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Guns , Bullets and What happens in Between

Updated on January 1, 2013

Owning a firearm is a responsibility. It begins with oneself and moves it’s way to all surrounding us. It is not trivial to own a weapon.

Yet, in the USA it is trivial, and you can walk into a store and purchase one, with virtually no questions asked. Triviality lessens the responsibility and allows weapons to land up in the hands of persons who could threaten society.

The array of legal weapons is also stunning, allowing anyone to purchase even assault rifles. It probably was not one of the US constitutions second amendment’s intention that military weapons which should only be on the battlefield would roam the streets.

So what is wrong here? It is probably not the fact that so many arms are available, but it is in most probability both the violent society we are living in, the ease at achieving weapons, education, irresponsibility of owners of weapons and of course an individual “snapping”.

All the above could be addressed, but unfortunately will never be permanently solved. The world is a violent place, weapons will always be around (even if greater restrictions are placed) and there will always be those who will either snap or intentionally go out to do harm.

Yet, it is governments duty, around the globe, to fight the violence, minimize and block the chances of someone, for whatever reason they may have, of going out and murdering people.

In the US it is not that simple. The problem lies within the normal society.

In contrast, lets look at a country that had thousands killed by terrorism - Israel. Contrary to the worlds thinking owning a weapon in Israel or even getting access to one by the public is very difficult, on the verge of nearly impossible.

Permits are rarely given and getting one depends if you live in an area considered dangerous, or your job justifies it. To clarify - dangerous - those are areas are for example in Palestinian held territories or adjacent to Palestinian villages or towns. Please note - I state Palestinian and not Arab villages or towns. Israeli Jews and Arabs (both Christian and Muslim) live in proximity, whether in neighboring villages and towns or whether within the same neighborhood in the same city.

Therefore most of the weapons that are in the “ general public area “ in Israel are those held by the police, persons with permits, persons working as private security guards and only certified military combat trained soldiers when on leave. There is of course the criminal elements as in all countries, who own illegal weapons. As of late the security forces, mainly police, are conducting a wide crackdown on all illegal weapons. The main rationale was in the past - block any opportunity of weapons landing up in hostile hands. Now a new rationale is also putting pressure on reducing weapons - criminal violence. Criminal violence as in the most western countries is also increasing. Police crackdowns on illegal weapons and now plans which will enforce individuals working as private security guards to hand in their weapons to their employers when not on the job, are measures to help decrease violent incidents.

It would have been expected that in Israel, a country that is and has always been, at war and under constant threat of annihilation by its neighbors that weapons would be owned by much larger numbers, or at least by all those who had military training.

Yet as said above , this is not so. The main differences between Israel and the US on this matter lie within a few factors. The attitude to firearms, legislation, “ knowing the enemy”, and the responsibility of government.

  • Attitude to firearms - even though the early Israelites in Bible times were a warring nation when they entered the promised land, throughout most of history Jews were denied access to weapons and therefore relied more on wit and the mind.
  • Legislation - it is only lately that the courts have ruled in favor of individuals protecting their property with weapons. If one is in immediate life threatening danger, using a firearm in self defense is legal, but this needs to be proven and in most cases in a court of law.
  • Knowing the enemy - the enemies of Israel are known and can be watched. Prevention is the main task of the various branches of the security forces, and as of the past few years with success. But that is another long story.
  • Responsibility - it is the governments responsibility to protect its citizens.

Two democracies , both which believe in self defense see the owning of weapons in different manners.

Back to the USA.

The major part of the violence seen with firearms is not from enemies of the state. It is from citizens who for whatever crazy reason go on a shooting spree. It will be very difficult to stop this, and probably impossible to entirely eradicate it. Not only are there so many weapons around, guns are both big bucks as well as a way of life for many. Join all this together, ridding the streets will be impossible.

Does this mean - give up and live on hoping that when the next attack occurs you will not be there? There are measures that authorities and individuals can take to minimize the possibility of individuals gunning down innocents.

· Legislation could be made as to which arms can be purchased and where they should be kept and used

· Awareness - educate the population to be aware of individuals who may have strange behavior for example that is channeled towards society, or persons, who post intentions on the net, who show sudden unusual interest in firearms etc. People should be aware of individual’s strange behavior at home and in public. This is very difficult as the line between harassment and false accusations will need to be carefully thought out. The enemy in this case in the USA is not one easily identified. It is from within, the motives are not always clear and not a group of identified individuals who are attacking as an act of terror. Yet, awareness can help and probably stop some shootings.

· Posting armed security personnel at sensitive public places. This is a possibility and can be easily carried out. Unfortunately this is the world.

Anyone visiting Israel would recall immediately that there are armed security personnel at the entrance to any mall, most restaurants and of course schools. It becomes so part of life that it is unnoticed but there for protection.

