Israel has just approved over half a million new gun permits to Israelis because it wants them to respond to what they deem as “terror attacks.”
On Mondays, the new law went into effect, making hundreds of thousands of veterans of the Israeli Defense Forces infantry units eligible for gun permits, along with police officers who will receive a similar training.
Army officers ranked lieutenants or higher as well as non-commissioned officers ranked first sergeant or higher, who used firearms during their service to the military, will no longer be required to return their weapons and permits upon discharge from the reserve service. Volunteers in police units and medical organizations, Magen David Adom, ZAKA and Hatzalah, will also be allowed to get gun permits should they want it.
The looser gun reform was unveiled by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan who has repeatedly advocated for more Israelis to carry firearms in case of a terror attack.
In recent years, some young Palestinians, usually operating alone, have carried out stabbing attacks against the occupying power without the support of any extremist militant group. In response, the Israeli defense services have taken to calling them “terrorists” and often shooting them down or arresting them with impunity.
Under the old Israel law, Israelis had to prove they had a valid reason to carry a firearm, like living or working in a dangerous territory, and had to get regular training and tests. However, under the less strict reform, individuals who have been carrying a gun for 10 years will now be allowed to keep their permits indefinitely without the requirement of tests.
Predictably, the highly dangerous and irresponsible new policy was criticized by left wing opposition party, Meretz.
Chairperson Tamar Zandberg said in a statement that firearm “are a death machine whose civilian use needs to be reduced as much as possible. Instead of dealing with the tremendous amount of illegal weapons on the streets endangering human lives, they are simply increasing the number of gun permits.”
However, the public security office disagrees, claiming the new regulations “significantly upgrade” the training process undergone by gun permit owners.
“Qualified citizens carrying firearms in public contribute to the sense of security are an important line of defense from ‘lone-wolf’ attacks and thus strengthen public security,” Erdan said.
“Many citizens have saved lives during terror attacks, and in the era of ‘lone-wolf’ attacks, the more qualified gun-carrying citizens there are — the better the chance to thwart terror attacks without casualties and reduce the number of casualties,” he added.
If what we know from experience, more guns only lead to more deaths. It is pretty clear that this is just another excuse of the Israeli government – which recently passed a highly discriminatory bill that declares Israel a Jewish state – to give more power to its Jewish citizens and to increase the oppression of the Arab and Palestinian people.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: REUTERS/Rebecca Cook