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Ah the glories of the internet! It seems that TTAG has spread around the world (the truth often does that) and one of the AI in Israel is working on something. He’s asked for help for his effort to change Israel’s firearms laws from “may issue” to “shall issue.” Here’s his request and my reply.

I live in Israel, and I’m part of a group in the ruling party in Israel, the Likud Party, called Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership). Right now, I’m researching the possibility of changing the present law in Israel, in which everyone has to show the police that they have a need for a firearm in order to own it, to where they don’t need to show a need in order to get that permission . . .

The situation now in Israel is that if you live across the “green line” (the West Bank), the police will allow you to have a firearm, but if you don’t, they won’t. If you move from outside the green line to within it, you have to give in your gun. According to my proposed change, the police would still be authorized to deny issuing a gun – they simply could not use the reason that the person has no need for it.

Can you or some of your readers help me with some of the background issues and arguments that will help me make my case?

Israel faces very different security/self-defense issues than we do here in the United States, but some things are so basic they remain true across the world: Law-abiding people who seek firearms for defense of themselves, their loved ones and their community are not the people you need to worry about granting licenses.

Definitions of terms:

  • Prohibited person: Someone who is barred from owning or possessing firearms, usually for life. Such people include felons, the mentally ill who have been adjudicated a threat to themselves or others and certain domestic violence offenders.
  • Anti: The general term we gun nuts use for people who are opposed to the belief that the freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right — subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility.[1]
  • OFWG (Old Fat White Guy): A term of art referring to the typical permit holder
  • Unrestricted: States where, if you are not a prohibited person, you can carry a gun.
  • May-issue: States where, if you meet certain criteria you may be issued a permit. In many may-issue locales the criteria are things like: “Are you the mayor’s brother-in-law” or “Is the sheriff your poker buddy.”
  • Shall-issue: States where, if you meet certain objective criteria law enforcement is required to issue you a permit. Some of these states do have a bit of wiggle room: In Minnesota a sheriff may deny a permit if “there exists a substantial likelihood that the applicant is a danger to self or the public”.
  • No-issue: Just what it sounds like, non-LEOs (Law Enforcement Officers) may not carry weapons. Like may-issue states though, big campaign donors can be “deputized” as “special officers” or some such folderol allowing the rich and politically connected to evade the law.

Over the last 25 years in the US we have gone from this 8 shall-issue and 1 unrestricted to 37 shall-issue and 4 unrestricted. Graphically we went from this:

to this:

(graphics courtesy of Radical Gun Nuttery – thanks guys!)

As a result we are familiar with the arguments for and against moving from may-issue to shall-issue. Those working against shall-issue typically base their opposition on emotional arguments, anecdotal evidence and irrelevant facts. Some of the arguments you may hear include:

  1. Law enforcement needs discretion because they are aware of criminals who just haven’t gotten caught yet.
  2. Minor disputes will turn into shootouts.
  3. More guns “on the streets” will lead to more shootings (variation of #2)
  4. More guns mean more accidents.
  5. Children and guns don’t mix, so guns don’t belong in schools (although I think Israel has learned her lesson there)
  6. Children and guns don’t mix, so guns don’t belong in parks, or playgrounds or day care centers or malls or . . .
  7. Alcohol and guns don’t mix, so guns don’t belong in bars
  8. Houses of worship are peaceful so you don’t need guns there

Answering these points logically is fairly simple, but be prepared to repeat your answers over and over because many of these people don’t care about logic. They know what they feel and will filter out any contrary facts. Fortunately, most LEOs and many legislators are logical and so can be swayed by facts. In order:

1) A “criminal who just hasn’t been caught yet” is known in most jurisdictions as an innocent person.

2, 3, 4) These are all variations of the same argument, to wit: regular people are too angry/careless/volatile to be trusted with guns. Fortunately we now have the numbers to show that permit-holders actually are some of the safest, most law-abiding individuals you can find. In 1987, Florida went from may-issue to shall-issue and started collecting data on permits issued and permits revoked. According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (which for some odd reason is the issuing authority in Florida) between October 1, 1987 and June 30, 2012 there were 2,206,324 permits issued and 6,932 revoked. Only 168 of those revocations resulted from criminal use of a firearm. In other words, in almost 25 years, 0.008% of permit-holders committed a crime with a firearm.

Despite these facts, the Violence Policy Center has started collecting stories about “concealed carry killers” and they make much of the characterization of permit-holders as “law-abiding citizens”. They say that their “statistics” prove that permit-holders are a menace and shall-issue laws should be repealed. In fact they don’t have statistics, what they have is a bunch of numbers devoid of context.

Now I could go ahead and deconstruct their numbers, pointing out that self-defense shooters like Cleveland Anthony Murdock (who shot a road rager trying to get in his vehicle), or Vincent Williams (who shot a would be carjacker after being shot first) are probably not the kind of people most folks would consider “killers.” I could look at the VPC’s highly questionable inclusion of the Tucson shooter as a “concealed carry killer” based on AZ’s Constitutional carry law (which prohibits concealed carry for criminal purposes). I could look at the number of suicides that they count as killings, despite the fact that multiple studies have shown that suicide rates are independent of method.

But I’m not going to do any of that. I am going to accept their ludicrously inflated numbers at face value because I can destroy their “argument” without A) pitching any of their dubious “killers” or B) breaking a sweat. Ready?

According to the VPC there have been 448 people killed by permit holders since May, 2007. According to there are about 6.9 million permit holder in the U.S., so in the last 5 years we have averaged 1.3 murders per 100,000 permit holders annually.

According to, between 2007 and 2010 we averaged 15,879.5 murders annually with an average population of 305,437,022. According to Wikipedia, in 2009 27.3% of the population was under 20 (we don’t count them because permit holders are all 21 or older) so the general population averaged 7.2 murders per 100,000.

