The Mag Life Podcast is back, this time featuring The Pew Pew Jew himself, Yehuda Remer. Coming from a proud Orthodox Jewish upbringing, Remer found himself drawn to the world of firearms ownership and eventually reconciled his Jewish beliefs with the right of self-defense. Over the years, Yehuda has become a successful firearms education author, podcaster, and Second Amendment advocate.
Together, Daniel Shaw and Yehuda Remer discuss the current state of anti-Semitism in America, the historical oppression of Judaism, combating anti-gun politics, and bringing people of different cultures into the world of gun ownership.
Host: Daniel Shaw
Guest: Yehuda Remer
Introduction/Timeline: Eric Huh
04:30 Becoming a gun owner and Second Amendment advocate under a Jewish upbringing.
Daniel asks Yehuda how he got his start into firearms ownership. Like many young Americans, Yehuda always had an interest and fascination with guns from pop culture such as action movies and TV shows. His earliest fixation on guns stems from wanting to own a Walther PPK featured in the James Bond films. Despite this, Yehuda grew up in Los Angeles as a Jewish photographer, which by all accounts should make him as politically left-leaning as possible.
Simply put, owning firearms was not part of the culture where he’s from and not very accessible. At one point, Yehuda began listening to right-leaning podcasts and radio stations from the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and Glenn Beck. It was then that he found that he was much more conservative in his beliefs than he realized.
Eventually, a friend would introduce Yehuda to guns for the first time at a local range. His first reaction to seeing so many different kinds of firearms was shock. But over time, Yehuda once became fascinated with guns and saw the immediate need to own them for self-defense. Upon purchasing his first firearm, a Glock 19 Gen 3, Yehuda kept this a secret from his own parents who were vocally anti-gun. Eventually, they found out.
“My parents had a full-on, Chernobyl nuclear meltdown… [They said] ‘I was irresponsible… How could I bring a firearm into a home with kids in my house.’ And they were just berating me to no end. They wouldn’t talk to me and they were so upset with me. And that kind of hit me… ‘Ok hey, I need to educate my kids.’”
It was this incident that led Yehuda to do his own research on what was then currently available in regards to basic firearms education for newcomers and children. First, he visited the NRA’s webpage on firearm safety but found it lacking depth. Next, he went on Amazon to
find physical books that could act as educational resources for children. Yehuda was surprised to find none. It was from that point he decided to take matters into his own hands and actually write dedicated firearms books for children.
Using just his iPhone’s notepad, Yehuda wrote his rough draft in just 20 minutes and had a police officer friend from LA proofread. Eventually, it became his first-ever book, Safety On.
10:10 Converting others to firearm ownership.
Daniel asks Yehuda if his LA city upbringing has made him more able to relate to and reach out to people who traditionally do not own guns. Yehuda does not believe his upbringing brings a unique ability to convert left-leaning, anti-gunners over. The current state of social media and divided politics has meant that people have taken very binary sides. He states, “You either believe in the right to self-defense or you do not.”
Daniel makes the point that the entire effort of disarming Americans and promoting anti-gun politics has become a money-making industry. Those who have long been influenced by such efforts will more than likely never support the Second Amendment in any meaningful way. The die-hard anti-gun liberals are not what Daniel has had historic success in converting over.
However, through this very podcast and even by inviting individuals out to the range, Daniel has been able to change the minds of hundreds of individuals who were on the fence about gun ownership. It is his belief that this demographic is what responsible gun owners should be seeking to start a dialogue with in order to promote positive gun culture. A lack of education is the root cause of the recent anti-gun talking points and firearms confiscations, therefore it is on the armed citizen to educate the masses.
Yehuda recalls when he first moved to Texas and obtained his license to carry, his peers talked down and even mocked him. When the rioting started over the past year, suddenly these very people were now asking him for advice on how to obtain a gun. Fighting his urge to lash out in kind to them, Yehuda ignored his ego and provided the resources necessary to help these new gun owners become trained and educated. Daniel and Yehuda agree this is what all responsibly armed Americans should be doing to truly support the Second Amendment.
18:45 Living through Anti-Semitism in America.
Daniel observes that the Jewish community has not received nearly the same amount of attention as other minority groups in recent times despite the rise of Anti-Semitism. Yehuda replies that this is simply just how it is. Yehuda heavily criticizes vapid social media “solidarity”
posts as they ultimately amount to nothing in regards to helping anyone. He strongly believes real change comes from action and that action in the face of hate crimes is being armed.
“We’re on our own, we’ve always been on our own… Unfortunately, Jews have been persecuted for 3,000 years… That’s why I’m very, very vocal about Jews getting guns and training with them… You’re not gonna get rid of Anti-Semitism… However, the only way to curb it is if someone comes up to you in the street and your life is on the line, [you] pull out your gun… The only thing that’s gonna stop Anti-Semitism or at least curb it—is you willing to fight back.”
24:28 Why do Jews vote Democrat?
