Can We Apply Israeli Principles and Proactively Protect our Loved Ones? - ITS Tactical

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Can We Apply Israeli Principles and Proactively Protect our Loved Ones?

By U. Fridman

Editor-in-Chief’s Note: Due to the recent events in Connecticut and Colorado, like many of you, I’ve been searching for answers on what can be done to prevent these kind of incidents from occurring. While this article is not meant to detract from what we see time and time again, lack of a means of defense against these threats, I reached out to frequent contributor and former IDF (Israeli Defense Force) soldier Uri Fridman for his thoughts on this.

This article was written by Uri and comes from his perspective as a now US citizen who works as an information security consultant. I’ve been very interested in the Israeli model after their procedures for handling airport security have started to become implemented at Boston Logan International Airport. Please join me in welcoming Uri back with his perspective on these recent events.

Current Events

The recent Colorado and Connecticut shootings unfortunately show that with all the trust that comes from having the wonderful freedom we enjoy in this country, comes the ugly side of people too.

Having lived in Israel for two decades and serving in the IDF for half that time, offers me the opportunity to describe to you today how Israel protects its schools, malls and all public places from that ugly side.

Israel lives under the constant threat of suicide bombers. Terrorists coming from the West Bank and Gaza try all the time to get in a school, bus, or cafe and blow themselves up while taking women and children with them. Schools are a particular touchy subject in Israel. During the 60s and 70s, there were cases where terrorists from Lebanon infiltrated the border, entered a school and massacred the children and teachers.  But Israel learned.

Today the security in and around learning institutions, from kindergarden to universities, is as good and in some cases better than the security of their government sites. These are defenseless children, these are students and teachers, these are the next generation of doctors, engineers and artists. It is imperative to protect them.

All public sites have an armed security guard posted in the entrance. The guards are trained, sometimes undergoing counterterrorism and profiling training as well. They know what to look for. They are aware of their surroundings. These guards check each and every person entering the offices, cafes and malls. They make people open their bags and in many cases they wave a portable metal detector around the person. People with guns (in Israel soldiers carry their rifles and other weapons with them at all times and having a civilian weapon permit means open carry) are required to present their soldier’s ID or weapons permit prior to being checked. If they don’t have it with them, then the police are called immediately and the offender might be held at gun point while it gets sorted out.


At schools, the security is all this and more. The school perimeter is secured with fences and a roving patrol. All the doors are guarded by a security guard and universities also have metal detectors. Any person without a student ID is doubled checked. No one is allowed inside a kindergarden or elementary school without a security guard or at least a trained member of the school staff accompanying the person.

Photo for illustrative purposes only, more info below.

This bring me to the next subject: the school staff. In Israel, everyone serves in the military. At least three years for the men and two for women. While not everyone serves on a combat unit, they all go through basic training. This includes weapons and firearms training; everyone knows how to shoot and handle firearms. When teachers take students for a field trip, they’re given a rifle to take with them. Often, they’re also accompanied by security personnel with a rifle, pistol and a standard medical kit. You don’t take any chances. Let me say it again, you DO NOT take any chances.

Now, Israel is a safe place, you can walk anywhere at any given time of the day or night. The problem we are trying to prevent there is terrorism.

The Israeli Model

Israel’s model is not a reaction-based model like the one in the US. The US reacts to threats after they’ve happened and implements mitigating controls. This works up to a point. Israel, on the other hand, invests a lot of resources on threat modeling, understanding their enemies, how they think, what might they do, what could the next attack look like and analyzes all possible ways to stop or deter them before they happen.

A good example of this is the airport security model. No, you don’t have to take off your shoes. No, you don’t have to throw away that water bottle. No, there isn’t a porn scanner.

Layers of Israeli Airport Security

Israel airport security is a preventive  one and implemented in layers:

1st layer: The airport perimeter. Your car is stopped before entering the airport and an armed and trained (usually a former Special Operations member) will ask you a simple question. Based on different factors, or your answer, they might make you pull to the side for a car check.

2nd layer: Inside the airport (but outside the terminal.) Once you’re inside the airport, there are people randomly walking while checking everyone constantly. You don’t see them. Occasionally, they might stop you when you’re parked at the departure terminal or while you’re walking from the parking lot. Again, based on what you answer is to their questions, or some other factors, you might be pulled aside for further checking.

