The Shtetl Mentality

By Eric King, Guest Contributor. Jan 18, 2023

This article was first presented on JPFO eight years ago — demonstrating many pertinent observations and truths. The truths then are just as relevant now, if not more so, and make it seem well worthwhile to present the piece once again.

Not just for years but for decades I have been perplexed by the fact that American Jews are overwhelmingly anti-gun. Now they are not just indifferent to guns as they were when I was growing up 60 years ago, but today they are genuinely hostile to them. They are both in leadership positions of the movement to ban private ownership of all firearms as well as at the grass-roots level individually in favor of gun bans by over 10 to 1. After much thought I have arrived at what appears to be the explanation for this cultural aversion to firearms by most American Jews, and since I have never seen anything like this explanation in print anywhere, I thought it worth writing the following essay describing what for want of a better term I refer to as "the shtetl mentality."

I was raised in New York City and later in a New Jersey suburb of New York by Jewish parents who had no interest in firearms, nor did any members of my extended family. Like most boys in those pre-PC days I had toy guns, but BB guns were absolutely forbidden. When I asked for one when I was 8, I was not told, "You're too young" or "Maybe when you're older." I was told, "Not in my house." As far as I knew, I was the only Jewish boy who asked for one.

My interest in "real" guns stems from a specific event. I was six years old sitting in my grandparents living room looking through old Life magazines. I came upon the photographs taken at the liberation of the death camps. I saw the pictures of bodies stacked like cord wood. I was stunned. "Mommy, why are all those people dead?" I asked. .....


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