Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer
Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer Courtesy
Biden and Pelosi, you wanna blame guns and gun manufacturers for school shootings?

It has been a long-time meme of the conservative Second Amendment pro-gun lobby in America that guns do not kill people; rather, people kill people. Look at Orthodox Jews in yeshivas (Jewish parochial schools). We don’t have Columbines. Why are we different?

1. We have fathers at home. Boys grow up with male role models.

2. In one-parent families, where a mother is widowed or divorced and has not again met a right husband, the community plays matchmaker. Plain and simple, our community pities the unmarried. (OK, sometimes a bit too much.) When circumstances compelled me to divorce, non-Jews and non-Orthodox Jews consoled me with “Dov, now you can play the field.” I was well educated, an attorney, once was cute, have a good sense of humor — everything a woman would ask for except for “long midnight walks at the beach.” My response was: “I will begin immediately to network to remarry.” Fifteen months later, I married Ellen of blessed memory. And when G-d, for His inscrutable purposes, called her home to Paradise after twenty amazing marital years she and I shared, I turned again to marry. A very successful non-Jewish attorney shook his head when I told him about Denise. “Dov,” he said, “you just don’t get it.” I smiled. Different values, different culture.

3. The single Orthodox Mom, after the divorce or widowing, continues instilling values in all her children. Every single morning and at bed time, for example, she recites with her child: “Sh’ma Yisrael — Hear O Israel: The L-rd is Our G-d; the L-rd is one.” She makes sure the kids eat only kosher food, act respectfully, and stay out of trouble.

4. At school, the teachers teach Chesed (kindness), Tzedakah (charity), and Torah rather than critical race studies, same-sex and transgender immorality, and sex change and gender dysphoria options.

5. The kids are steered away from drugs — including and especially the “minor” ones like marijuana.

6.The children are taught patriotism. The 1619 Project does not exist. The kids learn real history.

7. TV viewing at home is carefully monitored. Anything immoral (i.e., standard viewing) is not allowed. Same with movies.

8. Parents monitor their kids’ neighborhood friends. When I was a kid, we had a nice group of boys — I was the only one Orthodox or attending yeshiva — and we gathered daily after school to play stoop ball, punch ball, wiffle ball, and two-hand touch. There was a fellow of similar age a block down. Many mothers disapproved of him. Sally, our next-door neighbor and mother of Robbie, my best friend on the block, warned this kid to stay off the block. She called him “Naughty Richie.” One day, Naughty Richie came by, and Sally poured a complete bucket of cold water on him from her porch. Naughty Richie left.

9. We all waited daily for the ice cream truck. One, Good Humor, had a national reputation. The second, Carvel, had a jingle, too. And then there was Bungalow Bar. For some reason, a ditty attached to them: “Bungalow Bar / Tastes like tar. / The more you eat it / The sicker you are.” It was perfectly good ice cream, but the kids’ chanting hurt sales. One day, my beloved Father, Aaron of blessed memory, took me aside and explained to me that, in exchange for us boys having a little fun, we were causing the man in the truck to earn less money to feed his family. My Father taught me values. I never chanted it again. Likewise, my Mother taught my three sisters and me three primary things: (i) Never ever ever ever lie, regardless of consequences; (ii) Family always must take care of Family; and (iii) “David (my secular name) one day will grow up to be a great doctor. Just watch: he will devise a cure for an illness.”

10. The children all observe Shabbat (Sabbath) with their parents as a family unit. The Mother inaugurates the transmogrification in the home atmosphere from secular to sacred as she ritually lights two (or more) candles. The Family sings King Solomon’s Ode to his Mother, a woman of valor. Proverbs 31. Next, the Father recites a prayer over a cup of wine. Two loaves of bread are displayed. A special meal of several courses is served. Sometimes guests join. Sometimes they even sleep over. During dinner, which can run two hours or more, the parents ask each child: “What did you learn this week in yeshiva?” This one learned multiplication and division, and aks “So how is it that amoeba multiply by dividing?” That one learned about Rashi. None learned public school garbage.

