[Ed. – Forearmed is forearmed.]
David Ortner adjusted his yarmulke, cocked his pistol and took aim — something he wishes a civilian had done to defend Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue three days ago when Robert Bowers walked in and shot 11 people dead.
“When this happens, you get a wake-up call,” said Ortner, a 28-year-old owner of an optician shop in Monsey, New York.
Ortner was one of nine Jewish men who attended a one-day course on Tuesday at the privately owned Cherev Gidon Israeli Tactical Defense Academy near Scranton, Pennsylvania, a class that was scheduled on Sunday in response to the Pittsburgh synagogue attack.
He was there to learn how to use a gun to protect himself and his community and prevent a repeat of Saturday’s massacre, the deadliest targeting Jewish people in U.S. history.
“The fact is, we’re at war,” said Yonatan Stern, a veteran officer of the Israel Defense Forces and director of the academy, told his class. “We want every Jew in America armed.”