The Left wants a total ban on guns. Much of the right counters with unlimited “Constitutional carry,” anywhere, anytime. Neither of these extremes is feasible.
If we can put aside our narratives and straw men for a moment, and simply be real, we may find some value in commonsense “gun control.” And the most commonsense place to find it is our friend in the Middle East, Israel.
Israel is a very small country, about the size of New Jersey. It is in many ways surrounded by enemies, or at best, tenuous partners bound by treaties and pledges of cooperation. These facts lead to some stark realities. Every able-bodied Israeli–even the ultra-Orthodox Jews–must serve in the military. This is mandatory. The military trains every member in weapons handling, so every Israeli who has served has some familiarity with handling, caring for, and firing guns.
That’s one large difference between Israel, the U.S., and other western countries. Many Americans only know guns from movies. Seeing a real one, or–heaven forbid–firing a gun, can be a frightening experience for liberals and Europeans unaccustomed to it. (In fact, Gersh Kuntzman of the New York Daily News called his virgin experience firing an AR-15, “horrifying, dangerous, and very, very loud.” To which Erick Erickson hilariously replied, “It’s a gun, you idiot! Were you expecting it to tickle you?” This lays to rest the “suppressor” or “silencer” argument, of course, but that is not our topic here.)
Let’s set aside those who believe that real, actual guns, not portrayed on television or movie screens are incarnations of Satan himself. Those people are the burners of straw-men and fantasizers of gun-confiscation. To whom they would entrust the task of confiscating (at gunpoint!) 300 million guns is also not our topic here. Let’s now confine the subject to those who wish to own, use and carry guns.
In America we have a Second Amendment right for citizens to own guns. In Israel, no such right is granted by the government, although it is somewhat brought about by necessity. Where the two overlap: Americans’ rights and Israelis’ necessity, is where we can and should learn from Israel’s form of “gun control.”
There are three planks to sensible gun control.
- Determining who can and cannot possess a gun.
- Determining where guns can and cannot be carried.
- Controlling how guns can and cannot be used.
It’s a far-right straw-man to claim that none of these apply, as even the Second Amendment speaks of “a well-regulated militia.” The government has an interest and a responsibility to regulate (“control”) deadly weapons. Can we all agree that it’s a bad idea to give a loaded gun, unsupervised, to a four-year-old? Can we agree that 16-year-olds carrying concealed, loaded weapons in high schools may not be the best idea? What age is the right age? That’s a matter of debate–but the point is taken that some people should not possess guns.
Who can carry?
In Israel, carrying a gun is a positive privilege granted by the state. Since 2015, IDF officers with the rank of lieutenant or above and NCOs with the rank of staff-sergeant or higher are eligible for firearms permits. Before 2015, there was an additional two-year service requirement, but that was removed to enhance the value of “citizens with firearms training” as “a multiplying force for the police in their fight against terrorism.”
Also, citizens who have served in certain military units, along with those who have passed the Shin Bet’s (Israel’s FBI) security guard training courses, and people who wish firearms training on a case-by-case basis can apply for permits. Permits carry an obligation to remain proficient with the weapons–every few years at a range at minimum.
We should have no problem with states that require some kind of firearms training to obtain a concealed carry permit. We should agree that firearms education should be offered in every high school. It would prevent the “Gersh Kuntzman” reaction, or the tragic case of 19-year-old Pedro Ruiz. Ruiz convinced his girlfriend to shoot him in the chest point-blank with a .50 cal Desert Eagle so he could make a YouTube video showing how an encyclopedia would stop the round. She killed him.
Many times, at super-mega gun stores and big-box retailers, the people behind the counter are incentivized to make the sale, get the background check, and collect the money. Perhaps, adding a few bumps here and there with other people who aren’t trying to sell a product would be a better solution. Waiting periods are fairly useless, except for the occasion where a jilted lover runs to Bass Pro Shops to buy a gun to take home specifically to kill a cheating spouse. On the other hand, there’s not many times where I have a “gun buying emergency” where I simply must have that .454 Casull, and I must have it today!
