A time such as this

Cherokee County Herald - - VIEWPOINTS -

From April 19, 1943, to May 16, 1943, an event known as the War­saw Ghetto Up­ris­ing was fought. In Novem­ber 1940, when the in­vad­ing Ger­man forces built a wall around a Jewish ghetto in War­saw, Poland, 400,000 Jews were trapped in­side. Be­cause the Ger­mans cru­elly lim­ited the amount of food that was al­lowed into the ghetto, star­va­tion and ill­ness claimed the lives of thou­sands each month. But the Jews weren’t dy­ing fast enough to sat­isfy Adolph Hitler, who or­dered the Nazis to de­port roughly 265,000 of those snared in the ghetto to the Tre­blinka Killing Cen­ter. The Ger­man sol­diers shot tens of thou­sands of other Jews dur­ing the de­por­ta­tion process. Af­ter watch­ing the Ger­mans kill their loved ones daily for nearly two months, the es­ti­mated 60,000 Jews who re­mained were ter­ri­fied. They were liv­ing a never end­ing night­mare from which they would never awaken. On April 19, 1943, thou­sands of Nazis armed with ma­chine guns, flamethrow­ers, and tanks gath­ered out­side the gates of the ghetto ready to ex­ter­mi­nate those Jews re­main­ing in­side.

Upon storm­ing the ghetto’s gates, the Ger­mans were stunned when they were met by an armed Jewish re­sis­tance led by Morde­cai Aniel­wascz. Morde­cai had pre­pared for a time such as the one he faced. He had spent months smug­gling guns and bul­lets into the ghetto. Even so, he was only able to ob­tain a small num­ber of firearms, most of which were pis­tols. De­spite be­ing out­num­bered and out­gunned, Morde­cai and those fight­ing des­per­ately be­side him cel­e­brated their vic­tory on the first day as the Nazis fled the ghetto. Although the Ger­mans had con­quered the rest of Poland in only 18 days, amaz­ingly, roughly 750 Jews with lit­tle to no firearm train­ing were able to ef­fec­tively use the few guns and lit­tle am­mu­ni­tion they had to keep the pow­er­ful Ger­man forces at bay for 28 days! Morde­cai’s wise de­ci­sion to get all the guns he could kept him, his fel­low fight­ers, and the other Jews alive un­til the last bul­let was fired.

In light of his­tor­i­cal events like the War­saw Ghetto Up­ris­ing, it is un­be­liev­able that lib­er­als to­day still ar­gue that we should dis­arm our cit­i­zens by en­act­ing and en­forc­ing laws that will pre­vent law-abid­ing peo­ple from own­ing and pos­sess­ing guns. The Sec­ond Amend­ment doesn’t just pro­tect our right to de­fend our­selves from crim­i­nals liv­ing among us; it pro­tects our right to de­fend our­selves from any­one who may seek to do us harm. Years ago we would not have imag­ined that an in­vad­ing force could wreak havoc on Amer­i­cans. 9/11 changed that. To­day we know that or­ga­nized forces can en­ter our coun­try and tar­get us. If that hap­pens, like the Jews in War­saw, we may need guns to de­fend our­selves, our families, and our homes. It may be that we have been born for a time such as that. As a life­time mem­ber of the Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion and strong sup­porter of gun rights, I urge you to stay armed and to stay vig­i­lant!

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