3rd layer: The check-in. Before you get to the check-in counter, (if you need to check-in) or go the security checkpoint (if you are like me and never check luggage), there is a person checking your ID and boarding pass while asking you three questions. This person is trained. Based on your responses, you may be subjected to further questioning. All the while, there’s a person walking around the line of people “sniffing” the luggage with a special device that detects explosives and other substances. Once you’re cleared, you put your bags through a scanner and head to your check-in desk. If something isn’t kosher, they’ll check you again.

By they time you get to the passport control or the security check point, you’re pretty much done. It’s just a trip through the metal detector and onto your plane.

Does it take longer this way? Not by much. Israeli airports and airlines are the safest in the world. All it takes is to simply think things through. Without getting into the politics of the TSA and whether their methods work or not, (or if they can afford to train their employees properly) the Israeli method can be applied successfully in the US.

No, it doesn’t matter if the airports are larger. Nor does it matter that many more people fly in and out of the US. The system can be easily scaled. All it takes is the removal of some political correctness non-sense and for the lobbyist companies to understand that the security of the passengers comes first.


Before I close I wanted to mention something about firearms from my perspective. I am all for firearms, I believe they are great defensive tools and people should be able to get firearms if they so choose to. However, there are a few things that need to be changed in my opinion.

First, firearms are inherently dangerous and as such people applying for a permit must have proper training. In Israel there are a few rules and regulations that apply to people with a firearm permit. You can apply, but in order to obtain it you have to go through two courses: firearms handling and tactical shooting. This was done in order to prevent untrained people from openly shooting terrorists and hitting civilians. Also to properly understand what a firearm can do; hurt people.

Second, people should be checked. In Israel you have to pass a phycological check before getting your permit. And again, a permit means you can openly carry your firearm. This is to prevent mentally unstable people from committing exactly what the murderer in Connecticut did, although those weren’t his firearms.

Third, you should BE ACCOUNTABLE for your gun. If your nephew, friend, coworker, whoever, steals your gun and goes on a killing spree because you FAILED to properly secure your gun, you should go to jail. Simple. In Israel, the law requires that if you’re not carrying the gun on you in your home, the weapon MUST be locked under two locks: the house lock and a safe inside the house. If your firearm is stolen and the police discovered that you were negligent about securing it, you go to jail for 7 years. Simple.

I believe that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. We need to start doing something about this as part of stopping these senseless acts from happening again and keeping our kids safe.  Please stay safe, be aware of your surroundings and report suspicious acts or objects when you see them.

Editor-in-Chief’s Note:  Uri Fridman is a contributor on ITS Tactical and currently a senior information security consultant that specializes in detection of information security threats and response to security incidents. His background includes extensive experience in red team activities and management, information warfare, counter cyber-terrorism, industrial espionage, forensics analysis and other security services.

The photo above is provided to illustrate Uri’s point about a teacher being issued a rifle when accompanying students outside of the school and as he mentioned, could also include an armed guard with a medical kit. We’ve been trying to track down more information surrounding this photo, with no luck. If you have any additional information on the backstory of this photo, we’d like to hear about it. We realize there’s some that are disputing that a teacher would ever carry a firearm in Israel, but we’re going with the author, someone who’s served in the IDF.

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  • Sgt.Miller

    Someone needs to Email a link to this page to every news station and political leader. I agree completely with this Israeli Model of doing things, being proactive instead of reactive. If something in this country has to change, let it be that, make people think more proactively rather than being complacent at the time.

  • Mike Russo

    Great article. I would like to politely disagree with training requirements for firearm ownership. Israel does not have our second amendment. I am highly in favor of training, and do so myself. There is always more to learn, but high levels o proficiency, by bureaucratic standards should not be a prerequisite for self defense.

    The Israeli model is superior to our model. They are in a state of total war. We hide behind politics and sensitivities. At the same time, let us not forget our fundamental freedoms and our constitution. If terrorism forces is to abandon liberty, they have won.

    • Josef Girouard

      Si vis pacem, para bellum..

      Our beloved country has been on a downward spiral for decades. You’re right about the gov’t hiding behind politics and sensitivites. Our ‘system’ would rather not hurt peopls feelings instead of implementing anything meaningful in regards to the publics general interest.

    • D. Hide

      I’m totally with Mike on this one, couldn’t have said it better myself. I am very impressed with most aspects of the Israeli model and I believe it is a light in the dark aftermath we’re in. That said, it will need to be adapted to our nation. Even if we do change something such that it may diminish a perceived benefit, it will still be worlds better than what we do now.


