There is no doubt that since taking the office of president, Ruby Rivlin has made some strange remarks and put forward some unexpected positions. He’s rushed in to lopsidedly criticize Jews and at times even seems to take some leftwing positions.
Of course, it’s easy to write off Rivlin’s various statements and blame them on the water in the presidential palace, or perhaps the spirit of Shimon Peres (still alive, of course) haunting the presidential halls.
Rivlin’s insensitive and tactless question last week to the Gonen family, who were mourning the loss of Danny, murdered by an Arab terrorist during a hike near Dolev, deserves a response, because as tactless as it was, the underlying question raises a valid point.
Rivlin asked the family, why wasn’t Danny hiking with a gun?
The family was very upset with the question and Danny’s mother refused to take a followup call from Rivlin, feeling the president blamed her son for getting killed and hiking in an areas where perhaps he should have been armed, as opposed to the Arab terrorist who murdered him.
The truth is, no one should have to carry a gun with them while hiking in Israel. The Land of Israel should be secure for its citizens, and every Arab terrorist should be afraid to even think about raising his hand against a Jew.
But that’s not the reality we live in.
I don’t know if Danny owned a gun. But I do know that most citizens of Israel don’t and can’t. The government won’t allow them to have one.
Rivlin’s question was right, but he addressed it to the wrong person.
Why doesn’t the state grant more gun licenses? Certainly, at least to those who fulfilled their IDF service.
Citizens have a basic right to self-defense, and relying on the police and the army must not be the sole solution. Citizens need to be able to defend themselves, by themselves.
President Rivlin needs to readdress his question to the Minister of Internal Security, “Why is it nearly impossible for the average citizen to get a gun license?”
And then he should ask why are the police so quick to take a citizen’s gun away if they had to use it in self-defense, even if just shooting in the air?
Rivlin’s question was tactless and insensitive because he addressed it to the wrong party.
But his question was right, because President Rivlin at least understands that every Jew should be armed.