Bernard Bar Natan

Chani, Get Your Gun

Chani, Get Your Gun

In response albeit as the times are such, to the recent rise of Arab terror attacks in Jerusalem, National Security Minister Ben Gvir proclaimed his intention to significantly ease the process for obtaining a license, owning and carrying a weapon(s). Whether the weapon is visible or concealed is no longer an issue, if almost everyone is allowed, it’s safest to behave with the thinking that everyone is ‘packin’.

Exploiting the reality and using the paranoia, hysteria and other media Likes to make a lot of noise but say nothing of value; the hype still can’t conceal that the citizens of Israel are being informed by the new Minister of Police; you’re on your own folks, don’t count on us, me. First month in office, shuck responsibility and accountability from yourself and the Police. Good Start!

Perhaps the plan is to deputize the newly armed masses and form one big posse, or maybe a few smaller ones strategically located according to tribal allotments; the Judah, Benjamin, Menashe, etc…Regional Posses? Let’s see, who will we track down today?

All of us have them; family stories and legends that besides intimately knowing some or all of the participants, we have no connection to the event. Being the child of a Holocaust Survivor family, I have a pleather of other worldly tales. My parents-to-be along with my then 7 year old brother, my mother’s son from her first marriage, met at a DP Camp near Munich. The first part of the family legend is that my brother made the match between them. Another part is that my father agreed to the marriage only after my mother promised to get rid of her pistol.

A codicil I heard once that may have instigated my father’s request for disarmament. A short time before the end of the war my mother worked as a secretary/translator for the Red Army. She and her 5 year old son found a room in the area. She described how a Russian soldier came in and told her that from tonight he was coming to sleep there as well. Her protests of being a married woman with a child in a small room with only one bed were answered with; the boy will sleep on the floor. She complained to one of the officers who said he would look into it. My mother then tells how that evening the soldier was found dead, end of story.

The women of Israel, Jewish, Arab, religious and secular, in particular and most urgently and importantly the threatened, abused and beaten women, have an opportunity now, even an obligation to achieve some parity by taking full advantage of the new guidelines to be introduced and arm themselves for their and their children’s protection and safety.

Nothing tried so far has been effective. Fear is a most effective deterrent. There is a modern interpretation to the famous American story of George Washington chopping down his father’s cherry tree and going unpunished because he told the truth. Upon hearing the story an inner city elementary school student asked his teacher if George was still holding the ax when he owned up to his father about the tree. Kissinger is renowned for convincing the superpowers to go MAD; to his credit or not, it’s still sort of working.

The predominant reality is that the ‘bad guy’ already has a gun, other weapon or life threatening power. Perhaps a real counter threat / possibility of getting shot between the legs or the eyes would be more in the language of the larger discussion and hopefully better understood and internalized by the other side? The abusive husbands have only themselves and Ben Gvir to blame.

Ladies, please demand your Permits, for yourselves and for the future of Israel. It will be very interesting to see how the Police and the Ministry of Interior deal with thousands or more women asking to be on the firing line. How will Ben Gvir’s male constituency handle it if at home, the missus starts to sing: “anything you can do I can do better” and the daughters answer their fathers and brothers with; “you talking to me”? If the demand is high enough, the Israeli gun manufacturers will probably introduce models specifically designed for women, the Matriarch Series, my mother’s name was Sarah; the Chanas; the Aloni, (Oakley), and the Senesh derringer; all models are technologically personalized to the owner. The acquisition of a permit, the purchase of a gun, and the carrying of the weapon, is your right and your own business, personal and private. Speaking of business; Ladies’ Day at the Range would probably be a lot of fun and a popular outing for the shooting Moms.

