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DEPT. OF SANE IDEAS

The US Should Learn from Israel How to Permit, Not Outlaw Guns

Jews have an obligation to fight laws that would ban their access to guns.

The Jewish Press Online's Malkah Fleisher training at the Caliber 3 gun range.

The Jewish Press Online's Malkah Fleisher training at the Caliber 3 gun range.
Photo Credit: The Jewish Press Online

Every shooting massacre in the U.S. is followed routinely by the calls to tighten existing gun control laws and even ban guns altogether.

But, as Jews, we have an obligation to fight those calls, because they’re wrong.

As Jews, giving up the means and the right to defend ourselves is the worst mistake we could make. Imagine if Germany or Poland’s Jews had been armed. Would rounding Jews up have been as easy or even possible? The answer is, obviously, no.

Friday’s massacre in Connecticut was a horrible event, but the shooter, Adam Lanza, didn’t use any legal loopholes to get his weapons, he didn’t even own the weapons he shot, he stole them from his mother.

One of things that strike most visitors to Israel is the number of guns they see people carrying everywhere. But most people don’t realize that Israel’s gun laws are both stricter and very different from those in the U.S.

Personal weapons are more difficult to come by in Israel. A lot of vetting is done by the government, the police, a doctor, and the gun range that must train and test the potential gun owner before they, too, sign their approval. And the Israeli government prefers to limit gun licenses to those with army experience, if possible.

Even then, one normally is permitted to only own one gun, and a limited amount of ammunition (although one can buy as many bullets as one wishes at the gun range). Some admittedly feel that the single gun limit, is too restrictive.

Appearances aside, in Israel there are fewer personal weapons per capita, and fewer homicides involving guns, than in the U.K., which has very strong and restrictive gun laws.

Still, guns in Israel are ubiquitous. There are no concealed carry laws in Israel, as every visitor sees right away. Guns are plentiful in the street, carried by settlers, soldiers, and security personnel, including the guards in front of schools, restaurants and malls.

In short, people who have a good reason to carry a gun will likely be approved to do so. The difference between Israel and the U.S. regarding gun ownership is in the attitude.

Even though Israelis watch the same movies and play the same video games that glorify gun violence as Americans do, Israelis, unlike Americans, are taught from a young age a mature, respectful and structured interaction with their weapons. In America, it’s considered a right to carry a gun, but in Israel, it’s considered both right and a privilege.

Reports are now saying that Adam Lanza’s mother was a “gun nut” who took her kids shooting all the time.

I can practically guarantee that their training and interaction with guns wasn’t mature, respectful or structured in the least.

Keeping guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens is wrong and unconstitutional. But America must rethink its gun laws and make them consistent for the entire country. They must include a serious, complex vetting process, at least as demanding as the process one must endure to receive a driver’s license. In fact, I recommend letting each state’s DMV develop a process of educating and testing potential gun owners. After all, in both cases, when providing a license to drive a car and a license to carry a gun (and to register the car and gun), the state is empowering its citizen to operate a potentially lethal weapon.

Like applicant drivers, potential gun owners must undergo extensive, well structured training on the proper handling, storage and use of their weapon, before being allowed to even buy one, and repeat the process at every license renewal. And they must have a qualified doctor sign off on them too.

And a DMV, or any other agency deposited with the responsibility to vet new gun owners, along with the individual people in the vetting process, must be held accountable should someone they approve end up using their gun license psychotically.

This personal accountability in the chain of approval is the most important aspect of what works in Israel, and what should be most emphasized in the U.S.

Also, the states must get rid of the concealed carry requirement (for those that have it). It’s an idiotic idea that is actually a result of American society’s veneration of weapons, and it removes any visual deterrence it otherwise affords.

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76 Responses to “The US Should Learn from Israel How to Permit, Not Outlaw Guns”

  1. Lanza shot his way through the principal's new security door.It didn't do much to secure anybody laying in shards on the floor.AS to you Wilcox the cycle of violence will continue as long as people are herded together defenseless into gun free zones.Why can't you bedwetter Libs make that connection?People will die if you disarm them,refuse them adequate security and then advertise that there is no one capable of armed response.The IDF takes care to reduce collateral damage,Hamas and Hezbollah will kill their own to drive up the body count.No ****ing honor there or in any of you pole smoking Libs.

  2. Texas Dept.of Public Safety handles both licensing operations and gets the job done.CHL apps have increased every year since Obama has been in office.

  3. The people bleeding are the defenseless individuals in gun free zones.

  4. Who provides your person security,Zev?Who secures your loved ones?You sound like it isn't you.Abdicate your personal responsibilities but don't even imagine you can decide that issue for others.Are you totally clueless or a self loathing Jew ?

