Israelis wonder what ‘Israel’ Wayne LaPierre is referring to


Matthew Kalman at the New York Daily News rounds up an impressive array of Israeli spokesmen and analysts to scratch their heads at National Rifle Association honcho Wayne LaPierre’s claim that "Israel had a whole lot of school shootings" and did what he now recommends for Americans: install security guards.

LaPierre certainly overstates it: Buried in the recesses of my memory is an early 1990s Israeli school shooting — the "American" kind, by a disturbed person, not a terrorist attack — that did bring about security reforms. There were few– maybe even no — fatalities in this case. (A better skilled archivist than I can maybe turn up a story?)

In any case, that’s a single incident. What LaPierre leaves unsaid, and what is more germane, is that Israel also has gun laws that he would consider nightmarish, and that likely has more to do with the low incidence there of school shootings. From the Daily News:

Despite having a standing army of more than 100,000 and police and security guards carrying guns on the street, Israel has strict firearms licensing and supervision.

Licenses must be renewed regularly and cannot be issued to people with a history of mental problems or a criminal background.

“In a country where hundreds of thousands of people carry firearms, it is essential to manage the training, licensing and authorization of those who wish to be armed,” said Yakov Amit, head of the firearms licensing department of the Public Security Ministry.

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