[UPDATE: Gun sales and license applications are now surging in Israel. Imagine that. Almost like LA, the day after a riot. Does the same thing happen with fire extinguishers?]
Israel gun ownership is only 2%. By contrast, over half of Americans own guns.
It is not a stretch to say that the lack of a healthy gun culture in Israel is putting families at risk there by emboldening criminals, including the most heinous terror.
I was shocked to see this 2% number. Having followed gun rights for years, I had the impression Israel was progressing toward more gun rights and in some cases outshined the US, for example in arming teachers.
But while concealed carry has been made easier over time, and there have been some great examples of armed Israelis stopping terrorist attacks, the 2% figure is rather anemic progress to show for these decades of effort given how dangerous the neighborhood.
There is no constitutional right to bear arms in Israel, and regulation is heavy. Most Israeli gun owners are limited to a handgun and 50 rounds of ammo. How can anyone attain proficiency with such limits, or develop any enthusiasm for training or passing down a legacy of firearm training through their families?
Ukraine reacted to invasion by liberalizing gun laws, rapidly putting guns in the hands of citizens (a little too rapidly, without much training), and polling shows that there is broad support among Ukrainians for the right to bear arms.
The Jewish religion is certainly no impediment to gun culture; Orthodox Jews lead efforts in Israel to expand gun rights and they are also very well represented among leaders of gun culture here in the US. Let’s hope gun culture spreads faster in Israel and also throughout its very extensive diaspora. This would truly make the world a better place.