Oct 18, 2021
JERUSALEM WEATHER

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An Israeli politician compared Biden’s plans for gun reform to the Philistine’s confiscation of swords in the time of Saul, turning Israel into a completely conquered nation. 

Biden’s Plan: Cure the “Public Health Epidemic” of Gun Ownership

The press did not challenge Democratic candidate Joe Biden to reveal his platform during the campaign so many of his planned policies are being revealed now. One such policy concerns the ownership of guns protected by the second amendment. On his website; Biden outlines his plans, referring to gun violence during the COVID-19 pandemic as a “public health epidemic”, claiming that 40,000 people died last year as a result of gun violence. 

According to Pew Research, the exact number in 2017, the most recent year for which there are complete statistics, was  39,773. It is important to note (though Biden did not) that of those, 60% (23,854) were suicides. Gun deaths are numerically in the rise but statistically on the decline.  On a per-capita basis, there were 12 gun deaths per 100,000 people in 2017 – the highest rate in more than two decades, but still well below the 16.3 gun deaths per 100,000 people in 1974.

On his website, Biden also claimed that he had “taken on the National Rifle Association (NRA) on the national stage and won – twice.” Biden has made this claim many times despite fact-checkers labeling it as only partly true, at best. Biden claimed the  Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act passed in 1994 as a victory when it was, in fact, a compromise, with the NRA retaining major elements they advocated

But far more concerning than the half-truths are his intentions. On his website, Biden pledged to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act which protects firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when crimes have been committed with their products. 

He also pledged to reinstate the ban on “assault weapons” (and ambiguous and inaccurate term) and high-capacity magazines. He promised to “use his executive authority to ban the importation of assault weapons.”

Buy-Back: Hidden $200 Tax Per Gun That Increases Gun Violence

He also promised to institute a “buy-back program.” Such programs have been tried in several states over the course of many years. A 1994 study concluded that  “comparing firearm-related events per month before and after the program [showed that] crimes and deaths increased, and injuries decreased, but the changes were not statistically significant. The study also concluded that the effect on decreasing violent crime and reducing firearm mortality remains unknown. A 1974 buyback in Baltimore resulted in an increase in homicide and assault rates. 

There are no government estimates on what a national gun buyback program might cost, but an analysis from The Trace, a national news outlet that covers guns, estimates the total direct cost for a rifle buyback program would range from nearly $1 billion to $87 billion. 

Biden will also require owners of semi-automatic rifles who do not participate in the buy-back program to register their firearm under the National Firearms Act which requires the payment of a $200 tax. Those who do not comply would face up to 10 years in federal prison and a potential $10,000 fine. This requires filling out a 13-page application,  fingerprints, and a photograph.

The Biden policy defines a “high-capacity magazine” as one that holds more than ten rounds. And while mass shootings committed with assault weapons draw national media attention, those crimes are quite rare. Most homicides aren’t from mass shootings, and homicides are usually committed with handguns, according to the National Institute of Justice.

The Second Amendment reads: “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” This was further strengthened by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia vs. Heller in 2008 which held that all U.S. citizens have the right to own guns.

Gun Control: Anti-Bible

But the Biblically-minded are also focused on Biblical precedents. Though Judaism does not permit hunting as it precludes ritual slaughter, bearing arms has many strong Biblical precedents. Abraham was proficient at war, emerging victorious in a battle against four kings. The Jews left Egypt with weapons and used them effectively many times before arriving in Israel–where God required they conquer the land. David established his reputation by using a sling against Goliath. But the need for citizens, most especially Jews, to bear weapons against a capricious government was illustrated in Shushan when the Jews chose not to wait for divine intervention and rose up in arms against their enemies. 

Halacha (Torah law) most clearly requires a Jew to carry, or be prepared to carry, weapons, as stated in the Biblical precept:

 And you shall very much safeguard your souls Deuteronomy 4:15

The Talmud (Berachot 58a) requires every person to protect himself and, in another section (Sanhedrin 57a) the sages applied this principle also to situations where someone other than yourself is in danger. 

Feiglin: Gun Control as Conquering

Moshe Feiglin,  an Israeli politician, Temple activist, and the leader of libertarian Zionist party Zehut, noted an additional Biblical precedent for the Second Amendment, or, more precisely, what happens when it does not exist. Feiglin cited the book of Samuel in which the Philistine conquerors had absolute control over the production of metal implements and, as a result, no Jews had weapons.

Thus on the day of the battle, no sword or spear was to be found in the possession of any of the troops with Shaul and Yonatan; only Shaul and Yonatan had them. I Samuel 13:22

“This is the definition of a conquered nation; one in which the people do not have the right to carry weapons,” Feiglin told Israel365 News. “The Torah is based on the freedom of the individual. A man must be free to serve God. It is for this reason that the Philistines took away the right to carry arms. Their real intent was to drive the Jews away from serving God. “

“The concept of freedom in the United States is based on this freedom, the freedom to serve God and not another man,” Feiglin said. “This is the basis of the second amendment.”

Feiglin noted that Israel does not have a second amendment right.

“Even though many citizens have guns, this is not a right according to Israeli law,” Feiglin explained. “This is a privilege granted by the government, and, as such, the government can take it away. If it were a right, it would be illegal for the government to infringe upon it.”