Sakset/Fra hofta

Israel får mye kritikk i norske medier, men av en eller annen grunn «glemmer» man å trekke inn Israel der hvor en sammenligning ville fått frem dets kvaliteter. Feks. er det bemerkelsesverdig at Israel ikke har hatt noen massakrer av typen Columbine eller Newtown, til tross for at landet flyter av våpen.

Alle israelere må gjøre militærtjeneste og soldatene har våpenet med over alt.

Let us, for the sake of argument, put aside the fact that nearly all Israelis serve in the army, and that virtually all soldiers are armed with semiautomatic weapons that they carry on their person at all times, even when back home on vacation. Most men continue to enjoy this unfettered access to arsenals for the duration of their service as army reservists (at least a few weeks out of each year until they’re 45). If we disregard the glut of guns facilitated by the Israel Defense Forces, we are left with strict-sounding laws that require anyone who wants a firearm license to register with the government and meet a list of seemingly stringent conditions.

 Israel er et stressfullt samfunn, på flere måter. Mennesker under stress kan miste selvbesinnelsen. Men ingen soldat har gått amok og skutt ned for fote. Det er strenge regler for anskaffelse av våpen, skriver

Liel Leibovitz i Tablet: Why Israel Has No Newtowns. Men det er mange unntak fra reglene, feks. hvis man har et yrke hvor man trenger å kunne beskytte seg, eller hvis man bor i bosetningene. Da får man automatisk våpentillatelse.

Det mangler således ikke på våpen ute i samfunnet:

In 2000, there were approximately 400,000 legally owned firearms in Israel, the majority of them handguns, and the number of illegal weapons stood at about 150,000. Ten years later, thanks largely to the new strictures, the ratio was reversed: 180,000 firearms were legally licensed, and more than 400,000 were illegally obtained, most of them assault rifles like the M-16 and the Galil, stolen from the Israel Defense Forces. Naturally, this led to an increase in the number of casualties, as it placed far mightier tools in the hands of criminals who were previously content to handle their affairs using the perfectly legal and readily available guns at their disposal.

Et samfunn med mye våpen er et samfunn der folk behandler hverandre med respekt.

How, then, to explain Israel’s relatively low rate of gun-related deaths? For Lior Nedivi, an independent firearms examiner in Jerusalem and the co-author of a comprehensive report comparing Israel’s gun laws and culture to that of the United States, the answer lies far from the law books. “An armed society,” Nedivi wrote, quoting the science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein, “is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” It may be a bit odd to think of Israeli society as polite, but when it comes to guns it is, and for just the reason articulated by Heinlein: When everyone has a gun, guns are no longer seen as talismans by weak, frightened, and unstable men seeking a sense of self-validation, but as killing machines that are to be handled with the utmost caution and care.

De som er opptatt av hvor mange som drepes av våpen i USA – ordfører av New York sa 30.000, mens det virkelige tallet er 10.000 i fjor, glemmer at det er umulig å vite hvor mange liv som blir spart fordi folk avholder seg fra kriminelle handlinger fordi de vet at de de går løs på bærer våpen. Våpen har en avskrekkende virkning. Det er derfor norsk politi ønsker å væpne seg. Men i den norske debatten er gjengangeren at det vil føre til en opptrapping av volden. Så omvendt kan man vurdere en situasjon. At dette synet på våpen er ensidig og låst kommer ikke frem.

Israel er bygget på en citizen-army, at hver ungdom er soldat. Derfor må de unge lære gun culture. Det går et samfunn med yrkesmilitære glipp av.

Prohibition, the strict banning of anything does little but push the market underground into the hands of criminals and thugs. Rather than spend fortunes and ruin lives in a futile attempt to eradicate every last trigger in America, we would do well to follow Israel’s example and educate gun owners about their rights and responsibilities, so as to foster a culture of sensible and mindful gun ownership.

This is possible even in a society that doesn’t send each and every one of its sons and daughters to the army. One of my earliest memories involves waving a toy gun around, playfully pointing it at my father; I was 5 or 6 years old, and thought the whole thing great fun. My father, however, was unamused. Sternly, he looked at me and told me I should never point a gun at anything I didn’t truly intend to kill.

En annen faktor er sykdomsutviklingen i samfunnet: kombinasjonen av større psykiske problemer og større individuell frihet, skaper åpninger for folk som går amok.

Finally, there’s one more crucial, and tragically ignored, point to consider. In the aftermath of Friday’s shooting, a mother named Liza Long wrote a powerful essay in which she recounted the difficulties of raising her mentally ill son. A brilliant child, he is nonetheless prone to occasional fits of rage and violence. When she looked at the shooter this past Friday, Long felt a chilling sense of recognition.

“I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother,” she wrote. “I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.”

Fordi Israel har så mange mennesker som har opplevd krig har landet en stor beredskap og kapasitet for traumatiserte. Helsetjenester er gratis, og det finnes mange frivillige organisasjoner som hjelper traumatiserte.

En powerful faktor som Leibovitz ikke nevner er at alle israelere vet hvorfor de bærer våpen: trusselen er reell og den er eksistensiell. Det ligger et ansvar og en ansvarliggjøring i denne visstheten som hele samfunnet er gjennomsyret av.

Israel har ikke råd til feilgrep.

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