Photo Credit: JewishPress.com
MK Amir Ohana chairs the Knesset's new Gun Lobby Forum - Feb, 15, 2016

Amir Ohama, the Likud’s newest MK, on Monday launched the Knesset’s Gun Lobby Forum, probably the first parliamentary group in Israel’s history formed to advocate increased private gun ownership. Unlike the US, Israeli law views personal gun ownership not as a right but as a highly regulated privilege, reserved to very few non-military citizens. In fact, despite the image of Israel as a gun-toting society, personal gun ownership is very rare in the Jewish State.

But with ever-increasing Arab violence, and the undeniable fact that a very significant percentage of the Islamic terror attacks over the years have been foiled not by police and the IDF, but by armed civilians, the case for expanding gun ownership in Israel seems to make itself. As some of the people attending the Monday forum suggested, it’s actually a case of restoring private gun ownership, seeing as over the past few decades previous governments worked very hard to significantly reduce the number of personal weapons in Israel.

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Only now, responding to the latest wave of terror, Minister of Internal Security Gilad Erdan, who also spoke at the forum, has been slowly loosening the restrictions on owning a personal weapon. Erdan voiced his support saying, “There are hundreds of thousands of potential terrorists who can simply go outside with a knife, screwdriver, or gun and carry out terror attacks. The police therefore cannot prevent every attack and we would like to see more skilled gun carriers in the streets to support them.”

One important announcement at the forum was a possible upcoming change in gun ownership rules. The gun licensing bureau recognizes that many Israelis with gun licenses tend to only shoot their weapon once in 3 years, when they need to renew their license. “I want to make sure that citizens who receive permits undergo special, comprehensive training,” Minister Erdan said, suggesting that the current training is “insufficient.”

The licensing bureau is planning to require that gun owners go to the range once a year, simply to refresh their shooting skills, and separate from renewing their licenses. This plan was well-received by the audience, who were advocating for experienced and responsible gun ownership.

But MK Ohana and the other MKs who joined his Knesset forum want a more liberal gun ownership policy in Israel, possibly one that views gun ownership as a right, certainly for those who served in IDF combat units.

The forum audience consisted of gun professionals, current and former security personnel, academics and gun advocates. But the meeting wasn’t without its naysayers: a few anti-gun activists as well as one leftwing Meretz MK, Tamar Zandberg, made an appearance to tell the audience that guns are bad, the idea of citizens owning guns is bad, and the average citizen can’t be trusted to own weapons outside of the police and military framework. To make their case, several leftwing speakers repeatedly resorted to the same very limited number of examples of handgun violence in Israel, failing to note that the vast majority of misused guns have been by people who owned them illegally (as in the oft-repeated example of the Dizengoff terrorist, who on New Year’s day used a stolen weapon, and was able to spray so many people with bullets and then escape because, unlike Jerusalem, no one in liberal Tel Aviv had a personal weapon to shoot him with).

The audience also pointed out, shouting down the leftist speakers, that a significant percentage of terror attacks have been foiled by armed civilians and not by security personnel.

One woman in the audience pointed out that by restricting personal gun licenses, one isn’t protecting women from violence as the Left claim, but rather, it limits the ability for women to defend themselves.

Other attendees included MKs Nava Boker, Yoav Kish, Nurit Koren, David Bitan and Oren Hazan of the Likud party, along with experts and heads of gun-related organizations and academics.

One of the more amusing incidents, which had the entire room on the floor laughing, was the over-the-top entrance by the controversial and truly funny MK Oren Hazan, who announced his vociferous support for MK Ohana’s initiative.

For most participants in the Monday forum, it was clear they believed that the average citizen should have maximum gun ownership rights, as long as those rights were exercised responsibly.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Just remember this. By the time you can get to a phone it is already to late. If you have a phone already in your hand it is to late to dial a number. Don’t expect the police to show up in 5 seconds because that is also to long. To tell someone they have to wait to stop a killer is wrong.

  2. I thought Israel would be like old school Switzerland where every household had a military issued rifle and battle pack Seemed logical considering what surrounds the state. And would be imperative in defending the small state.. Considering the surprise attacks it has faced in past years. I envisioned children in primary school being taught the discipline of Small bore target rifle with Air Rifles in primary school, Small bore target rifle with 22Lr in High School and those in University/College having the opportunity to learn Full Bore target rifle. I envisioned Jews learning Olympic Style UIT target pistol disciplines like Air Pistol, Sports Pistol, Rapidfire. When they achieve a B+ grade, moving on to Action shooting like IPSC. I envisioned Israel with a Stand Your Ground Law that protected the defensive shooter.. And didnt treat them like a criminal.. Ive heard horror stories about Jews who have shot attackers and what happens too them.. Israel needs some serious change in it's gun laws.. Not everyone wants to have them, but give the opportunity to those who want then to be able to have one, train with it regularly..even create competitions and compete.. Better then having a nation of sitting ducks.

  3. Throughout our history we as Jews have been denied the very human right of survival to include the very tools needed to send our murderers to hell. Israel must be the last place any of us defenseless .

    My mother said it best:

    A Mothers Day Message

    By
    Ralph J. Rubinek

    On Mothers Day, we honor our Mothers for all the good, love and wisdom that they have given us in life. On this day, I honor my Mother by sharing with my fellow citizens some of her wisdom, gained through hard experience.

    My Mother, just like most other Mothers, taught me how to live right. But she did much more. She was a Holocaust survivor who learned from her hard experiences. she was victimized by the Nazis, a tyranny led by a madman. Adolf Hitler. Gun-toting Nazis dragged her family to their deaths. Unarmed she was unable to resist. Sent to Auschwitz, the largest concentration camp, she was chosen by "Doctor" Mengele for "experiments" which were simply medical torture. Of the women in this program, most who were lucky were systematically executed.

    Mother was a source of strength and inspiration to other prisoners. She told them of a land where individuals are judged on their own merits, not condemned as a group. She spoke of land, America, where the people control the government, as opposed to Europe, where governments for centuries enslaved people. Finally – when liberated by Allied forces – she emigrated to America, the land of her dreams. I am her only son. She raised me with the only family legacies she had – her memories. She taught me that there are few things more destructive than a government gone bad. She instilled in me an abiding love of the United States Constitution, which she studied closely in order to become a citizen. Swearing loyalty to the Unites States was one of her proudest moments.

    Mother died in August, 1974 after many beautiful years in America, but never free from her painful memories. She left this message, one well worth sharing with every son and daughter in the land: "You must fight for your freedom every day of your life… even if as a last resort, you must take up arms to defend your freedom do so! Freedom is your G-d* given right — along with all other rights under the constitution. Protect it."

    Chaya Hershberg Rubinek Born July 16, 1921, Olkuse, Poland Died August 23, 1974.

    Editor's Note: Ralph J. Rubinek wrote this piece several years ago as a mothers day tribute to his late mother. It has been published in various pro-firearms ownership magazines and a law enforcement journal. Ralph is a law enforcement veteran and a tireless fighter for firearms civil rights.

    *Jews do not write out G-d's name except in sacred texts.

  4. The erev rav don't want Jews to defend themselves. They want to keep their powr and take away our rights in the name of security which we don't have. They also know that an armed population is a deterrent to tyrants. That's why the progressives are trying to disarm the American people.

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