Which means, even allowing VPC’s inflated numbers, a permit holder is still one-fifth as likely to be a murderer as the average Joe.

5, 6) “Children and guns don’t mix” sounds reasonable, but if you think about it the statement is nonsensical. If it means that children shouldn’t be allowed to play with loaded weapons I agree completely. If it means that children should not be exposed to guns and trained in gun safety at an early age I disagree completely.

My personal belief is that antis hope that this statement will make people think about how many children lose their lives in shootings every year. Many people, when asked about children killed by guns, will remember President Clinton and his statement that “13 children a day” are killed by gunfire. I am sure that there are more polite ways to say this, but I am a blunt kind of guy: That was a lie. The only way to get numbers that high is to include “children” up to 19 or 20 years old.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (commonly called the CDC) has a wonderful online application called WISQARS (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System) which allows you to search their fatal and non-fatal injury databases. Using this tool you can discover that the actual number of children (ages 0 – 13) killed with guns is less than 1 a day. Between 1999 and 2009 we averaged a hair over 280.5 kids a year dying of gunshot (homicide, suicide and accidental). To provide some context, during that same period we averaged 768.9 accidental drownings annually and almost 800 non-firearm murders annually in that age group.

7) “Alcohol and guns don’t mix” is one of my favorite idiotic statements made by antis. Again it seems reasonable as long as you don’t think about it. I have several guns in my home and, except when showering or in bed, I am almost certain to be armed. I also have a half-dozen different Scotches, several kinds of rum, vodka, gin, wine and beer, yet somehow, every day, I manage not to get falling-down drunk and shoot little Timmy next door. The alcohol argument is another way for the antis to intimate (without ever actually saying) that permit-holders lack self-control and so must be controlled by restrictive laws.

In most states across the country it is legal for permit-holders to carry in a bar. Some states prohibit carriers from drinking but in Minnesota permit-holders are allowed to carry and allowed to drink, but we are limited to 0.04 BAC (or half of the drunken driving limit).

8) People making this argument have obviously never heard of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO where a gunman was stopped by an armed parishioner, or the St. James Church in Kenilworth, Cape Town South Africa where a terrorist attack was stopped by an armed parishioner, or the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church where the attacker was stopped by unarmed parishioners. As Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus said: Si vis pacem, para bellum.

The question still remains, however, does expanding the right to carry cause an increase in crime, a reduction, or does it have no effect? Dr. John Lott, one of the authors of the seminal More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun-Control Laws published a list of peer-reviewed studies by economists and criminologists on that very question in the University of Maryland’s Law Review, Volume 71, Issue 4: What a Balancing Test Will Show for Right-to-Carry Laws.

Of those studies, 18 found that right-to-carry laws (or shall-issue) reduced violent crime, 10 found no change in violent crime and only one found an increase in violent crime (a temporary increase in aggravated assaults).

Studies finding reduced violent crime:
1) Lott & Mustard, Journal of Legal Studies, 1997.
2) Bartley & Cohen, Economic Inquiry, 1998.
3) Lott, Journal of Legal Studies, 1998.
4) Bartley, Economics Letters, 1999.
5) Benson & Mast, Journal of Law and Economics, 2001.
6) Moody, Journal of Law and Economics, 2001.
7) Mustard, Journal of Law and Economics, 2001.
8) Olsen & Maltz, Journal of Law and Economics, 2001.
9) Plassmann & Tideman, Journal of Law And Economics, 2001.
10) Marvel, Journal Of Law And Economics, 2001.
11) Lott & Whitley, Journal Of Law And Economics, 2001.
12) Lott & Whitley, Journal Of Quantitative Criminology, 2003.
13) Helland & Tabarrok, Advances In Economic Analysis And Policy, 2004.
14) Wilson, National Academies Press, 2005.
15) Lott & Whitley, Economic Inquiry, 2007.
16) Moody & Marvel, Econ Watch, 2008.
17) Kendall & Tamura, Journal of Law and Economics, 2010.
18) Lott, University of Chicago, 2010.
Studies finding no change in violent crime:
1) Black & Nagin, Journal of Legal Studies, 1998.
2) Ludwig, Int’l Rev. of Law and Economics, 1998.
3) Donohue & Levitt, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1999.
4) Hood & Neeley, Social Science Quarterly, 2000.
5) Duggan, Journal of Political Economy, 2001.
6) Duwe, Kovandzic & Moody, Homicide Studies, 2002.
7) Kovandzic & Marvell, Criminology and Public Policy, 2003.
8) Dezhbakhsh & Rubin, Int’l Rev. of Law and Economics, 2003.
9) National Research Council, National Academies Press, 2005.
10) Kovandzic, Marvell & Vieraiis, Homicide Studies, 2005.
Study finding increase in violent crime:
1) Aneja, Donohue & Zhang, American Law and Economics Review, 2011

Crimes go down, crimes stay the same, all of this is very general; isn’t there some sort of specific, concrete number we can hang our hats on? Surprisingly, the answer is, “Yes.”

Back in the early 1990’s, Doctors Kleck and Gertz performed a study on defensive gun uses (DGUs) and determined that there are between 2.1 and 2.5 million DGUs annually. Now there are a lot of people out there who deride this number as ludicrous, unable or (more likely in my view) unwilling to accept that Dr. Kleck is not some sort of shill for the Eeevil Gun Lobby™. This, despite the good doctor disclosing in his 1997 book Targeting Guns (quote from

The author is a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International USA, Independent Action, Democrats 2000, and Common Cause, among other politically liberal organizations He is a lifelong registered Democrat, as well as a contributor to liberal Democratic candidates. He is not now, nor has he ever been, a member of, or contributor to, the National Rifle Association, Handgun Control, Inc. nor any other advocacy organization, nor has he received funding for research from any such organization.

