Sunday, May 26, 2013

Gun Control

Shabbos is always an interesting time for me. Since I am the youngest, and the only one still home, my parents make Shabbos plans for me. (Mostly because during the week I have no time to think about Shabbos plans. I am always shocked when I make it to Friday in one piece and relatively sane). So we tend to go to older couples who my parents are friends with. I go along, keep my mouth shut, and smile politely. But there tends to be a running theme with the Shabbos table conversations: who is dying, died, or is on the way. Divorce. Gun control. Taking care of the older generation. Gun control. Politics. Gun control.
Luckily, this tends to happen towards the end of the meal and my squirming hints to the host that I want to get out of there. Now. Before guns are drawn.
In a way, it's fascinating. And also rather disturbing. This conversation comes up so frequently, I could probably write a paper about the Jewish view towards gun control. And then again, I think about my Shabbos meals in seminary. Even if there were issues being discussed, it was laced together with a Torah perspective. Guns are just a way of life in Eretz Yisroel so no one thinks twice. After the first day, I got so used to seeing guns, I would be concerned if I saw a Chayal without his matching accessory. Now, in America, everyone grabs their pedestal and starts ranting about this thing and that thing when it comes to gun. At the Shabbos table.
I am sort of running out of patience. I get that many people don't get together with friends unless it is on Shabbos, but... doesn't the Shulchan deserve better?
What conversations come up at your Shabbos tables? How do you feel about it?


  1. Haha. That's actually a topic we discussed this week (and nearly every week). My family is extremely conservative so we are on the pro gun side. Politics is one of the main topics at our table on a weekly basis. I don't mind it. We "bond" with those conversations and its not like we don't have divrei Torah as well.

    1. It's nice to hear that it can be a topic that bonds people... Mostly I feel it just gets people on edge and on each others nerve.

  2. C'mon, you're not even gonna tell us what your opinion is on the matter?? :)

    Hm, the first time I read this post, I thought you were asking purely what topics come up. I had a whole host of topics to share, but now that I see what your real question is, you've forced me to think some more.

    I know that I'm generally more active in secular conversations because they're easier topics to have opinions on. Torah topics allow for discussion of course, but not really opinions, unless it's hashkafa (in which case, one can make the argument that it isn't Torah lol).

    But most definitely, my favorite meals, even if it means me sitting quietly and listening- a rarity- are those that are filled with Torah. The meal is, literally, more filling when there's divrei Torah and Torah topics throughout. I walk away full from all Shabbos meals, but I walk away sated from those that have a lot of Torah.

    1. I know not every meal can be Torah tuned... but there are certainly neutral topics that can be discussed.
      as for my opinion... Thats more than a comment allows :)

  3. I read it and assumed you were asking what our view is on gun control.

    On that note: I am pro-guns, within certain restrictions on the guns and ammo for it.

    Just thought you should know :)

    1. There is never any excuse for any restrictions on guns or ammo. Doing so either imposes the constitution on a person, thereby robbing him of his individual rights (as a citizen of the republic he did not have to accept it) or if he did accept the constitution it impedes on his second amendment rights. Only some restrictions is political jargon for slowly taking away all rights.

    2. Cuz every person should be allowed those constitutional rights? (I don't like getting into this argument) Second amendment rights?
      Ok... let's go there...

    3. Not everyone. As 19th century lawyer Lysander Spooner rightfully pointed out; "Few consented", meaning that one would personally have the cede their liberty to the state in order for the constitution to even apply to them. Those people therefore have those rights without the "permission" of the constitution but as free human beings. Everyone else has those rights regardless of what anyone else may try and say "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    4. So, how do we define "arms"? I'd say it's infringing on my rights to take away a nuke that I've decided to build. Are you cool with me possessing a nuke? Or how about the American citizen who decides that he wants to buy a nuke and bring it into the country? That sounds like a "infringement" as well. How about a tank? A Bazooka? Grenade Launcher?

      Every single right we have has limitations on it. To call a restriction "political jargon for slowly taking away all rights" is patently ridiculous.

