European Mindset: Are they all against guns or is it just me?


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PILMAN
December 18, 2006, 11:50 AM
Perhaps it's just me but every single time I start up a thread on firearms be it any forum, everything goes smooth and all of us good Americans are talking about what we own, then someone comes along from either the United Kingdom, or Spain and starts professing "You Americans and your guns" which later turns out into a debate how we don't need them and how guns are evil while they try to miracously try to inflate statistics and somehow claim America is a dangerous place. Why do they always feel the need to get involved with our politics like they live here yet they don't know a damn thing about our country? Is there a proper reason why European countries in general are just against gun ownership? I've had a few people curious to talk to an American one of them living in Iceland and they asked why would I need a gun and it was designed to kill, that somehow in Iceland no one needed a gun because the police would protect you. I guess my debate on Icelands total population didn't exactly get through to that person.

Something that dissapoints me even more, i'm sure many of you are familiar with Airsoft which deals with replica firearms. In the US they are required to have an orange tip to be sold or imported, however in Europe this law doesn't exist. I visit a British airsoft forum known as Arnies, one would think these guys would actually be pro gun as they own replicas of m16's, ak47's, 1911's etc. yet when it gets political, nearly 90 percent of the forum can't stand guns and thinks they should all be destroyed, banned, or heavily controlled (police only). Even in a debate where I present my facts, it seems like to them, facts don't matter and the "constitution is outdated" according to them (which is quite funny seeing as if my 2nd is outdated, why isn't our 1st?). Even after exchanging proper facts, the overall result is always the same, the European mindset is that "guns were designed to kill" whereas a "car is meant to get from point a to point b."

Then again most Europeans do not understand American culture or life, they seem to be against everything we stand for and feel we are just a bunch of uneducated ignorant religious war mongerers who watch CNN all day. How funny they underestimate us.

I myself am pro gun ownership, I own guns myself however I would hope maybe someone would have an answer to the European mindset?

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Manedwolf
December 18, 2006, 12:42 PM
Not all people of Europe are sheep. Try invading Switzerland and you'd run into every able-bodied male coming out of their house with their issued rifle.

Firehand
December 18, 2006, 12:47 PM
Just as a guess, a couple of things:
Most European countries didn't have a right to arms for commoners; that belonged to their 'betters'. Those that did have it, got rid of it quite a while ago, so the idea of a plain old citizen owning arms bothers them.

Most European countries were either under the Soviet bloc, or went to some form of socialist government after WWII, which included 'let the Government take care of everything'. Which either started with or came to include 'you don't need to protect yourself, WE will do it, and you're not competent to do it anyway', etc.

That's my guess.

Mikee Loxxer
December 18, 2006, 01:14 PM
Europeans seem to value security over freedom. They feel that having guns out of private hands makes them safer. They donít care if they are less free. Remember Europeans are used to being subjects.

DirksterG30
December 18, 2006, 01:19 PM
Europeans seem to value security over freedom. They feel that having guns out of private hands makes them safer. They donít care if they are less free. Remember Europeans are used to being subjects.

I think you hit the nail on the head there. Sad thing is, we're seeing more of the same thing here in America. The Founding Fathers must be rolling in their graves.:banghead:

bucktail
December 18, 2006, 01:26 PM
We have a sister plant in Ireland and I interact with some of these people fairly frequently. Most of them seem comfortable with shooting and firearm ownership; some of them have even gone to the range and seem interested in trying to put together a hunt when they are over here. They do seem somewhat classist, however, and since many of the pople who own guns in Europe tend to be on the wealthy side, this probably figures into it. Most that I've talked to are against fox hunting on horses but have no problem shooting them. Their concern is not for the welfare of the fox. Their aggravated that rich folks are out having fun in the woods. Thier view on owning a lot of guns is also quite a bit different from ours. At a conference that we hosted, one of their engineers said that I should talk to someone that he described as a gun nut. The guy had a .22 lr and a 12 gauge. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I own 21 guns.

mordechaianiliewicz
December 18, 2006, 01:33 PM
It's the American vs European mindset about the government. You see, we in many ways escaped a brutal and oppressive King. We then proceeded to make a document that limited an elected government under the principle that an elected legislature could trample a man's rights as easily as a King could.

This has turned today into an attitude from many people that taxes are a hinderance. Something we have to suffer to get roads fixed or make sure our parents or grandparents can live and have medicine when they are old. We question the government getting involved in our daily lives. The real differences between Conservatives and Liberals I've noticed in the USA is that they simply differ in where they think the government should involve itself.

And for many of the Conservatives, they question the cost of the concept of a "chicken in every pot." They wonder where the money will really go. As for Liberals, they want that chicken, but they also want to have free speech, many of them in fact disagree with the Patriot Act because of what it does to our 4th and 5th Amendments.

To Americans, the government is inherently suspect. So of course we want guns. We don't trust the government to protect us, and for many like myself, we believe the government can become the criminal.

Europeans do not see it that way.

To a European, the governments, when the people took the reigns of government from their monarchs, became a servant for societal good. The essence of European attitudes came in many discussions I've had with French and Nordic immigrants, and resident aliens. To them, the welfare system is an investment. To them, their elected leaders are like Investment Brokers.

