As part of their recent push for gun control, mainstream media has gone out of their way to tout the “example” of Israel as a nation where “strict” gun control is effective.
The New York Times recently posted a lengthy editorial taking former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee to task for promoting the Israel example:
In fact, contrary to the advocates’ arguments for more guns, Israel has strict gun control. Those citizens who are licensed to own a personal weapon have generally undergone some military training. Guns are not seen as a hobby, but as a tool for self-defense, and if necessary, to help protect others from terrorism. And while Israel has sophisticated policing and intelligence aimed at stopping terrorism, it has little experience with the kinds of civilian mass shootings that have become the source of anguished debate in the United States.
The issue came to the fore again last week. Mr. Huckabee was visiting Israel when a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Fla. On Twitter, he said that Israel had “pretty much eliminated” school shootings by “placing highly trained people strategically to spot the one common thread — not the weapon, but a person with intent.”
Many US states grant gun permits liberally, but Israel limits gun permits to people who meet strict requirements of residency, occupation, or army rank.
For instance, security workers, jewelers, hunters and West Bank residents are eligible for permits.
Forty percent of all gun permit applicants are flat-out rejected by the Israeli government.
This isn’t the first time mainstream media has touted Israel as a gun control model – HuffPo, Newsweek, and many others touted Israel’s model in response to the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016. In recent years, Israel has served as a linchpin for the promotion of gun control via the mainstream media.
As Israel National News (via Bearing Arms) points out, Israel has recently adopted many solutions proposed by the NRA to combat violent attacks in response to a “knife intifada” by Palestinian militants:
Enter Israel: When the knife intifada erupted in September 2015, the Israeli government’s response was to ease the process for the civilian populace to obtain weapons. After a particularly bloody Jerusalem shooting attack that killed four, then-Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan drastically changed the gun laws in order to significantly raise the number of armed civilians on the streets. Instantly, graduates of Special Forces units and IDF officers with the rank of Lieutenant and above were permitted to purchase guns at their will, security guards were allowed to bring their guns home after work, and the minimum age for a license was reduced from 21 to 18.
Erdan explained that “civilians well trained in the use of weapons provide reinforcement in the struggle against terrorism”, while Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called for every resident to carry a gun, and was even photographed traveling the city carrying a Glock 23.
In addition, the overwhelming majority of terror attacks in Israel are stopped by armed civilians, not law enforcement. For example, the terrorists in the 2016 Sarona market attack were stopped by armed passersby. A pistol-carrying tour guide put an end to the 2017 ramming attack in Arnona that left four soldiers dead.
In Israeli eyes, guns are a valuable deterrent against terrorism. In fact, terrorists have told the Shin Bet internal security service that they often target haredi Jews due to the high likelihood that they are unarmed.
Gun control supporters would answer that the mandatory military service that every Israeli undergoes justifies the trust Israel has of its citizens. However, this argument doesn’t hold water. The vast majority of IDF soldiers aren’t combat soldiers and are certified as 02 riflemen. To be 02 requires one to shoot between 40 and 70 bullets. The pistol course needed to obtain a license takes less than four hours. It is a far cry from the highly trained population that the Left imagines.
It needs to be mentioned that Israel has much tighter gun control restrictions than the US, and there is no “one size fits all” solution for either nation. Certainly, the US could do well to adapt some of Israel’s methods and apply them to the American system to help ensure that only qualified individuals can legally purchase firearms. Reducing and/or eliminating gun free zones is one of the best Israeli policies that can be readily and quickly adapted in the US. Allowing teachers with CCW permits to carry in classrooms can also help prevent any violent incidents in schools from spiraling out of control.
Mainstream media will undoubtedly continue to use Israel as an example when it comes to promoting gun control in the US. Absent from this comparison will be any suggestion of implementing NRA policies to combat gun violence, as mainstream media will continue to call for banning and/or confiscating firearms from law-abiding Americans.
With the liberal and mainstream media mantra for gun control lately operating as “if we can’t beat the NRA, we’ll blame the NRA” – don’t expect any NRA-proposed solutions to American gun violence to be implemented anytime soon.