    5. The latter three are definitely within an American's right to posses. The former can be argued is not "arms" rather WMD which falls under an entirely different category. So no, not every right has restrictions. And again, the second amendment rights are all going off of the premise that the constitution applies to everyone, something which is debatable. If "few consented" then the person would have those rights outside of the constitution as he would be his own entity inside the republic.

    6. Seriously? You just put a restriction on what "arms" are!! "Can be argued" is the same "political jargon" you just finished attacking!

      Actually, regarding a tank, you can own one but not a functioning one. That, again, is a restriction on one's rights.

      The concept of "few consented" is insanity. You don't accept the constitution, get the hell out of the country. You don't accept the constitution, you're not a citizen. You're not a citizen, you're here illegally. You're here illegally, the same law that you deny to want to own any weapon you want, is now kicking you out. Well, that worked out well for you.

    7. I said It can be argued, not that I think so. My personal belief is that anyone can do whatever they would like. I do not believe in government. If we have to have one it should be extremely limited.

      Actually, it is not insanity and a real concept. Look it up. Re being illegal, no. Again, because the law wouldnt apply to me. I would be a sovereign entity, especially if I owned land.

    8. Sigh. If you don't believe in government, this conversation is over. If you think it's okay for society to be deciding factors on what's okay and what's not, you have a really idealistic, and naive, view of people.

      I did look up this "real concept" of yours. Googling "few consented" came back with 2,510 results. 99% of them had nothing to do with the topic at hand. So, one lawyer is quoted in a book on the topic, and you've pounced on it like it's written in the constitution.

      Ya, good luck with that. Let me know how it works out for ya. I suspect you'd lose your case. Oh wait, you won't have to accept their decision because you're not bound by their laws. Would the government let you leave your property? I mean, if you're a sovereign entity then there must be a border. You have to respect the laws of other countries, right? So, you on your lawless, sovereign entity, decide to venture into the law-filled sovereign entity in order to do, anything. Hm, buying things? Export laws are now imposed on you. Bringing your guns in, gun laws are now imposed on you. I don't see this working out too well for you. But again, give it a go and let us all know how it goes. I have no doubt everyone in the world would be intrigued to hear how starting your own sovereign entity in the US would work out.

    9. Not at all. I would love for society to be able to handle having no government, but realize that sadly, in today's day and age is unrealistic. People would have to be weaned off of government. Libertarianism is a good start.

      Its an argument made by libertarians and anarchists. Ron Paul has made mention of it numerous times.

      Nope. As the United States is a republic I would not have all those issues. Every citizen is inherently a sovereign entity, something which our government today has conveniently forgotten. I would suggest you study up a tad bit on libertarian thought.

    10. So I'm having a conversation with someone living in fantasy land? Make up your mind. In theory, you want there to be no government with no restrictions, but in reality, you do want there to be. But when it comes to a specific amendment, all of a sudden there should be no restrictions. What.

      Yes, I was aware that it was Ron Paul's thoughts that you were espousing, being as it was his book you were quoting from. "Its an argument made by libertarians and anarchists." Great. A 1000th of the population is registered to vote Libertarian. And what percentage of that are theorists and actual proponents? I'd imagine not very many. So this argument that's made, is made by how many people? Ron Paul, you quoting Ron Paul, and how many others? 10? 100? 1,000? Forgive me. I'm not going to give it much validity.

      You've taken a massive leap here. We've been talking about American law here as it is, not how you want it to be in your utopian, Libertarian world. That being the case, yup, you would have all these issues. A citizen is not a sovereign entity until they have legally declared themselves one. Even by doing so, you are still legally bound by many of the laws of the land you live in. Thank you for your suggestion that I study up on Libertarian thought. Thankfully, I am well aware of the different philosophies of thought, and happen to believe that Libertarianism is one of the more naive ones out there.

    11. In theory I would love for there to be no government. In reality I realize that at this point we probably do require some for of it. However, the second amendment is one "key" to ensure that a complete government takeover does not happen. (What would happen in government were to suddenly completely disappear is a whole other topic and quite interesting. Small scale studies have shown that in actuality things probably wont be that bad. People would cope and life would be excellent).

