexus as a tank, a Centurion—towards
the exit of the parking garage. A knot of rioters is milling about at the exit.
It’s hard to see clearly, but oh, boy — it looks like a few of them are
brandishing baseball bats.

I’m gonna make a wild guess and
assume that they’re not Little League dads.

I haven’t turned on the car’s
headlights. We’re still lurking in the shadows, not yet detected by the
barbarians.

Good thing the car is fashionably
black.

Karen says: “Maybe there’s another
exit.”

“Nope.”

“How do you know?”

“DGA building. I’ve been here like a
zillion times.”

“What are we going to do?”

We.

The Talmud teaches that when a
husband or wife uses the collective “we,” it means there is love in the
relationship.

Is there a finer way to enter battle
than with the woman I have been in love with since fourth grade?

Ariel, 11, says: “I have to pee.”

Offspring #2, seven years old,
doubles over with an uncontrollable fit of the giggles. She finds this
absolutely hysterical.

“You’re going to have to hold it in
for a while, Ariel. Do you think you can do that?” Karen says.

“I guess.”

“Good boy.”

Karen and I exchange glances. Karen
gives me a pale smile of encouragement.

Robert: “I just have to say it.”

Karen: “What?”

Robert: “Fasten your seat belts.
It’s going to be a bumpy night.”

Karen inclines her head,
questioning.

Robert: “Bette Davis, All About
Eve
, 1950, written and directed by the great Joseph L. Mankiewicz.”

Karen sighs, tolerantly but with
affection: “Robert, Robert.”

In the back seat, the nervous
giggles from Offspring #2 increase tenfold.

My Israeli buddy, the tank
commander, was fond of quoting Sun Tzu’s Art of War. One of his favorite
maxims was:

Supreme excellence consists in
breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.

Okey-dokey.

I inch the car forward, gain speed,
4 mph, 7 mph…

Now: I switch on the headlights
using—surprise, hi-beams!—drenching the criminals in white light. I lean on the
horn and —

WHOOOOOOOOO!

— and the rioters are drenched in
the powerful lights (those Japanese engineers, G-d bless ’em) — and the shrieking
horn is amplified by the concrete garage walls. The knuckleheads are blinded,
frozen as I bear down on them at what seems like Formula One speed, and now
they fall back like bowling pins and —

— and we blow right past them, make
a sharp left turn—we’re ordered by a street sign to turn right, but that would
deliver us to the front of the DGA building and directly into the eye of the
mob, and so, tires screeching—hey, just like Steve McQueen in “Bullitt”—we race
away from the theater.

Heaving a great sigh, I realize that
I have not taken a breath in, gee willikers, a long, long time.

I zoom down the block, pull over,
and gulp oxygen.

“You okay?” Karen asks.

I nod.

But my heart is slamming in my chest
like a Ginger Baker solo.

Hey, Los Angeles is Just Like Fatah
Land—Only More Fashionable

Karen snaps on her little
flashlight, studies the Thomas Guide. Using her index finger, she traces a
route home.

“I think we should stick to the main
streets. It’ll probably be safer.” Karen says.

“You navigate. I’ll pilot.”

“Let’s get moving,” Karen cautions.

“Check.”

Karen’s like: Huh?

I have seen way too many movies.
Seriously.

As we cruise through the chaotic
streets, we spot fires burning all over the city. A canopy of red and orange
spreads through the velvety darkness. It’s kind of beautiful, like a romantic
J.M. W. Turner canvas.

Small businesses are deliberately
torched.

Orange streaks of fire inscribe
themselves against the velvety sky. It takes me a moment to recognize the
distinctive signature of Molotov cocktails.

Los Angeles has turned into Fatah
Land.

“Where’s the fire department?” Karen
asks.

Looters help themselves to
everything from television sets and stereos to diapers and liquor.

Every so often we hear the
distinctive flat crack of gun fire.

Nowhere do we see any police.

Trying to avoid a massive traffic
jam, I turn down a side-street. Karen leans forward, spots something and cries:

“No!”