  5. I read over a thousand posts on this tragedy since it occurred.I have yet to find a Liberal that addresses school security or the commonality of mass shootings and gun free zones.People are disarmed where they are needed the most.Of course we could send kids to schools fortified like prisons or place people capable of armed response in schools.When an armed adult stops a shooting survival is increased by a factor of 9 compared to shootings stopped by law enforcement.An armed principal at Sandy Hook would have sent live children home instead of dead ones to the morgue.

  6. Joan Hamblin says:

    All the buzz re. more gun control totally ignores the real problem: crazies on the street. When I was growing up, California (and I imagine other states) had mental institutions for unstable people. As much as I admire Reagan, I believe he was the one who let them all out on the streets. I am committed to defending the second amendment.

  7. Cw Sanders says:

    Bear;
    Concealed carry serves two critical purposes – The bad guy(s) don't know who is armed. The bad guy(s) will ambush who they know is armed. If I have to explain either of those further, you're not ready/capable of understanding them.

    The inalienable right to defend one's life is not predicated on nothing more than the feeble opinion of a quack or government worker – Especially when the primary concern of the Second Amendment was written as the ultimate deterrent against a rogue government. The current administration and his allies are proof positive of our Founding Father's genius of foresight.

    Obviously, your opinion not only severely lacks full appreciation in the differences between our cultures but more importantly, in what actually deters criminals from acting and why.

  8. Cw Sanders says:

    Charlie Hall AND considering the homicide rate in NYC, what a wonderful example of why employees of politicians (law enforcement) can not be trusted with an inalienable right.

  9. Paul Pratt says:

    An interesting article but I disagree on the idea that citizens would need government permission to own or carry a firearm.

    Considering Nazi Germany, would Hitler's government have given Jews permits to carry guns?

    In the USA would blacks have been granted gun permits in slave states?

    And in our lifetime… After numerous death threats and having his home fire bombed, Martin Luther King applied for a concealed carry gun permit… but the local police decided that he didn't need to carry a gun.

  10. Paul Pratt says:

    Charlie,

    Militias do not have to face tanks head-to-head. The Finish Militias disabled and destroyed about 80 Russian tanks using logs, crow bars and Molotov cocktails.

    Afghan rebels faced soviet tanks and jets but they continued their fight using guerrilla tactics till the soviets finally gave up and left.

    Switzerland was the only country bordering Nazi Germany that the Nazis did not invade, and that was because of the well armed Swiss citizen militia (a gun behind every blade of grass).

    Armed with only a handful of guns, the Jews of Poland's Warsaw ghetto were able to keep the Nazis at bay till their ammo ran out.

    Militias can make invasion way too expensive for an invading army by forcing invaders to keep large numbers of troops tied up in relatively quiet areas.

  11. Read David Wall's comments on this article.

  12. Prohibition did NOT work in America!

    People went right on drinking (illegally). The war on drugs has also failed; people go right on using (illegally). And outlawing firearms will have the same result. Organized Crime enjoys these kinds of restrictions very much indeed!

    Also, some still fail to realize that a Modern Homosapien will not abide a totalitarian society. The many uprisings in country after country are proof of this! I don't say these things because I wish any to side with my views, I say it because it is a sociological fact- it doesn't work….

    The problem with Homicidal Maniacs in society lies in humanities failure to embrace even the basics of Torah. By the same token, one does NOT place the cart before the horse, and solve their transportation problems either! :)

    I know this is not very reassuring, but it is no less truth.
    Paul J.

  13. Prohibition did NOT work in America!

    People went right on drinking (illegally). The war on drugs has also failed; people go right on using (illegally). And outlawing firearms will have the same result. Organized Crime enjoys these kinds of restrictions very much indeed!

    Also, some still fail to realize that a Modern Homosapien will not abide a totalitarian society. The many uprisings in country after country are proof of this! I don't say these things because I wish any to side with my views, I say it because it is a sociological fact- it doesn't work….

    The problem with Homicidal Maniacs in society lies in humanities failure to embrace even the basics of Torah. By the same token, one does NOT place the cart before the horse, and solve their transportation problems either!

    I know this is not very reassuring, but it is no less truth.

    Paul J.

  14. Zev Stern says:

    Brian, I live in New York and what's true in Texas is not true in New York. It's been shown scientifically that when males are crowded together they can start acting in anti-social ways. Introduce guns, and what might have ended with a fist fight now ends with one or more deaths. I am not trained to use a gun and probably lack sufficient eye-hand coordination. Nobody wants to take away anybody's hunting rifles, and the Supreme Court decided, wrongly I believe, that just about anybody can have a gun at home for self-defense. Bushmasters, despite their name, are not for hunting or for self-defense. Their only purpose is to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible. They should not be in civilian hands, period.

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