Thursday, November 9, 2023

Is This Kristallnacht 2.0?

Today is the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht, a violent night of vandalism, arson, looting, and assault upon Jewish people, their homes, their business, and their synagogues. The murders and arrests which followed The Night of Broken Glass were just the beginning of the persecution of European Jews in the 1930s and 40s, culminating in the concentration and extermination camps of the Nazis. 

The Jews were not alone in those camps. Jailed alongside them were minorities such as the Roma, Black people and their African-German mixed-race children, disabled people, and gay, lesbian, and transgender people. This was the origin of the pink triangle being used to denote queer people, a symbol which we have claimed as our own in a show of strength, but we have never forgotten its roots.

85 years later, it seems as though we are on the precipice of a second Kristallnacht. Antisemitic sentiment is at an all-time high, with demonstrations across the globe calling for the destruction of the Jews. Homes are being marked with blue stars to indicate the presence of Jews within them. Jews have even been chased by mobs and forced to hide in attics to escape violence, and those who have been unable to escape have be assaulted, injured, and even killed. At least one synagogue has been firebombed. 

Operation Blazing Sword was founded in 2016 to teach a marginalized minority how to protect themselves against violent bigots. Reaching out to threatened people, telling them that they aren't alone, and teaching them about armed self-defense is our only reason for existence. After the Pulse Massacre we focused our efforts on teaching the basics of firearm safety, operation, and ownership to queer people. At the same time we also welcomed without judgment, and taught without cost, anyone who wanted to learn about firearms, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, biology, manner of dress, or even faith. 

Today, Operation Blazing Sword is once again reaching out to another marginalized, victimized minority by making it clear that we stand with the Jewish people against violent antisemitism in exactly the same way that we stand with queer people against violent homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, and that our resources are available for their use. We want Jews everywhere to know that if they see this symbol, then they are safe with us. Our ancestors were together in the camps, and today their descendants stand together to say "No More!"

This symbol is not a political statement, and Operation Blazing Sword - Pink Pistols has no position on foreign affairs. Our focus is, has always been, and will continue to be educating the gun curious in the United States about responsible, armed self-defense. Compassion for human life and the protection of innocents guide us, and the only politics we care about is the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. 

We anticipate pushback on this matter. To that end, here are answers to some expected objections:

This is not Islamophobia. We have publicly stated in the past that we teach all faiths, and this continues to be true. While today is a significant anniversary in the history of persecution of Jews and the focus of this statement, Operation Blazing Sword - Pink Pistols recognizes that persecution of Muslims also occurs, and we will gladly teach them in exactly the same manner as we teach all of our other students. 

This is not taking political sides. Jews in America are not Israel, and violence against them is not valid political protest but rather violent bigotry against innocent people who have nothing to do with the situation in the Middle East. All innocent  lives deserve protection, regardless of their race, religion, or any other factor. 

This is not co-opting Holocaust symbology. These accusations are usually aimed at people who try to adapt the yellow Star of David to advance a separate agenda. Tonight, however, Jews are being persecuted simply for being Jews, which is exactly what the Holocaust was. If it is the same people in the same danger for the same reason, then it's not co-opting but instead an alert that this is happening again. 

This is not being done for profit. We are not selling anything. Furthermore, we are a registered non-profit and a 501c3 charity. We seek only to teach and to help. 

Operation Blazing Sword - Pink Pistols remembers the origin of the pink triangle and the yellow star. We stand with those who refuse to be victims, because without the ability to apply affective defensive force, "Never Again!" and "No More!" are only catchy slogans. We teach all races, all faiths, all sexes, all genders, and all sexualities how to shoot, and then we tell the world that we have done so. 

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