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Israeli handgun experience reflects willingness to charge the enemy

Israeli handgun experience reflects willingness to charge the enemy

Via The Times of Israel:

Israel, a country that often appears to be inundated with weapons, actually extends very few gun permits to civilians — only 2.5 percent of the population can legally carry a firearm. But those who are licensed to carry a weapon have proved capable of acting swiftly and effectively time and again to neutralize attackers during acts of terrorism.

“In 40-50 cases over the past 10 years, armed Israeli citizens have intervened during terror attacks,” said Dr. Shlomo Shpiro, a senior research fellow at Bar-Ilan University’s BESA Center and the author of a forthcoming paper on the armed Israeli civilian’s role in foiling terror attacks.

“In 70 percent of those cases, their intervention was crucial,” he said….

The two critical factors explaining Israeli civilians’ relatively effective responses, he argues, are training and an embedded, perhaps biblical and religious sense of responsibility for one another.

The training begins with the military, where combat soldiers are taught from day one to charge the enemy. The army’s psychological screening tests are also used to determine who may carry a weapon post-army, as a civilian.

All licensed gun owners undergo mandatory training, which Shpiro said makes citizens more likely to respond in the event of an attack.

But the real reason that civilians banish the human instinct to flee in the face of terror, he said, relates to a deep-seated empathy in this small country.

He noted the July 2008 case of a terrorist who plowed toward the crowded Mahane Yehuda market at the wheel of a heavy construction vehicle, flipping over a bus and killing three people. An unarmed off-duty soldier, riding a bicycle, charged the vehicle and, in the midst of a hand-to-hand struggle, grabbed a weapon from a civilian security guard nearby and shot the attacker in the head.

“The willingness to risk life,” Shpiro said — stressing that he has never lived in the United States and cannot speak to the norms there — “is rooted in an Israeli culture of involvement, and a deep societal commitment to saving lives.”


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All anyone has to do is listen to commodian chris rock cheerfully proclaim his willingness to go French on any invader to get a feel for the norm here. Military service and/or a willingness to run towards danger is what others do.

    Crawford in reply to jdkchem. | December 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    May I suggest that Chris Rock going for a laugh is NOT the norm?

      jdkchem in reply to Crawford. | December 17, 2012 at 5:35 pm

      It was a “comedy” bit on the radio one eve. I did not happen to find it or chris rock funny though his audience did.

      jdkchem in reply to Crawford. | December 17, 2012 at 5:54 pm

      Let me add that it is most definitely the norm, and has been for at least 30+ years, that the people who serve in the military are viewed as those who can’t hack the “real world”. Less than 10% of America has served in the military. As a former infantryman, considered the dumbest of the dumb, I represent 10% of less than 10%. So for those of you who voted thumbs down, I did you couldn’t. Don’t tell me how brave loyal and patriotic you are when you couldn’t be bothered to serve.

    jdkchem in reply to jdkchem. | December 17, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    For those who have been butt-hurt by my comment consider this. If what I said had no basis in truth there would have been no need for this;

    America is not at war, America’s military is at war, America is at the mall.

    Phillep Harding in reply to jdkchem. | December 18, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    I’m not real interested in being a rifleman, but hat’s off to you.

    I was Navy, which I used to think the smartest service to be in: (dry bed, warm meals, hot showers, etc), then someone pointed out that in the Air Force, the enlisteds did their work then went to hang out in the bars while the officers went and got shot at.

    Sounds good by me.

“The willingness to risk life…is rooted in an Israeli culture of involvement, and a deep societal commitment to saving lives.”

Yeah, that whole “l’chaim” thing is more than a snappy toast to some people.

You know, I’ve been thinking for quite some time now that the way to solve the seemingly unsolvable problem of the intergenerational transmission of poverty and dysfunction for such a large percentage of Americans would be to have a two-year mandatory stint in the military for all Americans, like in Israel and Singapore.

It would teach, especially young men from the inner city who grew up fatherless and who are prone to end up in prison, self-discipline and other crucial habits and values leading to a successful life.

It would give all Americans a feeling of a stake in America’s military and her defense. (Much in the same way calls for all Americans to pay some federal income tax, if just a nominal amount, would be beneficial.)

And with this tragedy, it’s dawned on me that the training with guns and gun safety would be another benefit of a mandatory stint in the military.

There was an Israeli in one of my grad classes, and he spoke very fondly of his mandatory stint in the military there.

    beloved2 in reply to LukeHandCool. | December 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Luke, most of those inner city American children are so dysfunctional by age 18 that they cannot even qualify for the American military much less Israel who has much stronger requirements. It was amazing to me the Israeli’s parent involvement with rearing their children,Torah study and Yeshiva starts at age 3, the little ones that come to public school have a very strong identity, they know who they are, know their history, know their G-d. Israeli parents invest into their children’s development like no other, the Japanese are a close second IMHO.
    Here’s a great article about how Israel protects their children. Every school has a fence and an armed guard. There’s a wonderful picture of the armed guard(a woman) from FACEbook of a group of Israeli school children.
    Mandatory military service with arms training in Israel starts at age 18 so women soldiers also are trained in arms (because they have to be)and since it is a mandatory prison sentence if a soldier loses his gun, you see dating couples walking around with their guns. Israel feels so safe unlike Connecticut.

      Uncle Samuel in reply to beloved2. | December 18, 2012 at 5:59 am

      “most of those inner city American children are so dysfunctional by age 18 that they cannot even qualify for the American military much less Israel who has much stronger requirements.”

      Sadly, so true. Many are addicted to substances and behaviors, and have so little ‘work ethic’, or any other kind of ethics, any self/other respect, any regard for human life that they are unqualified for employment of any kind. Theirs is a parenting, ethical, moral training deficit.