Thirty yards separate us from a
group of thugs who are chilling in the street. They watch us with flinty eyes.
All wicked and street-savvy, they shuffle in our direction.

They’re all: yo, yo, yo.

And I’m all: oy, oy, oy.

Call me crazy, but I have a sneaking
suspicion they’re not looking to discuss the cinema of Oscar Micheaux.

“Let’s get out of here,” Karen says.

Who am I to disagree with the love
of my life?

I shift into reverse. Back up a few
feet, shift into drive, angling for a sharp U turn, but the thugs are coming up
awfully fast in my rear-view mirror.

I’m pretty sure one of the locals is
toting a Tec 9. Or maybe it’s just a chunk of lumber.

And I’ve got a Swiss Army knife.

Talk about being out-gunned.

 “Robert…” says Karen says through clenched
teeth.

No time for a neat, driver’s-ed
three-point turn.

I blast forward, squeak through a
gap between two parked cars, hurtle right up onto the sidewalk, and then,
ca-runch! yet another bone rattling move down the high curb, back into the
street and:

Away.

We.

Go.

“Some move,” says Karen.

She touches my shoulder. And to this
very day I still feel the cool imprint of her hand.

It’s Karen’s way of saying, “My
hero.”

Or at least that’s what I tell
myself.

Entry in Robert’s Official
Screenwriting Notebook: Write this extremely scary, axle-cracking maneuver
into your next script—no matter what the subject matter.

“I really, really, really have to
pee,” Ariel reminds us.

I hand him an empty Styrofoam coffee
cup.

Twenty Minutes to Get Anywhere in
Los Angeles—Except During, Ahem, Civil Unrest

It takes us over an hour and a half
to get home. Normally, this drive would take maybe twenty minutes.

But we have to circle round and
double back countless times in order to avoid choked arteries, major
intersections where madness reigns—traffic lights are ignored—and then there
are unknown side streets that cause Karen to observe:

“We’ll never get out of there
alive.”

Listening to the radio, we hear
about the Rodney King verdict. So that’s the grievance du jour.

The fire department, we learn, is
not being deployed because their men have come under intense gunfire.

We hear—and I have trouble believing
this report—that the Los Angeles Police Department has been “pulled back for
their own safety.”

Huh?

I thought that was part of the job
description.

Dopey me.

Casa Avrech: I carry Offspring #2 to
bed, where she recites the Sh’ma and then promptly falls asleep. We
tell Ariel how proud of him we are. He shrugs. No big deal. Five minutes later,
he’s fast asleep.

Karen, crisp and efficient, pins a
bed sheet over the large picture window in the living room. We cannot be too
careful. I search the house for a weapon, settle on an old ice ax from my
mountain-climbing days. It’s an elegant tool with wicked potential in
hand-to-hand combat, but obviously useless against firearms or a hail of
Molotov cocktails.

Abruptly, I feel a burning pain—a
white-hot spike—shooting through both my arms. Did I catch a stray bullet?

I examine my hands and gosh, my
fingers are curled into claws. It takes me a moment to realize that it’s from
gripping the steering wheel so hard. Painful muscle cramps travel from my
knuckles into my shoulders. It takes at least an hour for the pain to subside.

On the TV, Karen and I watch as
Reginald Denny gets his brains bashed in. We gaze in horror and disbelief as
the barbarians dance over his broken body. With tears in our eyes, we see pious
citizens, G-d bless them, step in and halt this atrocity, rescuing the tragic
truck driver.

There’s a video of Fidel Lopez, a
Guatemalan immigrant. He, like Denny, is pulled from his truck and robbed. But
theft is almost beside the point. The rioters-slash-torturers smash open his
head, then slice off an ear. The mob graffiti his chest, torso and genitals.

Take my word for it, graffiti is not
an art form.

Between fifty and fifty-six citizens
are murdered in the riots; two thousand are seriously injured.

At last, the LAPD is deployed. Its
officers make approximately 10,000 arrests.

