The Solution to School Shootings? Look to Israel

Israel's gun policy is living proof of the arguments the American gun lobby has been making for years.

Gun control proponents have pointed to Israel in the past as an example of how limiting gun ownership limits mass shootings. "In Israel, gun ownership is a privilege rather than a right," wrote Public Radio International in November. "There is no such thing as a right to bear arms in Israel," the Huffington Post once declared. Newsweek too suggested that America would do well to emulate Israel's requirement for citizens to "show genuine cause to carry a firearm, such as self-defense or hunting."

But in fact, Israel's gun policy is living proof of the arguments the American gun lobby has been making for years, according to Israel National News:

Gun rights advocates contend that the way to stop mass shootings is by ensuring that there are always well-armed citizens present who can neutralize the shooter. As NRA chairman Wayne Lapierre always says, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun". A bedrock of the NRA's philosophy is that criminals will always acquire guns illegally, and draconian gun laws only render law-abiding citizens defenseless.

The article notes that when the knife intifada began in Israel in September 2015, the Israeli government's response was to ease the process for the civilian populace to obtain weapons. After a Jerusalem shooting that killed four, then-Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan changed the gun laws to significantly raise the number of armed civilians on the streets. Graduates of Special Forces units and some IDF officers were allowed to purchase guns at 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.

Israel National News has more:

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 has been proven to be a dismal failure in Israel. The Israeli Arab communities are rife with illegal weapons, with some police estimates putting the number of unlicensed weapons in the Arab sector as high as 500,000.

Israel does not declare schools gun-free zones. Instead, the country mandates armed security in schools, provided weapons training to teachers, and runs frequent active shooter drills. There have been only two school shootings since, and both have ended with teachers killing the terrorists.

Time to take real action that will protect our children without pursuing pointless and unconstitutional measures that the left, in its utopian fantasies about gun confiscation, insist upon.