Interesting thoughts on Europeans and firearms
Right here. The writer's point is that, whatever the laws, people own guns. In nations with loose firearm laws, they own them legally. In nations with restrictive firearms laws, they own them illegally.
Very true. I've read how easy it is to buy guns in Japan if one is willing to pay the price. And I suspect that the $15 AKs for sale in most of the world are not over the counter sales at local gun shops.
Posted by: fwb at December 23, 2008 10:52 AM
Very true for Germany. I have friends there who own guns.
Posted by: magus at December 23, 2008 06:52 PM
Posted there, but here for discussion as it's likely to get a response here.
I'm a bit confused as to WHY they have them.
If they are for personal protection it would seem that they have failed miserably, they now have governments that will punish them more than the criminal. (see england and the case of the farmer who shot burglars)
If they were for protection against government abuses, they have failed.
They cannot serve as a deterrent as their existence is unknown, evidenced by the fact that they are "illegal guns" and if known would lead to criminal prosecution and confiscation.
So, are they just a status symbol amongst the few "prags" who refuse to turn them in and only speak of them after a secret handshake?
Posted by: Tom at December 23, 2008 07:46 PM
> If they were for protection against government abuses, they have failed.
They're a protection against SHTF abuses, not against the every day abuse that is the modern welfare state.
Post WWII is about as long as Europe has gone without serious bloodletting. Maybe they've changed or maybe it was due to US occupation; the latter is ending.
Posted by: Andy Freeman at December 24, 2008 07:46 AM
Of course, there were all those secret arms caches for Operation Gladio, "stay-behind armies", ostensibly to start up a guerrilla campaign in the event of a Soviet invasion and occupation of W. Europe, but in actual practice evolved into a low-intensity, covert Latin-America-style "dirty war" against the Left by the Far Right and waging a false-flag terror campaign to blame on the Left, like the bombing of the Bologna train station, which was blamed on the Italian "Red Brigades", etc. Don Kates, in his 1979 book, quotes a letter from a far-right source taunting a lefty peace group advocating gun control: "go ahead and give up your guns, we won't be giving up ours".
Not to say the European Far Left didn't also get into flashy gunplay, i.e. Bader-Meinhoff Gruppe and the RAF. The Italian Red Brigades were guilty of kidnapping and murder, too.
Meanwhile the vast body of the European public is completely vulnerable to both these criminal factions from both poles of the political spectrum. And ordinary criminals, too.
At any rate, I can only hope the Mumbai incident is a wakeup call to at least Great Britain, and other European nations...sad way to learn such a vital lesson.
I've heard Britons try to defend the prosecution of that farmer, saying the perps were trying to flee and he shot them in the back, yada yada yada. I try to point out to them that that defense just wouldn't fly in a US courtroom; The perps were still on the man's property, they were much younger than him, the outnumbered him, and they could've physically overpowered him if he didn't have his shotgun.
Posted by: JJR at December 24, 2008 02:00 PM
Western Europe has avoided any serious bloodletting since WWII, but Eastern Europe sure as hell hasn't. See Yugoslavia, The collapse of. Given the demographics of Western Europe here lately, it remains to be seen how long that trend will continue.
Posted by: Letalis Maximus, Esq. at December 24, 2008 02:01 PM