Estimates of between 800 million and
a billion dollars in property damage have been reported. Approximately 3,600
fires were deliberately set, destroying 1,100 buildings.

Korean
shopkeepers were specifically targeted by black rioters. But the Koreans owned
guns and heroically defended their property and lives through force of arms,
frequently using AR-15s against heavily-armed looters. So anyone who tells you
that private citizens don’t need assault weapons are just plain
ignorant. Besides, as Mark Levin says, it is the Bill of Rights, not the Bill
of Needs.

It was a lesson that should have
reverberated nationally, but some commentators labeled the Koreans vigilantes.
Just another case of the mainstream media getting it wrong.

Liberal totalitarians demand
increased gun control, if not the outright banning of gun sales to citizens.

Second Amendment — what’s that?

And then, of course, the race
hustlers — Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Maxine Waters, the usual vulgar
demagogues — parade across TV screens informing the good citizens of Los
Angeles that the riots were really “an uprising.”

Oh, really?

As in: The Warsaw Ghetto
uprising?

Gazing from our bedroom window, we
watch orange flames lick at the darkness, pillars of black smoke climbing into
the sky. We can actually smell the acrid odor of burning rubber.

“Look how close they are,” says
Karen.

“Just past La Cienega. Maybe eight
blocks away.”

Karen gives me a long penetrating
gaze:

“What do we do if they come here?”

“After this is all over,” I vow,
“I’m going to buy a pistol.”

Karen says: “How about a shotgun?”

 

If the Los Angeles riots taught us
anything, it’s that you’re a fool if you count on the authorities to protect
you in times of civil chaos — in fact, at any time. In the end, only I can
protect my family.

I’m never, ever going to
allow myself to be outgunned by the bad guys. All the gun laws that are on the
books—and there are thousands of them—just make it that much easier for the
barbarians to amass weapons and for law-abiding people like you and me to be at
their mercy.

If you outlaw weapons, as so many
squishy liberals yearn to do — well then, only the state and the outlaws will
be armed. Which leaves ordinary citizens at the mercy of an all-powerful
government and a variety of merciless criminal subcultures.

When Hitler and Stalin snatched
power, one of their first moves was to outlaw private gun ownership. They
understood that armed citizens are a mortal threat to totalitarian rule.

Imagine: several million Jews owning
firearms between 1938 and 1945.

Is the mind capable of such a leap
of faith or is it too painful?

One week after the riots I legally
purchased a pistol: a 1911 Springfield .45. It’s the pistol I trained with in
Israel. Yes, it’s heavy, and yes, the recoil kicks like a Rockette; but this is
the weapon I know best and on good days I can shoot the wings off a fly at
twenty-five yards. I cordially invite any mugger, rioter, criminal, gun-hating
progressive, anarchist, or Jew-hating Islamist to come at me or my family,
because now I am a Jew with a gun.

FADE TO BLACK

The
End

Note: I’m frequently asked how I’m
able to remember incidents in such detail, including dialogue, from so many
years ago. It’s simple. I do not rely on my memory. I have been keeping a
detailed diary for over 30 years. This post, as so many others, is based on my
diaries. If there are gaps in my entries, I check with Karen. She also kept a
diary.

23 comments

Excellent recap of the terror and fear the citizens of L.A endured during the riots. This is why ‘we’ are the First Responders. We are ultimately responsible for our own lives- and the preservation of the same. Totalitarians & Progressivism cannot abide a populace that is A: Responsible & B: Ready to Defend any and all threats to life, Liberty and Property. They cannot abide because it negates our need of them and their ‘enlightened leadership’.
Thank you for sharing this story with us, Sir.
Cheers,
Skwerl

Joanna Huffman says:

Great article! Everyone needs to get a gun and learn how to use it. Cops/firemen are the first RESPONDERS (well maybe not in LA). They are not going though the event with you, so learn how to defend yourself & family with a gun. Preferably, arm each member of the family.