They trust the government, because once they got control of their governments, they liberated the people from the monarchs, and then set up social systems which have always worked for the European peoples. (Alteast that is how they perceive it).

They don't fear crime and see no need for guns because they don't fear their neighbors (who are often ethnically similar, and because of the social systems, well taken care of). They trust the police because the police are well, not very busy taking care of horrific crimes, because they don't often happen.

Now that European countries are having masses of poor, ethnically (and much more importantly) religiously different peoples enter their lands, and the police and government are often unable to stop crime on the original inhabitants, and because these folks don't pay into the system of taxes as "investment" there is beginning to be a change in European thinking. Is it massive and a huge groundswell? No. But it is beginning to happen.

Also, consider this. In Eastern Europe, and the Balkan regions on down to Greece, gun ownership and approval, whether legal or not isn't as balked at. They don't trust the government very much because of communism. And they do not see taxes, regulation, etc. as an "investment."

Just my .02 centavos.

Wesker
December 18, 2006, 01:37 PM
I would guess being the host of two world wars in one century is enough to turn a lot of people off guns.

PILMAN
December 18, 2006, 01:41 PM
Why do Europeans feel like we need a change for the better? They somehow think this liberal mindset it going to cure America. Why are they even interested in what happens in America anyways? They are sick of us policing the world yet they want to tell us how to live? The fact of the matter is we are a different country from the various different countries in the European Union therefore who are they to tell us how to live when they couldn't even defend themselves during World War II for the most part? It's equivalent to the Europeans telling the Jews in Israel to not escalate the situation and resort to defense (yeah that worked during Hitlers reign).

I agree with the statement they value security to the point they will give up rights. Maybe i'm wrong but European lifestyle and culture seems to have become quite secular to a more liberal lifestyle. They claim to have "evolved" where all culture is tolerated, atheism appears to be a big thing in Europe, and the whole guns are bad attitude. Consequences are showing as nationality is quickly dissapearing in European countries. I have a feeling you will no longer have ethnic Germans or French in the near future.

Wesker
December 18, 2006, 01:46 PM
When British folks get all uppity and in my face, I make it a point not to be riled up by someone whose country lost wars to their own colonists and the French :)

They have no authority to tell me what's in my best interest OR how to speak :neener:

mordechaianiliewicz
December 18, 2006, 01:47 PM
Well, the EU is destroying by and large the divisions which once made people say "I am German" "I am French." As for the whole religion thing, it is largely irrelevant to the guns thing. There are many members of THR that are agonstic or atheist.

As for meddling in our affairs, well, I would point out 2 things:

#1.) The Europeans meddling in American affairs (or atleast trying to) is nothing new, and as before, we simply need to tell them to shut up and sit down.

#2.) It isn't as if we haven't meddled in other people's affairs for the past 100 years now.

While I would tell the Europeans to sit down and shut up with much... enthusiasm. If they point out we stick our noses where they aren't welcome, there ain't much I can say, other than that we should have followed George Washington's advice.

ZeSpectre
December 18, 2006, 02:05 PM
I visit a British airsoft forum known as Arnies, one would think these guys would actually be pro gun as they own replicas of m16's, ak47's, 1911's etc. yet when it gets political, nearly 90 percent of the forum can't stand guns and thinks they should all be destroyed, banned, or heavily controlled (police only).

Of COURSE they are going to say that on an open forum. Big brother's already sitting on their shoulder watching them closely for their "perverted" interest in faux-weapons. Imagine if they showed any interest in real weapons! Why the authorities might get sarcastic...might even use IRONY!

(boy I'm in a mood today)

Justin
December 18, 2006, 02:14 PM
European Mindset: Are they all against guns or is it just me?

Keep your eyes open. We've got more than a few European members here who have chosen to take the red pill.

Why the authorities might get sarcastic...might even use IRONY!

In my experience, representatives of the state are completely incapable of grasping even the concept of irony, let alone able to actually use it.

But then again, it's been said that fully 80% of the populace are not able to comprehend irony.

coyote_jr
December 18, 2006, 02:15 PM
Remember Europeans are used to being subjects

Holy Hit the Nail on the Head Batman

Fosbery
December 18, 2006, 02:15 PM
I'm from the UK and I own, use and profess the ownership of firearms and the complete deregulation of firearms and all other weapons. I am, however, in somewhat of a minority.

Why are most Europeans against arms, more specifically guns?

A number of reasons:

Before European gun control, firearms ownership had been in decline as fewer people needed to hunt (or could hunt at all, as forests were replaced by cities), militias gave way to professional armies and society became somewhat safer and less violent - lessening the need for defensive arms.

The resulting low level of firearms ownership created a great apathy towards gun control amongst those who did not own arms. After all, why would you really care (enough to vote for someone else) if purple Christmas trees were banned?

Low levels of firearms ownership has also caused much fear amongst the people - guns are portrayed as scary things in entertainment and the media and they have no first hand experience to say otherwise.