But skeptics will always be skeptical so let’s throw that 2+ million number out in favor of a more conservative one. Without questioning its validity, we will just agree not to use the Kleck-Gertz number in our DGU calculation. Instead, let’s use the numbers from the study which was commissioned by the Clinton Department of Justice shortly after the K-G study came out (the cynical among us think that its goal was to refute the K-G numbers: Oops.). That study, conducted by Dr.s Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig (very strong proponents of very strict gun control) concluded that there were 1.46 million DGUs per year.

I imagine that some may find even this lower number dubious, probably preferring to rely on the numbers from the National Crime Victimization Surveys which show between 50,000 and 100,000 DGUs per year. Unfortunately for those hopeful doubters, the way the NCVS is structured means that it seriously undercounts the number of DGUs. I’ll let Tom Smith explain:

First, it appears that the estimates of the NCVSs are too low. There are two chief reasons for this. First, only DGUs that are reported as part of a victim’s response to a specified crime are potentially covered. While most major felonies are covered by the NCVSs, a number of crimes such as trespassing, vandalism, and malicious mischief are not. DGUs in response to these and other events beyond the scope of the NCVSs are missed.

Second, the NCVSs do not directly inquire about DGUs. After a covered crime has been reported, the victim is asked if he or she “did or tried to do [anything] about the incident while it was going on.” Indirect questions that rely on a respondent volunteering a specific element as part of a broad and unfocused inquiry uniformly lead to undercounts of the particular of interest.

There is another problem with the failure to directly inquire about DGUs. To wit, the DGU question is only triggered by someone saying they were the victim of a crime. Now if someone came towards me with a knife saying “Gimme your wallet” and I put my hand on my weapon and replied “I don’t think so, Scooter” causing the assailant to retreat, was I actually the victim of a crime? Before I started researching these issues I would have told the NCVS interviewer that no, I hadn’t been the victim of a crime and so my DGU would never have come to light.

So back to the calculations; how do I come up with a number for lives saved from the simple number of DGUs? Simple, I bring in more numbers. In Kleck and Gertz’s article Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun in Northwestern University School of Law, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, vol. 86, issue 1, 1995 they found that 15.7% of people involved in a DGU believed that they “almost certainly” saved their life of someone else’s.

That might strike some people as being an awfully large percentage, but if you take into account the fact that most states regard merely pulling a gun as a use of deadly force and combine it with the fact that most states also require someone to be in “reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily harm” before they can lawfully use deadly force the number seems more feasible. Now, in addition to the “almost certainly” pool The K-G study also found that 14.6% of respondents believed that someone “probably would have” been killed if not for their DGU.

So 15.7% of respondents believed their DGU “almost certainly” saved a life, but because I want my numbers to be distinctly conservative let’s say that 9 out of 10 of these people were wrong, and let’s say that 99 out of 100 of the “probably” people were also incorrect. This means we can state with a fair degree of certainty that at least 1.716% of the 1.46 million DGUs saved a life. Doing the math that means slightly over 25,000 lives are saved annually by guns.

So we have determined that at least 25,000 lives per year are saved by DGUs, and according to the CDC, between 1999 and 2009 there were an average of 11,800 gun related homicides annually, which means that for every criminal homicide with a firearm there were more than two lives saved by DGUs.

Finally, as an additional resource I highly recommend Gun Facts version 6.1; an excellent resource chock full of information and sources.

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  1. One of the clearest and least inflamatory posts I’ve ever read breaking down and busting the myths surrounding gun control. Bravo Bruce.

        • You just have to get over this Jew thing. The region has moved on and so should you. It’s about Ottomans, Persians and Egyptians; Sunni and Shia; Muslin Brotherhood and Wahabis. The only thing you need to know is that all sides in this conflict want to kill Jews, Christians and all others.


        • Come on RF, will you stop censoring posts please? I’d love to see what tdiinva had to say.

          How has the region moved on? Did you read your own post? “You just have to get over this Jew thing. The region has moved on and so should you… The only thing you need to know is that all sides in this conflict want to kill Jews…”

          I wont get over the Jew thing, because they love to cry racism/anti-semite whenever someone says says something negative about them or Israel. Yet they ignore they are just as racist. Look at what happens to the Arabs or the Africans in Israel.

          And it is completely acceptable to lump all the Jews in together, whenever I drive thru Skokie, do you know how many ‘give 5% to Israel’ signs I see in front of temples and schools?

          I’ll get over the Jew thing when the Jews get over the holocaust.

        • “I’ll get over the Jew thing when the Jews get over the holocaust.”
          Wow. Yeah, that’s gonna fly here.

        • @Matt and Moonshine.
          I would have to say that in general the population has moved on. They will never forget but have moved on. They may cry anti Semitic a little often but I feel that it might be from being overly sensitive. It is the old adage of give them an inch they will take a mile. Also being surrounded by people who pretty much want you dead makes living day to day a much different experience. I have been there and done that. In the beginning of the second intafada you went through life being in a high status of situational awareness. It takes it’s toll after while trust me.

          The African Migrants were there illegally. They didn’t apply for citizenship and are not Jewish. In the case of operation magic carpet there was a mass importation of Ethiopians. They were deemed Jewish by rabbinical law and thus given citizenship status. For the other Africans they in no way even tried to obtain and citizenship, so it isn’t any different then ICE sending back bus loads of Mexicans. Although that too now has stopped thanks to Obama. So basically the Israeli government is doing what America should be doing given current laws. I can’t find fault with that.

        • “I would have to say that in general the population has moved on…”

          Then why does the ADL live on? If the NSPA were to have another march in Skokie, do you think the Jews there wouldn’t try to stop it? Just like the American blacks havent moved and still have the NAACP and SPLC.

          “The African Migrants were there illegally. They didn’t apply for citizenship and are not Jewish… For the other Africans they in no way even tried to obtain and citizenship, so it isn’t any different then ICE sending back bus loads of Mexicans.”

