Via The Jewish Week:
While I was recently giving a class at a Modern Orthodox synagogue in New York City on the topic of halachic approaches to weapons I asked this group of 25 people (most between 50-65 years old) how many of them owned guns. I expected 1 or 2 hands to emerge but was astonished to find that about 50-60% admitted to having a gun at home. Shortly after, I learned that there is an Orthodox organization now training Orthodox Jews to use guns and to bring them to synagogue as a form of “protection.” If the religious Jewish community in America has joined the consumers of guns then we must also enter into the national gun discourse.
Wow! This is awesome!
The rest of the article is rather negative on gun ownership with things like:
The Mishnah describes weapons as “shameful” things to be seen with (Shabbat 63a). One should be embarrassed to own a weapon, even in the case that they must.
But the important part is that it may be that U.S. Jews are recognizing the utility of possessing the skills and tools to defend themselves rather than being totally dependent upon the government. Even though this would seem to be a “Well, DUH!” conclusion (German Police Battalion involvement in direct killing operations were responsible for at least 1 million deaths, see also this book) this is a huge change from 10 or 15 years ago.
If 50-60% possess firearms then most of the rest will be willing to have open-minded discussions about guns. This means we win as well as the Jewish community.