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Opinion | The Day After | Israel Hayom

2023-12-07T06:47:26.543Z

Highlights: The Israeli reality teaches us that flooding the region with weapons, precisely at moments when tension is felt in the air and everyone is "on edge," as they say, can be explosive. In Arab society, there are cases of "neutralizing" suspects who were wounded or killed by gunfire, even though they posed no danger. The state of emergency and war in which we find ourselves obscures the dangers, perhaps rightly so. But it is also appropriate to have an in-depth dialogue about the implications of gun culture.


The Israeli reality teaches us that flooding the region with weapons, precisely at moments when tension is felt in the air and everyone is "on edge," as they say, can be explosive


Before the tragic and unnecessary death of the late Attorney Yuval Doron Castleman, there were quite a few red flags regarding the policy of mass arms distribution approved by the government at the request of National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, and the discourse on changing – and in fact easing – the open-fire regulations against suspects in the various arenas.

The security climate is well known, and it is also clear where the desire to increase the sense of personal security on the streets stems from. Behind the phrase "flooding the streets with weapons" stands what on paper seems justified and reasoned: easing the granting of permits to carry weapons to people who meet the criteria, most of them with experience or with military and security backgrounds. Civilians can sense that they are surrounded by skilled weapons carriers who, if found in the right place at the right time, will provide first responders in dangerous situations.

But the Israeli reality teaches us that flooding the region with weapons, precisely at moments when tension is felt in the air and everyone is "on edge," as they say, can be explosive. In Arab society, there are cases of "neutralizing" suspects who were wounded or killed by gunfire, even though they posed no danger. Far from it. The tragic death of special needs boy Iyad Al Halaq is one of the most striking examples in recent years of people who paid with their lives because they were "immediate suspects."

This situation, even if it is now necessary, shapes social reality and social perceptions, and this too must be considered. After all, there are two populations in Israel. The first is that her profession or military experience allows her people to carry weapons: security personnel, police officers and, of course, discharged soldiers. And in front of her - those who must keep weapons out of their hands: not only because they have not been trained to do so, but because, let's face it, they will not meet the official and unofficial "criteria."

It is also appropriate to have an in-depth dialogue about the implications of gun culture. First and foremost - fanning the atmosphere of vigilance at the moment. With so many people carrying weapons, so many people become suspects in the blink of an eye, passing in the wrong place at the wrong time

I also accept some of that logic. A person who is not trained to carry a weapon and yet is able to do so cannot assess the danger of another person in front of him, and certainly cannot apply the skill of a security guard who has studied and trained and knows how to discern who constitutes a danger - any danger, criminal or security. Castleman's tragic case shows that even those who are supposedly supposed to have experience can make a fatal mistake, at best. The fear is that unhealthy social conventions are reflected behind this mistake.

The state of emergency and war in which we find ourselves obscures the dangers, perhaps rightly so. Some might say: In such a situation, you don't take risks. It is better to be sorry than to take risks. But it is also appropriate to have an in-depth dialogue about the implications of gun culture. First and foremost - fanning the atmosphere of vigilance at the moment. With so many people carrying weapons, so many people become suspects in the blink of an eye, passing in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But my main concern is the culture that will develop here after the war. How much energy and resources have been invested in collecting illegal weapons in criminal organizations, including in Arab society. But the day after the war: diverting weapons indoors, as has already happened, a plague of weapons theft, the leakage of ammunition to criminal organizations, and what not. Gun availability in the U.S. has contributed to a rise in mass shootings in the U.S. Flooding the streets with firearms, in our climate, could prove just as deadly.

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Source: israelhayom

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