“I’m a realist. There are terror attacks here. I want the ability to protect myself and those who are standing next to me,” Orin Julie told World Israel News.
By Debbie Reiss, World Israel News
Sporting a skin-tight tank top, combat pants, drop thigh holster and swinging ponytail, Orin Julie is a dead ringer for guns a-blazing video game heroine Lara Croft.
Emerging from a tunnel dug by the Hezbollah terror group, Julie poses for her army of fans on social media, an Israeli flag tied around her neck whipping in the wind behind her. A large tattoo on her forearm of a military-issued AR15 intertwined with the image of rose stands in stark contrast to her immaculately manicured nails.
“Israel needs more guns on the streets,” the 28-year-old influencer and gun rights activist tells World Israel News unapologetically.
“I’m a realist. There are terror attacks here. I want the ability to protect myself and those who are standing next to me. Since it’s impossible to put a cop on every street corner, I want to multiply the power of the police and the army.”
Julie, who served three years in a combat unit in the Israel Defense Forces, maintains that terror attacks like the recent shooting spree in a Tel Aviv bar that left three people dead, could have been avoided if more civilians had access to guns.
“I’m not afraid of terrorists in Israel, because I carry a firearm,” she said.
There are an estimated half a million illegal guns in Israel, according to the Knesset Committee for the Promotion of the Status of Women. The overwhelming majority are found in the Arab sector, with that population suffering the consequences with a disproportionately high homicide rate.
Privately held gun owners account for only a fifth of that, with just over 100,000 Israelis licensed to carry firearms, and even then the bullet limit is capped to 50. The procedure to obtain a license is notoriously difficult, with 40% of applicants turned away.
“Because the government can’t fight the [spread of guns] in Arab society, they take them away from the responsible, law-abiding citizens,” Julie said.
“And at the same time, you have 18-year-olds who are fully trained to hold a weapon, and yet the minute they leave the army, they’re barred from having one. It’s crazy.”
Julie, whose nom de guerre on social media is — perhaps unsurprisingly — Queen of Guns, describes herself as a “huge fan” of the Second Amendment.
“I really believe that if a person was born free, they can own firearms,” she said.
Mass shootings on the scale seen only in the U.S. does not point to a firearm problem, Julie asserts, but to a problem with mental health challenges.
“There are millions of Americans who legally own firearms. If they were the problem, we would know it. They are not the problem. The problem is mental health, illegal firearms and the black market.”
According to Julie, it’s incumbent on the American government to dedicate more resources to combatting mental health issues and insure that people are trained to use firearms properly.
If she wasn’t living in Israel, she said, she would move to Texas in a heartbeat.
In the meantime, Julie makes do with representing her home country to her fans in Texas and beyond.
“Speaking the truth about Israel was very natural for me,” she said. “People think Israelis wake up in the morning and just kill children and that’s it. They don’t know that 95% of combat soldiers – maybe more – don’t use their firearms even once.”