Gun registries and sales: a uniquely U.S. problem
Oh boy. A hornet’s nest. Is it the government’s business that you own a gun, and is it their (or anyone’s) business that you own a lot of guns, or which guns you own? In Israel, yes, absolutely. There is no private gun sale right in Israel. There’s no way a terrorist can get a legal permit holder to go buy a gun for them without raising all kinds of red flags. You can’t just walk into Academy Sports in Israel and walk out with a handgun.
In the U.S., gun sales is big business. To the tune of $11 billion (guns and ammunition). Gun manufacturers employs 35,165 workers. There are over 50,000 retail gun dealers, which contribute $123 million in tax money to federal coffers, along with over a half billion to states and conservation groups for hunting licenses. In the U.S., 32 percent of households own at least one gun.
Of course the industry would be against anything that would spook individuals from buying guns–that’s a no-brainer. However, common sense can prevail here, in a combination of Israel’s tightly controlled ownership registry versus America’s “screw-you-it’s-my-right” ethos.
Nothing good can come of a national gun registry, unless you were a criminal and the police were about to raid your house. And since you fill out an ATF Form 4473 every time you buy a gun from a licensed dealer, they already know you’ve bought a bunch of guns. They aren’t supposed to share that information–but they do.
The fact is, that people who own 30 or 40 or 50 guns–they’re either collectors (and that’s fine) or they’re something else. The something else might be a paranoid prepper, an anti-government arsenal builder, or a murderous nutcase. Either way, people in that category deserve scrutiny. I might be unpopular saying it, but let me give a couple of examples.
If you’re a father, do you want your teenage daughter dating a guy who has dated one or two girls in his class, or one who has dated them all? If you’re hiring for a position, do you want the applicant who has worked at one company for 5 years, or 15 jobs in the same period? There’s a value in knowing when the neighbor down the street has 50 cases (1,000 rounds per case) of 5.56mm NATO ball ammo. That’s enough for a small army.
Can we agree that there’s no problem with the federal government asking “why” in these cases, or telling buyers on the phone that local law enforcement will be informed of their newly-acquired arsenal? Can we agree that’s not an infringement on Second Amendment rights? It’s a straw-man argument that anyone can own as many firearms as they want without the government taking notice. Can we agree that there’s no problem telling shady gun stores that they’ll face decades in federal prison if they break those rules (they have those rules now, but pawn shops and other dealers who buy and sell weapons sometimes “lose” the transaction records).
Where guns can be carried
Americans want to have our cake and eat it too. We don’t like metal detectors, bag searches and other inconveniences. But we also don’t like being shot at in public places. As the latter increases in risk, resistance to the former becomes weaker.
In Israel, it’s commonplace to have bag searches, metal detectors and security guards. Many employers have gun lockers. Employees come to work, unlock their personal gun safe, deposit their firearm (sometimes an M-16 if the worker is a reserve soldier), and go to their jobs. If you go into an Israeli mall, the security guard asks “do you have a gun?” They might ask for your permit.
Can we agree that in American retail stores and malls, it’s a tremendously stupid idea to ban all guns? It’s just blindingly dumb, but it’s private property. In these businesses, in Georgia, I carry concealed if I feel like it. The worst they can do it throw me out. A smarter way is to employ a couple of trained, armed security guards, who can ask if people are armed (train them to spot telltale signs). If they are armed, they show their permit, and they can come in. This is not an infringement on anything. Private businesses can ask for a gun permit if they want to.
Why is that better? Well, it keeps the idiots at bay–those open-carry-for-the-sake-of-screw-you people. It keeps the criminals at bay–they know there are armed people in the mall. It would likely prevent several tragedies a year. Notice at churches where people can carry guns, mass shootings are rare and generally quashed quickly if attempted. But in Charleston, guns cannot be carried at churches, and Dylann Roof took advantage of that. It’s the same with movie theaters.
Creating unenforced no-gun zones where people gather simply makes it more likely a mass shooting will happen, and succeed.
