Aug
12

HAVE GUN, WILL SHOOT

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Danny Simpson, age eighteen, 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 Dan had known what he had in his hands, he never would have gone to prison.  But according to experts, if he had lived in Israel, he would not have had a firearm in the first place.  How can that be?  In Israel…

● Gun ownership is a hard-earned privilege with no constitutional right to possess a firearm.

● Gun ownership is only for those who can prove a threat-need, due to profession or residence.

● Gun ownership requires a year-long process of application, examination, interview, and training.

● Gun ownership means no one under age 21 can own a firearm, and if no military training, under age 27.

● Gun ownership means discharged soldiers must hand in their weapons and then apply for a license.

● Gun ownership is limited to a three-year permit and then the whole process must be repeated again.

● Gun ownership means confidentiality (e.g. divorce, unemployed, etc.) can cost you your license.

● Gun ownership at home is limited in number (one per person) and in type (hand gun only).

● Gun ownership in public is limited in number (one per person) and in type (rifle-like weapon).

● Gun ownership means that both the firearm and all bullets are numerically registered.

● Gun ownership for hunting or targeting is limited to licensed clubs with the firearms being kept there.

● Gun ownership is not transferable to inherited weapons, unless the firearm is permanently disabled.

● Gun ownership is the rare exception and not the rule, with half of all applicants being turned down.

● 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 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 for recess 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 live near a Palestinian neighbourhood is to go to the grocery store with their rapid-fire uzi in the shopping cart.  I have seen all three of these in my visits to the State of Israel.
The bottom line?  You’ll see more guns in Israel in one day than in a lifetime in North America.  But at the same time, Israel has never had a mass gun shooting.