Speaking of business; monkey or funny, et al; when an individual has a long arrest and conviction record, is a repeat-offender, like Ben Gvir and a few others in the current government, that individual has either a pathological compulsion or a conscious disregard even disdain for the law and the system of law in place. Because birds of a feather, etc… and you can know a person by who he associates with, and under the smelly Netanyahu guava tree you won’t find mangos, because of who Ben Gvir is; it is reasonable to ask if and how the Minister may profit financially and benefit personally from the easier guidelines to obtain a license and purchase a weapon? In addition to the relinquishing of governmental authority from the albeit legal proliferation of handguns and eventually assault weapons no doubt as well; will Ben Gvir ‘make out like a bandit’ thanks to Ben Gvir’s new guidelines? Does he or his family have any commercial and/or business interests in weapons manufacturers, resellers, shooting ranges and duck! Prior to his ascension, did Atty. Ben Gvir represent any of the existing entities, does he still today? And with the expected increased demand, any new entities to be established; and duck!

Who are the ‘allowed’? Who will benefit from the reforms?

Will the wives and children of Arab Police, Druze or Bedouin career IDF officers, or Arab doctors and nurses facing ever increasing violence working in and for Israel be among the allowed? Not in Afula apparently, you ignorant, evil racists!

How about people who never served in the IDF or Border Patrol? Chasidim from Jerusalem, Bnai Brak, etc…The yeshivot will have their own armories, the Peleg Yerushalmi and Shas will start trading potshots, or they’ll just shoot at the police after Shabbes is over. What was once a heated debate between 3 or 4 students, an intellectual jousting regarding the meaning of Rabbi Tarphon’s statement and Ben Zoma’s contradiction of it could now require pressure bandages and tourniquets. Recess at the yeshiva schoolyard, the; ‘It’s Awright Corral’.

What about people with arrest records, convictions? Like Netanyahu, Ben Gvir, Deri? Is it necessary to be a recidivist or will first offenders also be armed?

What about rentals for local and VIP international tourism? The car rental companies could expand their service range to include along with the GPS, a parking App, bottled water and a 9mm with 2 full clips in the glove compartment.

A tangential benefit to the proposed guidelines in coordination with the ever brilliant Ministry of Transportation will be to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, less vehicles, less accidents. The Police have the statistics; incidents of Road Rage are common in Israel and seemingly on the rise. The upshot of angry drivers with more guns will be an overall drop in the number of drivers due to the newly dead, wounded and incarcerated; so… that means; less cars on the road, ingenious!

As a policeman in Jerusalem, I wore a pistol for a few years; it was a love/hate relationship. Being armed is, in the middle of your life getting a new organ attached to your body that can be stolen or lost, 16 tons of responsibility and trouble. Multiply that weight by an unending power when there is a round in the chamber and the gun is pressed to the back of a suspect’s head.

Is it still today a tool for personal and collective survival? Or an ego trip where you can get to play God?

The legitimacy of self-defense, protection of your loved ones cannot be questioned. What to do then with the ambivalence, the love/hate affair regarding guns? There are already so many legal and illegal weapons in peoples’ hands; more guns arming more civilians are probably not needed. More brains and less posturing wouldn’t hurt; and that leaves out the Minister.

A ‘Loose Cannon’, apropos for the theme, is also very accurate to describe Ben Gvir. Borrowed from 18th century naval battles, it’s a cannon blasted out of its housing during a broadside and is now rolling around uncontrollably on a heaving deck mowing down everyone in its path. Today the term refers to someone who is more than slightly out of control and can’t be reasoned with, because like then, you can’t have a dialogue with two tons of cast iron. But more than anything else, a ‘loose cannon’ is extremely dangerous; it causes injury and harm only to its own side. It must be as immediately as possible, stopped, tied up, or thrown overboard. The ‘everyone’ in Ben Gvir’s path is us. Not a big surprise considering who he works for. Under a rotten tree, only bad fruit on the ground.

About the Author
I was born in NYC in 1954 to a Holocaust Survivor family. I grew up Brooklyn, and was a Yeshivah boy and a member of Betar, I made aliyah on my own at the end of 1979 and have had many positions in IL Jewelry salesman, photographer, police officer, tour guide, and others... I established a medical start-up based on my own invention and made a successful exit. I'm married with 2 kids, a daughter and a son.
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