Orthodox Jews do not claim a monopoly here. You obviously can be non-Orthodox or non-Jewish and live parallel lives. The one constant throughout speaks for itself. We and our kids do not shoot up schools. We are not patsies. Read about the Irgun, Lechi, and Israel’s Defense Forces. We can fight, but we are culturally immunized from shooting up schools, holding up banks, and raping and killing. When you walk down an empty street late at night, and you see a religious Jew coming towards you, you don’t take out pepper spray and start running and screaming. Rather, you ask him a tax question or seek free legal advice.

I almost — emphasis: almost — would love to see the Democrats’ anti-gun proposals implemented. Because then we finally would see that nothing had been accomplished. Deny guns to kids 18-21? So the mentally ill kid will grab his father’s guns. It is interesting that Democrats have all the answers to the surge in gun violence, and yet — somehow — it is specifically in the cities they have dominated for close to a century where gun violence takes place. Chicago? Democrats. Baltimore? Democrats. Detroit. Philadelphia. Memphis. Etc.

For that matter, think of all the lives we can save if we ban cars, especially fancy sports cars. And — goes “without saying” — motorcycles. And, while at it, let’s ban alcohol. Yeah, that’s a great idea. Think of all the lives we would save. America would never turn back. Just ask Bugsy and Lepke and Lucky and the gang.

More and more, I credit former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson for unveiling that a common thread running through so many mass shootings is that the sick-o dirt bag is found to have been a marijuana user. Allysia Finley, a member of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, writes:

"Mass shooters at Rep. Gibby Giffords’s constituent meeting in Tucson, Ariz. (2011), a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. (2012), the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. (2016), the First Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas (2017), and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. (2018), were reported to be marijuana users. It could be a coincidence, but increasing evidence suggests a connection.

"The marijuana on today’s streets is far more toxic than what existed in the 1960’s. It is produced and refined differently, and because of legalizations in 19 states, it is used far more often. It creates hallucinations. “Voices” talk to some users who are susceptible."

If one cause of gun violence is the breakdown in American family values, and a second is the expanded use of marijuana, the third is the new Culture of Rage. When Charles Schumer grabbed a bullhorn and threatened the safety of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, inciting a mob far more dangerous than the January 6 protestors, he said:

“I want to tell you, Gorsuch; I want to tell you, Kavanaugh: You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You won't know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions."

For all of Pelosi’s and Liz Cheney’s January 6 nonsense, Schumer bears enormous co-responsibility for the attempted assassination of Justice Kavanaugh. Schumer really should be prosecuted. At the very least, there should be lawful but crazy-loud demos outside his home. How would he feel if his wife or child were killed by a maniac who heard voices telling him “Schumer released the whirlwind, and now you must be sure he dies and not know what hit him”?

Biden will deliver the Congress to Republicans in five months and, G-d willing, the White House in 2024. The GOP has so many great possibilities: Trump, Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Ted Cruz. What they all share is a contra-Romney strength, determination, and agenda.

Trump broke the ice. Not only is it not political suicide with Hispanics to secure the border and build a wall, but it instead attracts Hispanic votes. It is safe to impose tariffs on China. It is safe to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital. And it will be safe to stuff Schumer into the minority aisle while Pelosi fades gently into the carbon-reduced night.

Adapted by the writer for Arutz Sheva from a version of this article that first appeared here in The American Spectator.

Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer is Senior Contributing Editor at The American Spectator, adjunct professor of law at two prominent Southern California law schools, Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Coalition for Jewish Values, Rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California, and has held prominent leadership roles in several national rabbinic and other Jewish organizations including Zionist Organization of America and regional boards of the American Jewish Committee and B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation. He was Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review, clerked for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and served six years on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. His writings have appeared in Newsweek, National Review, Wall Street Journal, New York Post, Los Angeles Times, Federalist, Jerusalem Post, Israel Hayom, and other major Jewish and Israeli Hebrew media. Other writings are collected at www.rabbidov.com

To attend any or all of Rav Fischer’s weekly 90-minute live Zoom classes on the Weekly Torah Portion, the Biblical Prophets, the Mishnah, Rambam Mishneh Torah, or Advanced Judaic Texts, send an email to:shulstuff@yioc.org (Please note that Rav Fischer’s classes will be on hiatus during May and June.)