I never understood why Israel had such strict gun control laws.
I mean, this is a country where everyone serves in the military, thus gets some degree of firearm training, and they’re pretty much surrounded by countries who want to see them wiped from the face of the Earth and have a militant and hostile groups just on the other side of a fence, more or less. Why would you make it harder for good, decent people to have guns?
Yet Israel did.
Then October 7th happened and everything changed.
It wasn’t just military targets that saw violence, but peaceful kibbutzes and music festivals.
The country responded quickly, though, trying to grease the skids a bit so that people who wanted gun licenses could get them. Now, it seems like they’re making headway.
Israel Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir says his ministry is now approving “up to 3,000” gun license applications a day.
The Times of Israel quoted Ben Gvir saying, “When the war started, we knew that we were right when we said that every place that has a weapon can save a life.”
He went on to say, “My policy within the office was to permit as many people as possible to get a weapon…[and] in a short period of time, we were giving up to 3,000 approvals a day.”
Ben Gvir indicated over 260,000 gun license applications have been approved since October 7, 2023.
Israel has a population of just over 9.3 million people, so those 260,000 new gun licenses represent a significant chunk of the population.
Now, to put that population into some perspective, New York City’s population is just under 8.5 million.
Imagine if, over the span of just two months, New York City picked up more than a quarter of a million new lawful gun owners and that number were to be publicized somehow. Do you think that would make a dent in crime?
Regardless, Israel isn’t worried about armed robberies. They’re worried about killer terrorists invading their territory and slaughtering their people.
Approving gun licenses quickly is an excellent start.
Ideally, though, Israeli citizens would see their right to keep and bear arms respected enough that they wouldn’t have to ask permission first. That’s how it should be the world over, especially when you have so many people who want to murder a nation’s population.
But on the same token, this is still better than things were. Approving more licenses is far better than rejecting more no matter how you want to slice it. It’s a step forward.
Who knows what will be next. Maybe we’ll see Israel start respecting gun rights. Maybe they’ll stop requiring licenses at all or just make it so one is needed to carry a weapon concealed like in many US states.
We don’t, know, but I can’t help but think that this war with Hamas may well force a lot of Israelis to rethink where they stand on guns in private hands. It’ll be nice to see another nation come to respect armed citizens like we do here.