      It was not his book I was quoting from, actually. It was Lysander Spooner's treatise No Treason (Found here You can read excerpts here

      Additionally, there are many more libertarians than you realize. Ron Paul had a rather decent showing this past election. Many republicans and democrats adhere to libertarian values as well.

      This is American law as is. In American law each citizen is a private entity who can have nothing forced upon them. That is the basis of our republic. The constitution was written to help guide those ideals. Not everyone has to acceot the constitution though, as they are private citizens and the constitution itself was only written in order to prevent things like itself from being forced onto people. Such arguments would very likely make a good case. Justices like Antonin Scalia would probably agree.

      Libertarianism is not at all naive. Libertarians have a very clear picture of the wold and human nature. All one has to do is study up a little bit on the subject and the truth and wisdom becomes apparent. Some aspects of the ideology may not be able to be implemented at this very instant but will take time. As a general approach, however, libertarianism is the only road to prosperity and freedom. All other roads lead to the eventual demise of the republic.

    12. This key you speak of is no longer of any consequence. The citizens of the United States could no more take on the American government than you could get away with being your own sovereign entity and not abiding by the laws and regulations of this land.

      Small-scale studies. Over how long a period of time? With how many people? In how many states? With what sort of market? It's impossible to conduct a study that can give any sort of indication on how it would actually manifest itself if it weren't done on a scale that allows for you to have a nuke and me to be stuck with a bb gun.

      Fine, you took it from him himself who was then quoted by Paul. Still sounded like you were quoting Paul.

      You obviously are not very well read on the matter, which is ironic, being that you don't appear to know the subject matter that you profess to be the solution of all of our problems. "In American law each citizen is a private entity who can have nothing forced upon them." That statement is, absolutely, emphatically, indubitably, completely, categorically, definitively and decidedly, FALSE.

      When you say "truth and wisdom," what you really mean is stupidity and naivete, right? In which case, I completely agree.

      "[L]ibertarianism is the only road to prosperity and freedom." Truth and wisdom? Ideology? Republic? World and human nature? Goodness, who in the world brainwashed you into this?

    13. Incorrect. The very fact that gun control has not been enacted shows the power of armed Americans. The government knows that were they to ban guns they would face civil war. They know they cannot perpetrate any host of things due to the response they would face from armed citizens.

      The key is that in a free society I would have no reason to use a nuke AND you would be free to have one as well.

      Wrong. In the law as practiced today that is not the case. In the original founding principles every man was completely free and could have nothing imposed on him. The only laws in place were to deal with crimes such as theft and the like. Laws encroaching on a persons liberty were the antitheses of the American concept.

      The free market principles championed by libertarianism and austrian economics are the only path to prosperity. Libertarianism is the only path for liberty. All other roads lead to the encroachment of ones rights and a loss of liberty.

    14. Incorrect. Do you know anything about any of the laws regarding guns? There are gun control laws! Goodness, this is getting more and more difficult. And know the government does not know that. It just happens to be, the NRA is one of the most powerful lobbyists in the country.

      In a "free society," fanatics, extremists and maniacs have no reason to use a nuke?

      You can say I'm wrong, and I can say you're wrong, but the fact is, you're wrong. The fact is, today, laws are imposed, and it takes permission from the very legal system you want to rid yourself of in order to become a sovereign entity.

      You have no idea what you're talking about.

    15. I phrased that wrong. I meant to say the complete banning of guns.

      Of course not! In a free society people don't try encroaching on others rights and therefore will not have the same need to quarrel. Additionally, there is the concept of mutual destruction.

      You're wrong. But this conversation will not go anywhere. It is sad that you do not have an understanding of true liberty that you are entitled to as a human and an American.

    16. Um, at no point were we addressing the complete banning of guns.

      Wow. Your naivete is astonishing. And frightening.

      Can you prove it then? Show me a normal website that states that every citizen is a sovereign entity?

      It's sad that you're so convinced you're right when you're anything but.

    17. The complete banning of guns is the ultimate aim of gun control.

      I can say the same. Youre living in a world where all your freedoms have been taken from you and you have no clue.

