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In the United States there are roughly 310 million firearms in the hands of civilians, nearly one for every adult and child.
In Israel — which has a population of about 8.5 million, not counting about 5 million Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza — about 135,000 citizens are currently licensed to own guns.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” he said. Rosenbaum, an epidemiologist at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, examined the perception of many gun-rights advocates that Israel and Switzerland were “gun utopias” that had fairly permissive firearms laws and widespread gun ownership, and encouraged armed civilians to intercept shooters.
She found that gun ownership was in fact far lower in Israel than in the United States.
A former Israeli paratrooper with combat experience, he packs a Glock 23 semiautomatic pistol as a civilian.
Last year, a tour guide was among those who opened fire at a Palestinian driver who plowed his truck into a group of soldiers in Jerusalem.
But on other occasions, a civilian response has caused harm, as when a civilian guard shot an Eritrean asylum-seeker during a Palestinian attack at the Beersheba bus station in 2015, mistaking him for one of the assailants. Rosenfeld said, security guards had used their work-issued weapons to commit deadly acts of domestic violence, prompting new limits on taking weapons home.
Of those, 37,500 work as guards, according to the Ministry of Public Security, which issues the permits.
The United States considers handgun ownership a constitutionally protected right, while Israel considers gun permits a privilege, granted by the Ministry of Public Security strictly on the basis of need.