Move over, Saturday Night Special, Mel Bernstein, owner of Dragon Arms in Colorado Springs, is offering the Friday night–Saturday morning special for rabbis. If you’re a rabbi, he’ll give you a free AR-15 or a handgun, and will include training and ammunition in the bargain, according to KOAA News 5 in Colorado.
It’s not clear how Mel would determine whether you’re a legit rabbi – perhaps he’ll ask to see your ordination certificate. Do you have to be a congregation rabbi? Do Reconstructionists count? All those details will be revealed in future stories about Mell and the well armed spiritual leaders. As to the reason for arming rabbis, Mell told News 5 an active shooting incident was like a fire. If a fire broke out, he argued, you’d reach for a fire extinguisher. Likewise, to keep people safe during a shooting, you should reach for your weapon.
So far, local rabbis have been reluctant to take Mel up on his offer. And Scott Levin from the Colorado Anti Defamation League told News 5 a rabbi with a gun causes image issues.
A local Jewish woman who attends services in several synagogues told News 5 she thought the AR-15 was just to big and cumbersome – she’d like her rabbis better with a handgun.
She also said a number of Colorado Springs Jews already pack when they go to synagogue.