      You will claim any site I will link you to is crazy as it will be either libertarian or anarchist. It is like saying "find me one conservative site that will agree with Noam Chomsky and then il agree with him".

      I can say the same.

    18. Um, no it's not.


      Ironically, the research that told me that it's a complicated task came from your Libertarian and Anarchist sites.

      Strike 1: Helpful stuff here. Oh wait, on this site, a site which should be backing you, says it's not possible. Ouch.

      Strike 2: This guy is laughable. The easy steps to Sovereignty: ignore the law.

      Strike 3: The US Government doesn't accept it as valid. To the contrary, they've imposed penalties for "filing frivolous appeal" time and time again.

      Haha, you could. But you haven't shown anything to indicate that you're right, nor have you provided any sources for it. Whereas, a quick Google search proves you wrong very quickly and efficiently. One would think there would be more than 150,000 results when searching for "Sovereign Entity" (without Catalonia's results) if there were any validity to it. There are 470 results if you limit the search to the English language (the language of the US- unless it's the Hispanics who are behind this movement), the US (the place we're talking about), without Catalonia (the place we're not talking about) and put Sovereign Entity into parentheses. That's less than most people get when they search their own names!

      Sorry, you lose.

    19. It most definitely is.

      Its rather sad that you find that funny.

      The fact that the US government dies not hold the argument valid does not say anything. They also target conservative groups, allow murder through abortion and nation building and support slavery through selective service. The argument is definitely a bit far fetched, yes. However, it is the truth and something worth fighting for. You found a couple sites (wiki doesn't count) that find the idea funny. Big whoop. We are the ones who will survive when your government takes your guns and rounds political dissidents into camps. Libertarians are the ones who gave you prior warning and are the ones who will survive along with some right wing wackos.

    20. You just don't know when to give up.

      It's hilarious. This is the silliest conversation I've had in years. That you actually believe this utter rot leaves me wondering whether I should pity you or just laugh at your insanity.

      The US government dies? Freudian slip there, huh?

      Slavery through Selective Service which isn't actually used in any sense today? Um, what? Want to find some other obscure laws while you're at it?

      The two non-Wiki sites are Libertarian sites!!! They're you're sites!!! The Wiki site has a source to every single line of the article.

      Provide me some of your own links, please. Let me read about your side of the story and how, out of 470 sites I skimmed through, I managed to miss your sites.

      Even on the Libertarian Wiki page there's no mention of Sovereign Entity. Odd that it's not there, huh?

      You sound like a bit (ok, maybe more than a bit) of a wacko to me. And why would Libertarians survive? Because they won't let themselves get rounded into camps by the US Military? Haha!

    21. Where is the "Like" button on here? Or at least a +1 button (since this is Google) that I can click on L&F's last comment...

    22. Um, I don't know what rock you've been living under, but the selective service is mandatory. You must register when turning 18. The fact that they currently aren't drafting means nothing. The very fact that they still make you register means they still plan on reinstating the draft someday.

      The mises institute where I linked to earlier is the most prominent school of libertarian thought. Lysander Spooner was a leader in the libertarian movement, as is Ron Paul.

      Libertarians, unlike you liberals are well armed. Trying to round us up won't work. We'll remain free or die fighting. We'll also take some government Gestapo down with us. And we see warning signs unlike you people who simply believe excess government power (such as the so called patriot act) to be american and patriotic. It is not. Its simply a power grab which aims at controlling and enslaving Americans.

    23. Thanks WM. Reading that was the equivalent of two likes and a 100 +1's (because +1's are all but worthless hehe).

      Did you not read what I wrote? Sure, we register (usually by getting a license, not by actively registering), but then... it "isn't actually used in any sense today." They plan on reinstating the draft someday? Uh huh. It hasn't been enforced in how long? And what would it be enforced for? To throw ourselves into camps?

      oooooo, there's an institute! Funny, the page on Creating Sovereign Individual ( doesn't exist yet. Considering that Sovereign entity is a tenet of Libertarianism, you'd think they'd be pretty darn quick to post the steps to becoming one. Jeez.