    • ChrisB

      I don’t know, I think something akin to the hunter safety class you have to take before getting a hunting license in Texas could work. Requiring proof of some simple, basic firearms handling and safety training before buying a gun seems reasonable.

    • Barbaric

      Mike, I have to politely disagree with you regarding training requirements. Our second constitutional amendment give us the right to keep and bear arms, but it does not outline the process for procuring those arms (things have changed in the past 200 years) and it does not speak to the responsibility of contemporary firearm ownership (again, things have changed in the past 200 years). Most states require, at the very least, proof of proficiency in operating a motor vehicle before issuing a license to drive one. I submit that proof of proficiency in safely securing, friing, loading, unloading firearms should be required before granting a permit to own. But, I also think that CCWs should be the norm and not the rarity.

  • Josef Girouard

    Very informative article and i will spread it throughout various circles.

  • Jerry R.

    Politicians want to take our guns away..That’s not the answer. Taking guns away would start such an huge underground market to sell guns. look at your options
    1. Keep track of who has guns by issuing permits and selling guns OR
    2. Start an underground market where we won’t know who has what and what sells

    • Reddog245

      Actually, I am for choice 2. The only reason the government needs to know what I have is so that they will know if they have confiscated everything, and that they are safe to abuse me as they wish. I like the idea of a proficiency test, and can see that as part of the second amendment, (under the “well-reguated” part,) but pass the test, get the permit to carry whatever, however, wherever, without restriction. Others could be limited as they are now, like no goverment buildings, no businesses that don’t want them, etc..

    • Jerry R.

      I don’t buy that story of the government will confiscate your guns. from the hundreds of thousands of gun owners how many get their guns confiscated? Yeah some due, but probably for good reason.

    • Common Sense

      Once you register them, the government will eventually take them. Period. It has happened to us in Canada. Most recently there was a rifle that was legally allowed into Canada, and then the POLICE (not the policy makers, but those who are supposed to enforce policy) retroactively classified it as prohibited and took them from their lawful owners. How did they get them- the firearms registry.

      Luckily we have abolished the long gun registry and the records for 80% of the country have been destroyed (except in Quebec, legal nonsense there). It is also what happened in the 70s here, many handguns became “prohibited” and were siezed without compensation.

      If an unstable person is not supposed to possess firearms a registry will only allow someone to seize those that they legally own. Even in Canada there were over ONE MILLION estimated non registered firearms (when the full registry was in effect). The registry was NEVER cited in solving a single crime- other then those related to enforcing the rules of the registry.

      Registration=Confiscation. Period.

    • Uri

      If guns are not regulated and the gov doesn’t know what’s going and you are permitted to have anything you want, to use it however, whenever and carry it however, wherever, wtc, then this becomes Somalia with militias running around and killing each other and amusing people that don’t want to be involved.

      Do you want that?

    • Logan Anderson

      I hope you meant abusing and not amusing.

    • Common Sense

      Really- guns have done all that. Okay then, why don’t we regulate machetes? The genocide in Rawanda was carried out mostly with machetes and other farm tools- shootings were actually rare. But you can buy a machete anywhere in North America- yet no genocide, hmmmm….

    • In CA butterfly knives and switch blade to include dirks and daggers were legislated illegal in the 70s largely because of this man, Dan Inosanto and his demos with blades: (Inosanto demo knife vs. gun)

      What many haven’t witnessed are Inosanto’s techniques w/out blades, which are actually deadlier because of his ability to grab, twist, pull, push and even crush. But no ones “banning” hands as deadly.

      But my point here is, how many people would go out and bludgeon or hack another person. For Rwanda, everything else had to fail to allow that level of depravity and desperation.

      Remember a metal pen is just as deadly as a knife and your hands with appropriate training and tempering is ten times as deadly.

      The question should be numbers, how many people can kill with a semi-auto rifle/high capacity magazine and how many can that same nut case kill with just a machete or his barely hands. That’s a better comparison.

  • Art Copy

    The layered security in the airport is kickass! To top it all off the girls, I think they are mostly girls, who walk around questioning people are HOT, and real cool, you can ask them where the best clubs are in Tel Aviv. They are also very flirtatious, especially if you’re Australian, or Canadian, they want to emigrate out. Why we’re stuck with ghetto ass Shaneequas in our airports is beyond me.

    • MeganT

      You, sir, are racist and an idiot.