Years of propoganda directly from government, and by the media, have gradually come to be believed - guns are evil, they need to be controlled, they cause crime and death, they're dangerous, nobody should own them etc.

Slow, creeping laws and regulation which always seem like a small price to pay for a supposedly large increase in security have prevented there from ever being a big 'showdown' or debate on the subject.

Increases in the welfare state and the level and quality of policng have created greater confidence in the government and its ability to protect and look after you.

The growth of the nanny state has caused government restriction of freedom to become acceptable, normal, and something that isn't really though about. The idea that some rights should never be infringed or that the government does not have the right to restrict what free people can and cannot do, is never really considered anymore.

In more recent years, many Europeans have come to dislike America quite intensely with stereotypical views of Americans as stupid, gun toting, yokel cowboys and guns as their dangerous toys, false security blankets and as these sort of symbols of backwards masculinity. The idea that gun owners are control freaks or trying to compensate for something has become widespread.

In this way, the association between Americans and guns has reflected negatively upon guns.

This view is due to many things - Americans portrayal in movies and television being one. The Simpsons for instance, whilst it's obviously a light hearted look at America, and not a sustained attack upon it, and though it is never thought of as this, over many years of watching Homer being 'stupid', and never actually meeting an American, they come to think of all Americans as just as stupid as him. There are countless other instances of American stupidity in entertainment and the media, and it adds up to people dismissing things as the actions or beliefs of 'stupid Americans'. George Bush, who is a terrible public speaker in my opinion and gives the appearance of being stupid, is the number one symbol of America to Europeans, so this is quite understandable I think. Though it does ignore the fact that America has a literacy rate just as high as any European country, and that there's just as many stupid people in Europe as in the US, they just don't notice the nationality of the Europeans they see being stupid. For instance, if there is a news story about an Englishman who got killed whislt taking a nap on a train track, they just think 'what an idiot'. When the same story is told about an American, they think 'stupid Americans'.

Americans portrayal in the media also contributes - Reports on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan show Americans as trigger happy, and stupid - causing massive civillian casualties and frequently screwing up in friendly fire incidents. The war itself also made Americans seem to be gung ho and arrogant - supposedly ignoring everyone else and blundering on regardless.

Guns, and all weapons, have come to be seen as evil objects of death which actually cause killings and have little or no legitimate purpose when owned by ordianry civillians. It is also a well known fact, and one which is often focused on in the media and in entertainment, that Americans can and do own a lot of guns - and love them. So, Americans are the owners and lovers of this death causing equipment, and don't look too good because of it.

The fact that America has much higher gun crime and murder rates than the major European countries does little to help.

Of course, the fact that most eastern European countries have murder rates way way higher than the US, despite incredibly opressive gun control laws, is completely unbeknown.

lance22
December 18, 2006, 02:21 PM
I work with all sorts of foreigners (I work in IT) every day. They all stand out as hard working and industrious with one exception: Euro-Weenies.

Seems like Poles, Germans, certain others of "old Europe" don't know how to take any initiative, any responsibility, or anything else except to be master whiners.

The Chinese and Asian Indians work hard to solve the problems we have here. Get a Pole or German in the same job, and all they do it point and complain.

Now, all nationalities I've mentioned are used to being subjugated, love Socialism et all. What is it about Europeans that make them so weak?

I can only think of one thing: Euros have been fed political correctness long before it caught on in America. The Chinese / Asian Indians don't have the time for most of that BS while the Euros drink it up like infants on momma's milk.

Just my .02.

sterling180
December 18, 2006, 02:24 PM
I visit a British airsoft forum known as Arnies, one would think these guys would actually be pro gun as they own replicas of m16's, ak47's, 1911's etc. yet when it gets political, nearly 90 percent of the forum can't stand guns and thinks they should all be destroyed, banned, or heavily controlled (police only).

Unfortunately,most people in the "UK MAINLAND" (excluding Northern Ireland.)dont want guns around,because of people like Micheal Ryan,Jag Haig,Kevin Weaver and Thomas Hamilton,all whom killed with pistols and slrs-and also because they see guns as killing machines.

Please note,that airsoft enthusiasts are somewhat more immature in their beliefs,towards gun ownership and that most just want fun running around an airsoft course,rather than actually using the real thing on a range.

But,I know some enthusiasts like myself,who would like to see fullbore slrs and handguns returned to section 1 status.

If you gave them,a Glock 17 with a computer-sensor attatchment onto it and told them to fire at a vr range,then they would do so-willingly.On the other hand,if you told them to fire three shots,at a McQueen target,with real 9mm bullets-then they would think that you were insane.

These airsoft airheads,don't realise that they will be disarmed soon,by the government and by the GCN.Fools.

thirty-thirty
December 18, 2006, 02:25 PM
I don't see why Europeans are being billed as anti-gun here. It seems Asians for example have been far more willing to disarm than Europeans. Americas Founding Fathers were all of European descent and they weren't anti-gun. In Europe there are the same anti-gun forces that we deal with here. The mass media and academia over there is the same as it is here; treasonous advocates of world government.
By and large, I don't think rural and urban people in Europe are any more anti-gun than rural and urban people in the US, although they have more people living in urban areas.
The big difference I see is that they don't have the Constitution to protect them from the agendas of those who run mass media and academia.

