The best defense

The best defense

In “KC shootings: ‘The most dangerous phenomenon’” (April 24), the Jewish News reports on the recent shootings at several Jewish institutions near Kansas City and discusses various approaches to combating violence against Jews and Jewish organizations. However, the story ignores what is known to be the most effective means of maximizing safety in such situations; namely, allowing law-abiding individuals to carry concealed handguns.

New Jersey is among the very few states in the nation that prohibit the law-abiding from carrying handguns for personal protection. Some states, such as Kansas, allow the carrying of handguns but prohibit such carrying at religious institutions. Additionally, even where the law allows for the carrying of handguns, some organizations choose to prohibit it by their own rules.

Whether by law or by private rule, precluding honest citizens from carrying handguns for the protection of themselves and their loved ones creates a highly dangerous situation. Such prohibitions create an ideal environment for tragedy, since the shooter knows no one will be able to stop him.

If, as Jews, we are serious about protecting our families from such violence, we must embrace what the rest of the country already knows and what research has proven repeatedly: the most effective way to stop a bad guy with a gun is for the law to permit honest people to be armed.

On May 2, the Supreme Court of the United States will consider whether to hear a legal challenge to New Jersey’s unusually restrictive law on the carrying of handguns. If the court takes up the case and decides in favor of the challenge, we will all be safer as New Jerseyans, Jews and non-Jews alike.

Daniel L. Schmutter
West Orange

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