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Local Jewish community sees spike in requests for self defense, firearms training

By Tom Wait

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    LOS ANGELES, California (KCAL, KCBS) — With fighting still happening in the Middle East, and reports of increased antisemitism occurring in the United States, the local Jewish community is increasingly seeking self defense and firearms training.

As the threat of extremist attacks occurring on American soil continues to grow, one Los Angeles based program is focusing their efforts on keeping their community safe — putting an emphasis on doing so safely and responsibility.

“I’ve never, ever felt anything like I’ve been feeling now,” said Sharon Wiener, a Pico Robertson resident who attended a class on Tuesday. “I’m not letting my life stop and I’m just being more cautious and aware. I’m on heightened alert.”

The class, hosted by Magen Am, mostly revolved on the safest and smartest practices in purchasing a firearm, how to get training and how residents can store their potential new purchase safely.

Magen Am is a Southern California based security company specifically looking to provide safety to the Jewish community.

“The threat to the Jewish community definitely has skyrocketed,” said Rabbi Yossi Eilfort, the founder of Magen Am. “For my lifetime, this is the biggest threat that we’ve seen.”

Eilfort says that local threats against the Jewish community have reached new highs, and he wants to do what he can to keep people properly protected.

“What I’ve been saying is, ‘Lots of people with lots of guns and a little training is a bad thing. Lots of people with lots of guns and lots of training can be a good thing for the community,” he said. “We’re lucky we live in a time and place where this is legal.”

Thus far, that message has been echoed by many.

“In my opinion, getting some sort of gun training, gun safety, for the long run, it can be very beneficial for us, for our self defense, for ourselves,” said one man at the seminar on Tuesday.

Though many at the meeting reflected the fact that they never imagined using a gun in the first place, they now feel that they’ll be much more safer owning one.

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