Checking individuals entering public places is a deterrent. It is not leak proof, but works.

· Responsibility - keep weapons locked away at home and not just in a closet with an easily breakable lock. Most individuals who are responsible probably do keep their weapons under lock and key, but even so are the weapons easily accessible if the door of the gun cabinet is broken. It is actually very easy to secure weapons without a safe and it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure this. Increasing and enforcing legislation against those whose firearms are stolen or lost due to negligence would also help.

This argument will only barely minimize the danger, yet, in the Newton massacre it may have helped as well as probably in others as well. Keep children or unstable individuals in the family away from weapons, and never leave them unattended.

· Banning weapons in public Places - Is this a possibility? Can one ban in the US someone from entering a mall for example with a legally held weapon? In a country such as Israel where the enemy is known and weapons are scarce in the general population the situation is easier and legally held weapons are allowed in most public areas. In the US however it’s more complex and armed security will do no good if anyone with a legally hold weapon is allowed into public place. A lot of the public shootings were with legally possessed weapons.

This issue can be enforced but will require legislation and public cooperation. Yet, restrictions could be applied, just as has happened in Michigan where the Governor vetoed a bill allowing anyone from entering public places with concealed weapons. Not allowing concealed weapons will increase public awareness to those carrying weapons and inevitably reduce such behavior. It will also cause individuals to think as to whether they want to carry a weapon into a mall or public area.

· Education - educate the public from an early age. Weapons are lethal. They are dangerous when they are used against the public, individuals or animals. This HUB is not about hunting as this is an issue of its own, but about the use of weapons against innocent people in society. If the weapon is held for example by a trained individual for self defense it is not dangerous, except of course for the attacker or the attacked individual if he does not use the weapon. Educate that weapons are for reasons and can be dangerous. Increase the amount of training anyone who holds a weapon needs to participate in. The latter will of course bring about quite a bit of objections but it is possible. The ramifications are obvious.

The issue in the USA is complex and certainly not entirely with a solution that will eradicate the danger.

It can be minimized but with great efforts from all.


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    • IS1820 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ian Susman 

      5 years ago

      Dear Morningwings

      Thanks a lot for your comments. "Selling Israel" is difficult due to a very biased media and a basic misundersatnding by many in the Western World especially in the UK and Europe as to what really goes on in the middle East.

      Thanks again

    • Morningwings profile image

      J M Smith 

      5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Dear IS1820,

      Just dropped by to say Shalom and a deep thank you for engaging with various people out there on the Hub regards the truth about Israel. It seems that often we are lone voices in this truth even though the truth should stand out above the lies and deception that the media, politics and religion brings. I encourage you on your journey and will be praying that you have more and more opportunity to share the truth. I, for one, will be alongside you in this as I pray many more will. The price has already been paid and a great sacrifice made, Israel deserves to be. I will drop by again soon. Am Yisrael Chai

    • IS1820 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ian Susman 

      5 years ago

      Thanks ib . The two Hubs are different and not contradictory. It sort of complentary to yours which deals with part of the root of the issue of violent societies.

      As for Israel - suicide bmbing has been stopped for quite afew years. The reason for this success is if we look into what you wrote in "Gang Control not Gun Control reduces violent crimes" is that the Isreali Security forces did act and are every day acting against the vioent elements that want to execute mass killings. These actions have brought about success.

      This is actually what you have stated in your Hub - the need for action against the source of most violence.

      Thanks for your comments.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 

      5 years ago from Southern California


      The focus in this hub is on gun safety, and not giving everyone the ownership of guns. It also focuses on some people going crazy with a gun. I agree with these factors, and out of the two, I think that gun safety or lack there of is responsible for more deaths and injuries from guns than the random acts of violence with guns.

      As for Israel, they haven't been able to stop the bombings in their cities by terrorists. Which would be the next step here if we take a blanket approach with gun control.

      For the US mass killings are not that numerous, but they are horrific and random.

      The lives of the children in the US today are subjected to a very hostile environment. Some children are bringing guns into their schools for self defense. While most of the schools have procedures to prevent that, it is still a factor for the children.

      That same approach was used to prevent drugs into our schools, but children are still buying illegal drugs, and Marijuana which makes it a key product for the criminals to make a lot of money selling to them.

      My point is that if we start with the problems and environments of our children we will see the root cause of much violence and suicides in this country.

      Suicides using guns as their method of dying is a high percentage of the gun deaths.

      Obviously my point is not bases on the same point you are making in your hub, but I mention it here is another factor of the problem of violence in the US.


    • IS1820 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ian Susman 

      5 years ago

      Thanks Deb for your comment. It's a pity that so much unnecessary violence exists

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Definitely very sensible information to help deter unnecessary shootings. Great job!