James says:

Who would incite a riot, if he had the power? What would it profit any man to rouse the rabble? And what sort of man would take delight in inflicting harm, random acts of violence, casually and according to whim? But leave it to the Jews to keep the records, to tally the score. If anybody has witnessed riots, the quintessential venting of rarefied human hatred, it must be the Jews, and that over centuries of random, sporadic abuse. Likewise I met an Armenian from Lebanon, a man of another massacred and vilified race. He told me how the Armenian community there today is armed to the teeth for the next fanatical Islamist cleansing.
Let us heed this man’s advice. Let us take heart at the experience of the Israeli tank commander about unfailing offensive tactics and the self-fulfilling curse of the enemy’s fatalism.

Carol B says:

George Santayana (1863-1952)said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” (from “Life of Reason I”). Now, because we have individuals rewriting history to their liking will now confuse future generations about the real truth. One of the greatest benefits from times past are the stories from individuals who were there and lived it. Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation is an excellent example of this as is this story. I want to thank you for sharing it because if you had not shared it, I doubt that I would have run across it. However, I did remember the news reports that Korean business owners were the smart ones because they were armed. We will be doomed if the second amendment to the Constitution falls. Time and again dictatorial governments have gained power through outlawing weapons for their citizens. Thank you again for posting this.
Shalom,
Carol

Debra Adkins says:

Thanks for sharing this story.

J Baughman says:

A wonderful, encouraging article. Though a Methodist/Lutheran, I’ve had (and still have) many close, personal, very special, Jewish friends over the years. Yes I know (though it is so very hard to understand) that many (perhaps 70-75%?) of Jewish people in America remain Democrats (atheists and Communists) working from inside to “transform” our Nation into one of Communist killers as they did in the Russian Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. In America they have achieved wealth and position to do great damage. Still there are 25-30% like Robert Avrech and Rabbi Lapin who understand our founding documents and what has made this mostly Christian Nation so successful, prosperous, generous, and tolerant of others. Bob Avrech and his family and Rabbi Lapin, his wife and family help me understand even more the enormous pride I share with them in God’s great gifts to our Nation. Yes Bob, America is worth saving with our 2nd Amendment. It is the barrier to save all other freedoms it seems to me. Thank you.

Judy says:

Thank you, Susan. I remember watching these events on the news, safely in another state. A timely reminder of how tenuous our freedom truly is. May you and your husband be blessed. I look forward to your weekly posts. I always come away wanting to be a better person.

John Buck says:

Thank you so very much for sharing Robert’s story with us. It highlights the reasons the Founding Fathers included the 2nd Amendment with the Bill of Rights.

Jillian says:

I LOVED reading this article and have forwarded it on to friends of mine who are proactive in our second amendment rights. I also posted a link on my facebook page and hope many others get to read it. Not only was Mr Avrech’s writing style immensely enjoyable to read and his story captivating, the message of it is what stands out most. Thank you for posting it!
I am new to your & your husband’s email list and enjoy the uplifting, thought-provoking writings.
God bless!

Joan says:

This story was not only entertaining and well written if expresses what all people desire in their marriages. A true friend, one that was chosen because of their sense and sensibilities. Two people that work together in trials, troubles, fun, family and for the future. True commitment. I lament deeply that I was not given the education and direction that the Jewish people are able to hand down through generations to their children, I suppose that I would call divine guidance for that is how I see it.
Susan thank you for sending this wonderful story our way. I see you and Rabbi Lapin as the same, wisdom filled and willing to share it people. Thank you so much. When I read your items I always bless you and Rabbi Daniel. Blessings.