  • Paul Harvey

    Winston Churchill was not here to remind us that we didn’t come this far because we’re made of sugar candy. So, following the New York disaster, we mustered our humanity. We gave old pals a pass, even though men and money from Saudi Arabia were largely responsible for the devastation of New York and Pennsylvania and our Pentagon. We called Saudi Arabians our partners against terrorism and we sent men with rifles into Afghanistan and Iraq, and we kept our best weapons in our silos. Even now we’re standing there dying, daring to do nothing decisive because we’ve declared ourselves to be better than our terrorist enemies — more moral, more civilized. Our image is at stake, we insist. But we didn’t come this far because we’re made of sugar candy. Once upon a time, we elbowed our way onto and into this continent by giving smallpox infected blankets to Native Americans. Yes, that was biological warfare! And we used every other weapon we could get our hands on to grab this land from whomever. And we grew prosperous. And, yes, we greased the skids with the sweat of slaves. So it goes with most great nation-states, which–feeling guilty about their savage pasts–eventually civilize themselves out of business and wind up invaded and ultimately dominated by the lean, hungry up-and-coming who are not made of sugar candy.

  • G Washington

    I’d have to say I disagree with the Israeli system in totality, I believe that guns of higher classifications, such as real military grade assault weapons and other tactical anti terrorism tools should be made available to all Americans having registered for selective service and gone through a 6 month intensive class room and field training course. I do not believe the guns themselves should be registered or the ammunition, if and when you pass the class your identity should not be kept or recorded, an encrypted key should be given that allows you to unlock purchases at the dealer, this puts the onus on the school to maintain high-standards and prevent criminal actions. With such a key, it could be changed forcing retraining before being able to purchase new guns. Also this aligns with the 200 year old policy of not keep records of gun owners, as that has shown through out history to be the tool of choice for tyrants. Older lower classification rifles and hand guns should still be able to be purchased at gun shows, without registration or training. The goal here is that if you want to buy the state of the art military grade rifles so you can protect your property and fellow citizens in states of emergency you must at least take the class and understand you can be temporarily activated in your community only by the National Guard as a selective service registrant. If you wish to own and shoot a very powerful gun, you should have the education required to understand what the bullets can and cannot do, and the risk of collateral damage relating to larger higher powered rounds. Once certified always certified, but if you want to buy the newest guns you must go back to school. It would be wise to allow trained citizens to participate in FEMA drills along with national guard, showing the guard how to activate and use locals with their guns thus giving a shared benefit in force protection and logistics. In America we do not want to register guns or their owners for a multitude of reasons. Think on this fellow Americans if you were guaranteed 10 tactical snipers who could muster against terrorists in less than 1 min, don’t you think you could stop any threat. That’s what the minuet men were about, modern tools would allow them to have the central authority and communication that caused their failure in the past. we need to modernize not give more power to the crown.

    • Common Sense

      Similar to the new Canadian model. Unfortunately not for all firearms, but “non-restricted” to include semi automatic rifles etc. You pass the tests, become certified- then walk into a store and flash your ID. The onus on the seller is only to “believe the purchaser has a valid licence” or something to that effect. Then it’s yours and out the door you go- same for indiviual purchases. Now we just need to extend it to all firearms.

  • G Washington

    Please somebody do something about the first responder radio equipment, speech to text conversion compatible with scopes and tactical glasses allowing for rapid voice command search so the channels are left clearer. Additionally transponders linked to Smart or IPAD devices ie friend or foe tools. Just make some of those tools you use in the games reality and lives might be saved.

  • Uri

    OK, a lot of people don’t really understand why this works over there so let me give you some more background information about Israel.

    Israel is the only democracy in the middle east. A TRUE democracy. Israel was born from the ashes of the Nazi extermination camps, as a heaven of safety for the Jews around the world, from being hated and prosecuted. The people trust the government in Israel, they trust they have the best interest of the people in mind first and foremost. And they do. When this fails then the people bring the government down and calls for an election, it’s happened twice in the last 20 years.