          The Africans “migrants” were refuges from Sudan (remember Darfur?) seeking asylum, a bit different than what we think of as ‘illegals’ here in the US. And as the article states and countless youtube videos show, there were violent protests against them by Israelis. A bit ironic considering the purpose of Israel was to be a refuge against war crimes.

        • @Matt
          They came in on migrant visas and then stayed after the visas expired, but the point is that it was time for them to move on. The government didn’t at first do much anything about it. So we had protests. They turned violent as protests sometimes do, which I think was born out of frustration.

          I am not saying it was right but it is what happened. Shortly after that protest the government did act. So really this became a government issue. If the they had maintained order and either processed them in under asylum or arranged for them to go to another country under asylum then fine, but the government was to lazy, just like here to do anything.

          In fact here we now have amnesty for all who make it over the boarder, but that is a different topic.
          Once the protests hit a certain point it got there attention and guess what. Away they go.

          In the end we are asking do the Israeli’s have a right to carry. I think so. I would even go as far to say that it is a god given right to self defense, and given the current situation in the middle east, it makes sense. I would find a shall issue law very apropos. just like the restaurant. lol Inside joke and bad pun for Dalin.

        • I noticed that you failed to recognize that I didn’t say just the Jews. You wouldn’t want to be a Coptic Christian living in Egypt today or Ba H’ai in Iran.

          But I will thank you for your wanting to see what I had to say. It’s Robert’s blog and his editorial policy but sometimes I think he is afraid that we are too thin skinned to handle the flames.

        • @tdiinva
          The Christians in surrounding countries are persecuted badly. It is sad really. Even though Israel has many sacred Christian sites, my over all experience is that they get along ok. No they don’t cater to them or their beliefs, Israel was created as a Jewish state, not a melting pot, but over time changes have happened. Are they perfect, no, but just take a look at the size of the gay pride parade in Tel Aviv. The religious grip has slackened in order to be more civil towards others.

      • @Tdiinva

        Unfortunately Middle Eastern Christians (whom I sympathize with for cultural reasons) generally get shafted by Muslims, Jews, and the United States. Every state that protects them is either targeted for a spring, color-revolution, rebellion, or invasion. If only America would spend 1/4 of its Israeli military aid budget on Iraqi or Egyptian Christians…

    • I see no reason they wouldn’t let Arab citizens carry.

      You and many others accuse Israelis of racism against the Arabs, but the facts are that all citizens, regardless of background, get equal rights. There are even Arab Knesset members.

      The palestinians are not citizens, and giving them equal rights would be like us giving non-citizens the rights we (at least until recently) reserved for citizens. That’s not racism, that’s following established rule of law.

      • According to this Israeli website, you gota be a Jew and speak Hebrew to get a handgun license

        “The applicant must have resided in Israel for three years, after his date of Aliyah… The applicant must pass a Hebrew test.”

        According to wikipedia Aliyah is “the immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael).”

        • BTW You can get through the test if you want to. Unlike the US they don’t give their tests in 10 different languages. It is like saying you live in America, speak English, or in this case you live in the land of Israel, speak Hebrew!
          To be honest on any given day walking down the street you hear, English, Russian, Ethiopian, and even Chinese. And yes they speak Hebrew too. 🙂

        • “The applicant must have resided in Israel for three years, after his date of Aliyah”

          Is a Arab of immigrates there considered to have Aliyah’d or whatever? Any Jews care to chime in?

        • @ Matt,
          The Israeli Arabs are citizens although slightly second class. They learn Hedbrew and English just like everyone else, although many live in high Arab areas. Think of Afro Americans in Chicago. I don’t mean that to be demeaning, but it is what it is.

  2. But, but, but, where’s the common sense?

    It’s astonishing how clarifying facts and logic are. Of course, working through those requires thinking, something that too many put forth all kinds of effort to avoid.

    • Sounds like much of government tries to avoid it as well. I wonder if it is a prerequisite for the job lol

  3. From what I understand, merely changing the gun laws in Israel would not be enough – they laws pertaining to self-defense would also need to be re-vamped, trespass and civil liability.

    • That certainly would help although in the almost decade of living there, I don’t remember there being an issue with self defense.
      You know some dude shows up with a bomb on his body, shooting him is sort of a no brainier.

  4. Mr. Krafft:

    A question.

    I often see people endorse this “Gun Facts” website…but why is this something worth hanging one’s hat on?

    You have cited to this website before, and I offer the same comment that was made earlier:

    “Gun Facts 6.0″ is apparently written by a… “writer, songwriter, political provacateur” named Guy Smith. You’ll forgive me if I don’t give that document any more weight than I do the latest political thoughts from Sean Penn or the Dixie Chicks.

    If there are some good reasons I should pay attention to him, please let me know — but there’s a lot of garbage on the internet, and I’m not inclined to waste my time unnecessarily.

      • Mr. Krafft is the one making the assertion that a website put up by “writer, songwriter, political provacateur” Guy Smith are worth taking to the bank. I rather think the burden of proof is on him.

        • You’ve been pointed in the direction of the proof you seek. Whether or not you choose to follow those directions is entirely up to you.

    • He cites a source for every statement he makes. Check them if you’re even a little bit suspicious.

      • If I find problems with the first two “facts” listed in Gun Facts 6.1, is that good enough, or do I have to keep going through the whole document?

        Never mind, I’ll keep going.

    • I personally haven’t read the information in the link yet.
      I am sure Bruce knows the source behind the source given. This is also why he puts links in his information. Not to be critical of you or Bruce, but feel free to jump to those pages. If you ever run across data which is bad, or wrong please do not hesitate to bring it up. I think it is safe to say for all of us that we as a collective strive to support an argument in favor of 2A rights. As such we need to be able to support our arguments which stand up to peer review. If all we ever did was use conjecture and ill formed statistics and facts, then we couldn’t very well sit here and support our ideals.

