American Jewish Arm Themselves In Wake Of Hamas Attacks

American Jews are buying firearms and signing up for training to use them at an astounding rate, in light of the recent Hamas attack on Israel.

The attack by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7 has sent shockwaves through Israel, as well as Jewish populations around the world. A stark rise in anti-Semitic incidents following the brutal attack in Israel has left many Jews on American soil feeling vulnerable and concerned for their own safety — and for good reason.

The Anti-Defamation League reports there have been 107 recorded anti-Semitic incidents in the United States since the attack, representing a 37% increase compared to data from the previous year.

Not surprisingly, American Jews are looking for ways to protect themselves in a climate that tells them the tides are turning against them. One response to this heightened concern has been a significant increase in the purchase of firearms.

Gun shop owners, such as David Kowalsky of the Florida Gun Store in Hollywood, Florida, have reported a serious spike in Jewish customers purchasing firearms.

NBC News reported Kowalsky said, “We’ve definitely seen a tremendous increase in religious Jewish people, Orthodox people, purchasing firearms.” Kowalsky also said he has “seen a surge in interest in individual training as well as group training.”​

Many in the American Jewish community who have never interacted with firearms before are now seeking out training programs to learn how to use them effectively. Gun safety seminars and shooting range sessions have been organized by local synagogues and community organizations to provide the necessary knowledge and skills for self-defense.

What is perhaps more surprising is the shift in attitudes toward gun ownership this trend represents with the Jewish community. Historically, the majority of Jews in the U.S. have been more liberal and supportive of gun control measures.

However, the recent wave of anti-Semitic incidents has challenged this perspective. Many Jewish individuals who were previously opposed to personal gun ownership have reconsidered their stance and recognized the need for self-defense measures in an increasingly uncertain world.

The rise in gun ownership among American Jews has not been without its challenges and controversies though. Some members of the community are still worried about firearms and believe there are better ways to address anti-Semitism, such as increased security. The moral of the story? Not everyone is comfortable taking that security into their own hands.

Still, it’s not unreasonable to consider the risks of potential for misuse or accidents involving firearms among any individual who lacks experience or training with them. On the upside, it sounds like the American Jewish community is pursuing gun ownership through both legal and responsible means.

​While members of the Jewish community might differ on their opinions regarding firearms, there has been a notable effort to support and empower those who are choosing to take up arms. Magen Am, a nonprofit in Los Angeles, has reportedly experienced a surge in inquiries about self-defense training. Local synagogues are organizing gun safety seminars and shooting range sessions.

American Jews’ growing interest in firearms raises important questions about the future of gun ownership within the Jewish community. The upward-rising trend of anti-semitic incidents has set the stage for the Jewish community’s interest in cashing in on their 2A rights.

The underlying principle is clear: Like many Americans, the U.S. Jewish population wants to protect themselves, and the firearms industry and supporting communities are lining up to make sure they have the necessary tools to do it.

Taking safety and responsibility in mind, America’s Jewish community seeks to preserve their sense of security in an increasingly uncertain world. Further, many of them are warning that while Jews may be under attack today, the rest of us could be tomorrow. Stay vigilant, friends.