I found the letter to the editor written by Ben-Adam on Gun Control and the response by Yochonon Donn fascinating. Gun rights vs. gun control is a very controversial issue with much to say on both sides, and certainly cannot be resolved with a letter or two to the editor. But it did occur to me that both letters were addressing the wrong issue. Guns, whether you are for gun rights or against, are just a manifestation of a more important issue. The crucial, seminal, overriding issue is one of personal liberties and freedoms and how willing we should be to give them up.
A few pages before I got to the letters to the editor section of your paper, I came across a story titled, “Bill Banning Milah on Track to Denmark’s Parliament.” The same is true for Iceland. Shechitah is already banned or on its way to being banned in several other European countries. These movements are gaining steam. Though I suspect perhaps not next week, or even next year, they are just as sure to be coming to a state legislature near you in the not too distant future, if not Heaven forbid to the Federal Legislature.
The only thing standing between the frum community and our loss of milah and shechitah is the Constitution and its Bill of Rights. However, that is also the very same bulwark that protects gun owners’ rights in this country. If we as a community are to survive what is threatening our way of life in Europe, when that threat comes here, we have no choice but to take a no compromise, give no ground to any attempt to circumvent the provisions of the Bill of Rights.
If we allow any of them to be weakened by an end run around the Constitution, even in the name of security, all of them will be weakened and we might chas v’shalom be faced with a fight we cannot afford to lose but which we will find ourselves unable to win. Because if the 2nd Amendment proves not to be sacrosanct, neither will the 1st. It would be a cruel irony if that fight would be lost because we shortsightedly aided in the weakening of our strongest weapon in defense of it.
People who know me know my clear stance on gun control, but that is not what I am discussing here. If you like guns, go buy some. If you don’t, then work to change the Constitution via the methodology it itself provides. But make no mistake. Any attack on any of its amendments either via executive action, unconstitutional law, government regulation, or any other means is ultimately an attack on Yiddishkeit.