ASK THE CALIFORNIA EMPLOYMENT TAX AND PAYROLL TAX ATTORNEY – A WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN
By Robert S. Schriebman
This article concerns the recent hostage situation in a Jewish Synagogue in Colleyville, TX. These horrible instances have gotten all too commonplace, and there is not going to be an end in sight. As a rabbi and retired California military chaplain, I’ve experienced every conceivable negative emotion. In Colleyville the rabbi threw a chair at the assailant allowing the rabbi and several congregants to escape. I ask myself what I would do if faced with the same situation either as the congregation’s rabbi or just a visiting member. I’m not sure I would be as brave as that Colleyville rabbi. Should I arm myself? But this is California and not Texas.
The topic of this article was taken from an episode in American history. On October 19, 1781 the British general Charles Cornwallis formally surrendered 8000 British soldiers and seamen to French and American forces at Yorktown, Virginia, bringing the American Revolution to a close. It is said that the British Military Band played a tune entitled “The World Turned Upside Down.” One of the largest armies in the world surrendered to a fledgling military-militia force.
One of my dearest non-Jewish friends called me expressing his sympathy and strongly suggested that the next time I attend religious services I should carry a firearm under my jacket, and be prepared to use it in the defense of my fellow congregants and myself. I must admit that the idea was tempting. However, upon reflection, I considered whether I have the reflexes, and the courage to kill another human being. Would my aim be accurate? I then considered the consequences of having killed the assailant before he/she had a chance to do real harm. Here are my thoughts.
The Consequences of My Pre-emptive Shooting of the Assailant
The Ten Commandments clearly states that, “Thou shalt not murder.” On the other hand, the Talmud states that one need not wait around to be a victim. It is permissible to strike first in self-defense.
I have played this over in my head many times and I believe that assuming I had the opportunity to shoot first and to shoot accurately, the following would be my fate.
- Upon arriving at the scene, the police will ask me to show them my permit to carry a concealed weapon. Not having a permit, I would be arrested for carrying a concealed firearm. A criminal complaint would be filed against me for carrying a concealed firearm.
- I would be prosecuted criminally by the district attorney’s office for either murder or manslaughter.
- I would be a target for the liberal press and be pilloried for shooting a mentally sick and suffering victim.
- I would be sued by the assailant’s family and spend my life savings defending myself in a series of civil wrongful-death related lawsuits.
- My wife, children and grandchildren would be in danger of retaliation by persons unknown.
- No doubt the would-be assassin has family members who will avenge his/her death at my expense.
- I would be disbarred for the taking of a human life and probably never be able to find work again in the legal profession.
- My reputation would be destroyed.
- The FBI and other federal agencies would look to prosecute me under federal law for religiously-associated hate crimes.
- My fellow congregants would shun and avoid me.
- My property would be damaged by vandals.
What Are My Options?
It seems very clear to me that bringing a firearm to my synagogue would not offer great comfort or protection and would be a major mistake.
Of course I can choose not to go to synagogue especially on the High Holydays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. But on reflection, it seems that the best and most successful option is to just stand there and be shot. The duty of saving the lives of others does not seem to be as important as protecting the assailant. Assuming that the assailant is taken alive, he/she will have all of the rights under our Constitution and will get three good meals a day, coupled with mental counseling, and health and dental care. At least my wife will collect my life insurance.
Taking a historical view of things, it seems that the British Army Band got it right – the world has turned upside down.
Robert Schriebman has a successful practice in the Rolling Hills Estates area of Los Angeles County serving clients throughout California and the United States. He has successfully dedicated more than 50 years to helping individual taxpayers, business owners, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, and tax attorneys navigate the complicated tax systems of the federal and state governments. Mr. Schriebman is in private practice. He is not affiliated in any way with the EDD and he is not employed by the EDD or any other agency of the State of California.
Robert Schriebman has written the only 2 books ever published dealing with how California Employment Development Department (EDD) operates. See “California Tax Collection Practice and Procedures” and “California Taxation Practice and Procedure,” both published by Commerce Clearing House.
Robert Schriebman has written over 20 books including the major manual used nationally by practitioners and the IRS, “IRS Tax Collection Procedures – A Manual for Practitioners” published by Commerce Clearing House.
Robert Schriebman has written over 20 books including the major manual used nationally by practitioners and the IRS, “IRS Tax Collection Procedures – A Manual for Practitioners” published by Commerce Clearing House in addition to the only 2 books ever published dealing with how California Employment Development Department (EDD) operates. See “California Tax Collection Practice and Procedures” and California Taxation Practice and Procedure,” both published by Commerce Clearing House.
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