Skip to comments.Israel is Arming Its Civilians - Why Aren't We?
Posted on 03/14/2002 2:47:39 PM PST by Richard Poe
"HOW CAN PRIVATE CITIZENS with guns stop terrorism?"
It is a question I often hear from skeptical radio talk-show hosts even from many who claim they support gun rights. Inundated as we are with anti-gun propaganda, many well-meaning Americans cannot imagine how guns in private hands might be useful in fighting terror.
The Israelis do not suffer from such confusion. Living with terrorism every day, they know exactly what purpose guns serve. And they are not afraid to use them. We could learn a lot from the Israeli example.
According to a March 7 report in the Washington Times, Israel has issued 60,000 new gun permits to civilians. This will raise the number of guns in the hands of Israeli civilians by at least 25 percent. In a population of roughly 6 million, there are currently 265,000 civilian-owned guns.
"There's no question that weapons in the hands of the public have prevented acts of terror or stopped them while they were in progress," stated Police Inspector-General Shlomo Aharonisky. "Chance passers-by have killed terrorists in the midst of gun attacks."
In 1984, three terrorists opened fire on a Jerusalem crowd with machine guns. Half a dozen shopkeepers and pedestrians drew weapons and returned fire.
One terrorist was shot dead by a jewelry store proprietor. The other two fled and were later captured.
"We didnt expect to find armed civilians," one of the gunmen later admitted.
Last week, on March 5, a terrorist opened fire on a wedding party in a Tel Aviv restaurant. When his M-16 jammed, he charged the crowd with a knife. Three people were killed and 31 wounded.
Forty-six-year-old shoe salesman William Hazan was stabbed in the back. He drew a gun and shot the terrorist, wounding him. Police then arrived and finished the job.
In my last column, I noted that U.S. Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge opposes arming airline pilots. "Where do you stop?" he asked in a March 4 interview in USA Today. If we arm pilots, then railroad engineers and bus drivers will want to arm themselves too, said Ridge.
Evidently, the idea of pistol-packing bus drivers scares some of our leaders. It doesnt scare the Israelis. "One-third of [Israels] 6,000 bus drivers carry personal weapons to work," reports the Washington Times.
But what if some trigger-happy civilian accidentally kills the wrong person?
That risk has to be accepted, said a retired police officer, in the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot.
Wont looser licensing restrictions make it easier for criminals to get weapons?
"Every criminal who wants a weapon already has one," said another retired Israeli police officer in a radio interview.
End of argument. In two sentences, the most cherished dogmas of anti-gun groups such as the Brady Campaign and Gun Industry Watch have been dismissed.
The Israelis are not smarter or braver than we are. They are simply more realistic.
Those Americans who still believe they can sit out the war in front of their television sets, waiting for the government to save them, need to pay closer attention to what our government is actually doing.
In the hysteria following the 9-11 attacks, the number of federal air marshals was raised from less than 50 to about 1,000. Thats a hefty increase, but far short of the number needed to guard 35,000 flights per day.
Some pilots have already noticed a cutback in the number of on-flight air marshals, according to the March 5 Washington Post.
Phillip Beal, chairman of the Allied Pilots Associations cockpit defense committee, cites sources in the FBI and Federal Aviation Administration who told him that they are having trouble retaining new air marshals. "Its an incredibly boring job, waiting for something to happen," Beal explains.
The Transportation Security Administration vows it will put more marshals in the air. But Beal points out that putting one marshal on every flight would require a force the size of the U.S. Marine Corps and would cost almost $10 billion.
In short, its not going to happen. And even if it did, it would still leave our buses and trains unguarded.
In 1999, 774 million people made long-distance bus trips, and 337 million rode Amtrak and commuter rail lines. Who will guard these passengers? An army of federal bus and train marshals perhaps?
To the Israelis credit, anti-gun crusaders such as Rosie ODonnell and Sarah Brady have made no impact in their country. No one cares what they say. No one listens.
It is time we Americans stopped listening too.
Richard Poe is a New-York-Times bestselling author and cyberjournalist. His latest book is The Seven Myths of Gun Control.
Doing just the opposite has worked very well in the U.S. /sarcasm
Israels high incidence of concealed carry (Read the link, you get A gun, as in ONE gun, essentially if youre a vet or a LEO). Shooting sports, for obvious reasons, are nonexistent. Im a strong supporter of Israel, but when it comes to gun ownership, they need to learn from us. We need to be thankful for the wisdom of our founding fathers on this issue.
Even one a week is just not enough.
This is the same sentiment echoed by every low-life thug in America - only here, they are apt to be right most of the time. Americans are sheep to the slaughter, at least most of them. The value of armed deterrence is not lost in Israel. Armed and Free or Disarmed and enslaved - you make the call.
I'll bet Mr' Ridge's pilots and guards are armed.
Armed Jews are good Jews. Praise HaShem and pass the ammunition!
Sure, there are many "reasons", but none of them really hold up in the light of common sense - unless you're a socialist - then you don't want guns seen in a positive light in any way, shape, or form - because once that happens, all hope of completely banning and confiscating arms from the citizenry is dashed for the next hundred years. Negative PR is the only way the gun-grabbers are going to be successful. They cannot afford to ever admit that maybe an armed citizenry is a very good idea - and that the 2nd Amendment is in the Constitution because it is the BASIS for liberty.
These fools like Gov Ridge are more afraid of a gun in the hands of a good guy than they are of riding a jetliner into a building. Woe be it if the main stream press EVER publishs a pro-gun article or op-ed piece. Can you picture a front-page article in the New York Times with the headline, "Guns in the Hands of the Citizens Save Lives", or, "Founding Fathers got it Right with RKBA." No, the damn commies who run the press are only going to "get it" when they have successfully destroyed the Republic and replaced it with a mutant socialism. Man, are they in for a suprise.
LOL. Two bumper stickers.
I thought that everyone was a vet in Israel.
Out of all the people I know who have a license to carry, most of them only have the gun in the car when they're traveling around town. Out of all the 20 or so IDPA competitors that shoot with me, only about 3 carry on a regular basis, that is, the gun is on the person and not in the car. This is what I found out when I started asking who carries.
Many women on our American frontier knew how to shoot. Not as well as the men but they still knew how.
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