As Israel launches the response the entire world knows is coming against Saturday’s Islamic terrorist attack, questions will inevitably turn toward failures to prepare for the massacre. One shortcoming is already being addressed, though the damage is done.
Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir announced Sunday that the nation’s restrictions on gun ownership will be loosened.
The country does not enjoy the benefits of a Second Amendment-type guarantee. Where the U.S. has gun ownership at a level approaching 60%, only 2% of Israeli citizens possess weapons for self-defense.
The government set in motion a series of changes for issuing gun licenses as Ben-Gvir said more citizens should be legally armed. The death toll in Israel has reportedly reached 800.
Posting on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, the official said “today I directed the Firearm Licensing Division to go on an emergency operation in order to allow as many citizens as possible to arm themselves. The plan will take effect within 24 hours.”
ICYMI — Israel relaxes gun rules in wake of Hamas attackshttps://t.co/eAyhaNCsNb
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) October 9, 2023
For a people who face a daily terror threat, Israel is a nation that is remarkably unprepared for the horrors it faced.
The surprise attack by Hamas targeted towns and neighborhoods and indiscriminately killed whole families unable to defend themselves. Besides the slaughtered, many more were injured and scores were kidnapped and are being held hostage.
That number also includes children and families, as painful videos emerging on social media confirm.
There are a vast number of changes coming for Israel, and very likely many involve more civilians being allowed to and choosing to arm themselves. A stark example came during the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year.
As Kremlin troops marched on the capital city of Kyiv, the government handed out some 10,000 rifles to civilians hoping to bolster the city’s defenses. The Russian army was eventually repelled and the city remains free.
Israeli citizens now may undergo a telephone interview instead of a physical one to acquire a permit for a firearm. They still must be free of a criminal or medical record.
Other minor changes were announced, including allowing the people to possess 100 rounds of ammunition instead of just 50.
This all has the ring of a day late and a dollar short. But even after the massive retaliation that is coming, the threat of terrorist attack will never be far away. An armed populace would go far in preparation for the next time Hamas or some other entity launches a surprise invasion.