Reading Jonathan Tobin’s Opinion piece, “Do We Really Want To Wage A Jewish War On Guns?” (March 23)” was like reading an NRA playbook with a Jewish twist. Shockingly, he says the answer is no. His reasons are spurious and alarming.
Tobin denigrates the efforts of hundreds of thousands of students who demonstrated March 24 to push for new gun legislation. He believes Jews should stay out of the fight. He says Jewish advocacy “is merely adding fuel to the fire of a culture war” and will make no change in the law. Happily, those of us who demonstrated on behalf of Soviet Jewry and spoke up for tobacco legislation were not exposed to his craven position.
The very idea that better gun safety legislation will not prevent more massacres is the same baseless argument used against seat belt legislation. While, unfortunately, there will continue to be more shooting deaths, Tobin doesn’t seem to realize that just by restricting the sale of assault weapons we would reduce the number of deaths and grave injuries in any incident.
In America, in 2018, do we still have to worry about positions we take lest we create an anti-Semitic backlash? I thought we had overcome the “sha shtil” (don’t speak up) mentality of yesteryear. If Tobin is still so concerned about free speech for Jews in America, let me suggest the antidote is more advocacy, not less.
Editor’s Note: Edith Everett is a member of the board of directors of The Jewish Week.