I arrived for my desert tour 15 minutes late, dusted myself off, and strode into a roadside restaurant an hour north of Phoenix that was straight out of the movies. Dudes in ten gallon hats and cowboy boots having coffee in a bar that reeked of cigarettes and abuse.
Six hours later I was back. In the interim, I had driven for three hours in in the desert in an Israeli made off-roader and fired dozens of rounds from an AK-47, an M-16, and a Glock pistol. My guide, Zev Nadler, promptly ordered us two enormous shots of Jack Daniels. A short while later, he ordered two more. And soon after that, he brought us two beers as chasers.
It was early afternoon in Arizona. The sun was blazing. My lips were parched and my head was swimming. And Zev was urging me to wake up to the news that the world hates the Jews because they’re easy prey. That’s only going to change when Jews get tough and stand up for themselves. Being armed, he said, was an "equalizer."
Zev looks like no other Jew I know, and in this, he took evident pride. When we met, he was wearing an NRA jersey, camouflage pants, knee guards, black Ray-Bans, and a keffiyeh secured to his head with a piece of string. A Glock was on his belt. He even thanked me for noticing how unshtetllike he looked.
The proprietor of Desert Wolf Tours (a play on his name, get it?), Zev is a respected local businessman. He made sure to show me a feature on him that the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau published. But I was mostly interested in Zev’s blunt talk on the state of the Jews. And the guns.
Actually, not really. Guns scare me. Even just holding the thing made me nervous. After a few rounds, it got easier. Then Zev started singing about how great a shot I was, a natural, and I even flushed with pride for a minute.
But when we got back to the restaurant, and before the Jack Daniels, I whispered a prayer of gratitude for my safe return. Stay tuned for some great video of TWJ shooting guns.