We're not far behind them, though. our enemies in media have the power of suggestion, the power of scrutiny, the power of repetition, the power of censorship and the power of smear. This is more power than any elected officials have.
If Americans don't somehow address this problem soon, confiscation is just around the corner. The so called "Patriot Act" will make it easy.

G36-UK
December 18, 2006, 02:30 PM
I'm on Arnies too. I do admit that the Brits there are distancing themselves from what they term "real-steel" shooters, but after the crap with the VCR, I can't say I blame them.

Despite the Practical Pistol uses for various Airsoft guns, the RS community in Britain allegedly refused to support the ABA and tried to convince them to give up seeking an exemption and to accept transparent or "super-soaker" coloured guns, allegedly claiming that the antis would eventually turn on the few real guns left once they managed to get the exemption repealed.

Now that it's confirmed that Airsoft is getting an exemption, there's someone posting on the forums asking for support in repealing the 1997 ban. Now most of the Arnies guys have had guns destroyed as a part of the ban, but most of them are still seething over the fact that the RS guys pretty much refused to help the Airsofters, but now that they're exempt, the RS guys are saying "Hey, can you support us?"

I think that all gun sports, real or imitation, should be able to work together, but the problem is the fact that the real gun users don't want to be seen with people who shoot each other (understandable), and that the imitation users don't want to be seen in the same light as Thomas Hamilton, as most of the press seem to be painting gun-owners here.

Sadly, the antis only see all gun owners as one thing: targets for their unjustifiable hatred.

PILMAN
December 18, 2006, 02:36 PM
Wow Fosbery, interesting stuff there.

ArfinGreebly
December 18, 2006, 02:41 PM
In addition to the (excellent) points already made, there's another little thing.

The major countries of EU have not had to provide for their own defense in decades.

After WW II we left hefty garrisons all over Europe. We took it upon ourselves to make sure the neighborhood bullies couldn't get any traction, with focus, of course, on the really big neighborhood bully, the USSR.

The EU countries haven't had to fund and maintain a standing army of any size or capability for -- what? -- sixty years?

Instead, they've been able to take the money that would normally have gone for defense, and funneled it into . . . you guessed it . . . social programs.

By making it unnecessary for the nations of Europe to take care of themselves, we've helped create a global community of spoiled brats.

Now that they've had at least two generations of population raised in this mode, their national behaviors resemble, unsurprisingly, those of our own children of recent years, who feel seriously injured if they don't get a car and house and fat salary on graduation from high school or college. They're entitled, you know.

When you make it so someone (even a nation) doesn't actually have to earn what he gets, you get an "I deserve it" mindset.

You also get timidity, and a resentment for anyone who DOES earn his own keep and who can take care of himself.

While guns don't represent ALL of that, they certainly represent part of it.

Self-sufficiency is seen as barbaric, and the tools of self-reliance are seen as part of that barbarism, and something to be eliminated if "we're going to be civilized."

And, of course, genteel civilization is the ultimate goal of the intellectual man.

Personally, I prefer to be the barbarian.

Old Dog
December 18, 2006, 02:42 PM
Every "old Europe" person I have come across is an effeminate whiner.
Sigh.

I just knew this thread would degenerate in stereotyping and the bashing of Europeans.

How many of those who've posted have actually lived in Europe?

And this thread started because of the OP's wondering about the attitudes of a bunch of airsoft enthusiasts on an internet forum? For gosh sake's man, get a life -- go do some traveling, get away from the computer desk, talk to live human beings in person while experiencing another culture!

I've lived in Italy and Spain; spent much time with family in Finland and the U.K. Been stuck in Kosovo and Bosnia. Stationed in Turkey. Visited Germany, Austria, France, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Netherlands. There's no single "European mindset" pertaining to guns.

Much of what you think you know is simply what you pick up from European mass media and each country's politicians, which is to say, pretty similar liberal anti-gun attitudes as we encounter in our own country. Many here are engaging in the same sort of broad generalizations and stereotyping that in the next breath they're decrying when they perceive it comes from Europeans.

Give the Europeans a break. I've found most of 'em better educated about what's happening outside their own countries than we Americans are about what's happening in their countries, not to mention even what's happening in OUR own country. Americans are typically far more insular and xenophobic than the average European. Most European folks I've befriended have been quite open-minded as far as learning about our country -- and yes -- firearms, when given the opportunity. I find many Americans far more close-minded. As evidenced in this thread.

ArfinGreebly
December 18, 2006, 03:00 PM
When I was in Europe and the UK, I found that, while many of my own generation tended to be suspicious of all things military, their parents (who would now be in their seventies and eighties) had a clear grasp of the need to resist tyranny.

Denmark was occupied by the Nazis for a time, and those who remembered had dark forecasts for the consequences of relaxing around fascism. Oddly, they nonetheless were quick to embrace socialism.

The point is that the "soft" Europe we see today is a different population than that which confronted Hitler.

What you're seeing today isn't "Old Europe." It's "Young and Immature Europe."

