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KF: Candy, where were you born and raised?
CD: Northwest Indiana.
KF: Is that rural or urban?
CD: Middle class neighborhood. Hammond is an old city with historical connections to Chicago.
KF: Were you taught about firearms as a child?
CD: Yes. My father had an old gun his father, who was a policeman, had found in his paddy wagon. I was taught a gun is ALWAYS loaded.
KF: When did you first shoot a gun?
CD: In 1969. I was on a rural police force and one of the officers taught me to shoot.
KF: Did you ever have to draw your service weapon?
CD: I was a radio operator and matron when we needed one. The only time I needed a gun then was one night shift when we had some dangerous guys in town. One of the officer’s provided me with his spare semi-auto, just in case.
KF: In general, how did your family, friends and neighbors feel about guns?
CD: We never really discussed them, with the exception of my father’s negative opinion of the Brady Bill.
KF: When did you buy your first gun?
CD: 1999, at a gun show.
KF: Was there any particular event in your life that made you decide “That’s it. I’m getting a gun?”
CD: I had already understood the importance of having a gun, but the massacre at Virginia Tech (in 2007) galvanized my support for everyone, anywhere being able to have a gun to use for self-defense. The professor killed that day was a Holocaust survivor! If he’d only been allowed, and trained to have a gun; it could have been a different day.
KF: Did you take firearms instruction?
CD: I took classes at the Deerfield Archery and Pistol Range, Deerfield, WI.
KF: Were there other women in your shooting class?
CD: It was a private class.
KF: Did you feel comfortable in the environment?
CD: I had a respectful, knowledgeable teacher. He was a former cop and understood all the ramifications of using a gun.
KF: For a first time woman shooter, would you recommend a private class or group class?
CD: Most gals feel more comfortable in a gal class. I do NOT recommend that a boy friend or husband teach them. Men tend to want to take control. No offense to you guys, but it seems to be true.
KF: Is it true that women are better shots than men? You don’t have to answer that if you don’t want.
CD: Why not? Women are patient and listen to their teachers. We gals know how to squeeze a trigger, not PULL it. That’s the difference in hitting the target!
KF: What gun did you first own?
CD: A .38 SW, Model 10
KF: What gun do you own now?
KF: What are Wisconsin’s firearms carry laws like?
CD: We have an Open Carry law that dates back to the late 1800’s. That creates three problems.
We in WI are in the process of changing that. I’m the treasurer of the Republican Party of Sauk County, WI. That’s right, I’m a Republican, also unusual for Jews. Our party is preparing for 2011 caucuses and has proposed resolutions that not only allow Constitutional Carry, but also will provide ‘Castle Doctrine’ and ‘Stand your ground’ provisions. Wisconsin law will change dramatically this year!
KF: You’re obviously a political activist. Has this been a lifetime involvement, or something you’ve come to more recently?
CD: I’ve always been ‘outspoken’ about what is right or wrong. Even in high school in the late 1950’s, I was concerned about our American liberties. Being outspoken is my nature.
Once upon a time women were more self-sufficient. They understood the gun and used it to help Our Country in its fight for freedom. Today’s women are just now relearning what our ancestors knew.
I formed Jewish Women Supporting Gun Ownership — www.jwsgo.org -- with the same thought in mind as the JPFO. An Armed People is a Free People. Gun control is People Control.
KF: Jewish gun owners seem to be a rare lot. Why do you suppose so many Jews are anti gun ownership, either mildly or fanatically?
CD: This is the question Aaron Zelman (JPFO’s late Founder) had been struggling for over twenty years to answer. It's hard to understand.
KF: Have you made any breakthroughs with Jewish friends regarding an armed citizenry?
CD: There are few Jews where I live but many of those feel the same as I do and are gun owners. What is alarming to me is how many non-Jews are also so willing to give up their rights of self defense.
KF: On your web site you mentioned you raised five children. How did you deal with kids and guns in the house?
CD: Our daughters are grown now. It was different when they were little and we lived in Illinois. We had one daughter who was too ‘curious’ about stuff and since IL laws are so restrictive we chose to not own handguns.
Now they have their own families. They make their own choices. They understand the “Right to Keep and Bear Arms.” They support the Second Amendment. One lives in MN and has a gun. The others live in restrictive states or cities and do not own guns.
KF: The world is changing. America is changing. Do you think the day will come when American Jews embrace gun ownership in the same percentages as non-Jews?
CD: Probably not. I think the answer to this goes back to the question of why so many Jews are anti-gun.
KF: What will you tell your friends and neighbors when the next nut case shoots up a bunch of innocent people?
CD: Firstly, IT’S NOT THE GUN, it’s the person holding it. This may be cliché, but it’s the truth. A gun is only a tool and as with any tool, improper use is dangerous and often fatal.
Secondly, we have become such a “politically correct” society that we can’t or won’t recognize people who are very likely a threat. We dare not say: “That guy is weird. That guy scares me. I’m calling the cops to check him out.” What if those around Jared Loughner had taken this further initiative? He was an obvious time bomb.
KF: Do you think the day will come when the government goes door to door demanding all of our guns?
CD: Should that happen, there WILL be another revolution.
KF: How do we prevent that day from ever happening?
CD: We must be constantly vigilant and learn more about our history, not from today’s “scholars” but from the original sources. That will help us pick legislators who truly defend the Constitution. Many politicians are “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” They talk the Second Amendment, then sell it out.
KF: In closing, is there anything you’d like to say to your Jewish American brothers and sisters?
CD: G-d gave man the ability of reason, the ability to choose. We humans are unique among all creatures on Earth. In that, we need the commandment, “Thou shall not kill” correctly translated. It is actually: “Thou shall not murder.” Murder and killing are two different actions. Murder implies pre-planned intent.
While we choose not to end a human life un-naturally, that includes our own. Our Creator gave each of us the value of our own life. We must protect our lives for Him. Should we be in a situation where our lives or those close to us are threatened, we have the obligation to defend them, even if it means killing the one threatening us.
KF: Thank you, Candy. May you never be forced to use what you have learned.
CD: Yes, that should be the armed citizen’s prayer.
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