    Israel is a country of laws, pretty much like the US. However, since the government takes care of a lot of the daily things, certain “rights” you enjoy in the US are a privilege in Israel. Like the rights to own a firearm. Over there it’s a privilege. Why? Because you have a police force and a military that will protect you. And since everyone serves and everyone remains on the reserve force once they’re discharged, at an event of a war the people get recalled to go serve once again and defend the land.
    On top of that, since the government is trusted, the social security and health services is managed 50/50 by the gov. and the private providers. It is a socialized health model where everyone has full coverage regardless of whether you are working or not. YES, this means more taxes. How do you a expect a gov. to run without money?
    It not all perfect, there are many flaws, however people trust the gov. and the laws and they live free doing whatever they want. Sure you can’t go just buy a gun like you do here, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have freedom.

    Before going to Israel I grew up in South America. Most of my childhood and teens was under a dictatorial military government where you were forced to do what they wanted or else. Most people in the US have no idea what that’s like. You have no idea how good this country is, how good it is to be born into this freedom and into this fantastic country.

    I suffered not only a military gov. but also the people because I am Jewish. People hate me. There is no way around it. I don’t know why, but they do. So much that in 1994 the Iranians with the help of local militias (here’s that word again…) bombed the main Jewish community center killing 86 people, among them 6 if my best friends. I spent the next 5 years deep inside southern Lebanon chasing and killing Hezbollah terrorists.

    Israel has one mission and one mission only: to be the safest place for Jews.

    The US is the greatest country in the world. There is no doubt about it. But people need to realize that with this freedom comes responsibility and you need to help keep this way of life safe. Safe from terrorists and from crazed assholes like the ones that committed the atrocities of CO and CT.

    Like I said, I am all for guns. I respect the right to own them, in fact I think everyone should own one to protect their loved ones at home, however we need to start trusting that the government has our back. It might not be always there case here, there is a lot of political correctness bullshit and a lot of private companies lobbying for different things, but we need to start changing this slowly in my opinion, make the gov. work for us in a good way. Trusting it.

    If we don’t. If we continue down this path, then we’ll descend into a militia-run country, with the different factions killing each other and the people crossed in the middle.

  • Thinbluelion

    Outstanding article. To all those who think the government is going to kick in your doors and take your weapons, it will never happen. I am one of those government types you so fear and guess what? I took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. I hold that oath sacred. I will never enforce an unconstitutional order. This holds true for the VAST amount of law enforcement officers. We are also citizens and we too would be affected by tyranny. We will not stand for it. I cannot speak for the military, but I would think it is safe to say they hold their oaths true (if not truer) and would not follow illegal orders.

    • Common Sense

      True enough, but how many of those persons in the police and military really understand what a “lawful” order is? Not to put anyone down, but look at the aftermath of Katrina- there were “unlawful” orders to sieze firearms there. Plus it wouldn’t be in one huge sweep, it’s about slowly eroding your rights until you don’t realize they are gone.

  • BoDawg

    Thanks again for ITS and its contributors for posting and hosting this much need discussion in a manner that is not overly political or emotional.

    Being the hippy guy from California i wanted to thank ITS and its followers for educating me on many of these issues that I would otherwise be completely ignorant about. I live and grew up in the very liberal SF Bay Area and guns are simply not a part of the culture here. Most people here feel no need to own a firearm and actually feel uncomfortable and less safe in the presence of guns – for a long time I felt this way too. Its partially a lack of education about guns and partially just a cultural standard or bias. Over the past year, to the shock of many friends, i have began looking into buying a gun. Upon going to a indoor range and shooting a pistol for the first time I was shocked at how difficult it was to shoot with the accuracy that i was expecting to have – i am very coordinated and athletic and figured it would be relatively simple. I was actually amazed at how bad i was. This made me reconsider the whole idea. As a responsible citizen and human it became obvious that a good amount of time, money, and training would be needed before i felt comfortable owning and even thinking about using a pistol in any situation. At this point i feel that I would only be putting unintended targets at risk. This realization along with learning about how easy it is, even in California, to got to a gun show and walk out with military grade weapons scared the shit out of me. I should not be allowed to own an AR with my current level of experience/training; and yet I could easily acquire one if I wanted to. This is this main issue I think need to be addressed.

    The Israeli model makes a lot of sense to me. I think not only would it result in safer, better trained, reliable gun owners, it could also close the political/cultural/educational gap that currently exists on this subject. If America is going to deem the ability to own a gun as a right – which is obviously always has – then a level of education/training should be standardized and made available to us all. I also feel that there should be a tiered training system: the ability of own a military grade AR with high capacity mags should absolutely require more training and experience than owning a pistol or hunting rifle, ect.

    Thanks again ITS and the readers. I learn a lot from these articles and the comments, and feel if this kinds of discussions were more public our country could close the massive gap in cultural and political opinions on the issue of guns and gun control.