I hope the few surviving members of the Old Europe populace can awaken the youngsters before it's too late.

I worry about them.

Racehorse
December 18, 2006, 03:23 PM
My girlfriend was born in Croatia and grew up in Germany. She loves to shoot. She got her concealed carry permit a while ago, but I haven't even gotten around to it yet. I think in general, Europeans are more likely to see guns as evil. But like any generalization, it doesn't apply to everyone.

SoCalShooter
December 18, 2006, 03:26 PM
Swiss and the Swedes are the only ones I can think of that are not sheeple anymore.

Sharps-shooter
December 18, 2006, 03:29 PM
I've found that a lot of people in Ireland are not anti-gun. some of them are, but for many it's more a matter of political correctness than a deeply held conviction. I also met a number of people over there who had guns, either for upland game hunting or defense (not much deer hunting in Eire, and much of it is illegal).

There were also many people, especially in the north, who liked ar15's which they called "armalites" (regardless of who made them).

ArmedBear
December 18, 2006, 03:34 PM
Many Europeans are like children who never grew up.

Remember: over the past century, a good number of independent, enterprising Europeans emigrated somewhere else. That leaves a certain subset behind.

Fosbery
December 18, 2006, 03:38 PM
I do that with ARs sometimes - calling them Armalites. I know quite a few Brit shooters who call them Armalites too. Rolls off the tounge easier tha 'aye arr' I think, and we know what we mean when we say it.

Manedwolf
December 18, 2006, 03:46 PM
What you're seeing today isn't "Old Europe." It's "Young and Immature Europe."

I hope the few surviving members of the Old Europe populace can awaken the youngsters before it's too late.

I worry about them.

Well, if they have no problem with authority telling them what to do, if they don't "wake up", they'll be all set for their new masters. They'll need to learn which direction is west, and how to say 'allahu akbar', though. They might have issue with the beatings for listening to the wrong music or for women dressing provocatively, but, hey, too late.

Deanimator
December 18, 2006, 03:54 PM
Europeans seem to value security over freedom.
You're half right. They value the APPEARANCE (illusion, actually) of security over freedom.

Any place like France, where there are more arsons in six months than in ten years in Cleveland, OH has only the PRETENSE of security.

The figures for violent crime in the UK are astounding. The difference between there and most place in the US is that we don't have a statutory duty to be a passive victim of violent crime while pretending that we're "protected" by the police.

wacki
December 18, 2006, 04:16 PM
ArfinGreebly,

That is an interesting hypothesis. What were the gun control laws like before WWII? That's seems to be a good way to test your theory.

ArfinGreebly
December 18, 2006, 04:36 PM
Wish I knew.

Don't know where to look.

Anyone?

SoCalShooter
December 18, 2006, 04:58 PM
Seems more like complacency and laziness to me. I would rather defend myself than rely on someone else to do it. They are reliant on the parent state at this point.

Fosbery
December 18, 2006, 05:00 PM
In Britain, there were no gun laws before 1920.

In 1920, machineguns, mortars, flamethrowers etc were essentially banned from civillian ownership. All other firearms, except shotguns, required a 'certificate' to own. This was simply a note you could pick up from the post office. It did not restrict ownership, but it let the authorities know who had firearms.

These laws were not meant to stop crime. This was the argument put to the public but in truth it was to keep tabs on communist revolutionaries.

By 1939, the certificate system had become more formalised and it appeared more like a permit. You could be denied a certificate if the police could prove that you were a danger to the public. You also needed to give a reason for wanting to own firearms.

In 1945, the Home Office secretly set a guideline that stated that self protection or protection of property was NOT an acceptable reason. This was really the start of serious gun control in Britain.

Medusa
December 18, 2006, 05:02 PM
Are we unitedly against guns? well... no. In here, for example, the weapon has always been seen as a sign of free man. Unfortunately, having long periods of slavery and now lately communist occupation, having weapons in civilian hands were punished. That's why the guns leave people cold, today. We have ~26,000 gunowners, from the pop of 1.3 million (making it ~2% of whole population being gunowners), as a result of it.

Sadly, the police is understaffed (running on maybe 50-60% of needed number of officers), thus making responding to several crimes at once a questionable thing - it is close to bank, where you take the number and wait for your turn.

Here the things have gone so bad that my military organization is prepping to give out armed soldiers for patrolling. So much from the secure society.

There's no need to start throwing stereotypes, it's immature.

Cromlech
December 18, 2006, 06:53 PM
One thing you have to remember, is that there are FAR less 'bushmen' and hunter types in this country, and far less that live out in the sticks.

The U.K is slightly smaller than the state of Wyoming, yet is crammed full of 60 MILLION people. Imagine taking America, and removing two-thirds of the rural country side (full of more self-sufficient, right leaning people). What would you be left with? The big cities (full of dependent on the government lefties), and the immediate towns around them. What kind of shift in political power do you think that would yield?

Think about it.

