Some members of New York’s Orthodox Jewish community were seen open carrying AR rifles at a community event on Sunday, a day after a man attacked a rabbi’s home with a machete, sending five people to the hospital with injuries.
Another attack occurred in Jersey City earlier this month at a Jewish grocery where where four people were killed.
The two attacks specifically targeting New York City’s Jewish community appear to have motivated some members of the community to arm themselves in self-defense.
PHOTOS: Orthodox Jews seen open carrying rifles in Rockland County, NY following a string of anti-semitic attacks in NYC, including last night's stabbing attack inside a synagogue in Monsey, NY that left 5 stabbed – 1 in critical condition. pic.twitter.com/l3ywnpplrB
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) December 29, 2019
The armed men were attending a community event intended to strengthen spirits in light of the traumatic events.
New York is a state that enacts some of the most Orwellian gun control policies in the country, and some questioned if the men’s rifles were legal under the state’s laws. Open carry is heavily restricted in New York, and only “featureless” AR rifles that contain cosmetic modifications can be legally bought and sold in the state.
In any case, it’s a shame the men may be afoul of the state’s gun laws in an environment where it appears some members of the general public are inclined to target Jews. It’s hard to imagine that New York prosecutors would go after the men after the two attacks on the Jewish community, but if they did, some Jews who wish to arm themselves in self-defense might feel left with no choice other than to move to a state where peaceful gun ownership is legal.
The men may feel a prescient need for armed self-defense after an attack on a Texas church Sunday was thwarted by an armed congregation member. The retired police officer neutralized a shotgun-wielding gunman who opened fire on churchgoers.
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