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Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027

Phone (800) 869-1884
Fax (425) 451-3959

December 22, 1999

Reform Judaism's Latest Push for Victim Disarmament

By Rabbi R. Mermelstein

The December 20th edition of the New York Times reports that leaders of Reform Judaism's synagogue organization, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, voted overwhelmingly to adopt a resolution calling on social action committees in Reform synagogues to urge congregants to write their Congressional representatives "demanding that effective gun control" laws be enacted next year.

So, what else is new? Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership has published editorials condemning liberal, secularist Jewish organizations' love affair with "gun control" for a long time. See and to read a couple of these articles. While these self appointed community leaders with rabbinical titles insist they are non-partisan, not-for-profit organizations with no interest in getting in the middle of a political campaign, they are genuine political activists whose actions are making life easy for tyrants and criminals.

The Union of American Hebrew Congregations, not an organization that is usually associated with the ancient tenets of our 3,500-year-old faith, has clothed its latest push for victim disarmament in religious garb.

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, delivered a sermon this past Saturday to 4,700 people saying Reform Jews should regard gun control as a "solemn religious obligation" to counter what he called society's idolatry of guns! This is a new and creative twist. A solemn religious obligation, indeed! This, from a group of secularized Jews that recognizes no religious obligations? Truly incredible! For a detailed discussion of Reform Jewish theology, see

US Senate candidate Murray Sabrin (R-NJ), delivered a scathing attack on the Union of American Hebrew Congregations for wanting tighter gun control laws. In a statement issued by his campaign, Sabrin said Jews should oppose gun registration because of the Holocaust. The Nazis used gun registration laws to confiscate guns before Jews were routed from their homes in Poland, he argued. Sabrin, 53, was born in Poland. He said his father taught him that people paid an enormous price for ignoring a potential threat. "Particularly Jews," he said. "The history of the Jewish community in various societies is they have been subject to government action." Mr. Sabrin's comments may just have well been taken directly from our web site, This is exactly what Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership has been saying for the last 10 years!

Not to be silenced by facts, Rabbi Eric Yoffie of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations said that Mr. Sabrin's analogies were inappropriate. "His fundamental point seems to be that gun registration leads to an undermining of civil liberties. That's a claim utterly without merit," he said.

Utterly without merit, did he say? JPFO's research shows quite clearly that Mr. Sobrin's claim has a great deal of merit. For a sampler, please see Why go back 70 years in history to see how registration leads to confiscation when you can watch the whole repugnant pageant unfold, again, in California? Maybe Rabbi Yoffie doesn't read the news. Perhaps he suffers from selective myopia. "I was ultimately making a religious argument," Rabbi Yoffie said. "We have a society that has turned weapons into idols. The worship of idols is blasphemy. The only reaction should be sustained moral outrage," Yoffie stated.

Our society is in turmoil. But firearms aren't to blame.

Not too long ago in America, firearms ownership was not just looked upon as normal. For many American youngsters, myself included, gun ownership taught responsibility and a high regard for the value of human life. High schools and colleges once hosted competitive marksmanship programs along with track and football. Who ever heard of students murdering other students? The deranged adolescents that slaughtered teachers and classmates in a spate of carnage that left no part of our country untouched in the past two years committed, perhaps, twenty distinct felonies in each such instance. Would an additional twenty felony violations, or a hundred new gun laws, have had any effect on their twisted minds? Would a single life have been saved by any legislation? And since the Union of American Hebrew Congregations has turned the debate into a Jewish religious issue, who are they to pontificate about solemn religious obligations when they recognize none?

Ask a leader of the Reform Jewish Movement of his stand on whether society ought to legislate morality. He will respond that morality cannot be legislated; we must educate our children to be moral beings.

Why, then, does Rabbi Yoffie choose to control inanimate objects rather than holding responsible the perpetrators of violent crime? Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck's findings relied upon several national and state surveys to estimate that nearly one million adults each year use firearms for protection from criminals. The survey most relied upon by Prof. Kleck was conducted by Peter Hart Associates for an anti-gun organization, the National Alliance Against Violence (NAAV), since the Hart survey was, as of 1988, the most sophisticated at actually measuring protective uses of handguns.

Based on this research, the anti-gun argument that unlike other inanimate objects guns were "designed to kill" doesn't wash.

Government and laws were never intended to, nor, indeed, can they replace old-fashioned parenting. It is wishful thinking at its best to presume to solve all problems with more laws.

America has approximately 25,000 laws on the books at all levels of government to regulate firearm ownership, yet violence goes unabated. Will another 25,000 laws accomplish anything, other than to force victimhood on law-abiding citizens and set the stage for government enslavement? "But what happened in Nazi Germany could never happen in America!," the gun banners cry. Never? Never is a long time. Perhaps it wouldn't happen overnight, or even in our lifetimes. But it could happen. The founders of this country thought it could happen. That's why they included the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights—to limit and check the power of the federal government. Armed citizens cannot be enslaved. Every two-bit murdering dictator in the last century knew this to be a fact. Gun registration followed by confiscation preceded every genocide in modern times.

I wouldn't trouble myself to convince Rabbi Eric Yoffie of the Reform Jewish Movement that any of this is true. To him, it's all of little consequence. He is fulfilling his solemn religious obligation.

May G-d save America and all Mankind from the clutches of self-anointed prophets acting in His Name.

For a better understanding of Reform Judaism and their "love affair"with "gun control", see the novel The Mitzvah by Aaron Zelman and L. Neil Smith.


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