Oh, and there is no need to bash the French, they had been fighting battles for more than a thousand years by the time the U.S.A was born. :neener: Give the U.S.A a chance to grow out of it's 'diapers', then you can compare the two. ;)

Cromlech
December 18, 2006, 07:01 PM
Oh, and before I get savaged by the rabid wolverines on this forum, I was half joking. :D

Seriously though, the reliance of us Europeans on the government, is a big factor in this. People just don't want to have to look after themselves anymore.

As much as I would hate to uproot, the whole biometric data for passports and ID cards has made me think hard about leaving. :(

ArfinGreebly
December 18, 2006, 07:23 PM
I don't see the decline of personal responsibility and courage as a natural function of population density.

It is entirely manufactured.

It is a sad fact that the larger part of any population is easily herded and will accept whatever is offered to them as "fact" by whomever is in charge. When "whoever is in charge" decides he wants to exert more control and doesn't want to deal with resistance, the deceptions begin in earnest.

It is, in fact, easier to get acquiescence and conformity from a denser grouping. The idea of "safety nets" and "comfort" and "lack of conflict" are more appealing (in general) to the kind of person who will gravitate to large cities.

Large population centers are almost unavoidably easier to sway with plausibly stated arguments that seem to promote such values. Of course, once the "precedent" is established (the "people" have spoken) the tyranny of the majority begins to work its magic.

It matters not that the popular opinion is almost never right.

Popularity is prized above all else in a "democracy" and is, itself, declared as synonymous with "right" (if the "people" want it, it must be right).

Given that this is the case, the only way to win is to place your message (acceptably framed) on a carrier that will resonate with the majority. That carrier might be (for example) popular music, movies, television, or education.

The bent to power and authority being, as it is, an attribute of those who would rule, those figures in power can be counted on to use those same carriers to propogate their message of control, couched in terms of protection and caring.

Remember, however, that this same personality inevitably bears an attribute of cowardice (which leads them to disarm their subjects), and this core of personal dread can be exploited to neutralize in some measure their otherwise rampant trampling of rights.

They have no stomach for conflict that involves them personally.

In complement, the population needs to be reminded from time to time what freedom and independence and self-reliance are, and what those things can do for one's life and fortunes.

Remind the people that they can be alive. Remind the rulers that they can be dead.

Balance is good.

ArmedBear
December 18, 2006, 07:25 PM
Europeans just discovered the joy of voting themselves other people's money a while back. Of course, that doesn't quite work as planned.

Now, Europeans are quite reliant on government programs to dole back to them what they pay in taxes (or indirectly through unemployment, stagnant economies, etc.).

It's a hard habit to break.

ArfinGreebly
December 18, 2006, 07:30 PM
My oldest daughter just came back from 2 1/2 years in (Southern) England.

She and I both love England and the English.

She finds things somewhat restrictive and expensive there. She's not terribly culturally aware, and she's never been exposed to firearms. She just knows it's not as nice as it was when we were there years ago. She finds more freedom, more personal space, and the money goes farther here.

I, on the other hand, grieve for what I know England used to be.

Green Lantern
December 18, 2006, 07:31 PM
I won't say ALL Europeans are like this...but in certian places *cough* U.K. *cough* it's bothers me more that they're not just anti-gun...but anti self-defense as well!

Cosmoline
December 18, 2006, 07:38 PM
I've been debating gun rights with Europeans for years now. You have to be careful to separate the ones who are truly against the RKBA with those who say they're against it *SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY'VE NEVER KNOWN ANOTHER WAY* There's also a conceptual link between gun ownership and US foreign policy. I know it makes ZERO sense, but nevertheless a great many Europeans link the ownership of a sidearm with the invasion of Vietnam, Iraq, Poland, etc. It's been ingrained in them since they were little, and they believe it now without thinking. The hard core socialist elite really do want to disarm everybody and it's pointless to argue with them, but the majority of Europeans have simply forgotten how to think for themselves. They're not beyond hope, but you have to bring them over in little steps.

In general, the East Europeans are the most open minded on this subject, but they're being drawn into the EU fold and their governments are forced to go along with anti-RKBA policies to get benefits from the wealthier nations in the west. You can see this from Finland to the former Yugoslavia. The central Europeans, including Germans, Swiss, and others, have a different tradition of civilian arms ownership. In those countries private gun ownership is both socially and legally based around GUN CLUBS. These are not like our gun clubs. Some of them go back to the 16th century. They have their own traditions, history, and even their own songs and uniforms. They often have strong political ties with the right, or what passes for the right these days. Within the confines of the club, firearm ownership is not only allowed but broader than it is in the US. They can own full auto firearms that aren't even imported into the US. The catch is, everything is licensed and most all of it has to stay locked up at the club. There is no tradition of carrying your personal firearms, and many of them consider our carrying customs totally insane. Nor is there any notion that you'd use firearms to defend your person or your home. Even in vaunted Switzerland, the arms are held to protect the state first and foremost, not to protect hearth and home.

