Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

From the Editor's Desk: How Israel handles school shootings


As our government continues to debate the gun law issues and what to do concerning protecting our schools, Israel has the problem very much under control.

Since 1974 there have only been about one-half dozen terrorist attacks on Israeli schools. What is their secret?

CBS News foreign correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti asked, “Does everyone have a gun in Israel?” No, said gun instructor Sharon Gat.

“Gun laws in America are much more loose than gun laws in Israel.”

What are the requirements to have a gun?

• It takes up to three months to get a gun.

• Forget 18 or 21, you must be over 27, unless you served in the military.

• You must prove your job requires a gun (not just that you want one).

• And you must get a doctor to sign off on your application.

Dr. Omri Ben Ezra explained to Vigliotti that if you suffer from epilepsy or loss of consciousness or any mental disturbances, you can’t have a gun.

Those who have guns must take a gun test (like a drivers’ test) that is pretty rigorous, about 40 percent fail the test and need to reapply.

Do teachers in Israeli schools have guns? “No,” said Nati Stern, principal of Municipal School in Tel Aviv. “That is the job of police and the state.” Every school does have an armed security guard outside the main entrance of the school, which Stern said is sufficient. The guard is there not by choice, but by law.

Security guards must take the gun test every four months.

Sounds like a simple, clear solution. Would Americans give up some of their rights for the common sense protection of our children?


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