Young Guns

  • jasper white

Young people are the guardians of Israel's security. Compulsory conscription at the age of 18 in many ways has a positive influence on young people, giving them a sense of belonging, responsibility and purpose. For some its a calling, for others it’s not a choice they can make, though most look back on it positively – friends are made for life in the army. All fighters as they are commonly referred to, are issued with guns which they have to keep with them at all times – the rationale being it shows the enemy you are always ready to defend. Guns are such a normal sight in the lives of Israelis, an accepted part of everyday life and all but ignored. For some soldiers, status is derived from having the most modern gun, the latest sites or attachments, it shows time served and rank to have these upgrades. A condition of active antagonism exists in Israel. Although conflict situations are rare for most conscripts, for the most part, the gun is a heavy object which they are required to carry for two or three years during service.