Friday, December 21, 2012

Civilians with Guns - America vs. Israel

Why is it that guns are probably less controlled than almost anything else in America? When I moved back to NY from Israel at 19, I was struck by how Americans seemed to love the power of guns, and treated them in much the same way they did a muscle car or a watch collection. What I didn't see was any of the healthy sense of respect and responsibility that should come with owning a gun. It was a stark contrast from what I'd seen living in Israel - even though I probably knew more Israelis with guns than cars (we had 3 - an UZI & an M16 which my parents had been assigned for guard duty, and my Mom bought a pistol because she couldn't come to grips with carrying a machine gun to PTA meetings), and armed civilians provide protection almost everywhere you go - school, the mall, synagogue, even a school outing - there is a tremendous amount of oversight in place to ensure that only the right people get/remain licensed. In fact, if an Israeli's gun is stolen they go to jail (I believe for 7 years). And I've never once heard of an Israeli who collected guns - let alone build up the kind of arsenals that only a militia could ever need. I'm not opposed to people having the right to protect themselves, but do I think that it's time that the laws caught up with the 21st century.