The UK is a different animal. 100 years ago, there were few firearm laws. A gentleman could carry his service revolver or bulldog around London without fear of prosecution. Read some Sherlock Holmes stories to get an idea of how this was taken for granted. The millions of little break top CCW pieces sold there tell the tale themselves. All this was brought to an end by a series of increasingly draconian laws, as we all know. It started in earnest during WWI when the aristocracy and Royal Family were scared to death of a red revolt by Tommies coming back from the trenches with newfound arms skills and crazy notions of communism. But these laws were selectively enforced, and it was still common for a gentlemen like TE Lawrence to have an ad hoc pistol range in his back yard and a large personal collection. As the Socialists came into power after WWII, the situation got much worse and their control over public education ensured that the postwar generations of Britains would be abjectly terrified of arms. So it's been an easy matter to take more and more power from the people. At the same time, the British police are getting better and better armed and showing an increasing willingness to blow people's heads off for turnstyle jumping. I've noticed some shift in British thinking, at least from what I've seen on some other forums. They're starting to realize that while they may hate guns, their beloved government LOVES them and loves to use them on warm targets.

ArmedBear
December 18, 2006, 07:42 PM
They're not beyond hope, but you have to bring them over in little steps.

There may not be time, at least for the countries with "No-Go Zones."

The US should leave Europe to its own devices and cultivate relationships with countries that share some common values.

Bear in mind that there's a growing exodus of the young and smart from many European socialist countries. Those remaining at home will leave an even less-independent, less-capable population there.

Mannlicher
December 18, 2006, 07:56 PM
The EuroEunuch mindset is not against guns, per say, the mind set is against letting the serfs have the means to defend themselves against the King.
Yeah, the Kings are pretty much gone, but the mindset of the governing elite stays the same.

Cosmoline
December 18, 2006, 07:58 PM
As long as there's life, there's hope. Remember how close WE came to going down that road. FDR and his socialists (and they WERE socialists!) wanted to include handguns in the NFA of '34 and they came darn close to doing just that. The CCW movement has been repealing and modifiying an array of state laws dating back up to a century that were put into place by legislators determined to destroy the RKBA. This is an old battle, and it's only by the grace of the Lord and a lot of luck that we didn't head down England's road. One thing we really need to do is remember how critical federalism is in this fight, and how dangerous it can be if we are ruled by a parliamentary hyperstate.

Fosbery
December 18, 2006, 08:10 PM
Cosmoline, your point about Brits disliking the wrongful police use of arms in such cases as Jean Charles De Menezes (if you didn't know, he was mistaken for a suicide bomber and killed by armed police) is correct. However, this does NOT equal a more pro-RKBA stance. It only reinforces the view that guns are evil because they killed an innocent person.

ArmedBear
December 18, 2006, 08:12 PM
As long as there's life, there's hope. Remember how close WE came to going down that road.

We didn't have a growing internal population of unassimilated immigrants, with growing violent tendencies and worldwide organizations happy to encourage those tendencies.

That's what I mean by a limited amount of time to change. As-is, Europe can't stay the same, one way or another.

iapetus
December 18, 2006, 08:14 PM
Good points made so far, I think.


I would question the assumption that Airsoft users would be supportive of real guns.

After all, one of the main uses of Airsoft guns is to (pretend to) shoot and "kill" other people. While someone might find it fun to pretend to do that with other like-minded people, it may well enforce the idea that guns are inherently violent things, and turn them against real guns.

I quite like watching gangster films, and playing Grand Theft Auto. That doesn't mean I think such things are good when done for real.


As for why the UK is generally more anti gun (I can't speak for the rest of Europe), some points to consider (some have been mentioned already):

* Two World Wars have made people generally find militarism in all its forms distasteful. And unlike occupied Europe, the general population didn't need to engage in armed resistance against the Germans. (We did prepare for it quite extensively, with the Home Guard, but it was never required to actually fight).

* Generally low crime for a long period meant that there was little need[ for people to own defensive arms.

* Similarly, generally only the rural population has had much need for guns for work, and very few people hunt for food (and AFAIK no-one relies on hunting as a major source of food or income). (NB: in the UK, "hunting" usually means chasing deer/foxes etc with hounds; hunting using guns is normally referred to as "shooting").

* Much of the hunting community is aristocratic / upper-middle class. Meaning (possibly) a bit of bias in early firearm legislation against letting the proles have guns, followed by a backlash from the ordinary people when they got more power, who might have seen gun control as a way to get revenge on the aristocracy.

* "Entirely reasonable" registration and licensing of firearms, with no (obvious) intention of prohibition, that no-one would have any reason to object to...

* Followed a few decades later by "self defence" not being considered a "good reason" for owning a gun (in a country where there was never a great need to have a gun for self defence)...

* Meaning that when eventually a couple of nut-jobs went on shooting sprees, few people owned guns or saw any overwhelming need to have one, while the dangers posed by evil people with ready access to them were obvious.

(Take note America: we had a constitutional right to bear arms about a hundred years before you did, meaning our government and gun-control advocates have had a hundred years head start on yours. About a hundred years ago, our gun rights were still in a fairly similar position to where yours are now).

* Also an increasing culture of dependency on the government and "society" to take care of all your problems for you, and (commonly, not universally) a belief that the best solution to something bad happening is more laws. (PS: unlike in the US, the British police do have a duty to protect you, and there has been at least one case of a police force being sued (successfully, I think) for failing to take reasonable steps to prevent a murder that was obviously going to happen).

