Anyone who has been to Israel typically makes two quick observations. First, everyone has a cell phone and second, it would appear, that everyone has a gun. Whether it be the young soldier with an m-16 on his back to the store owner with a sidearm, guns it would seen are part of society or so it would seem.
The Slate article points out that:
“gun advocates in the United States sometimes misleadingly cite the country as a positive example of a place with a high gun ownership rate but few homicides. But the country’s gun laws for civilians are actually pretty restrictive, especially compared with ours. There is no right to bear arms in the Israeli constitution. Assault weapons are banned, and licenses are required for gun ownership and are typically only granted to security workers, hunters, or those with special business or personal security needs, which in Israel includes residents of West Bank settlements. As of 2012, Israel rejected 40 percent of firearms permit applicants, the highest rate in the Western world. A gun owner needs to be approved by an instructor to obtain a permit, which must be renewed every three years. Only about 3.5 percent of Israelis—half of whom work for security firms—own guns, compared with 32 percent in the United States.”
In addition, “those holding firearms licenses must renew them and re-take a shooting course at a gun range every three years and pass a psychological exam every six years…Permits are given only for personal use, not for business in the firearms sale while holders for self-defense purposes may own only one handgun, and are given a lifetime supply of 50 bullets to take home.” [https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overview_of_gun_laws_by_nation#Israel]
What you come to realize is that while it seems most people have guns, it really isn’t the case, but what makes me personally feel better whenever I am here is that those who have guns…have been trained, tested and have identified a reason for why they need to be armed.