Some Second Amendment proponents are criticizing the policies of an Israeli music festival that was attacked by Hamas militants over the weekend.
Thousands of people were dancing at the Supernova festival early Saturday when the surprise assault on Israel took place. After hearing sirens and rockets go off, festival-goers heard a barrage of gunfire that halted the music and sent crowds scrambling to get to safety. At least 260 bodies have been recovered from the festival site in the Negev Desert in southern Israel, according to rescue agency Zaka.
Posting a link to a Washington Post report about how the attack occurred at the festival, which was one of the first targets of the Hamas assault, conservative commentator Katie Pavlich commented on the festival policies that prevented attendees from bringing guns onto festival grounds.
“The ravers were told not to bring firearms or sharp objects onto the festival grounds. They were tired and defenseless, trapped in a wide-open area that offered few hiding places,” Pavlich wrote, quoting the Post story, in a post on X (formerly Twitter).
Responding to Pavlich’s tweet, an X user wrote, “Another example of gun free zones being the worst place to be.”
The Hamas attack on Israel has prompted debate among Americans about the right to bear arms, with gun rights activists arguing that civilians in Israel could have fought back against the militants if they had had firearms.
Israeli law allows citizens to carry weapons under certain conditions, but gun ownership in the country remains low, around 2 percent, compared with the 30 percent of Americans who own a gun.
That could change as the conflict escalates in the Gaza Strip. In March, Israel’s National Security Ministry said that applications for gun licenses have more than doubled in the past year. On Sunday, Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir directed the ministry’s Firearms Licensing Division to loosen its requirements to “allow as many citizens as possible to arm themselves.”
On social media, some users questioned if Hamas would have been able to carry out such a devastating attack if festival attendees had been armed. One self-described conservative asked what gun control activists, like David Hogg, a survivor of the 2018 Parkland, Florida, school shooting, would have done in that situation.
“At the music festival where people were unarmed & killed in Israel by terrorists. What would Mr Hogg have done?” the user asked. “Lectured the killers about gun violence? Proudly told them he was unarmed? Ran for his life?”
Another user wrote: “Guess they thought it was all part of the festival? Bet it was a gun free festival with little to no security,” another wrote.
As some Americans urge Israel to pass gun rights legislation in response to the Hamas attack, others pointed out that the country has a significant military presence and argued that gun rights were established in the U.S. to prevent federal governments like Israel’s.
“Israel couldn’t be anymore militarized or [flooded] with guns. They are a perfect example of how the 2nd amendment fails you when right wing folks tell you it’s the only solution,” Palestinian-American poet Remi Kanazi wrote in response to a tweet from Donald Trump Jr. The former president’s son argued that the videos emerging from Israel were an argument in favor of the Second Amendment, which established “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” and has been used to justify expanding gun rights in the U.S.
“The Second Amendment was created to resist a regime like the one that currently exists in Israel,” journalist Anya Parampil tweeted.