    • IS1820 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ian Susman 

      5 years ago

      Thanks Teaches for your comments. One gets used to guards at schools and elsewhere. It is all in the mind. The pity is that in the uS it is from within , ones own where as in Israel it is a precaution against an enemy.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      With the recent violence due to guns, it is a concern for most of us to hear how guns are being blamed for deaths. I agree that the government is supposed to protect the people, it may take some time before a workable, realistic solution is found. I hate that we may have to see armed guards within our schools, but it is a measure of protection and comfort.

    • IS1820 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ian Susman 

      5 years ago

      Thanks Ruby for your comments. You are correct in that Israel does have a know how regarding safety and security.

    • IS1820 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ian Susman 

      5 years ago

      Thanks Angela for your insight and comments. I also do not think that it is possible to disarm private citizens in the US. It is actually quite sad to think that in todyas world in the US the situation is that many people still feel and have the need to own a firearm in order to protect themselves, and probably they are right. If the gun owner is responsible and knows how to use the weapon all should be OK. But, if he or she is irresponsible and does not know how to use the weapon whe in need , the consequences could be horrendous. If someone has a gun and pulls it out they have to be sure that they will use it, otherwise a very unpleasant outcome could occur. Thanks again

    • IS1820 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ian Susman 

      5 years ago

      Thank you Shining for your comments. I agree that one of the problems in the US is that there are a lot of people with guns who do not respect or realise that responsibility is part of owning a firearm. Thanks again

    • IS1820 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ian Susman 

      5 years ago

      Thank you Shining for your comments. I agree that one of the problems in the US is that there are a lot of people with guns who do not respect or realise that responsibility is part of owning a firearm. Thanks again

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Excellent Hub. We can learn a lot from Israel. We must make it impossible for criminals and the mentally ill to obtain guns, plus we must remove assault weapons from the streets. Thank you..

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 

      5 years ago from Central Texas

      In the USA one must engage in a study course, prove responsibility and shooting ability to obtain a license to carry -- and the license indicates the weapon may be concealed. I've often wondered if all mentally and physically capable citizens took the test, passed and were licensed to carry -- and this was known to the general public at large -- how many people would engage in random shootings knowing someone was going to shoot back and quite possibly shoot and kill them. If nothing else, that situation would certainly weed out who was mentally deranged and who was just plain mean. Probably the mentally deranged and criminals would still shoot -- as they always have -- but among them would be those who would not shoot because they would certainly understand the ramifications. Evil people are going to be evil, the mentally ill are not known for good decisions, and mankind has been killing in one way or another since time began. Morality cannot be legislated, cannot be understood by the insane, and has no bearing on anything in any way to the criminal or they wouldn't be criminals. That leaves the average, everyday, responsible citizen of the U.S. with one question: Will I responsibly protect my family and myself or will I have to go find another man with a gun who may or may not share my values or even get there in time to make a difference. I have chosen gun ownership and will continue to -- although I do understand those who choose the alternative. I absolutely do not believe it's possible to disarm private citizens in the United States of America as it stands today. Only the future will tell the eventual tale. Excellent article! Best/Sis

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Excellent hub. I own a firearm and my first rule of owing it is "respect". I own it for security. My elder Mom and I live in a very very rural area and have already had one attempted break-in. However, I agree with your article. The problem with us here in the USA is guns being carried that should not be. No common citizen requires an automatic weapon of any kind. Too many of my citizens have a weapon without taking the necessary step to operate it and respect it.

      I recently read where the USA has the highest rate of deaths by guns. How completely sad.

    • IS1820 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ian Susman 

      5 years ago

      Greyaxe - Thanks for your comments . I do not think that you understood this HUB. It is very easy to achieve arms legally in the USA and I am suprised that you deny this. Just about any law abiding citizen can achueve a firearm. There is nothing in the HUB that contradicts the 2nd ammendment or even challenges it and the right to bear arms. On the contrary it comes to point out the necessity to take actions within the 2nd Ammendment that will minimize the violent murders that occur every now and then in the US. Therefore there is no wish or even opinion in this Hub for restricting arms. It also is not a Hub which discusses disarming anyone anywhere, just as said above - a view of how within the 2nd Ammendment violence could be brought down and a comparison to suprisingly a much safer country Israel in which there is no disarmament , but a strict control on firearms that the public may bear.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Not sure where this author lives but they have very little informaton on how firearms are purchased legally from Federally Firearms License holders. Even less information as to what the writers of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence intended. Read the 2nd Amendment, and the Federalist Papers. The intent is that the American citizen be armed to be able to defend against enemies foreign and domestic. That means with the most modern weapons and ammuntion available. The ability to keep and bear arms is what marks the difference between citizens and subjects. But while foreigners are intent on restricting Americans rights, let us look across the world at countries that have disarmed their citizens and how well those citizens are doing under those regimes.


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