      2 names, one of whom has been dead for 120+ years. Sounds like quite a movement.

      Haha! Sorry, I'm no liberal. Oh, so you have a gun?

      You're right, because there are so few of you, you'd be impossible to find. I don't think they'd care to find you either.

      Now you're moving onto topics that Liberals, Democrats and everyone in between debates about. Whether I agree or disagree with the Patriot Act is irrelevant. You've gone from talking about how any government at all is horrendous to the Patriot Act? Seriously?

      Wow. A Jewish person using Gestapo in their argument, and comparing Americans to them. You done making yourself look like a complete imbecile in front of everyone who reads this blog?

    24. L&F I've been on your side for most of this, but I do want to clarify something.

      Besides for your license, once a male goes over the age of 18 he MUST sign up for Selective Service.
      He is then in theory registered for Conscription, which has been effected in the US, but not in a few decades.

      On that note, they could reinstate the draft if they felt like it, and NY Rep Charlie Rangel is currently pushing for a draft, for both men and women, and he's not alone in that fight.

    25. Thank you WM on your comment on selective service. L&F, why do you think they make people sign up to the selective service. The only reason it is still around us so that they can reinstate the draft.

      It is more of a theory than a movement.

      I exercise my rights as a free human. And owning the proper ammo is just as important as the gun(s).

      I'm not sure how you fail to see the lack of progression in the conversation. I don't believe in government. Governments do horrible things and take away our rights. the patriot act is an example of a government intrusion of our rights which they mask as patriotic.

      Yes. I 100% am. Government agents who break into houses at nights, violate rights and take away peoples liberty can be aptly described as gestapo.

    26. WM: The last time it was enforces was in 1986. And from 1980 to 1986, there were 20 indictments, never mind convictions! It's a joke to argue that it's something every American citizen needs to be concerned about.

      I know conscription has occurred in recent history, but I don't see it happening again any time soon.

      How did we get onto this?! This, again, has nothing to do with his point! He's talking about how any government is the worst thing for a country. We can debate the pros and cons of specific aspects of American law, but Yapping Yishmael wants to get rid of it entirely!

      Rangel's as much of a wacko as the Libertarians. It'll never happen. If the Government couldn't pass gun control after Newtown, they sure won't be successful in something which will undoubtedly send the country into a complete frenzy.

      YY: You continue, very obviously, to ignore all of my questions. How about you address them?

      You own ammunition but no gun? That'll get you far.

      Ah, and there we go again. The progression? You're moving from government as a whole to controversies! We're talking about having a government, not whether specific acts and laws are okay. I can agree with you that the Patriot Act is bad and still laugh at the stupidity of the rest of your philosophies.

      Did they break into your house? Whose houses have they broken into? Criminals? Oy, Gestapo indeed.

      You're a bigger fool than I took you for. You're comparing the infringement of rights to babies being thrown in the air and stabbed with bayonets?

      Just out of curiosity, why are you paying $15,000 in taxes if you're a Sovereign Entity? See this: in case you're not sure what I'm talking about.

    27. What do indictments have to do with anything? Conscription is the issue. It is a form of slavery.

      I've addressed them all numerous times. What you don't seem to understand is what I said a while back. Sovereignty is a theory, one that happens to be correct and one I subscribe to. Whether or not it is widely accepted is of no consequence.

      I do want to get rid of american law entirely, or more accurately to faze it out. All it does is take away our liberties and violate our rights as human beings.

      Idiot. No. I do not only own ammo. What I said was is that owning the right ammo (armor piercing rounds) is also imperative.

      Killing people without reason in drone strikes, having secret prisons with torture, killing thousands in wars fought for the sole purpose of imperialistic expansionism is gestapo-like.

    28. Conscription=Slavery? Hm. Do you see anyone being conscripted? I don't.

      No, no you haven't. A theory? And your opinion, with no basis, no explanation, no rationalization and no anything, is asinine to the extreme.

      How about Judaism? Lot of laws there. Infringes on our rights as human beings! You said you're really frum on your blog, right? (and again, you ignored a question I asked you- taxes?) Ack, laws!

