Human nature is complicated and ranges from kindness and sacrifice on the one hand, to unspeakable cruelty and horror on the other. The Yin and Yang of love and hate is just a part of who we are. Horrors like the Holocaust, the Bangladesh genocide, the Holodomor, the “Great Leap Forward,” and the Rwandan genocide have happened on just about every continent, some of them during our lifetimes.
The FBI recently issued an alert saying they have “received credible information of a broad threat to synagogues in NJ.”
The FBI has received credible information of a broad threat to synagogues in NJ. We ask at this time that you take all security precautions to protect your community and facility. We will share more information as soon as we can. Stay alert. In case of emergency call police. pic.twitter.com/e64XSmQvNc
— FBI Newark (@FBINewark) November 3, 2022
I have written in the past about how my position on guns was shaped by a hate crime: the Islamic terror attack on Mumbai in 2008. Since that attack, just off the top of my head, I can think of several other acts of hate: the Wisconsin Sikh temple attack, the Paris terror attack of 2015, the Poway Synagogue shooting, the Pulse Nightclub attack, Buffalo, El Paso, Pittsburgh. The list is long and tragic.
After these attacks, the gun control crowd typically comes out and starts tweeting about how we should #DisarmHate. It’s wholly predictable. Assuming this is feasible, how does one go about identifying hate in order to #DisarmHate?
Is it hate to hate hate?
In practice, the #DisarmHate demand boils down to extending the Fifth Amendment-violating No-Fly lists instituted by the Bush administration after 9/11 to also violate the Second Amendment. In other words, it’s the “No-Fly No-Buy” gun control stratagem that uses the pretext of disarming hate groups, with no recourse for the person whose rights are violated.
Weirdly enough, Hate still figures out a way of arming itself and committing horrible acts of violence despite what society and government want. After all, life never comes with a guarantee of safety.
The FBI actively investigated this threat to New Jersey synagogues and have taken an individual into custody. I am thankful that the FBI is addressing this threat. But one cannot forget that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies cannot be present at all times in all the synagogues in New Jersey, let alone the other 49 states.
When law enforcement cannot be everywhere at all times, and #DisarmHate is an impractical pipedream, what do you do? There’s a corollary to that, and it’s far more effective.
It’s the #ArmLove strategy.
When lethal threats can arise from anywhere at any time, it’s inhuman and callous to prevent people, especially those who have historically been on the receiving end of hateful violence, from defending themselves. Self-defense is a human right.
Hate attacks like the one the FBI is warning us about often involve extensive planning. The attacker(s) get to choose their victims, the place, the manner, and the time of the attack. What if the FBI didn’t have this information and the victims got caught unaware? After the incompetent police response in Uvalde and Parkland, is it fair for lawmakers to demand that victims solely depend on government in the face of imminent threats to life and limb?
New York is just a stone’s throw away from New Jersey, and Gov. Kathy Hochul and her Democrats in the state legislature think that it’s fair: they passed a law (currently under injunction) that prevents people from carrying their weapons at places of worship. What if the attacker(s) the FBI is investigating decide to drive over the border to New York and commit an atrocity there?
Most people are decent and lawful, live good lives, have good, loving relationships with family and friends; and our institutions and government are structured around that assumption. It’s therefore important for our institutions and government to respect those people and get out of their way when it comes to defending themselves.
#ArmLove, because you’ll never #DisarmHate.