Yehuda offers a brief overview of the history of the modern Jewish American political experience in order to explain why so many Jews still vote Democrat. In the past, he explains that many Jews would vote every which way, regardless of who’s a Democrat or Republican. Essentially, they would vote whoever in the current time period would benefit Jews. From the 1930s until the end of the Holocaust, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had enacted various social programs and policies that fast-tracked citizenship. The Jewish refugees greatly benefited from this, which influenced their opinion of the Democratic Party.
Furthermore, most modern-day Jews are not heavily religious. Many non-orthodox Jews do not have a deep connection with the Torah and do not hold too much value on other religious texts such as the Bible. As such, Yehuda states that by not having a strong religious grounding, many Jews today adhere to the “religion of politics”. This means many are more easily persuaded by left-leaning ideas and more susceptible to political swaying overall.
31:21 Why are Jews being targeted for violence? What can we learn from history?
Daniel admires the Jewish tenacity to fight for their right to existence, especially in the context of Israel and Jewish Americans today. He asks why the Jewish people in particular are being targeted and victimized. Yehuda replies that historically Jewish people were always “lambs led to the slaughter”. As an example, he brings up how in Nazi Germany, the Nuremberg Laws purposely prevented Jews from being armed and registered individual German Jews. This left them defenseless and easily oppressed.
Daniel asks Yehuda how non-gun-owning Jews reacted to these exact historic examples of targeted oppression. Yehuda states that many remain complacent, that they believe that “this is America, it’ll never happen here”. Both Daniel and Yehuda agree that is the same mentality the German Jews had prior to the Holocaust. Daniel notes that similar tactics are being enacted even as they speak, given the recent actions of the government, politicians, and media conglomerates to end self-reliance.
Yehuda brings up the example of the Warsaw Uprising in which hundreds of thousands of Jews in the Warsaw ghetto mobilized an armed resistance against the Nazis, a “well-regulated militia” of sorts. This serves as a reminder that there may come a day where everyday citizens must take up arms and organize to fight for their existence.
“We as Americans absolutely need to start understanding that ‘it’ will happen. Not it ‘can’, it will happen here. We must stand shoulder to shoulder with people from different religions, different sexes, [and] different ethnicities if you truly believe in freedom. If we do not get
together as a group, then I’m just afraid of where this country’s headed.”
Daniel agrees completely and brings up his own experiences in the Marine Corps. During his service, Daniel recalls how within any given unit there would be drastically different backgrounds for each Marine. Yet, all of these Marines learned quickly to ignore their collective
differences and work together as one to accomplish their mission. Because the alternative would be death. When individuals go back home, they have their own “tribes” they revert back to. But when it’s on the battlefield, they’re all Marines. Having a greater cause can transcend any cultural, ethnic, racial, or political barrier.
40:43 Diversity in the firearms community and the willingness to change.
Yehuda applauds the diversity and support of the firearms community. The likes of Tony Simon, Chris Cheng, and the Pink Pistols who truly promote the idea that the Second Amendment is for everyone, no matter the race, religion, sexual orientation, or beliefs.
Yehuda recalls how prior to entering this industry, he was told by so many that the firearms community would be anti-Semitic and bigoted. However, upon taking part in the industry, he has found that to be completely opposite. Yehuda has received an outpouring of support from his peers and could not be happier with where he is now.
On the issue of actually getting people to own a firearm or to train, Yehuda believes this is entirely a matter of mindset. If someone isn’t putting their heart into something, they will not do it. No one who is entirely convinced guns are evil is ready to head to a range and start
shooting. Daniel has observed that a lot of typically left-leaning individuals have started to have their beliefs challenged and even changed over time. The time to push for heavy change is not when people are still entrenched in their beliefs but when they are in flux.
43:45 The hope for the next generation.
Daniel states that he is immensely optimistic for the Zoomer generation to save the world. Through the lens of his son, Gunner Shaw, Daniel has seen children absorb information at a rapid pace, analyze their surroundings, and stand up for individual liberties. Many kids today are even actively creating meaningful content for their peers, such as Gunner Shaw’s own self-made book on Amazon. Yehuda agrees wholeheartedly, hence why he is cornering the market for educational kid’s books on firearms.
“We can work out butts off right now, but the ones who will actually make a difference will be 20 years from now. I have an 11-year-old and a 9-year-old, they’re the ones that are gonna be saving the country, not us. We’re just kind of bandaging it right now.”
51:08 The worrying state of gun ownership today
By contrast, the current generation of gun owners seems to have lost sight of their values. Daniel, while respecting the past achievements of the NRA, heavily criticizes the current leadership as they seem to be more concerned with profits and political positions than they do about the liberties of others. On top of this are the firearms trainers and influencers who have spoken out against the state of Texas passing Constitutional Carry. In the end, it seems profits are the major motivators for some in the firearms industry and not the principle of protecting gun rights.
To learn more about The Pew Pew Jew Yehuda Remer:
Article/Show notes by Eric Huh