      I'm the idiot? You can't answer a question directly. I asked, "Oh, so you have a gun?" to which you replied: "I exercise my rights as a free human. And owning the proper ammo is just as important as the gun(s)." Now, anyone who can read English would understand that as 1) avoidance in answering a direct question and 2) by focusing on the "proper ammo" in you're writing, you're implying that you, in fact, do now own a gun.

      And you did it again. "No. I do not only own ammo." That's called circumvention. You didn't say whether you own a gun or not, all you said was that you don't only own ammo. I don't only own shoes, I own socks too. So, answer the following question with a "yes" or a "no." Do you own one or more guns?

      Ah, so now it's Gestapo-like? And no, happens to be, it's nothing like what the Gestapo did. Gestapo-like is killing for the sake of killing (enjoying the shedding of blood, enjoying the pain of others, etc.); it has nothing to do with "imperialistic expansionism."

    29. Because the draft is not in effect at rhe moment doesn't change the fact that conscription is slavery.

      I addressed the tax question. If you fail to see how you're welcome to look again.

      The reasons for the theory were given earlier. The US government does not recognize it does not effect its validity.

      In Judaism we are slaves to god.

      I own multiple firearms. Happy?

      No, the gestapo killed based in their ideals of racial superiority. This is killing for imperialistic expansion and consolidation of power. A different reason but just as evil.

    30. Haha.

      No, you didn't.

      The reasons aren't any good. They're irrational and baseless.

      Um, and that answers the question how?

      BB guns, air rifles, staple gun, water guns and paint guns don't count as firearms. Oh, neither do weapons that don't work. What's the make and model of your "firearm" (more ambiguousness)? What caliber are your bullets?

      Racial superiority doesn't explain the cruelty with which they killed.

      Just as evil? Wow. Your definition of evil needs some serious work.

    31. Iva answers all of these things before and am tires of repeating myself.

      Funny. No. Try breaking into my house and you'll acquire all that information. Otherwise, I am not discussing any information regarding my arsenal online.

      Of course it does, they viewed Jews as subhuman and treated them as such.

    32. Good, I'm tired of talking to an airhead.

      Wow. Hiding behind that line, are ya? Hahahahaha. Not once did you directly answer that you own a gun. Pathetic.

      So treating another human as vermin is parallel to imperialistic expansion? Are you sure you're a religious Jew? Because your values sure as heck aren't in line with them.

    33. Hah. Youre the ditz who apparently thinks "firearms" would mean a paintball gun.

      I sort of did, but you chose to interpret firearm as anything but its actual definition. I in fact said I own multiple firearms. I simply wont discuss details.

      Killing, crippling, bombing and murdering is the same regardless of the reason.

    34. You confuse me, Mister Goldwasser. I disagree with you. Much of what you're saying sounds like the ramblings of a fanatic, not to mention may go against the Torah. Am I a liberal then?

    35. Fanatic, maybe. There is nothing wrong with being a fanatic. Against the torah, id beg to differ.

    36. You're the idiot who can't answer a question. You either ignore it completely, or give an answer that can go either way. You've been avoiding all of the issues throughout this conversation- I have no reason to believe you wouldn't continue to do so by prevaricating about you being an owner guns.

      You put killing and murdering in the same sentence. Really? Really???

      I give up. Go take your Libertarian friends, your "firearms" and go live in harmony as Sovereign Entities in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Woo, no conscription. Woo, no taxes. Woo, no Patriot Act. Have fun.

      "Fanatic, maybe." Maybe? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  4. The shabbos meal is a holy time but also a time for family and friends to get together and bond and for people to relax. As long as there is some torah said so that the meal is not like a shulchan maisim, people can speak about whatever they would like.

    1. "Whatever they would like"- "whatever" covers a pretty large range of topics, some of which I am sure some people would turn colors if they heard. Do you really mean that?

    2. Whatever can be taken literally. My shabbos table topics have covered literally everything, from artificial cow insemination to the male jogger wearing spandex, anything flies.



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