  • Brav0Charlie

    Uri, this was a great, well thought out article. Thank you for being involved with ITS and being a editor here.

    Looking back at past incidences through out the world, including Israel, Russia, and Argentina; Are there any books you could recommend that could help people understand and be better prepared?

    Thank you sir.


  • Ryan Burbridge

    Very sad that at a time like this people think the need to “solve” a problem. There is nothing to solve. Yes it is tragic that people were killed. In a “free” country you have no security. I hate the thought of gaurds at every corner. If you want protection then provide your own.

    Legalize “freedom”.

  • Awesomeness

    I disagree with points 2 and 3, on gun handling. You want people to go and get “checked” by a science that is still theoretical, not to mention to many options for people to be misdiagnosed. How many kids are on meds for X or Y , when it isnt a case of suffering from X or Y , it is just being a kid? To many chances for people to lose their RIGHT, not privilege, to own a firearm.

    Point 3 of locking up is a good one, but you do not see people being held accountable for not properly securing a knife or car, and then that (those) objects being used in a crime of some sort.

    How many times have “gunsafes” been proven in effective for a truly determined mind?

    Not only does that mind set go against our own countries view on accountability and law, it is borderline “worst case scenario”. Imagine an ex-:insert whatever: getting into your gun safe and committing a crime with your said firearm, now you are being held just as accountable as the person that committed the crime? Yeah, that has bad news written all over it, you need to think these things out a bit more. Sure it sounds good, but you need to think past the “GOOD IDEA PHASE” and actually expand it to the worst case scenario, which in this case would be easy to obtain, and think is it really worth it?

    It is the few comments like those posted that keep me from wanting to get a membership to ITS. So many great articles , but when it boils down to some of the more hardcore cut and dry pieces, it seems that ITS wants to appease everyone , rather then sticking to one side.

  • Tony Parson

    I have a plan that won’t cost a dime. Get rid of all the so called gun free zones.

  • Ts1Spoc

    Having traveled in Israel it is not uncommon to see hotel staff carrying firearms under their coats or citizens with rifles or Uzi’s slung across their backs. I was impressed by the way the military is integrated into everyday life.
    I believe that firearms ownership is a right, but just because you can fog a mirror doesn’t mean you should get to. I deal with many who want to carry a gun but see few who bother with developing proficinecy with them. If you’re going to defend yourself in a shoot out you better be prepared to do so again in court if you fail to account for your rounds.
    I think there should be a stiff penalty for failing to secure your guns. If it wasn’t for the fact that Adam Lanza shot his mother she should be up on charges. According to several media reports Adam Lanza may have been Autistic. If that’s the case Adam’s ability to get to his mother’s guns is seriously criminal. And while were at it why don’t we enforce the 14 questions on the back of a Form 4473. A national database of addicts and mental patients might curtail some of what we have experienced in these school shootings, but part of it relies on us not to be victims and to be prepared. I was in Israel in 2003 at the beginning of the last war. I saw a lot of kids walking to school with gas masks prepared for a scud with dirty payloads. People were buying supplies for sheltering in place and getting prepared. Why aren’t we prepared? Do we really believe that after Oklahoma and 9/11 someone won’t try and hurt us? The bad guys are among us, just look at any of the recent spate of shootings in this country.
    I see too many people who are complacent and allow themselves to be victims of theft or other more violent crimes because they are lazy or believe it won’t happen to me. How long would it take for people to start locking their belonging up if when you called the cops you were told, “Sorry you left it unlocked with the keys in it.” What if the insurance company followed suit and said, “Sorry you left it unlocked with the keys in it.” Bet there would be a whole lot of locked cars around town the next night. Same thing with the guns. For God Sakes be responsible. Lock your guns up and keep your keys or codes on you and secret. If you have special needs people in your home you should be even more responsible.

  • People are being far too focussed on guns and security when the core of this is actually a broader issue.

    Skill with arms and taking responsibility for the safety you and your loved ones is all part of being a responsible adult and a good citizen.

    Those who don’t wish to bother with the responsibilities of a good citizen haven’t earned the rights a citizen should exclusively enjoy.

    The rights of citizenship (voting, bearing arms) should be earned by those willing to act as adults, though still not giving such blanket trust to the government as the Israelis have.
    Healthy mistrust of the government, combined with acknowledgement that freedom isn’t always pretty, and a determination for ourselves to set the example we want society to emulate is all part of being a mature adult.