Walt Disney World used to allow anyone legally permitted to carry concealed in Florida to carry in their parks. Now they don’t. They have metal detectors and bag searches. You have to get there earlier. The moved the “open the gates” ceremony at the Magic Kingdom from the gates to Cinderella’s castle. It’s less convenient. But it’s safer.
We should expect at least some of the hotels at the Las Vegas strip and other touristy places where a killer can infiltrate to set up similar inconvenient barriers. That means some people won’t want to stay at the hotel, and that’s fine. Maybe the hotel can make an exception for permitted concealed carry–one gun on your person. That would prevent someone from bringing in an arsenal. Common sense can prevail.
In Georgia, it’s illegal to carry onto school property, except when picking up or dropping off students. That’s common sense. It should be legal for college students to carry on campus–at any school, in class or in the dorms.
But there should also be limitations.
How guns can and cannot be used
In Israel, one big–huge–difference in dealing with firearms is the concept of positive control. If a citizen carries in Israel, the gun is inextricably tied to them. Many police departments in America use this same concept. Carry everywhere because the gun is yours and you can never let it out of your sight. It’s a major offense in Israel to leave a gun unattended. In the U.S., it can lead to discipline against a police officer (such as the Capitol police sergeant who left a gun in a bathroom). In Israel, leaving a gun in a car unattended will lead to prison.
In Israel, permit holders are required to have government-approved gun safes in their homes. If the gun isn’t in the safe, it’s carried. If it’s carried to work, it goes into a safe locker. Guns are not simply left out.
What reason do we have not to require some kind of personal carry and ownership responsibility? We might not require a full-on gun safe (but that’s a good idea, mine is biometric), but there should be stiff penalties for leaving a gun in a car or home unattended without securing it. At minimum, that should be a hearing to potentially suspend a citizen’s right to carry. A right is a right, but if it’s exercised without responsibility and with abandon, it should be suspended. We have a right to vote, but should we be able to vote again and again in the same race? Should convicted felons have a right to vote from prison? Should company insiders have the right to use their knowledge to profit in the stock market?
Can we agree that certain activities should result in suspension or loss of the right to carry a gun?
In Israel, the standard is one of “need.” In Israel about 300,000 guns are licensed to individuals, companies and ministries based on need. That’s about one for every 16 citizens between 15 and 65 years old–or about 6 percent of the population. There are about a half million Israelis eligible to carry weapons because they’re serving in the military or reserves. That brings the number up to 14 percent.
That’s not so far off from U.S. numbers. Though about a third of households own a firearm, most of those don’t carry it, or they have a hunting rifle or other long gun. Hunting in Israel is not nearly as popular an activity as in America, so it’s hard to compare apples-to-apples. In general, there is only one reason to own or carry a gun in Israel, and that’s necessity.
In Israel, the government limits the amount of ammunition people can own; it’s anywhere from 50 bullets for a handgun to up to 700 bullets for a hunting rifle. Generally, in Israel, a civilian gun license is for one gun only. They are very restrictive.
In America, owning is a right. But not an unrestricted right.
If we want to prevent more mass shootings of the kind we had in Orlando, Aurora, Sandy Hook and Las Vegas, we can’t continue to burn straw-men and shout past each other on the issue of gun control. Some gun control is needed. Gun confiscation, or a total ban, is not feasible, legal, or politically possible.
It’s up to private businesses to determine if they want firearms carried on their property. In many cases, it’s stupid for them to ban guns carried by law-abiding citizens. But it’s even more useless to ban guns without having some kind of enforcement, as inconvenient and expensive as that might be.
Owning a gun should not merely be an entitlement. It’s a right that carries with it a responsibility. It’s up to government to wisely regulate the responsibilities of gun owners, without infringing on the right to become one. How a gun is carried and used should be strictly enforced.
