There’s a meme circulating around Penis-extendville, Gunnutistan where it is averred that there are no school shootings in Israel because this picture exists:
Click to enlarge
You’ve probably seen it at least once on Facebook. Or in a chain e-mail like the one above.
So, is it true that Israeli teachers are armed? It would be half of Gunnutistan‘s wet dream – don’t pay the teachers, but give them each a nice, shiny weapon. Because derp.
Well, the answer is no. Israeli teachers are not armed. In fact, it’s unlikely that the person shown above is a teacher at all.
There may be some exceptions in dangerous areas like the West Bank (where five percent of Israelis live), but in general, Israeli teachers are not walking around like it’s the Wild Wild West, strapped with a six shooter. No, our teachers are not focused on shooting, but educating. That doesn’t mean, however, that we don’t protect young students.
In the picture, the students are on an outing. While it appears that the teacher is holding a rifle, I have never seen such a thing in ten years of living here. Rest assured however, they are under armed protection. In most cases it is an armed guard or a soldier that will accompany a class, not the teacher. And my guess is that the woman with the gun is a security guard, not a teacher.
Secondly, they are not armed in the classroom. Is that really the image you want to imprint on the minds of six-year-olds? (That would be Hamas). On the other hand, I have never seen a school in Israel that was not fenced in. You must go through a locked gate that is guarded by an armed shomer, a security guard. He or she, on the other hand, is not concerned with educating, but protecting. He or she will ask you why you are there? What is your child’s name? Show me your I.D. card. And he or she would not let you bring a weapon inside.
These types of massacres don’t seem to happen here for other reasons as well. Despite the stereotype of Israel being a violent nation, it is a million times (slight exaggeration) easier to get a weapon in the U.S. than it is in Israel. Gun control laws are very strict here.
Two types of people have guns in Israel: Soldiers and those with licenses. Mentally unstable people don’t have guns—and thus, don’t shoot people. And it is not as easy to steal a gun as it is in the U.S. When you are drafted you go through mental tests to see if there are any red flags. If so, you will be discharged or placed in an area where you would never see a rifle.
HAH! Can you imagine? Show me your ID card? The black helicopter set would blame n0bama and Kenya and socialism.
So, given that firearms are often seen within the Jewish State – a country literally surrounded by enemies – who’s got the guns?
…guns are ubiquitous in Israel, where most 18-year-olds are drafted into the army after high school.
However, once those soldiers finish their service two or three years later, they are subject to civilian gun control regulations that are much stricter than American laws.
In fact, it’s pretty much impossible for civilians who live in Israel to acquire an arsenal of weaponry of the sort used by the alleged shooter in last week’s massacre in Aurora, Colo. James E. Holmes, who is accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 in the Aurora movie theater, legally bought the firearms he used, according to reports, including a semiautomatic rifle, a semiautomatic pistol and a 12-gauge shotgun. Leading up to the shooting, Holmes had bought thousands of bullets online.
In Israel, assault rifles are banned except for special circumstances, such as communal self-defense in areas deemed to be a security risk. And while political violence in Israel is all too common and gun violence is a growing problem, random shootings of strangers – like the Aurora massacre — are virtually unheard-of here.
Unlike in the United States, where the right to bear arms is guaranteed in the Constitution’s Second Amendment, Israel’s department of public security considers gun ownership a privilege, not a right. Gun owners in Israel are limited to owning one pistol, and must undergo extensive mental and physical tests before they can receive a weapon, and gun owners are limited to 50 rounds of ammunition per year.
Not all Israelis, however, may own guns. In order to own a pistol, an Israeli must for two years have been either a captain in the army or a former lieutenant colonel. Israelis with an equivalent rank in other security organizations may also own a pistol.
In addition, residents of West Bank settlements, and those who work there, may own pistols for self-defense.
Other groups of Israelis, such as professional hunters and sharpshooters, or people transporting dangerous goods, may also own firearms. And Israelis may keep unloaded guns they inherited or received as a gift.
Lior Nedivi, a former police officer, said that despite Israel’s militarized society, neither soldiers nor veterans engage in extensive gun violence because 18-year-olds are tested for mental and physical fitness before being drafted.
In 2008, 143 people in Israel died from firearms, according to the website gunpolicy.org.
“They don’t recruit everyone,” said Nedivi, who runs a company called Advanced Forensic Science Services. “If you are a person with a record of violence, you will be discharged.”
Screening, licensing, a limit on ammunition, and self-defense only. Nothing there about overthrowing the tyranny of the state.
For his part, Mr. Paladino claims in his email that the Newtown shooter,
We don’t need more gun control. Lanza could have killed all those people with a screwdriver. Are we going to ban screwdrivers next? We need armed and trained teachers. A policeman in a school can be identified and neutralized first. Armed teachers in various numbers can’t be identified. That will keep the loonies away. We have made our schools perfect targets for lunatics by making them gun free zones. When Lanza heard the sirens he killed himself. The loonies, much like Obama and his liberal devotees, are cowards.
Lanza could have killed 20 people in a matter of a few minutes with a screwdriver? Considering he shot some of the victims up to 11 times, he could have stabbed them each multiple times with a screwdriver? And a teacher would have been defenseless against a screwdriver? Did the screwdriver the author envisions have a mechanism with which to semi-automatically fire bullets at people, one after another?
And perish the thought that we would have police or security guards in school. A wily kid-murderer could “identify” and “neutralize” them first. Because the right wing always, incessantly, relentlessly operates from a viewpoint of fear, it is therefore assumed that we must turn our schools into Supermax prison-style fortresses with armed teachers and kids in body armor. These kids are then rushed in motorcades from their secure gated, walled communities to their Supermax security schools, and thus can we complete the descent from rational first-world superpower into a plutocratic mirror image of Zimbabwe or Mauritania.
Of all the stupid ideas that Gunnutistan has come up with as a “response” to Newtown, arming the teachers is the most dangerous and idiotic.
Maybe take the money you’d otherwise spend on a firearm and give those teachers a fucking raise.