Erdan: We Need More People Walking Around With Guns

YERUSHALAYIM -
Gilad Erdan. Photo by Alex Kolomoisky/POOL
Minister Gilad Erdan. (Alex Kolomoisky/POOL)

Gun control is definitely not on the agenda of Israel’s current government, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said in the Knesset Monday. In a speech Erdan made on the occasion of the establishment of a new Knesset lobby to discuss policy on civilian gun use, Erdan said that Israel, now in its fifth month of the current terror wave, “cannot stop each and every attack, where the terrorists create havoc not in a bomb-making factory, but with a knife. We would like to see more well-trained citizens carrying weapons, so they can assist police and Border Patrol forces.”

Erdan’s comments, broadcast on the Knesset Channel, came at the first meeting of the Knesset Lobby for the Development of Policy on Weapons Use. Erdan said that among the things the Lobby could do was develop policy to ensure that civilians who are granted licenses for weapons receive training that will ensure that they use their weapons properly. “Police have, and always will have, the primary responsibility of protecting citizens,” Erdan said. “If we want to include private citizens as assistants to police, we must ensure that they are properly trained.”

Erdan is not seeking to limit the number of citizens with weapons – but to expand that number. “There are hundreds of thousands of potential terrorists who could easily pick themselves up and take a knife, screwdriver, handgun, or rifle and try to conduct a terror attack. There is no country in the world, and certainly not Israel, that can position a police officer on every square meter.”

MK Amir Ochana (Likud), chairman of the Lobby, said that “we cannot tolerate a situation where Israeli citizens are forced to defend themselves with umbrellas and shopping carts. I believe we need to bring about an increase – albeit a balanced and careful one – in the number of weapons licenses we issue to law-abiding citizens who have no criminal background or medical issues, and who receive state-supplied training. Israel is not Switzerland. We face daily terror, and as such we have to make it easier for citizens to defend themselves.”