      • At some point, I may. The thing is pretty voluminous and does appear to have lots of citations. That, by itself, however, does not carry any weight. Lots of people have published pure bullshit and given it lots of footnotes.

        I refer the reader to the book: David Sobel, FOR WANT OF A NAIL: IF BURGOYNE HAD WON AT SARATOGA. It’s perhaps the granddaddy of all alt-history works: a complete American history textbook, complete with footnotes, bibliography, etc., from 1770 until 1971. Only everything that happens in it since 1777 is complete fictitious. It looks so convincing that I assigned it as a reading assignment in a college class I taught some years ago. (About 40% of the people didn’t realize it was fake after reading one chapter.)

        It’s easy to fool people with completely fake work. It’s even easier to put up bullshit that tells half-truths.

        I am N O T accusing the Gun Facts author of anything of the sort. But I’m not in the habit of citing to entertainers such as himself or Alec Baldwin or Sean Penn for political and legal analysis, either.

    • jkp: I believe it’s simply because he’s known to be a “person of knowledge” about these issues, and as the previous answers said, he can back his statements up with citations. So, you can generally quote him reliably, knowing that if someone chooses to backcheck your quotation of him, they will be able to backcheck further up the line to the ultimate source.

      • “Person of knowledge” — according to whom?

        Would you accept statements like this about a similar source cited to by the Bradys?

        • jkp: According to the people who pay attention to those things, I suppose. I’m fairly new to this game, so mostly I rely on the knowledge of “those that came before me.” This community (not just this site, but the gun community in general) is pretty quick to decry people who put forth erroneous or misleading information, and having not seen any real pushback on his information leads me to believe that it’s pretty solid. If I was writing an authored paper on the subject, I’d back it up with my own research. For the purposes of posting on a comments board, his word is sufficient for me.

        • It is easy for people to just accept stuff that is pure B.S. simply because it supports a position that is politically palatable to them.

          I submit that members of the ‘armed intelligensia’ should be wary of falling into this trap.

      • I am not going to accept something said by someone who posts stuff on the internet just because it has a few footnotes.

  5. Bruce, great piece. Always a pleasure to read.

    Ironic that the ‘No Issue’ State of Illinois is painted in bloody red.

  6. Should illegal aliens from Africa be given firearms in Israel? Or is America the only country that must arm invaders?

  7. “Can you or some of your readers help me with some of the background issues and arguments that will help me make my case?”

    How about this one: “Israelis live in a country surrounded by Muslims, most of whom want to see all Jews killed or removed from the Mideast. It would seem to be a relatively good idea for Israelis to have at least some chance to defend themselves from those who want to see all Jews dead. Duh.”

    And if this offends the “peaceful” Palestinians who keep launching missles into Jewish neighborhoods and setting off bombs in Jewish schools – tough sh*t.

    If I were in charge of the Israeli government, I would ensure that all Israelis not only could carry personal infantry weapons, I would issue them with grenade launchers, mortars, armor and light artillery.

    • Those of us currently in the army who have weapons have ammo as well when we go home on the weekend. BTW.

    • You mean, like the Swiss?

      And wouldn’t the ironing be delicious if, thanks to the Robertscare vote, every able-bodied American adult were required to maintain a black rifle + 500 rounds of ammo as part of the reserve, with those failing to do so subject to a penal^H^H^H^H^Htax?

      • But it isn’t a tax damn it it is a penalty!!!!!!!!! 🙂

        Lord only hopes that would be the case… To be honest I would have no problem doing a week every six months or what ever in the reserves. In Israel it is like a mini vacation from the wife, kids, work.. Trust me it isn’t as bad as it sounds.
        Plus you could turn around and use the man power to do things like rebuild stuff that is broken, or improve infrastructure, or what ever..

  8. First off nice article Bruce, very well put together.
    This is one issue which is near and dear to my heart. My three kids live there now, so of course their protection is of up most concern to me.
    I served in the IDF for four years and pretty much had an M-16 B with me where ever I went. I have no issue with going to a shall issue law set within Israel. The Palestinians do not adhere to Israeli law so they do what they want. I have family who live in the west bank and other areas which are less then perfect. Given the political climate and the ability to consider most Israeli’s well trained from the get go I don’t see why not.

  9. Couple points about Israel, to clarify the issue.

    1: There are Jewish Israeli citizens and Arab Israeli Citizens, and there are Jordanian, Egyptian and Syrian Palestinians, and Palestinians with no other nationality. One must realize that when talking of Israeli civil rights, they only apply to the first two categories, and not to the “occupied” or PA administrated areas.

    2: The vast majority of Jewish Israeli citizens already have the ability to carry weapons, usually military-style ones because of their largely mandatory military service and reserve duty. In addition some occupations are required by law to carry, such as schoolteachers and bus drivers.

    3: I assume that the “must issue” would primarily affect the Arab Israeli citizens, since they are mostly exempt from military service and thus do not gain access to weapons thereby. I doubt the Hasidic sects would carry, since they avoid military service much as the Quakers do, on religious grounds.

    4: Any discussion of Israel/Palestine brings out the internet slugs, try to restrain your shrieks of racism.

    5: I applaud our young Israeli friend, and wish him the best in his efforts. Peaceful and free nations are only enhanced by the arming of law-abiding citizens. Israel has long been one of the most heavily armed populaces in the world, perhaps it’s time they recognized it in law.

  10. Hi, folks,
    I am the guy (from Israel) who asked for the info. Just to make clear, I’m not on an official Knesset law committee – we’re members of a faction in the ruling party, but not the Prime Minister’s faction. We’re more like a bunch of private citizens trying to get into politics, in order to change the political system in Israel. Furthermore, I’m not an official representative of my faction – I’m just a private citizen trying to make a difference.

    Be that as it may, there is a chance to change the law, if I can get enough people to agree – both in my group, and in the Knesset. I’ll keep you updated – right now, there is a coalition crisis in the government (although, there is usually a coalition crisis of some sort in Israel).

