The anti-Semitic Pennsylvania legislature


Sebastian Meineck, “Five Reasons You Should Delete Telegram from Your Phone,” Vice, November 25, 2020,


Fig. 1. An entrance to the Beth Abraham cemetery in Pittsburgh’s Carrick neighborhood. The Shaare Torah cemetery is very close by. Photograph by author, July 27, 2020.

One might think, in the wake of the Tree of Life shooting, wherein a white supremacist shot Jews in a Squirrel Hill (Pittsburgh) synagogue,[1] that maybe, just maybe, stricter guns laws might be called for, as indeed Pittsburgh has called for[2] and even attempted to pass on its own.[3] One might even think that the lobbyists who claim to oppose anti-Semitism would support such moves.

The Pennsylvania state legislature, however, moves in an entirely different direction.[4] And supposedly anti-anti-Semitic lobbyists are, as far as I can tell, entirely silent.

The overlap between so-called “gun rights”[5] advocacy and white supremacy is hard to miss in southwestern Pennsylvania.[6] Support for one inescapably means support for the other.

Which is to say that the Pennsylvania legislature is anti-Semitic. And should be called out for it accordingly.

Associated Press, “Gov. Tom Wolf Vetoes Bills On Firearms During Emergencies And Gas Drilling Regulation,” KDKA, November 26, 2020,

  1. [1]Campbell Robertson, Christopher Mele, and Sabrina Tavernise, “11 Killed in Synagogue Massacre; Suspect Charged With 29 Counts,” New York Times, October 27, 2019,
  2. [2]Bob Bauder, “Pittsburgh mayor Peduto, state lawmakers call for vote on Pa. gun bills,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 9, 2019,
  3. [3]Bob Bauder, “Judge strikes down Pittsburgh’s controversial gun bills,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 29, 2019,
  4. [4]Associated Press, “Gov. Tom Wolf Vetoes Bills On Firearms During Emergencies And Gas Drilling Regulation,” KDKA, November 26, 2020,; Stephen Caruso, “Pro 2nd Amendment lawmakers want to let you carry a gun during an emergency,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, July 7, 2020,; Jon Delano, “Lawrence Co. Lawmaker Wants To Abolish Concealed Carry Gun Permits,” KDKA, May 7, 2019,
  5. [5]David Benfell, “Deconstructing the second amendment,” Not Housebroken, October 5, 2020,
  6. [6]Moriah Ella Mason, “Pittsburgh Doesn’t Need More Guns — We Need Less White Supremacy,” Forward, October 29, 2018,

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