Peter says:

Mr. Avrech’s account of escaping rioters should be required reading in the halls of the U.S. Congress. The lesson Mr. Avrech learned from his harrowing experience was that we, everyone of us, are the person most responsible for our own safety. In extreme circumstances, to defend our life, or in defense of another’s life, it may be necessary to shoot an attacker. When Mr. Avrech drove out of that parking garage through the crowd of rioters, he was prepared to hit them, if necessary, to remove his family from a life-threatening situation. He never intended to necessarily kill a rioter, but to do only what was necessary to stop the threat.
That’s exactly the mindset that a responsible gun owner needs when he trains to defend himself and his family. Apparently many citizens believe cops are trained to kill bad guys. That’s just not true. In the police academy I was not trained to kill bad guys, but if shooting was the best option to defend my life, or the life an innocent person, to shoot to stop the attack. And so it should be for everyone who owns a gun for self protection.
A gun is a defensive weapon, and the choice of that weapon should be the sole responsibility of the owner. No law should dictate what firearm U.S. citizens are allowed to own to defend themselves.
Since the police can’t stand guard at our homes 24/7, and accompany us everywhere we go when away from home, it’s our responsibility to be prepared to defend ourselves. We must know the applicable laws, and frequently practice with our guns so that we are comfortable and proficient with them, if the need arises. After we’ve successfully thwarted an attack, the police will respond to the scene and conduct an investigation to determine if we acted responsibly and within the law.
Our right to keep and bear arms must be honored by accepting the awesome responsibility to keep and bear them in a manner consistent with public safety.

Andrea says:

Thanks you Susan for re-posting this story. I am one of those that read your blog and got so busy
with life that I forgot how important it is to speak up to defend our rights. I live in Miami, Florida. I
have seen the limitations of the police force in certain difficult areas of the county. I agree that we should
have the right to defend ourselves and our families. In our home we have a shotgun, but we will be purchasing
a handgun. For the people that are concerned about safety with handguns and small children, we of course need
to be educated and use safety measures in our home. But it is a right if this country and better screening should
be enforced. Taking away a right does not correct our situation.

Paula says:

I liked this article so much that I forwarded it to my family and friends. I am all for the Second Amendment, but I am also for common sense. Do not have guns available in the house if there is someone very young, or the mentally ill are involved. Guns should be locked up. People handling guns should be mandated to take a gun safety course. This has been the practice in my family, and many of my relatives have guns because they live out in the country, where neighbors are far apart and there basically isn’t any help. We also survived going through the riots in Libya when I was 12 years old, driving from our house through Tripoli to get to Wheelus Air Force base to evacuate due to the Six Days War. That feeling of helplessness in the face of a mob stuck in my mind, and I don’t like feeling helpless and victimized.
Riots aren’t the only thing that happens in the US. Women are often victims of abusive men. Peace Bonds don’t work, although they need to be taken out and the man warned not to come near. Single women are also targets for home invasion and rape. Guns are a great equalizer.
People have the right to defend themselves. Here in the US, we also have the right to depose anyone who will take away our basic freedoms in order to become a dictator. If Jews had guns in Europe, the Shoah may never have happened.

Paula says:

Wow. I don’t think that the majority of Jews think of themselves as atheist and Communist because they’re Democrats. I myself am a Republican Jew, but I do not see what you see. So you’re blaming the Jews for the Russian Revolution? You think all Jews are rich and wanting to damage the US? That, Mr. Baughman, is something right out of the mouth of an ignorant, bigoted person. I hope you manage to learn better.

JacksonDeLand says:

I live in New Orleans. I survived Katrina. After the storm, the authorities were busy collecting private citizens guns in lieu of protecting the citizens! The authorities did not PROTECT AND SERVE!!! My home was protected from a neighbor with his shotgun!, NOT the police. After this debacle, the NRA sued the city, the city lost, AND the city kept the illegally confiscated guns, unless you could prove that you owned the gun! By the way, I do not have a bill of sale for the double barreled shotgun handed down to me from my Great Grand Father, I guess possession of my family heirloom makes me a criminal. Also, the recognized policy of the authorities is to hunker down until the situation/crisis passes before “going-in”! Where does that leave us? Even Jesus advised, “if you do not have a sword, sell your coat and get one”!

LArry says:

I wish more people voted pro gun politicians. Unfortunately that would go against all the other things they vote for. PRo death (abortion), pro gay marriage, etc..

