AIDAN JOHNSTON: Israel Needs A Second Amendment
This article was originally published in the Daily Caller
A day after Hamas terrorists paraglided across the border from Gaza into Israel, trucked machine gun-toting killers into a music festival, mowed down families and took women, children, and grandmothers hostage, Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir announced a series of actions to loosen Israel’s strict gun control laws.
The minister announced his intent to “allow as many citizens as possible to arm themselves and protect themselves and their environment when necessary.”
The individual right of the people to keep and bear arms is “necessary to the security of a free state.”
But as the death toll rises and terrorists are still on the loose, one must also ask: is the Israeli government doing too little, too late?
Ukraine waited until after it was invaded by a nuclear world superpower, and we asked the same question.
Lucky for Ukrainians, the remarkable shift in firearms policy helped the country hang on while the United States and other allies prepared military aid.
While Israel is also purchasing thousands of machine guns and handing them out now, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spent the last few years confiscating guns from local civilian security forces.
According to one gun owner, “the IDF took our rifles recently, they left us with just a few. We repelled a Hamas commando terror cell with just pistols.”
Gun control left self-defenders outgunned while hundreds of completely disarmed Israelis were tortured, raped and murdered by vicious terrorists in this surprise attack.
And while the new changes in Israel’s Firearms Licensing Division are intended to help self-defenders held up by bureaucracy and paperwork, Gun Owners of America found the application portal offline and “unavailable,” leaving only a message from the National Forms Service stating “we apologize for the inconvenience.”
Even if the website worked, a newly eligible applicant would still have “to undergo a telephone interview” and may have to wait up to “a week” for approval.
And after receiving government permission, a new Israeli gun owner would still only be able to purchase a meager 100 rounds of ammunition. I know I wouldn’t be comfortable in a war zone with just a couple spare magazines.
But, millions of Israelis still aren’t even eligible to carry a firearm for self-defense because they do not live in an eligible settlement — despite being at war and surrounded by enemies on all sides.
On Wednesday, one would-be self-defender pleaded with the National Defense Minister on X: “Don’t wait for the next holocaust. We will not forgive you. The whole country is an eligible settlement!”
What the National Defense Minister has done to bypass gun control laws is certainly a commendable first step and will hopefully help many defend themselves and their families amid this horrific war. But imagine if there had been armed civilians at the music festival, armed fathers protecting their families, armed good guys to fight the bloodthirsty attackers.
The best time to have repealed Israel’s gun control was any time before yesterday. The next best time is today. It’s clear that Israel has a long way to go to protect its people.
Instead of ammunition restrictions, waiting periods, and bureaucratic firearm licensing, Israel needs a Second Amendment protecting the individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.
Gun control advocates horrified by the scenes unfolding in Israel should think about the unknown number of terrorists who have crossed over our borders undetected. Maybe that will finally wake them up to the importance of our Second Amendment.
Aidan Johnston is the Director of Federal Affairs for Gun Owners of America, a non-profit grassroots lobbying organization with over two million members nationwide.