The most convincing case in support of the Second Amendment these days might be the need to protect yourself from Donald Trump’s craziest supporters.
Such is the case with Bethany Mandel, a Jewish conservative writer and outspoken Trump critic, who has been subject to fierce anti-Semitic abuse online for months from Trump fans. The threats against Mandel from Trump’s Twitter mob became so intense that she recently decided to buy a .22 revolver to protect herself and her children.
In an interview with WNYC, Mandel said she first became alarmed that Trump and his fans were so cavalierly attacking Mexican immigrants and Muslims, in part because she knew that it wouldn’t take Trump supporters long to attack Jewish people as well.
“We have to speak up,” she told WNYC. “And I feel this as a Jew…Because I knew they were coming after us next. And I was right.”
Among other things, Trump fans have told Mandel that she “belongs in an oven” and have Photoshopped photos of her face onto photos of Holocaust victims. These kinds of attacks have been common against Jewish Trump critics, whom Trump supporters have targeted and tracked online using an assortment of creepy web apps.
Although Trump himself hasn’t made overtly anti-Semitic appeals, Mandel thinks he’s nonetheless inspiring it with his rhetoric that targets Muslims and undocumented immigrants.
“It feels like this is Germany in the 30s,” Mandel tells WNYC. “Like we’re watching the rise of someone really, really dangerous. And this is how you elect a fascist who could potentially — God knows what he would do.”