More than 260,000 Israelis have applied for firearm permits since the horrific Hamas terrorist attacks, according to The Times of Israel. While the Israeli government has loosened some permitting restrictions, the results are still far from the civil rights Americans enjoy under the Second Amendment.
Itamar Ben Gvir, Israel’s National Security Minister, told the Times his office was approving 3,000 firearm permit applications per day, as opposed to around 100 per day before the terrorist attacks.
“When the war started, we knew that we were right when we said that every person that has a weapon can save a life,” Ben Gvir said, according to the Times. “We need to enable as many people as possible to carry a weapon.”
Previously, Israelis had to serve two years in the Israeli Defense Forces before they could apply for a firearm permit. Now, they can apply after serving one year in the IDF or other national service. In addition, those who work or live in a “qualified dangerous area” can also apply for a firearm permit. Israeli civilians who have no firearms training can also apply, although they will have to demonstrate proficiency before they receive a permit.
Despite the loosened permitting process, armed Israelis must still comply with ammunition rules, use-of-force laws they call “open-fire procedures,” and carry restrictions that most of us would find intolerable.
This is not the first time we have seen armed civilians treated as an afterthought rather than as an additional component of a comprehensive national security strategy.
We watched the Ukrainian army uncrating cases of AKs as quickly as possible and passing them out to mostly untrained civilians as Russian motorized rifle brigades were streaming across the border. Ukraine tried to change this by opening government-owned ranges to the public, but for many it was too little, too late.
Israel, Ukraine, England in the 1940s and countless other countries that have been attacked by their neighbors demonstrate the incredible forethought our Framers had when they wrote the Second Amendment and codified the right to keep and bear arms into law. We are truly fortunate. We became a nation of rifleman and riflewomen. Too many countries learned too late that there is no substitute for a gun culture, and that you simply cannot create a gun culture overnight, no matter how dire the threat.
Any rational person would assume that given these recent events, even the most ardent anti-gunners would shift their positions and hold the Second Amendment sacrosanct. But they won’t, of course. The gun-ban industry’s antipathy toward the Second Amendment has nothing to do with the Amendment’s utility or the fact that it saves American lives and has won World Wars. Gun control has always been about control. To them, the lives lost in gun-free zones simply do not matter.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.” He has never been more correct. The Biden-Harris has done more to infringe upon our Second Amendment rights than all other administrations combined, regardless of the real-world examples we see that prove the need for an armed, trained citizenry.
Minister Ben Gvir was absolutely correct when he said, “every person that has a weapon can save a life.” It is unfortunate that this was said in hindsight. That should never happen again, anywhere, because the ability to defend oneself is an inherent human right, which should transcend rules, regulations and borders.
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