On Friday, The Jerusalem Post posted an opinion piece about one of the conditions that led to the death of so many Israelis on October 7. On November, I reported that in Israel only 2 percent of the population is armed (article here). That may be rapidly changing.
The article at The Jerusalem Post reports:
Over the past month, more than 200,000 Israelis have filed applications for gun licenses – permits to own and carry a firearm. Given the spike in Palestinian terrorism over the past 18 months and the Hamas massacres of October 7, this is not surprising and is even welcome. I think that every Israeli grandmother should now pack a pistol.
In saying so, I am shocking myself, because I grew up in a Western liberal society where gun-toting was rare and frowned upon. If anything, it was the passion of far-right rednecks who were viewed from afar as irresponsible. The Americas are plagued by too much gun violence, with regular shotgun and machine gun shootings by deranged people in malls, schools, campuses, playgrounds, and even occasionally churches and synagogues.
Furthermore, in this country to which I immigrated many decades ago, guns were considered the province of the military, into which we send our sons and daughters to serve. Soldiers coming home for the weekend with their sophisticated and scary-looking rifles are a regular sight, and troops in the streets to secure major holiday pedestrian traffic and tourist sites are commonplace (and necessary), especially in Jerusalem.
In other words, this country is seemingly well protected by its large citizen-based army, police force, para-military forces, and penetrating intelligence forces. It is not necessary for the average citizen in Israel – men and women – to be armed. Or so it seemed.
The time when every Israeli working in agricultural fields or walking to work in Tel Aviv needed to have a loaded gun is over, or so we thought. The time when every Israeli needed to display instant readiness to repel attack had passed, or so we thought.
I believe that a well-armed civilian population of Israelites living on the Israeli borders would be a deterrent to another October 7-style attack.