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Israel, a Model for Gun Control? – How Israel viewed civilian ownership of firearms prior to October 7th might surprise you.

Many people, me included, were of the opinion that Israeli citizens had a responsible view regarding firearms and were well armed and trained for personal protection. I was wrong. The reality is that the gun-control laws in Israel would make Gavin Newsom envious.

Like many, I’d seen the pictures of Israeli civilians, both men and women, in public with slung rifles and it made perfect sense. Israelis live surrounded by people who hate them and deny their very right to exist. Terrorist attacks are not uncommon, and that constant danger is a fact of life for Israelis. So given their situation it made perfect sense that Israelis could be armed and carry openly in public, and the idea of visibly armed civilians was completely acceptable in Israeli society.

The reality is that Israel has some of the most stringent gun-control laws in the world and that the average Israeli civilian is pretty much defenseless and depends entirely on the government for protection and safety. The folly of severe gun-control laws was brought to light with the events of October 7th.

Pictures that appear to be Israeli civilians carrying long guns in public are more likely off-duty IDF soldiers who are authorized and required to carry their rifles. Israeli civilians are generally barred from owning rifles and are extremely restricted in their ability to own handguns. The application process to purchase a handgun is more extreme than we see in our most oppressive states with the result being that over 40% of the applications are denied. Applicants must meet very specific good cause requirements and if they are successful in their firearms purchase, they are limited to possession of only 50 rounds of ammunition at any one time. As is the case with all gun-control laws, these laws greatly diminish the firearm’s use as a defensive tool and mostly eliminate the possibility of serious training.

On October 7th, Hamas terrorists brutally attacked Israeli civilians killing over 1200 men, women, and children and taking over 200 hostages. Reports of rape and torture were widespread some of it documented by video shot by the Hamas terrorists. There were several stories of armed volunteer security personal successfully engaging Hamas terrorists and thus saving lives. These people had access to weapons only by virtue of their voluntary security status.

The events of October 7th caused the Israeli government to reconsider their wrongheaded and dangerous gun restrictions albeit too little too late for the over 1200 murder victims and the over 200 kidnap victims many of whom are still in captivity.

Today(12/03/23), Israeli Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir proudly proclaims his ministry is approving “up to 3000” gun licenses per day. Ben Gvir went on to say over 260,000 gun license applications have been approved since October 7th. Bravo Mr. Minister! You must be very proud! Let’s not mention that your irresponsible, dangerous policies prior to October 7th cost over 1200 innocent lives and untold suffering of many hundreds more. Better late than never huh Mr. Minister?

So, what’s here to learn for Americans? One important lesson screaming at us from the Israeli experience is that it is always dangerous and harmful to limit a person’s ability to defend himself/herself and their loved ones. The police can’t do it and the government can’t do it. Your safety and that of your family is your responsibility and yours alone and the government restricting your ability to take responsibility (i.e., arm, train, and educate yourself) will likely result in needless death and suffering.

The current Israeli conflict with Hamas terrorists will likely continue for some time and will include American support and involvement at some level. America is likely to be the target of terrorist activities in the coming years. We’ve effectively not had a southern border for the past three years so the terrorists and everything they need are likely already here. In addition, government policies regarding crime and other societal changes have made our cities and surrounding areas increasingly dangerous to law-abiding citizens.

Even in poorly governed states like California it’s still possible to take responsibility and protect yourself and your family. Buy the necessary tools and get the training to become competent in their use. Educate yourself, read, train, take classes and be able to spot and avoid dangerous situations. Vote for and support politicians who support the Second Amendment. Get involved with and support organizations that fight for the Second Amendment.

Regardless of what happens in 2024, our country is likely entering a dark period. How prepared you and your family are to face the coming challenges is up to you. It’s your responsibility, it’s your choice.

©2023 Joseph T Drammissi

This article and more of Joe’s work covering the Second Amendment and other topics can be found on Substack at


This article was originally posted on from San Diego County Gun Owners

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