Riding Shotgun With Charlie
Rabbi Andy Mars
Bnai Tov

I was asked to emcee an event in New Jersey for the Coalition of New Jersey Firearm Owners and Women for Gun Rights. The lineup of speakers was great! Gabby Franco (RSWC #117), Lucretia Hughes & Dick Heller (episodes coming soon), and Rabbi Andy Mars. He’s a great speaker with lots of thought provoking ideas. We met in the hotel lobby the morning after the event while everyone was having breakfast. 

The Rabbi is a straight shooter. We start right off talking about how it says in the Torah that if someone tries to kill you, you should kill him first.  We have the right and the responsibility to protect ourselves. Going back to the Old Testament days, he points out that if God banned rocks because Cain killed Abel then David wouldn’t have been able to use one against Goliath. He brings up how Dr. Ben Carson talked often about how if we didn’t let the German authorities take away the guns of the Jewish people, then World War II would have been a lot different. 

The Rabbi lived in Los Angeles for 30 years. He was introduced to shooting then and often went to the LAPD shooting range with officers he’s worked with. He spent years working with the police on how to deal with kids in crisis. He’s also gone shooting in New Jersey, also a wildly anti-gun state. 

One of the talking points from his speech the night before he brings up again. It’s that killing and murdering are not the same thing. Killing doesn’t have a criminal intent or act with it, while murdering does have criminal intent and is unlawful. This is something that gun owners need to be clear on and make sure you know the distinction between them. He points out that we shouldn’t murder someone, but we do have the right to kill someone in self defense. One thing the Germans did back in 1938 is register firearms. I’m a firm believer in what Evan Nappen (RSWC #148) says which is, legislation leads to registration, registration leads to confiscation, and confiscation leads to extermination. Since all firearms were registered, they knew who’s doors to knock on and what they had for firearms. 

The Rabbi has been working with children and has a non-profit organization called Kids Make a Difference Foundation. Its mission statement is “Helping make a difference in the life of kids, helping kids make a difference in life.” Of course, to work with children, he’s CPR certified. But very similar to firearms, he has to know how to administer first aid in case it’s needed. That takes training and preparedness on his part to be able to do that. Hopefully, he’ll never need to use it, but if he does he’s prepared. 

He also talks about the fact that everyone is worried about the liability of trying to save or defend someone else. I’ve heard of people who have some medical/first aid training because they carry and use firearms and know that something can happen. But they also have medical training and carry a first aid kit on their ankle and keep one in the car. And they’ve used them more for injuries in a car accident than ever needed one after a gunfight. Living in California, the Rabbi also had an earthquake bag that had necessary supplies in it should there be a quake and they need to leave quickly. 

We talk about where he learned about these topics and he says it’s from The Torah, which he calls the Guide Book of Life. It’s like an instruction manual. Bringing up an old TV show, The Greatest American Hero, he points out that the main character finds a superhero outfit, but he doesn’t know what his superhero skills and abilities are. The series is him trying to figure out what he is supposed to be doing with these skills. 

It is really great to talk with someone that has different religious beliefs, but still has the same values. We don’t all have to be the same people, which is true diversity. We can have differences and still get along because we have the same values. It shows us that gun people are the best people. 

Favorite quotes:
“Every Rabbi should be a pro-gun Rabbi.”
“Had God banned rocks at that time, what would David had against Goliath?”
“If someone comes to kill you, kill them first. It’s clear.”
“Respectable,respectful people should be able to respectably, respectfully disagree.”

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Dennis McCurdy
Author, Speaker, Firewalker

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