Have Gun, Will Shoot

Twenty-four year old Danny Simpson was sentenced to six years in jail for robbing a bank of $6,000.  But the gun he used in the crime ended up in a museum.  It turned out to be a 1918  antique worth over $100,000. If Danny had known what he had in his hands, he never would have gone to the clink.  But according to experts, if Dan had lived in Israel (where you see guns in public everywhere), he would not have had a firearm in the first place.  How can that be?  Let me explain.

In Israel, gun ownership is a hard-earned privilege  with no constitutional right to possess a firearm.

In Israel, gun ownership is only for those who can prove  a threat-need, due to profession or residence.

In Israel, gun ownership requires a year-long process of application, examination, interview, and training.

In Israel, gun ownership means no one under age 21 can own a firearm, and if no military training, under age 27.

In Israel, gun ownership means discharged soldiers must hand in their weapons and then apply for a license.

In Israel, gun ownership is limited to a three-year permit and then the whole process must be repeated again.

In Israel, gun ownership means confidentiality (e.g. divorce, unemployed, etc.) can cost you your license.
In Israel, gun ownership in private is limited in number (one per person) and in type (hand gun only).

In Israel, gun ownership in public is limited in number (one per person) and in type (rifle only where required).

In Israel, gun ownership means that both the firearm and all bullets are numerically registered.

In Israel, gun ownership for hunting or targeting is limited to licensed clubs with their firearms being used.

In Israel, gun ownership is not transferable to inherited weapons, unless the firearm is permanently disabled.

In Israel, gun ownership is the rare exception and not the rule, with half of all applications being turned down.

In Israel, gun ownership without a permit is a very serious crime with a penalty of up to ten years in prison.

Nevertheless, when you visit Israel you see guns everywhere.  This is because the government encourages and/or mandates that those few who are licensed to carry a weapon display it publicly as a means of deterrent.  For example, a school teacher who takes students out to the park for lunch is to do so publicly armed with an assault rifle.  Or a mall owner whose doors are open to the public is to have armed guards with automatic rifles at the entrance points.  Or a Jewish family who lives near a Palestinian neighbourhood is to go to the grocery store with their rapid-fire uzi in the shopping cart.  All the above I have personally seen in my trips to this country.

The bottom line?  You’ll see more guns in Israel in one day than in a lifetime in Canada.  But at the same time, Israel has never had a mass shooting.  Maybe these are the kind of firearm laws we should be gunning for….