While the chances of being caught up in a mass shooting, despite what you may have heard, is incredibly rare, there is virtually no downside in allowing congregations to govern their own security. No one is forcing a church to arm itself. The Mormon Church, for instance, has banned firearms from all its places of worship. Yet some states are compelling millions of Americans to sit there defenseless.
In New York, where Orthodox Jews have increasingly become the target of violence, there are no Assams or Willefords or Wilsons allowed. Draconian laws make it virtually impossible for normal people to practice their right to self-defense.
Using history as a precedent, Jews should find this kind of limitation especially offensive. One of the greatest triumphs of the state of Israel, and the chief reason so many anti-Semites detest it with such ferocity, is that Jews finally stopped asking for permission to exist and picked up guns to defend themselves. The United States is perhaps the only other place in the world where Jews are also blessed — or should be — with an inherent right to self-protection. It was the great Zionist Ze’ev Jabotinsky who implored his people to arm in the early 20th century. “Better to have a gun and not need it than to need it and not have it,” was one of his slogans. This notion was once widely embraced in the United States. Apparently, it still is in Texas.