Gun education is key. This is mostly what the NRA is about. The Left paints them as a lobbying organization representing gun manufacturers (yes, the NRA-ILA is a lobbying group, but there’s also the NSSF, NAGR, and others), but much of what the NRA does is training and education. If people aren’t getting firearms education in the military, they need to get it locally, and we should be okay with that as a requirement for concealed carry. Guns are deadly and should not be trifled with.
Finally, we should look at some form of law enforcement flagging for individuals who have accumulated many guns. This will upset the paranoid conspiracy theorists who are preparing for the black helicopters and UN troops marching to take “our guns.” I have news for these people: if the federal government wanted to know who you are, they already do. The flagging is to offer a check against individuals like Stephen Paddock who might accumulate a cache of weapons quickly. Better to have a confrontation with law enforcement at home than to have him do what he did.
Sensible “gun control” is the objective. Israel has a very good and effective system. They do it out of necessity. Maybe it’s time America adopted their ideas.
Video Double play: Busting the gun grabber’s musket myth.
Two videos that eviscerate the Liberty Grabbers ‘One shot’ musket myth.
It is a bedrock principle (if they have any) of the Liberty grabber Left that back during the ratification of the US Constitution the only weapons in existence were flintlock musket that took 5 minute to reload. Thus there wasn’t any school violence because it would have taken too long for the perpetrator to kill anyone.
As it typical of the lore of the national socialist Left, this is a lie of the first order. A previous video celebrated the “Assault Weapon” tricentennial, which was bit of the tongue in cheek variety since there were other repeating “Military Style” weapons in existence before this time period. These will be detailed in future articles. Meanwhile we present two videos that also bust the ‘Musket Myth’, one a short presentation from the Royal Armouries on the Jover and Belton “Flintlock breech-loading superimposed military musket”
Published on Aug 30, 2017
Curator of Firearms, Jonathan Ferguson, gives us a peek at the Flintlock breech-loading superimposed military musket, by Jover and Belton (1786)
This is a very relevant piece since the inventor Joseph Belton corresponded with the Continental Congress in 1777:
May it Please your Honours,
I would just informe this Honourable Assembly, that I have discover’d an improvement, in the use of Small Armes, wherein a common small arm, may be maid to discharge eight balls one after another, in eight, five or three seconds of time, & each one to do execution five & twenty, or thirty yards, and after so discharg’d, to be loaded and fire’d with cartridge as usual.
“It was demonstrated before noted scientists and military officers (including well known scientist David Rittenhouse and General Horatio Gates)”
This destroys the mythology that the founders had no knowledge of this type of repeating firearm technology that existed already.
The second is a humours dissertation on the subject from video raconteur Steven Crowder https://www.louderwithcrowder.com/
from a few years ago that also eviscerates this bit of Leftist mythology.
Published on Feb 10, 2015
People have been telling us for years that the 2nd amendment was written in a time of Muskets, and that it doesn’t apply to the evolved weapons of today. Is it true?
So why is this important?
Two primary reasons. One that these factual examples demonstrate that the founding fathers knew of these technological advances. Therefore, they destroy any Leftist pretences that the 2nd amendment be confined to muskets. Second that, school violence is something other than an issue of guns.
Final pieces of the puzzle voiding the Second Amendment are ready to put in place
It’s no mystery to the majority of liberty-loving Americans that politicians of every political stripe have been working feverishly to find new ways to restrict or eliminate our constitutionally protected God-given rights. And there has been perhaps no greater effort in their politically correct but unconstitutional agenda than their attempts to void in word and/or deed our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
While attempts to restrict gun ownership have existed throughout American history, the current movement got its footing from the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA). This law, a response to gangland crime during Prohibition, established a framework for the federal government to regulate specific types of firearms and accessories, and it imposed a tax on the manufacture and transfer of firearms defined by the Act.
Though amended by the Gun Control Act of 1968 to address a flaw that nearly voided the NFA, the law has been used to curtail, if not prohibit, transactions involving firearms identified in the 1934 law. Since 1968, the Firearms Protection Act of 1986, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, and the NICS Improvement act of 2008—which “improved” background checks required under the Brady Law—have also been added to the NFA.
