One of the things that baffled me as a child was the way in which the Jews passively walked into the gas chambers. My parents explained to me that Jews were not warriors. Outside of Israel, Jews still aren’t warriors. Jeffrey Goldberg thinks that’s stupid:
You can’t fight a rifle or a shotgun with a stick, or a whistle, or good intentions. Only armed guards are at all capable of stopping an attack. American Jews — and this is broad generalization here — are queasy around weapons. This queasiness is rooted in our urban and suburban existence. But one of the lessons of the Holocaust to me — I said this in my book, Prisoners, to some criticism — is that it is more difficult to kill an armed Jew than an unarmed Jew.
That last point can be generalized: “it is more difficult to kill an armed person than an unarmed person.” The fact is that, armed or not, most people aren’t killers. The other fact is that most killers are armed. In other words, whether or not more people carry weapons, it’s only the killers who will kill — but at least we’ll be able to defend ourselves.