LArry says:

Paula==What do they think of themselves as democrats? I’m not saying I agree with the guy above. How can anyone vote pro death (abortion)and be god fearing? Once you do that, you’ll do anything. You’ll vote gay marriage, etc. the list is long. I know alot of people that are democrat and believe in g-d, but their pocket book is more important. G-d is something about one day a week, go to church, then forget about the rest of the week.

Don Cole says:

Sorry–Got involved in Robert’s story telling. I am not by nature a violet person, unless you threaten my family, and until recently had not owned a gun since being a youngster (Now 69). I did purchase a shotgun, with the idea that if a man wants to enter my house, with thoughts of malice–He will need to come through a shotgun blast!! I think that makes my position clear!!
God bless you and Rabbi

As a retired police sergeant and a licensed therapist specializing in strategic intervention, I can assure you that it is better to be armed and ready than to be sorry. You will probably hear that same truth from most of the street cops that you ever meet in this country but you will never hear it from police chiefs-they have to hide the inconvenient truth and bow to the will of politicians. Your own ability to defend yourself is only a matter of life and death. Decide for yourself what you need to do to be safe because when seconds really count, the reality is that the police will always be minutes and sometimes hours away. Be safe and use the commonsense that God gave you to protect yourself.

Judy C. says:

Thank you for posting this story, it was so well presented even with humor. I really appreciated the author’s insights on not depending on government or the police to protect us in a crisis. We are determined to be self-reliant if we need to be when it comes to protecting our family. What a thought-provoking reminder to me of what Hitler and Stalin did by taking away their citizens’ gun rights when coming to power. This is why our founders protected this country by enacting the 2nd amendment. May we never allow those in power to take that right away from the people. Thank you for your insights.

Jim says:

Thank you Susan, for re-posting this story. It served two purposes for me; as an alert that I had missed last week’s Thought Tools and Musings, and second to have the opportunity to read something quite valuable.
I believe there may soon be a time when we all will need the presence of mind to deal with similar situations. There is good advice contained in the story, not the least of which is “prepare now, tomorrow may be too late”. As our nation considers piling on even more restrictive and liberty depriving gun legislation, it is especially painful to read the testimonies of people who found themselves in need of a gun, but deprived of that by well meaning, but foolish and illogical legislation.
Thanks also to Robert Avrech for telling the story so clearly that the lessons he learned are so evident to the reader.

yvonne ware says:

Wow – what we didn’t hear on the news! Thank you so much for sharing this. The real question about gun control is, why do the powers that be want to take away our right to protect ourselves. What are they up to? Why is our tri-branched government not checking and balancing? United prayer for our nation (please pray each evening for the USA and Israel)will be our greatest protection. Meanwhile, I never thought I would consider such a thing, I am contemplating my right to bear arms.
Also, what a treasure you both are. I look forward to your teachings almost every day (then I record the rest). There are so many excellent Bible Teachers on TV but you both, togeher, have become my favorite. Your depth of knowledge of scripture, your personal stories, humor, humbleness, kindness, and manner are exceptional.
Thank you for your ministry.
Yvonne Ware

Barbe says:

I’m the girly girl, country girl, loving all of nature, except for the bugs and the critters. Living in the country teaches you things about self-reliance and things about having great neighbors. It also teaches you that it can take about 45 minutes for anyone to get there to help you in case of crisis. That’s where the self reliance comes into play.
We had missionaries stay with us the other night and had a vigorous discussion about gun violence after dinner. There was one couple who were squeamish about gun ownership and one gentleman who was OK with the thought of weapons in our home. His wife, unfortunately, forbids him to have one in their home.
We should be prepared. We should not sleep through the history classes, but learn. The threats to our way of life are real. Anarchy seeks to supplant stability in society. The tendency is toward chaos. I’m glad to be a country girl. There is still some peace to be found. Please just don’t come to our neighborhood and break the peace.
Thank you for sharing this story. We who live in the “fly over zones” do cling to our guns and religion. It’s true.

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