    About the Arabs – I have proposed that the law will be changed only for people who have served in the army. The fact is, the Arab/Islamic world is in a war to take over the world, a war that has been going on for centuries, since almost the beginning of Islam. In the same way that not all Germans and Italians and Japanese were enemies of America in WW2, not all Arabs and Muslims are the enemies of the west – but the ones that are not, or do not at least support the war in their hearts, are few and far between. What makes it even more confusing, is that it is an accepted Muslim tactic to lie about your intentions to your enemy, and then stab him in the back. You cannot make an enemy disappear by ignoring him – that is the prelude to defeat.

    To learn more about our group, goto

    Thanks so much,
    Yehoshua Dalin

    • Thanks for the clarification, though I do disagree (an outsider’s view, indeed) on restricting Arab citizens in particular. I don’t think the Palestinians have much trouble getting weapons if they want them for nefarious purposes, and having your own citizens armed is not a bad thing. I recognize the issue is a delicate one, and my suggestion is more principled than it is practical, given the makeup of your governing coalition at the moment. I’ve served in the Middle East, and dealt with the people, so I definitely feel for those of you who must do so your entire lives. Think on it though, the abrogation of rights to 20% of your citizen population will not make them more loyal, nor alleviate the malicious screeds of “apartheid” from others. And granting them this right might increase the ability of those communities to resist the influence from more violent groups. My humble suggestion, o sharer of my name:)

    • I was going to say when isn’t there some crisis not going on in the Knesset!
      I would think that since security at the mall is so used to asking for concealed carry permits that it seems silly that they couldn’t simply switch to a shall issue. Yes the yearly courses are a pain and the standard fees, but it is a step in the right direction.

      My humble suggestion would be to propose it as the following:
      As a citizen we all are issued an abach kit and if we are lucky our home has a bomb shelter of some sort that can also be sealed against chemical agents. So we are ready for the chemical attack, and don’t forget the syringes in your kit they might just save your life.

      What about being prepared against an invasion? It makes sense you want people to be able to defend and fight with the soldiers directly from their homes. People should be able to take a defensive stance right where they are, and not depend on the IDF entirely for their protection.
      Notice I didn’t mention LEO’s.. There is a bit of a running joke in Israel that Law officers are pretty wimpy, not like here in the states. Most that I have had contact with in Israel did not impress me one bit.
      The legislation can be presented in the light of current social upheaval in Egypt, Syria, and Iran, it behooves the current government to enable the Israeli people to maintain a high state of readiness with regard to defending themselves and their families. While I do not expect Egypt to begin rolling tanks across the Sinai tomorrow it does point out the need that not only should our troops be ready, but also our civilian population at large. As such if a citizen who is eligible would like to carry, then they file the paper work and pay the fee, take the class and get the permit. This would allow a much stronger defensive tactic in the event that Israel is attacked on a massive scale. Yes as a reservist you would probably be headed to the nearest base to get armed, and check in, but what if you had to fight your way to your base? How would you deal with that threat? I know while I was serving my friends and I knew where each other lived. Some of us had cars, and in the event we would organize ourselves to get back to base. If we would have to rely on Eged we would be in trouble. Not that I am knocking the bus system, I could only wish we had that here in the states.

      Many here in the states fail to understand the truly vulnerable nature of Israel. I lived in Netanya, and you can drive from the beach to the West Bank in less than 30 minutes, if there is no traffic. But there is always traffic. 🙂
      The whole country fits inside of California. We joke the Israeli air force needs to fly over the ocean just to turn around. If there was a truly organized movement from the West Bank and Gaza, along with movement from Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria we would be in serious trouble. There are many open areas in the Negev, and even in the Golan where you would be hard to track. If you mix yourselves in with the population it wouldn’t be hard to get yourself infiltrated deep into Israel prior to an attack. Israel has gotten very good at stopping such movements but nothing is perfect.

    • “What makes it even more confusing, is that it is an accepted Muslim tactic to lie about your intentions to your enemy, and then stab him in the back.”

      lol, who doesnt do that? Jews never lie? How about them nukes you guys say you dont have? Or the nukes you say you never took from South Africa?

      • They never said they don’t have nukes. they just don’t confirm their existence. Yes I know semantics but it is what it is.

      • Nuclear weapons are a perfect example. Israel specifically never denied that it has nuclear weapons – it’s official position can be summed up as, “no comment”. In general, in the western world, if you have an enemy, you declare it openly. This allows the citizens of your nation the knowledge that their country is going to war, and why. While one country might make a surprise attack on another, and of course, spying goes on all the time among allies, that is generally the limit of duplicity on a national level. Generally, allies in the western world will not openly break treaties unless there is a very good reason, and signed agreements are taken seriously.

        In the Islamic world, there is simply no way of knowing who is an ally, and who is an enemy. Your enemy will greet you joyfully and kiss you on both cheeks, and then attack you the next second. Making peace with your enemy is viewed as weakness, not as something honorable. That’s why Arafat could sign his name on a treaty accepting the existence of Israel, shake hands with Rabin in front of the television cameras, and then launch a war against Israel deliberately and without a second thought – ignoring all previous signed treaties and agreements.

        • “Israel specifically never denied that it has nuclear weapons…”

          In 1966 Prime Minister Levi Eshkol told the Knesset that “Israel has no atomic weapons and will not be the first to introduce them into our region…”

          “In the Islamic world, there is simply no way of knowing who is an ally, and who is an enemy.”

          The same could be said of the Jews. See the King David Hotel Bombing or ask the survivors of the USS Liberty. Ironically, although the IDF loves to bitch about terrorism, they have a service ribbon for members of the Irgun.

