The incredible number of mass shootings happening in the States is horrifying. The NRA’s demand that nothing be done about it is criminal. The 45 Republican Senators who voted to block background checks should not be in office. The idea that gun and ammunition restrictions will not do any good, because people will just use knives, is taking naivete to a whole new level.

On May 27th, Andy Borowitz wrote, “Saying we shouldn’t toughen gun laws because we can’t prevent stabbings is like saying we shouldn’t try to cure cancer because people also die of heart attacks.”

I’m stating all of the above from my home in Israel. I’m originally from Chicago, and it’s upsetting to me to see what’s going on over there. But, I’m also making this an issue because I have heard more than a few times Israel being mentioned as a country with lax gun control laws.

After all, it’s normal for us to see people carrying guns on the street and in stores and restaurants. Americans only want the same freedom we have here in Israel.

We don’t have mass murders in schools and movie theaters and malls in Israel. A superficial look by any Fox News fanatic would attribute this to the public display of arms that is so common here.

There is nothing further from the truth.

Israel has some of the toughest gun restrictions in the world. The problem is, the world doesn’t know that. For instance; To obtain a gun license, an applicant must be a resident of Israel for at least three consecutive years, have no criminal record, be in good health, have no history of mental illness, pass a weapons-training course, and be over a certain age:

20 for women who completed military service or civil service equivalent
21 for men who completed military service or civil service equivalent
27 for those who did not complete military service or civil service equivalent
45 for residents of East Jerusalem.
Gun licenses must be renewed every three years and permits are given only for personal use, not for business in the firearms sale while HOLDERS FOR SELF-DEFENSE PURPOSES MAY ONLY OWN ONE HANDGUN and MAY PURCHASE A MAXIMUM OF FIFTY ROUNDS OF AMMUNITION A YEAR except for those shot at firing ranges.

Could anyone imagine getting the above laws past the NRA?

And to get that license? Let’s just say you can’t go to a gun show and shell out some cash. In Israel, we take it seriously.

In order to apply for the license you will need to hand in the application to a clerk at the office with the following documents:

  1. Copy of your Israeli identification
  2. Copy of your Miluim (reserve duty) card or a letter of exemption from army reserve duty
  3. One passport photo with your Israel ID number listed at the back
  4. Documents approving the cause you are applying for
  5. Consent for using your photo from the government database (which appears on your driver’s license).

The application includes a health declaration that you will need to fill in and have signed by your physician. You will also need to sign a waiver of medical confidentiality. 

After an initial check by the clerk, the office will determine whether you will be eligible for the license. If you are, they will summon you for a personal interview and ask the police department as well as the Ministry of Health for their recommendations. If those offices will approve, you will be summoned to receive the license.

America’s NRA claims the mass shootings are unavoidable and can only be controlled by more people having guns.

Israel…a place where you can be sitting next to someone on a bus carrying an M16…begs to differ.