08 September 2008

The 'Must-Have' Israeli Accessory

I missed this story back in March, but it is worth talking about even today.

The Times of London carried a piece about how firearms have become the "must-have" accessory in Israel. The reporter, Hannah Strange, "happened" upon her story when she noticed that a lot of men and women in Israel wear fanny packs. She saw the "bum bags" -- as they are known in Britain -- in the markets, and thought them curiously made with an odd chunk of foam inside.

Turns out they are designed specifically for carrying a sidearm and an extra ammunition magazine.

"There is a familiarity with guns in Israel that is rare among democracies, even in the firearm-friendly United States."
I, for one, think that laziness in the United States needs to change. That is, Americans should not be embarrassed to become familiar with a tool that can save their lives.

Here is another reason, which I have written on before. From the Times:

"In the early years of the Jewish state, gun laws were comparatively strict, a hangover from the days of British colonial rule. But in 1974, an attack on a school compound in Maalot by three Palestinian gunman changed attitudes forever. Mourning the deaths of 16 teenagers, the nation looked for a way to prevent future atrocities, and increased gun ownership seemed the logical answer. Regulations were relaxed and all teachers at schools and nurseries were armed in order to defend their pupils against future aggressions.

Since that time, guns have become a commonplace feature of Israeli life, with few ever questioning the efficacy of the policy. Gun ownership has been credited with saving lives of Israelis under attack on numerous occasions, establishing a firm belief that only an armed community can defend itself against Palestinian terrorism."

Yep. Thanks the late PM Golda Meir for a sensible policy shift. Slowly, ever slowly, school chiefs and university heads in the U.S. are coming to this same realization. Only the threat here is criminals going into victim-rich zones because of the weenie factor -- politicians and others dictated that schools be "gun-free" zones in order to protect kids. Now those kids as well as adult students, their teachers, staff, and professors, are sitting ducks. If they are so safe, someone needs to explain Virginia Tech, Baton Rouge, and DeKalb. How was it again that those victims were protected?

Here is Ms. Strange's full story, dated March 7 of this year. Worth the wait.

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