      Statistics show that dysfunction is not confined to the inner city, thanks to our promiscuous culture. Porn, gambling and drug addictions afflict pastors and priests, upper crust and affluent families as well.

      Western culture is decadent and diseased…and those who follow G-D’s Word are derided, persecuted, often violently and murderously.

      And, it is also true that the Commandments of G-D are health to the whole person, spirit, soul (mind, will, emotions), and body.

      Many people do not know that Netanyhu’s son won an international Bible competition, that Netanyhu has a weekly Bible study in his home, that Netanyhu’s wife’s family has many Rabbis for generations back.

      The conscience in Judaism is meant built by the Torah reinforced in their homes, acted out in their daily lives – the Torah becomes alive in their actions.

      In Christianity, Jesus Christ is called ‘The Incarnate Word’ and Christians, following His example of Love, Truth and Life, make the Word of G-D incarnate in their hearts and lives. “Be doers of the Word, not hearers only” said Jesus. Not to do so is hypocrisy or falsifying one’s profession of faith.

        Uncle Samuel in reply to Uncle Samuel. | December 18, 2012 at 6:05 am

        Says Uncle Samuel, who is admittedly a poor example of ‘courage’ and of living the Word and Commandments of G-D. It is easy to speak out strongly for Biblical ways and values, and to vote anonymously, but hard to live The Word and Commandments in one’s own heart, and in daily practices and work and among one’s own family.

    Not only young men would benefit. Young women, too, need to undergo training in community service, personal safety and the development of self confidence.

    LukeHandCool in reply to LukeHandCool. | December 17, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Shaquille O’Neal credits his tough, military stepfather, “Sarge,” for Shaq not having ended up in prison.

    “Once, the police called Sarge (O’Neal’s stepfather) when his ten-year-old elementary-school stepson got into trouble as a result of hanging around with the wrong type of kids … Sarge ran down to the school, paddle in hand. The cops saw him when he came through the door, and they said, “If you hit him, we’re going to lock you up!” Said Sarge, “I told them, ‘then lock me up right now!'” A whipping followed, and Sarge says he barked to his young charge, “I told him, ‘Better I do it now than have the police do it later’ … I told him, ‘You’ve got to be a leader, not a follower.'”

    Juba Doobai! in reply to LukeHandCool. | December 18, 2012 at 2:45 am

    I like the idea of whipping young men for pre- an extra-marital sex and pregnancies, followed by shotgun marriages with a no divorce option for the single ones, and a public beating at the stockade for the married ones.

    Why the young men only?

    They’re the ones always bleating about “I want you to be my baby’s mama.”

We have strong military men that need jobs, and would be an excellent example for youngsters.

And we have leftist teachers that can’t teach, and should learn work skills at McDonalds.

A match made in heaven.

BannedbytheGuardian | December 17, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Ihave not been to Israel.

I have not been to Newtown but I was a guest. In a Dem household in nearby Danbury.

Not sure.Israel & CT folks are interchangeable . What works or is necessary for one may not be forthright other .

If it were not so , we might as well haves One World Guvmint.

    Nations are, at minimum, administrative districts. Even with a universal culture, there would still be a need to ensure accountability through proximity. There would also be a need to prevent a monopoly of capital and power, which establishes a dissociation of risk thereby sponsoring corruption.

The article says that it’s a privilege, not a right, but to serve in armed forces is a duty. They might not give that many permits to civilians, but the soldiers are everywhere, and they wield large weapons. No doubt that’s a huge deterrent for terrorists and other unsavory types.

[…] the whole thing by “arming the teachers.”  Though this actually COULD work in theory, as it has in Israel, and I do know that with common sense precautions any teacher could handle a firearm  … as a […]

“only 2.5 percent of the population can legally carry a firearm. But those who are licensed to carry a weapon have proved capable of acting swiftly and effectively time and again to neutralize attackers during acts of terrorism.”

““In 70 percent of those cases, their intervention was crucial,” he said….”

This is the point.

This year for the first time in my life, I have started occasionally carrying a firearm, either concealed or openly, and accepted that if circumstances dictated I would appropriately judiciously and effectively protect and defend myself and others from deadly attacks by criminals.

I have taken training in gun safety and handling, and marksmanship. I’ve been undergoing the appropriate training to be effective in such circumstances and I am not the only woman taking the training in my group.

I have no desire to be a hero and with that being said, I also never want to see someone in the act of murdering innocent people, including myself, go unanswered.

To do this is expensive, time consuming, and comes with a heavy burden of responsibility. So be it. | December 18, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Israelis charge the enemy. American police stand around and wait. Yeah, I know about 9/11 and the police and firemen who died in the World Trade Center attack but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

Today came news that it took 20 minutes after the first phone call for the first police officers to arrive at the scene of the Sandy Hook school shooting. I don’t understand the delay. There’s a local police department right in Newtown, and there’s a state police post only six miles away in Southbury. There’s a Fairfield, County sheriff’s department is in Danbury, maybe 10 miles from Newtown.

In 2009, when an immigration center was shot up and 13 people killed, though police officers were on scene in three minutes, they waited over 40 minutes to enter the building. Though police did not know it, the killer had shot himself when he heard their sirens. While they waited, some of the victims bled to death.

When seconds count, police are only minutes away and then they’ll take their sweet time protecting (and covering) their asses while you and I or our kids are dying. Is it too much to ask the police to actually respond when they’re the first responders?

I noticed that the memorial service that Pres. Obama used for a photo op also had a bit of ceremony where the “first responders” walked in after everyone else had been seated. I know that to avoid facing evil we humans look for some good in a horrific act but I’m not sure that praising the police agencies of Connecticut accomplishes much. If police stop a crime in progress, it’s usually by accident. If and when they do show up, it’s usually too late, as happened here.