America needs Israel's gun laws

Our nation witnessed one of the most horrific acts of violence an elementary school has ever seen last week as 19 fourth-grade students and two teachers were killed by an 18-year-old shooter in Uvalde, Texas. The tragedy has led many across the nation to reconsider what could be done to stop future shootings as the nation mourns the loss of innocent children.

I am a Texan. But I have also been to Israel more than 150 times. I have a museum in Jerusalem called Friends of Zion and was also the person who hosted the Gala for the U.S. Embassy dedication and put up 220 billboards when then-President Donald Trump came to Jerusalem, praising him as a Republican and as an Evangelical. I was one of 25 evangelical advisors to the president.

I am completely disgusted and embarrassed by the nation’s leadership once again of the Senate in not passing a rational gun law. Many of the senators I am appealing to are in fact evangelicals and have all been uncompromising supporters of Israel. I know. Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham both came to my event that I hosted with the former president standing in recognition of the embassy being moved to Jerusalem.

How can you praise and support Israel uncompromisingly and then be so inflexible when it comes to U.S. gun laws? Israel would never allow assault weapons such as an AR-15 with more than 100 rounds of ammunition to be purchased.

In Israel, guns are tightly controlled and carefully tracked by the state. They must ask the state for a license, are permitted only one gun at a time, and must even ask permission to sell their gun.

“Israel, like the United States, is a developed country where Uzi-toting soldiers are ubiquitous and private gun ownership is legal, though nowhere near as prevalent as it is here. But Israel had two deaths per 100,000 residents in 2019, compared to 12 per 100,000 people in the U.S.,” The Forward reports.

“In Israel, anyone who qualifies can get a gun — but those qualifications make all the difference. You must meet a list of criteria to ask for a license,” the report added.

The firearms licensing department is no rubber stamp. Roughly 40% of requests are rejected. All licenses must meet the minimum age requirements, be in good health and sound mind, with no criminal record, among other preconditions. Once they are granted the right to carry a gun, Israelis are limited to just 50 bullets in their possession at any given time. They have to shoot or return the bullets before they can buy new ones.

“In Israel it can take up to three months to get a gun. For starters, you have to be over 27, unless you’ve served in the military. Then you must prove that your job requires a gun, and get a doctor to sign off,” CBS News reported. That’s in addition to a gun range requirement.

What in heaven’s name is the rationale for an 18-year-old to be allowed to legally purchase two deadly assault rifles? With just one of these guns, the shooter killed 19 children and two teachers. The powerful nature of his rifle also reportedly helped keep law enforcement outside for a long period of time.

That’s in addition to the nation’s school security. Brig. Gen. (Res.) Amir Avivi, the founder and CEO of the Israel Defense and Security Forum (IDSF) NGO, told Fox News, “At every school in Israel you have a guard at the entrance monitoring people entering.”

This is not about the right to own a weapon for hunting. I’ve been a lifelong hunter. You don’t need an AR-15 to shoot a deer. There is absolutely no question that some extremists in America have built their white supremacist military organizations because of this weak and cowardly unwillingness to protect the rights of innocent children.

The same people who stand for the rights of the unborn must also care about the rights of children in our nation’s schools. Otherwise, the violence will continue.

I know because one madman tried to kill me. On June 30, 1984, Richard Snell targeted my own life because of my support of the State of Israel and Prime Minister Menachem Begin. I had just written a book called “Israel: America’s Key to Survival” and had produced a television special by the same name.

Snell was on the way to my home according to the ATF, with my unlisted phone number and my address, when he killed an Arkansas State Trooper. He also killed a pawnshop owner who he thought was Jewish.

If we truly care about our children – and our nation – we’ll take a real look at making the changes necessary to protect our schools and create legislation that will safeguard against future mass-shooting attacks.

Mike Evans is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee and #1 New York Times bestselling author with 108 published books. He is the Founder of the Friends of Zion Heritage Center in Jerusalem, the Ten Boom Holocaust Museum in Haarlem, Holland, and the Jerusalem Prayer Team, the largest religious Facebook page in the world.

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