As you can see in this very brief timeline, the old “slippery slope” adage is true. And in the aftermath of recent shooting events at public schools, the final pieces of the puzzle to void the Second Amendment are ready to put in place.
For example, the omnibus spending bill passed by the GOP-controlled Congress and signed into law by Donald Trump in March included the Fix NICS Act, a bill introduced by Republican Sen. John Cornyn. This so-called “improvement” to NICS gave the government power to deny gun rights to individuals for something as minor as a traffic ticket, and it laid the groundwork for the establishment of a FBI database of all gun owners.
With Fix NICS in the books, and with Republicans and Democrats in one accord on gun control, Washington is ready to take the next logical step toward voiding the Second Amendment—a Nazi Germany-style gun registry. If successfully made into law, these proposals will give the federal government complete control over every gun and gun owner in America, thus giving our Big Brother overlords the power they need to eliminate private gun ownership entirely.
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) has introduced the Crime Gun Tracing Modernization Act, a bill that will require the federal government to establish a “searchable, computerized database” of all records pertaining to the sale, importation, production, or shipment of firearms. Though he hasn’t advocated a database system “yet”, Nelson’s GOP opponent, Gov. Rick Scott is equally as dangerous following his strong anti-gun position since the Parkland, FL high school shooting.
In the House of Representatives, Democrats have introduced the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act. If passed, it would prohibit gun ownership without a license and would require a valid firearms license to transfer and receive a gun. The bill would also require the US attorney general to maintain a “federal record of sale” system to track every gun purchase made in America.
From laws denying gun rights to adults under 21 years of age to the growing acceptance—even in Washington—of using Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) to seize firearms from individuals who haven’t broken any laws, many Americans have already lost their Second Amendment rights.
If anti-gun politicians in Washington have their way—and with no Constitutional conservative coalition to stop them, they might—all of America will soon know the reality of living in a country without a Second Amendment . . . and without liberty.
Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo takes ERPO laws up a notch; will use teachers to seize guns
The anti-Second Amendment hysteria by left-wing extremists and the media—but I repeat myself—has reached a fever pitch following recent incidents of gun violence at public schools as it breathes new life into a punch list of Constitutionally questionable laws designed to completely disarm America.
One such law gaining momentum is the Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO). By taking one part “big government knows best” and adding a heaping cup of “for the children” with just a dash of “mental health crisis” for seasoning, progressives in both parties have created the perfect recipe to satisfy their appetite for killing the Second Amendment and denying us our God-given right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
An ERPO empowers family members and the police to seize guns from anyone they feel poses a danger to themselves or others simply by obtaining a judge’s order—an order that doesn’t require testimony from the “accused” which is a violation of our Constitutional rights. No warrant. No charges. No arrests.
After the Parkland, FL high school shooting earlier this year, Gov. Rick Scott—currently the GOP candidate for US Senate—joined forces with Republicans who had already joined forces with Democrats to pass a host of anti-gun laws, including ERPOs. In the months that followed, GOP governors in Vermont and Maryland also passed ERPO laws.
Earlier this year I wrote in an article about how mental illness is being used to deny gun rights, and I shared a story about an ERPO being used by police in Seattle, WA to forcefully confiscate the guns of a man because his neighbors didn’t like that he “stared” at them while legally wearing a holstered firearm.
Besides the fact that ERPOs are becoming one of the greatest threats to our Constitutional rights, they are also serving as the grease for the slippery slope we are taking toward tyranny, as we see in the recent proposal by NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo plans to introduce a proposal to the state legislature for a law that will allow teachers to petition a judge to remove guns from the homes of “troubled students.” Under his expansion plan for ERPO, teachers and school administrators would be granted legal standing to petition a court to remove firearms from the homes of students considered a threat to themselves or others. The teacher’s union loves this idea.
If it becomes law, the next time a child acts up in a NY school SWAT teams could be knocking down the door where they live to disarm the parents. And with the way ERPO laws are gaining acceptance—including in Washington DC—it could happen where you live too.
Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.