April 24, 2018

What Kind of Lamb Do You Want to Be?

Guest Contributor: Rick Friedman

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!”
Like baking challah, Zumba class and large volumes of unwarranted anxiety, gossiping is an inherent proclivity of Jewish mothers. And when the conversation indubitably turns to the occupation of one’s child, my mother is usually met with some shock.
“Your son does what!?”
Oh, did I forget to mention my profession? I am a Jewish gun-range owner.
Hey, that’s the exact facial expression my mother’s friends had! My journey owning a firearms facility only began seven years ago, however, the reason for my venture long precedes this business decision.
Historically, had the outright slaughter of our people during the second Temple, the Crusades, Pogroms and the Holocaust never occurred, estimates of total Jewish population around the world would exceed 60 million. But for thousands of years, Jews have been on the wrong end of the sword and gun. And the result is devastating, as we only number around 15 million today. So when I am asked, why in the world a nice Jewish boy would own a gun training facility, I say it’s simple: because for the first time in our people’s history, I can! And as a Jewish American I see no better calling.
Now, I could utilize this unique platform to combat the myriad of false, anti-gun information echoing from your TV screens. I could use this medium to explain how the assault weapons ban of 1994 yielded not a single percent decrease in gun crime, how millions of crimes are thwarted each year with a firearm, or simply explain how the young woman walking down the street deserves a chance to feel safe. But it shouldn’t take stats to convince a Jewish audience that the Second Amendment is solidified in the Constitution to help us live prosperous and peaceful lives in the United States. Instead, I would like to shed light on the dangerously vitriolic state of dialogue that should be unacceptable in any debate.
How do I know the level of discourse in this country is out of control? Think about the type of labeling going on right now. The scapegoat is the NRA. The NRA is to blame. The NRA is complicit. The NRA has blood on its hands. Now, let’s replace the three letters NRA with these three letters: JEW. Welcome back to our entire history and how easy it is to whip up the masses and place blame on others instead of facing reality.
As a pro-gun Jew and a member of the NRA, I have been labeled a racist, a white supremacist and a Nazi. And the scariest part, even by fellow Jews. Will we really bury our own history in order to fall in line with the social cause of the day? Blame the gun. Blame the NRA. It’s so much easier than looking in the mirror and realizing we have societal issues that will not be solved by banning one type of firearm or taking away the rights of everyone that never committed a horrific act. When all the guns have been banned, when all the words have been censored, when all the history has been erased, when all the freedom has been taken – only then will you discover why our right to bear arms was so high on the list.
I realize that being asked to write this article from my perspective for The Flame is akin to the very essence of what Benjamin Franklin wrote over 200 years ago. I am now the lamb facing down the wolves. And I welcome the conversation. We are now at a time in America’s short history to begin asking yourself the very question forewarned by our founding fathers: What kind of lamb do you want to be?

Rick Friedman is a proud Jew and gun owner. He is the father of senior Matthew Friedman. He is also the owner of RTSP shooting range in Randolph, New Jersey.

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