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Sunday, April 25, 2010

How I'll be responding to all future inquiries on the subject

I always have to think twice (sometimes even three times) before answering the frequently asked question; 'why do you carry a gun?'

The reply I give varies slightly depending on the nationality, politics, and age of the asker.  But in my mind, the actual reason is pretty straight forward:  My daily commute takes me through areas that are potentially dangerous... so I figure better safe than sorry.

But I recently heard someone give a response to the question 'Why do you carry a gun?' which, from this day forward, will become my stock answer:

"Because carrying around a policeman would hurt my back."

Posted by David Bogner on April 25, 2010 | Permalink


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Here's a good answer: "Why not?"

Seriously, the United States Constitution (and that of every US state) considers it a natural right. It was always seen as such in history. Even the Shulchan Aruch allows the carrying of a weapon on Shabbat, as it was seen as part of the ordinary attire of a man. No one would ask you why you wear a tie (or, in Israel, a kippa), or why you carry a pen...

Posted by: Nachum | Apr 25, 2010 1:29:19 PM

I live in Texas where a person can carry a gun for self-defense (permit needed). It's not a bad idea really.

Posted by: Lynne | Apr 25, 2010 7:08:46 PM

Of course if you were large enough to carry a policeman on your back your size would be an excellent deterrent. ;)

Posted by: Jack | Apr 25, 2010 7:37:35 PM

Nachum -- but one might definitely ask why a shabbat-observant man is carrying a pen on shabbat!

David -- Lol! Love the answer...but in all seriousness, I've wondered a bit at your simple explanation that it's because of the area through which your commute takes you. If you felt it was only that, why wouldn't you leave the weapon in your double-locked box at home at all other times? Why, indeed, would you carry it even to go a few meters to shul on shabbat? Especially in your safe yishuv where you allow your kids to wander on their own?

I'm being a bit argumentative on purpose, here -- in general I understand the safety-related paradox that's inherent to living in Israel, and especially in Yehuda v'Shomron. I'm just a bit curious how you would address it to someone who's not as familiar with the situation.

Posted by: Alisha | Apr 25, 2010 7:45:52 PM

My apologizes. I wanted to send you an email but couldn't find your email address.
So I thought I would post it as a comment even though it isn't related to the post above.

I read the article at the link below and thought of you:


The piece talks about the growing importance of the Israel-India relationship, especially
in defense contracting and how the de facto alliance with India may prove particularly important
to Israel if relations with Washington cool.

From following your blog, I gather that you work in this area. The piece is by Walter Russell Mead.

While Mead is not pro-Israel and is not a "neo-con," he has written a series of pieces in which he
points out the ridiculousness of the views held by much of the foreign policy elite regarding Israel
and the power of Israel and American Jews to affect US and global diplomatic policy.

Once again, my apologizes for an unrelated post. Once you get it, perhaps you should take this
comment off the comment section of your blog. I don't want to start a thread which hijacks the
discussion away from your post.

I'm a big fan of your blog. -Jonathan

Posted by: Jonathan | Apr 25, 2010 9:05:32 PM


These days, I appreciate the guarantees in the US Constitution over the "Right to Bear Arms." That right does not exist here. Recently, I started to wonder for how long that right will exist in the US....

Posted by: RivkA | Apr 26, 2010 12:51:09 AM


Posted by: Elisson | Apr 26, 2010 6:37:13 PM

To the question "Why do you carry a gun?", the correct answer is "Because I can."

Posted by: antares | Apr 26, 2010 7:49:11 PM

That answer is similar in vein to legendary Ohio State Football Coach, Woody Hayes' response to a reporter who asked him, "Why did you go for the two point conversion when you already had a 34 point lead," over rival Michigan. Hayes responded, "Because I couldn't go for 3."

I'm sure you'll have a story or two to tell about the reactions you get over using that line.

Posted by: oceanguy | Apr 26, 2010 11:45:50 PM

Alisha... There is no simple answer to your second question. During the 2nd Intifada the police had asked that anyone with a gun license carry their guns with them whenever they were out in public. As you know, armed citizens have been responsible for killing many of the terrorists who have tried to harm Israeli civilians over the past decade or two.

Also, for many years our synagogue (and many others) had a rotating armed guard outside. Basically each of us took a ten minute shift outside during tefilah since any gathering of Jews was considered an inviting target for terorists. Over the past year we have stopped this, but many people still bring their personal guns with them ... just in case.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Apr 27, 2010 8:49:30 AM

Three comments 1) Always follow the rules for gun security, safety, and cleanliness 2) Get enough practice to stay sharp.3)I hope you will never have reason to use it in combat.

Posted by: Ed | Apr 27, 2010 10:26:50 AM

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