        • Arafat road the fence so hard I don’t think he had any material left on his pants! It is a very good point given the psychological makeup of the Arab community as a whole.
          In Arafat’s case he tried to keep Israel happy, and his Arab countrymen happy all at once, which meant pretty much lying to everyone about something.
          I met Rabin about four months prior to his assassination. For what short conversation I could have with him, he was a man of conviction. Failure was not an option. He understood the mentality and tried to use it to his advantage. His adversaries knew that if the messed with him he would respond in full. That kept most people in check.

        • @Matt
          I don’t know when they acquired nuclear arms. He might not have been lying when he said it. I can tell you yeah they probably have a few now.
          But since that time the statement has always been the same, no comment. The political landscape has changed since 1966 dude!

      • Muslims have Taqqiya and Jews have Mesirah. Americans get played by both groups due to our (relative) honesty. Ethno-Religious psy-ops are the name of the game. As children of the Enlightenment we are too righteous for them.

    • Shalom Yehoshua Dalin,
      There seems to be a very important current difference between Israel and the United States that Bruce did not cover in his article as thorough as it was in describing U.S. gun law.
      As I understand Israel currently functions with an uncodified constitution. In 1948 when it was meant to be written Israel was a bit busy fighting for its very existence. Having managed to have an election in early 1949 of representatives to what was to be a ‘Constitutional Convention’, that group voted to not have a formal constitution. Instead they declared themselves the First Knesset and were a parliament much like Great Britain, which operates with no written constitution.
      In 1950 that First Knesset passed the Harai Decision which said that a committee would draft Basic Laws which when all were completed would then be collected and codified as the Constitution.
      As I understand those basic laws are still being written. Now here is the big difference. The fact is the United States Constitution recognizes God as the grantor of our Rights, not government. In fact we delegate our power as We, the People to various areas of a Federated Government reserving all non-delegated powers to the Sovereign States which came together to form that Federation or to the People. Our Bill of Rights was added to codify those already accepted and acknowledged Natural Rights that we believe all men are created with by God, our Creator.
      In our Second Amendment we codified that this Federated Republic could never infringe on our right to keep and bear arms. Unfortunately there are many in the U.S. that no longer believe in God, which makes it tough to even understand the basis of our country.
      There is the difference. The closest Basic Law of Israel to our Bill of Rights seems to be Human Dignity and Liberty passed in 1992. I find no mention of arms or guns much less the basic fundamental right to keep and bear arms.
      Without that concept any gun law in Israel is just that a gun law subject to change.
      As to passing laws, that is something that goes first one way then another. As to recognizing God-given inalienable rights, that shouldn’t be open to much whim or interpretation. Yet you saw in Bruce’s masterful article how convoluted our journey has been away from and back toward recognizing what is from God and what is from Man. I’m betting on God.
      Good luck and L’Hitraot.

      • Virtual John, you are exactly correct – Israel was created by socialists, and is still very much a statist society in many ways. Ultimately, my group wants to change this, among other things, by electing our candidate as Prime Minister, and changing the system of elections, the judicial system, and other things. In the meantime, we are trying to get involved in the political process, as a means of gaining influence, and as a stepping stone to the ultimate goal of having Israel run by Jewish, G-dly values, based on freedom, as opposed to the socialist values of its founders.

        One step in the process is proposing changes in the law. This proposed change in the law would be exactly like any other change, and could be changed back in the same way that it was passed. Until we change the system of government, or pass the law as a basic law (which is a much larger undertaking) the only option is to make small changes – and pray that soon G-d will allow us to make the big changes.

        • That my friend is the challenge. Although minus things like health care, and the way business is run, along with taxes it certainly could be done. Much of Israel has good high tech firms, many startups, and exportable agriculture technologies. If taxes were to go down because of the switch to a capitalistic, and free market society then the personal incomes would rise to match the needs of the people to match the given costs associated with living.
          Other things like buying a house in USD instead of NIS needs to change. a 100% tax on vehicles is really high. I still think that government subsidies on things like milk, cheese, eggs and bread are a good thing. The health care system now is pretty much a hybrid system and could remain as such.
          I think taxes might still be on the high side as you need to pay for infrastructure. Public transportation being a big expense but one that I think should remain. Let’s face it driving in Israel stinks! Especially if it is rush hour.

        • B’ra khah Yehoshua,
          I mean no disrespect in writing the name of God. My beliefs do not forbid me. I respect yours.
          I hope you see what a marvelous experiment in liberty under God was the birth of this country. I wish you well in attempting to move your government to an understanding that without God, not a particular theology, but the fundamental idea of God, liberty can not flourish.
          Chazak v’amatz!

        • @Yehoshua Dalin
          I didn’t really think about this at first.
          One thing you might want to do is contact Rabbi Dovid Bendory over at the JPFO. They are pretty passionate about gun ownership in America.

          One thing you can take from it is contacts. Aligning the Rabbi’s might get the ball rolling with the more religious right which could help. It is one step at a time. It might be considered a bit of an unholy alliance, but a means to an end. I remember in Givati we had the guys who were learning Torah and serving. So really they weren’t hacedic but religious. And man they were hard core for Israel’s well being.

          I am also not sure what the religious take is on capitalism either. I am sure many might welcome it.

  11. I sent Rabbi Bendory an email. Thanks.

    I have no problem how you write the word God – it is a custom, not a requirement, and I respect you in any case. I have great respect for the United States – I was born, and grew up there – and its values. Many things about the United States were taken from the Torah, and the American people are, in general, a very good and kind people. There is much in the American system to be admired, including the idea that people should not delegate their own responsibilities to government, and that therefore government has no right to tell them what to do. At the same time, liberty is not an end in itself, but rather a basis for freedom.

  12. While all of you are arguing about this, that, the other and the next….. I’m just wondering about the gal with the cute backside in the picture. Two, count ’em, two AR’s……….. what could be prettier than that?

    • إبليس permits you to plunder that @$$. Add her to your harem. Conceive children and raise them as proper Muslims.