    This was what Robert Heinlein argued against (universal suffrage and automatic citizenship) in his novel Starship Troopers and other essays.

  • Nachum

    I live in Israel myself, and lived here all my life, so I would like to clear some points.
    I’m not sure about the origins of the pictures, but I have been on multiple field trips with my school, and never has a teacher carried a weapon. On the other hand, we ALWAYS had a professional guard with a rifle and a first aid kit, and sometimes a trip would be cancelled just because the school couldn’t find such a guard.
    Uri, you seem to exaggerate things a bit. People trusting the government is somewhat inaccurate, since, lately, there’s a lot of bad blood, and the government is tightening the laws on weapons. Furthermore, a lot of times the guards in public places are more for show than for security. It’s doubtful that a guard, a month short of retirement, with arthritis, can actually stop a threat, or use his sidearm. And such ‘guards’ are quite common here. In crowded places, such as a central bus station, or an airport, security is strict and tight, but I’ve seen people get surprised because a guard in a mall actually did his duty and checked their bag.
    One of the biggest problem here, in Israel, is the laws concerning firing a weapon. While travelling in Israel you might see a lot of weapons, but an average Israeli citizen would think twice before actually shooting his gun, since he could go to prison even for self-defence.
    Point is, you are right, the system is better here, and security is tighter, but there are a lot of imperfections here, and the government doesn’t really care about the people here as much as you state, thus causing people to care for themselves, and causing lot’s of problems both political and security wise.

  • gilgoul

    I would respectfully point a few factual misunderstandings in Israeli gun-laws.

    As an Israeli living on the Syrian border, legal owner and carrier of a private firearm (Glock 19 Gen 3) and carrier of a state owned firearm in the framework of our local emergency response team (Colt M16a1 carbine).

    Let me start with this, I wish we had a 2nd amendment here, so gun ownership is based on the “need” as perceived by the ministry of interior security.
    This means that gun ownership is not a right but the recognition by the state it cannot provide citizens living in remote and/or reputedly dangerous places the services of timely response to threat.
    As a consequence, and especially so since the murder of PM Izthak Rabin z”l in 1995, access to firearms has become increasingly difficult when not outright impossible.
    Let say a law abiding, reserve serving (a large proportion of the pop. serves in reserves until their 40’s) citizen want’s to be able to buy a semi-automatic pistol and carry it, he/she will have to prove to the bureaucrats that:
    – the place of usual residence is in a “danger zone”, typically in the judea and Samaria, on the border with Lebanon, Syria and the Gaza strip, but not in Jerusalem, the center or large swathes of the country.
    – The applicant has a honorable discharge.
    – The applicant shows no former mental health disease.
    – The applicant takes no psychotropic drugs, dizziness inducing drugs, legal marijuana, and doesn’t suffer from any form of chronic disease that could impair vision, hearing, awareness or reflexes.
    – The applicant has a health waiver signed by the family doctor.
    – The applicant after being given a “on principle” authorization purchases from an authorized dealer/carrier the firearm (NO RIFLE/SHOTGUN/CARBINE WHATSOEVER) in question and goes to an authorised range to perform instruction and a test involving putting at least 40 of 50 rounds on a paper target set typically at 8 meters.
    -When all is said and done, the applicant finally receives his/her carrying licence to be worn alongside ID card permanently, waives his/her right to prevent unwarranted home search by the police, has to prove of the purchase and installation of a home safe, and typically cannot legally hold more than 50 rounds of ammunition.

    I hope I was thorough enough, as the author pointed out, there are plenty of things that can be learned from the Israeli experience, but unfortunately the gun law situation is still very restrictive and grows harsher from one year to the next.
    So for the people from the USA and others who still have rights to their firearms, hold them, defend them and cherish them, because they can disappear fast, I witnessed that in Europe in the 1990’s, and I see the same thing happening to you now, and to us too.

  • ar7mm08

    Great article Uri. To the question about the teacher carrying the rifle… the pic brings many fond memories to mind of trips around Israel as a kid. Anyone who has grown up there or visited with a group has been accompanied by an armed guard, often carrying the classic/effective m1 rifle. I can’t say whether the lady in the photo is a teacher per se but very often the guards on our trips were/are trained females. Do a search for “m1 Israeli security guard” and you’ll see how common it is to see a site like the one in that photo.

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