Guest column from the JPFO — Synagogue Massacre: We Guard What We Value

Lee’s note: The following story was originally published by the JPFO — Jews For the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. It is reprinted here with the permission of the author, David Stolinsky.

Synagogue Massacre: We Guard What We Value

By David Stolinsky

October 29th, 2018

We guard what we value. Our political leaders? Of course. Our money? Absolutely. Our children or our houses of worship? Not so much.

My wife and I often visit a nearby mall. The Rolex store and the Louis Vuitton store have very large men in dark suits standing near the door to inhibit shoplifting. The mall is large enough to require three armored-car services to remove the cash. We see the armored-car guards walking briskly, with the money bag in one hand and the other hand hovering near their holstered pistol.

When we go to the bank, we see the tellers behind thick sheets of bullet-resistant glass. Other banks employ armed guards. Money is obviously valuable, and we go to great pains to protect it. Perhaps that is why Los Angeles no longer has the distinction of being the bank-robbery capital of America.

But when we pass schools – elementary, middle, or high schools – we see young people and teachers, and an occasional elderly crossing guard. But we never, literally never, see an armed guard, much less a police officer. Yes, we know that Los Angeles, like many cities, has a school police force. We know that there may be an officer somewhere in the high school. But we also know that he or she is there to try to enforce some semblance of discipline, which teachers and principals are no longer willing or able to do. But protect the young people from attackers? Not really.

Similarly, when we pass synagogues, we see no security officers. The only exception is that on the High Holidays, we may see traffic officers to help with the congestion and parking. The same is true for churches on Christmas and Easter. But protect worshippers from attackers? No, not really.

Then we watch TV news and see white-collar criminals sentenced to many decades in prison for financial crimes. Bernie Madoff wrecked many people’s lives with his Ponzi scheme. But when we sentenced him to 150 years in prison, while we sentence men who beat, rape, or disable their victims to a few years, what are we saying about our own values?

Madoff’s values were so rotten than he impoverished friends and strangers alike. But our values have deteriorated to the point that financial crimes often receive harsher punishment than violent crimes. Is this how we wish to be remembered? Do we want our tombstone to read, “They valued money more than human life”?

Like so many mass murders, the recent murder of 11 at Tree of Life Synagogue in suburban Pittsburgh occurred in a “gun-free” zone. Revealingly, the Aurora, Colorado, movie-theater murderer reportedly passed up two theaters nearer his home to attack a “gun-free” multiplex. That is, it is revealing to those who wish to have the facts revealed. Regrettably, many people are not in this group.

If this happened once or twice, we could claim that we just didn’t understand the folly of proclaiming “gun-free” theaters, schools, or houses of worship. But after it has happened again and again, what excuse do we have for our gross negligence and profound stupidity?

In fact, if anti-gun fanatics actually believed what they say – if they truly believed that a gun in your home makes you less safe – they would post signs outside their homes proclaiming, “There are no guns in this house.” But in all the years we have walked dogs in the liberal enclaves of Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, and Westwood, we have never – not once – seen such a sign. On the contrary, we see many signs posted by alarm services, some boasting, “Armed response.” Hypocrisy? We don’t care about no stinkin’ hypocrisy. We’re progressives!

It takes only seconds to call the police. Waiting for them to arrive could take the rest of your life. – Anon.

When seconds count, the police are just minutes away. – Clint Smith, firearms instructor

Progressives insist that a fence on the border won’t work. No? Then why does a fence around the White House work? President Obama claimed that it is ridiculous to assert that “…more guns will make us safer.” No, more guns wouldn’t make him safer. He and his family already were guarded by squads of highly trained, armed agents. But more guns will make us safer, and will make our children much safer. They aren’t being guarded at all. Isn’t empathy for the weak and defenseless a liberal characteristic? It’s not? My mistake.

On the contrary, Governor Jerry Brown of California – who is guarded by the Highway Patrol – signed a law that forbids teachers and staff from carrying guns in schools, even if the superintendent approves, and the teachers are properly trained and licensed. Similar laws are in effect elsewhere. But there are roughly 100,000 schools in America. It is impossible to place police in all schools at all times. Instead, we proudly announce that schools are “gun-free zones” – that is, soft targets. The same is true for houses of worship.

President Trump expressed his profound sorrow after the Tree of Life Synagogue mass murder. He added that if an armed defender had been present, some or all of the murders might have been prevented. Immediately, CNN pundits condemned him for not waiting until all the facts were known. But what conceivable facts could negate this obvious truth?

There is stupid, and then there is dangerously stupid.

Not to be outdone, the mayor of Pittsburgh opined that armed defenders were not the answer. Others chimed in, declaring that we had to eliminate hatred and anti-Semitism from the world. And when, precisely, will that happen? No, don’t do what can be done now, and which has been proved to work. Instead, do nothing and blather about world peace, while John Lennon’s “Imagine” plays in the background. Lennon had a beautiful dream. But Mark David Chapman, who murdered him, had other, more violent dreams.

There is an old saying: “Put your money where your mouth is.” I would paraphrase this as: “Put your armed guards where what you value is.” People who guard their money more closely than they guard their families deserve to keep neither.

David Stolinsky – Contact:


About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.


  1. Pingback: Guest column from the JPFO — Synagogue Massacre: We Guard What We Value – Gun News USA

  2. My take on this is even simpler: If we can’t defend it, it’s not ours.
    Our lives, our family, our reputation, our honor, our property, and we can go on and on.

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