      • Thanks for the permission……I think.
        However see above. Besides who said anything about ‘@$$’? We’re talking rifles here!!
        As an aside please credit me with better sense than to try to ‘plunder’ ANYONE so well equipped. As for raising more chillens’, pass. Been there, done that. Now happily moved on to spoiling the grandkids. Besides, having one wife is trouble enough for any sane man. I may not be all that sane but it baffles me why any man would want an excuse, much less a reason, or Heaven forbid a requirement, to have more than one wife at a time. Rifles however, are a completely different critter.
        To summarize: Multiple rifles; good!
        Multiple wifes; not so much

        • Hopefully you have many strong bachelor sons ready for the task, إبليس willing.

        • This is exactly why I said what I said to you. You meant no harm by that statement; but this arab would literally have no problem raping and killing a Jewish girl. He would consider it a good deed. That’s why Israelis are so rude – they have to deal with uncivilized savages like this.

    • Thanks, Mike – the problem is, the perception in Israel is that there is low crime, so why increase the risk that comes with greater availability to guns? If there is a state with similar crime rates to Israel, that would probably be a more persuasive example. I am going to try to find out what the crime rate is in Israel, so we can see if that assumption is correct.

    • Thanks, Mike – the problem is, the perception in Israel is that there is low crime, so why increase the risk that comes with greater availability to guns? If there is a state with similar crime rates to Israel, that would probably be a more persuasive example. I am going to try to find out what the crime rate is in Israel, so we can see if that assumption is correct.

  13. To the person in Israel:

    One of the best ways to get shall issue is to form an organization that focuses solely upon gun rights. THE BEST pro-gun organization I have ever seen is the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL). One of their most important events is “Lobby Day”. The organization goes to the Virginia state capitol in in Richmond and talks to their representatives and senators.

    Contact Phil Van Cleave at VCDL for information and tips about forming your own advocacy organization.

  14. Having been a supporter of the shall-issue bill that passed, some years ago, in my own state, I’ll have to say – the issuing authority MUST have some discretion. They need to be able to deny to an individual who does not meet the precise statutory criteria for a denial.

    But, and it’s a big but, a discretionary denial must be subject to judicial appeal, and at that appeal they must be able to present evidence that the applicant – as an individual – poses a risk to himself or others.

    It’s true – law enforcement is usually aware of a number of people with long histories of criminal violence and/or dangerous mental instability who have managed to escape a disqualifying conviction. And we don’t generally have a problem with those individuals being denied.

    But that’s not what’s going on, when everyone who lives in one area is denied as a matter of course.

    If the issuing authority wants to deny, they can stand up in front of a judge and present their evidence. And “people like that don’t need guns” isn’t evidence.

  15. “And it is completely acceptable to lump all the Jews in together, whenever I drive thru Skokie, do you know how many ‘give 5% to Israel’ signs I see in front of temples and schools?”

    Please post a few of these signs you claim to see in front of ‘temples and schools”. I am a Joo (sic) and I live in Joo York (sic) and I have never seen a sign such as this.

    “I’ll get over the Jew thing when the Jews get over the holocaust.”

    We’ll get over that holocaust thing when certain jackasses stop supporting and enabling those WHO ARE TRYING TO REPEAT IT.

    To keep this on topic, Jewish and muslim citizens in Israel should only be given gun rights when they either enlist in the IDF or do National Service, both requiring a public loyalty oath to the Jewish State of Israel.

    No loyalty, no gun.

  16. Update
    So far, I nothing has happened yet. There is some discussion of the law in my group, however, and I am going to try to talk to the head of the group to see if he wants to go ahead with it (he already has said that he is in favor of such a law, but that does not mean that he would want to use the group to promote it). If he agrees, then I’ll push for it. There is a lot of resistance in the group, especially the feeling that such a law suits the culture of the US, and not the culture of the United States, where crime is rampant (compared to Israel, at least). The feeling is that there is no benefit to changing the law, since there is low crime anyway, so why increase the risk associated with greater accessibility to guns? There is also the feeling that it is the police’s responsibility to protect the citizens, as opposed to the citizen’s responsibility to protect themselves. I think that it is a good thing that the idea is meeting resistance, because if I can get all the potential arguments dealt with now, I will be prepared to deal with any questions a Knesset (Israeli parliament) member has.

    I do not view myself as a gun rights advocate – I am an advocate of G-d, and the Jewish values of freedom, compassion, justice, and belief in G-d. Insofar as gun rights promote those values, I am for them. There may be extreme situations where gun rights would be detrimental to freedom, and in those situations, I would be against private citizens owning guns. Those situations would have to be very extreme, however.

  17. Hello:
    A Jewish American from Tucson made a very, very compelling movie called “Innocents Betrayed.” I believe it can be viewed for free on YouTube. The justification for gun possession goes much deeper than protection from the street mugger or the perceived threat from someone who dresses and looks different than we do. It is an inherent human right; this is why the collection of wisemen called the American Founding Fathers minced no words about it in the Second Amendment of the Constitution.
    Stalin murdered millions of his own citizens. Interestingly enough in the Communist Rules of Revolution, gun control is one of the basic seven tenets.
    In the U.S. many have said that the only reason there are any portion of Civil Liberties left, has to do with the Second Amendment. I agree

  18. The leader of the group said that while he agrees with the idea in general, he doesn’t want me to work on the idea in the name of the group, because there are so many other things that are more important. So I will have to shelve the idea for now. Thanks so much for your help – I will try to continue to push for freer gun rights when conditions are better.

  19. I talked with the parliamentary assistant of Dov Lipman, a knesset member, and he said that he’d look into it, and to get back to him in two weeks, which I’ll do.

  20. Go to youtube “Proof America is under police siege. Protect and serve is a lie” and see how the Santa Rosa Ca. police treated another citizen. Andy Lopez is just the beginning.


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