As I write this, news is breaking about a deadly attack on a synagogue in New York state, but I’ve been thinking about it since Thursday when I saw someone carrying a sign on a rural road in New York. The sign read, “Jews want your guns.” Now, why should this fellow American be so timid in exercising his freedom of speech that he chose a rural road where almost no one would see his sign?

Perhaps he doesn’t know that Jewish American Aaron Solomon was among the patriots at Bunker Hill defending his freedom of speech. Perhaps he doesn’t know that Jewish patriots Abraham Levy and Phillip Russell suffered along with George Washington and other Americans at Valley Forge.

Perhaps he doesn’t know that there are over 5,000 Jewish graves in Arlington National Cemetery. After all, until 1918, only crosses were used to mark graves. Our bad.

As well as Jewish members of the Union Army buried in Arlington, there is also Moses Ezekiel who was among the Confederate ranks.

Not everyone in a group will have the same perspective. Yes, there are Americans who advocate tighter gun control. There is no reason to think that none of them are Jewish, especially when we consider the rise in hate crimes. There is also no reason to think that all people of any demographic hold the same view on an issue or that those who do should not exercise their freedom of assembly.

If he knew of all the Jewish people who have defended both his First and Second Amendment rights, the sign maker may have had more courage to express his opinion. He also may have reconsidered his opinion.

Lauston Stephens


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