TwinCitiesCarry.com - Joel's Writings

Editor's note: This essay originally appeared on Joel's training web site on August 18, 2003.

A Probably Apocryphal Story

Okay, I did say from the start that it's probably apocryphal. But it could have happened. And, besides, there are lessons from fables, even when they're not exactly historical. See this, for one example.

The story goes like this: it was shortly after a shall-issue bill, similar to the Minnesota Citizens Personal Protection Act, had passed, and been signed into law.

As usual with such laws, there were provisions for those establishments who didn't want permit holders to bring their guns inside, and the board of the synagogue—I'm calling it Temple Ben Judah here—was meeting to discuss whether or not the synagogue would post.

I do love my people, really I do, but they do drive me to distraction sometime. In the Jewish community, the general consensus is that guns are really a very good thing, when they're held by people in olive-green uniforms with thick Israeli accents, but very, very bad otherwise. It's not that there aren't American Jews who guns; it's that they—we—are thought of as kinda wierd, and we're certainly in a minority. My cousin Ralph Yamron and I are, as far as we know, the only non-Israeli gunowners in our entire extended family, excepting our spouses and his children; mine are too young. (Will my daughters own guns when they're old enough? I sure hope so.) Despite the various historical lessons like this one and this one, some people just don't pay attention. Anybody remember Buford Furrow?

Yes, there are countexamples — see this, but they are rare, and this synagogue board was pretty typical, except for, maybe, one member; he was a gun owner, and he thought that putting up a NO GUNS sign, like this one:

Temple Ben Judah

...was a bad idea. But he was the only one. So the board meeting was pretty predictable. There were the usual pious pronouncements about how guns were a bad way to solve problems (of course they are; but there are, obviously, worse ways to solve problems—by dying, say), and the usual dire predictions about fender-benders turning into shootouts and such.

The one board member kept quiet until everybody was done. "Is it my turn now?" he asked.

Yes, it was.

"Are you sure?" He was trying to be patient.

Yes, they were sure. Let him rant for awhile. No harm.

Everybody had been watching him. He'd clearly been irritated with the flow of the discussion, and was obviously bracing himself for the resolution to pass.

Sure. It was his turn. The rest of the board would listen to him, let him go through his long tirade, and then vote as they were going to anyway.

"Let's make it simple," he said. "Instead of that sign, let's put up this one."


"Move to table the resolution," somebody else said. "Second."

The resolution to post the synagogue was tabled, without objection, and the subject of posting never came up again.

Okay, I said it was apocryphal—but has anybody noticed any NO GUNS signs on synagogues in the metro area?

Me, neither.

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