The theory is that by reducing the number of weapons (usually meaning guns) in the world, by keeping weapons out of the hands of ordinary, law-abiding citizens, the number of violent (read: gun violence) incidents will thereby decline. Objective and factual arguments to the contrary fail to convince the anti-weapon school that this is a fool’s errand. I won’t reiterate these arguments since more knowledgeable people than I have done so already. However, from recent news accounts, I would like to pose another scenario. This one based on actual events now unfolding in Israel, and soon to be appearing in a neighborhood near you.
“Israelis were in little mood for browsing after more than two dozen attacks, most by young Palestinians armed with knives, that have killed seven Israelis this month, five of them in Jerusalem. At least 12 suspects in the attacks have been fatally shot by Israeli security forces and citizens at the scenes. (New York Times, October 14, 2015, Isabel Kershner and Jodi Rudoren)
In light of these continuing attacks, and based upon the decades-long campaign by Palestinian and Moslem activists groups to murder and maim Israelis, the Israeli government is moving quickly to confiscate all civilian weapons, including rifles, handguns, stun guns, tasers, pepper spray, clubs and knives of all types in order to quickly prevent further attacks on its citizens.”
In the event of an attack by a gun or knife-wielding Palestinian terrorist, public security minister, Gilad Erdan, advises Israeli civilians to quickly call the emergency number on their cell phones, and fend off their attacker or attackers with briefcases, umbrellas, chairs and anything else handy. “Taking a long series of unarmed self-defense classes well in advance of any possible attack is an excellent means of self defense,” he said.
Before anyone posts this on Twitter or Facebook, be advised that I made the last two paragraphs up. It’s not true. Although the quote from the New York Times of October 14th is true, the following two paragraphs are not. I made it up to illustrate the inanity of the theory that taking away a person’s ability and right to a weapon for self defense is stupid, wrong, and basically a bit crazy.
Here is the real quote from that New York Times story. It bears retelling and comment:
The public security minister, Gilad Erdan, approved steps on Wednesday that would make it easier for civilians to obtain gun permits. Several Israelis, he said, had helped the police in stopping assailants.
Israelis were in little mood for browsing after more than two dozen attacks, most by young Palestinians armed with knives, that have killed seven Israelis this month, five of them in Jerusalem. At least 12 suspects in the attacks have been fatally shot by Israeli security forces and citizens at the scenes.
The clampdown did not completely stop the violence. A young Palestinian wearing military-style fatigues rushed at officers with a knife at the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City on Wednesday afternoon, according to the police account, and the officers fatally shot him. Two hours later an attacker stabbed and wounded a woman around age 70 as she was about to board a bus in West Jerusalem, and an officer in the vicinity shot him, the police said. The assailant’s condition was not immediately clear.
East Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine,” Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestine Liberation Organization official, said on Voice of Palestine radio. “If they think that they can reach security with these measures, they are wrong. The Palestinian people will continue to defend themselves.”
So much for theory. This isn’t a debate topic, nor another “gun violence” op-ed in Huffington Post. This is happening now, will continue to happen, and has been in play ever since Israel was established in the 1940s. While I do not support any religiously-endowed state, much less a government that is controlled by religion of any sort, ethically I do support Israel’s right to exist and to exist with the means to ensure that everyone else on the planet won’t be able to march in and kill every Jew in the country. Or, every Jew in the world, as has been happening for over two thousand years. If you think this is hyperbole, you haven’t been keeping up on basic world and religious history. All you need to do is read or watch videos about what the Islamist and Palestinians say they would do if they were able. They would kill every Jew, everywhere, starting with Israel.
This is not an exaggeration. You can find YouTube videos and thousands of speeches, essays and books that explicitly declare their intentions to murder people who do not share their beliefs about the creator of the universe. And, they don’t mean just the Jews. Anyone else is fair game and even more worrying, many of these fanatics believe that they are under divine mandate to convert or kill non-believers.
This is what they are doing in Jerusalem right now. Think about it. Saeb Erekat, senior PLO official publicly broadcast the idiotic notion that stabbing 70 year old women boarding a bus, or boarding a bus and attacking innocent men, women and children with a gun and knives, or ramming a car into a pedestrian then attacking him with a meat cleaver are justified acts of Palestinian self defense. In the west we call that notion basic bullshit. You can say it is “self defense”, but that doesn’t make it true.
The heartening thing is that the Israeli public security minister (note that we don’t need such an office in the USA. Yet.) approved steps to make it easier for civilians to obtain gun permits. “Several Israelis”, he said, “had helped the police in stopping assailants.” God forbid that we should adopt that attitude here in the USA. Note that he is not referring to civilian cops, or vigilantes but to legally armed citizens who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, lending a hand to stop further carnage. One has to wonder what happens to civilians who aren’t able to assist the police when the police are not available to offer assistance in the first place. In Jerusalem, the likelihood that your average civilian may be legally armed is now much greater than here in the peaceful US of A.
Even so, there are, and I suppose always will be, those “concerned” individuals who want to find something wrong with responding to violence with violence, something to support their anti-weapons position. Believe it or not, some are complaining that “the resort to live fire” may cause unnecessary injury or death. They wonder why the police, and the armed civilians, are shooting to kill. Well, let me enlighten them a bit: when one is under attack and in fear of death or grave bodily harm, one is a fool to think about only shooting ones attacker only to disable or injure, to “wing” in the old Hollywood parlance. Anyone who thinks this is even possible are totally inexperienced and ignorant of actual, sudden violence and should mumble their remarks into their movie popcorn.
Tellingly, the people who are complaining about this are human rights groups (who never seem to agitate for the human right of self defense, life and liberty), Palestinian activists (non-knife wielding or gun toting Palestinians I guess) and Arab members of the Israeli Parliament. No big surprise there.
So, you can bat your theories of gun control, gun violence, assailants’ rights and the rest of the utopian world views as much as you want, but remember, when you do, you are living in the world of theory. If you’d like a taste of reality, where the hidden knife may suddenly flash in the hand of a young Palestinian bent on killing as many Jews as possible on his way to the Promised Land, take a trip over to Jerusalem. You might find a bit of comfort in the idea that those ordinary civilians sitting by you on the bus or walking with you down the street might be carrying guns.
You might also consider this when you are going about your peaceful business here at home. It isn’t only criminals, alcoholics, the drug-addled and psychopaths that we need to be concerned about. Now we can add religious fanatics to the list. They are increasingly active in other parts of our world and there is no reason why they won’t be appearing in increasing numbers in a neighborhood near you.
This isn’t theory. This is real.
Tank: “What do you need?”
Neo: “Guns. Lots of guns.”