* Finally, a media (and media-consuming public) that always finds bad/sensational news more interesting than good (or no) news. And considers a psycho (especially in America) shooting 10 people more shocking that a psycho in some other country starting a fire that kills a hundred. (But then, thatís hardly a problem unique to Britain).


Iíd say thatís a good summary of why the UK is generally hostile (or at best ambivalent) to guns.

As British/European hostility towards American attitudes to guns, Iíd say take all the points Iíve just made, then add in:

* 10,000 plus homicides-with guns in the US (which without properly investigating all the issues surrounding crime, self-defence, the number of gun-owners who donít murder people, crime rates in other gun-friendly countries, etc, certainly makes it look as if liberal gun laws lead to lots of shootings).


* A ďkill Ďem all and let God sort Ďem outĒ kind of attitude displayed by some pro-gun contributors to gun-control debates (not as common on THR as some other forums Iíve visited, unless youíre talking about Zombies, but such sentiments do, unfortunately, seem to be more common here than when I first joined).

Cromlech
December 18, 2006, 08:15 PM
ArfinGreebly

What part of southern England were you in? The souther parts of England are 'better off' when it comes to wages, and things like that, but housing is more expensive.

I'm glad that you and your daughter got to see the good stuff that this island has to offer, before it became unbearable. Cosmoline has made some good points just now, about how much Britain has changed in the last 100 years. Being 21, I have not known a different Britain really, as although the nanny state is more prevalent now than in the 80's, it was already headed there when I was born.

Cromlech
December 18, 2006, 08:17 PM
* Two World Wars have made people generally find militarism in all its forms distasteful. And unlike occupied Europe, the general population didn't need to engage in armed resistance against the Germans. (We did prepare for it quite extensively, with the Home Guard, but it was never required to actually fight).

Now that is a good point. We were right on the doorstep of war-torn Europe, but our civilians never had to fight in the streets.

ArfinGreebly
December 18, 2006, 08:52 PM
What part of southern England were you in?

I spent three years there ('69-'72) with the USAF, mostly in the Midlands and Bedfordshire. I returned several years later ('79-'83) as a volunteer (rehab/education) in East Grinstead, Brighton, and London (North, South, and West).

My daughter spent three years of her youth (age 3-6) in the same Southern places, and when she went back with her (Danish) husband to wait for his permanent residence to come through, she taught at a private school in East Grinstead. She's 30 now, with 2 kids of her own.

When I was first there, I learned much by hanging out with familes that had lived through WW II, many of whom had worked to build the RAF stations where I was housed. That and, of course, chasing the local damsels.

There is a grittiness about the British that can yet be their salvation.

It may take a catastrophe to make them reach down deep and find it again.

While I am not a native, this line of Shakespeare's John of Gaunt has always resonated with me:
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

(Being the final line of this passage:
This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
. . . from Richard II.)

No, there is no logic to it; it is entirely a matter of the heart.

mordechaianiliewicz
December 18, 2006, 09:03 PM
Well, the Europeans explained themselves very well. But as has also been noted, of the Eastern Europeans I've talked to, they are all about learning to use guns, and they generally enjoy shooting when they get the chance to.

I remember talking to a girl from Norway that heard me and a friend discuss going shooting, and she thought I meant shooting people! I talked to her for a little while and offered to teach her how to shoot, and she was terrified at the concept of shooting a gun.

I've taken a couple of Croatian immigrants shooting, both of whom now are gun owners. And a friend of mine got his Czech girlfriend into shooting.

I personally bet this is more a Western European problem than an Eastern European one. But as has been noted, the Eastern Europeans saw the effects of a socialist government run amok. The Western Europeans have not. Their socialism experiments have not resulted in police states (as of yet, but it is coming, whether at the hands of their own people, or at the hands of Muslims in the future), so they fear guns.

And while we cannot class all Europeans in the same category, there are some trends which do have way too much a base of support to be ignored.

Cromlech
December 18, 2006, 09:07 PM
It sounds like you came at a comparatively good time, then.

hockeybum
December 18, 2006, 09:19 PM
well we wouldn't have this problem if:

we would have agred with Patton and invaded the Russians :neener:

then, afterwards, the world :what:

then everyone would be American, so we'd all have guns :evil:

Werewolf
December 18, 2006, 09:43 PM
the mind set is against letting the serfs have the means to defend themselves against the King.
Yeah, the Kings are pretty much gone, but the mindset of the governing elite stays the same.That mindset exists in the US too. Sit down and make a list of those places that are verboten to one with a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Invariably with the exception of schools and places where alcohol is the main business the list is almost completely made up of where our masters work, live or play.

IMO within the next 20 to 30 years the same attitudes towards the RKBA that exist in Europe today will exist in the USA and for many of the same reasons so many posters have already mentiones.

JohnKSa
December 19, 2006, 12:59 AM
A big part of this is the environment one grows up in.

I find it interesting to see what happens when someone brings up silencers...then it's the Americans who tend to demonstrate the mindset of the culture they've been raised in. ;)

Cosmoline
December 19, 2006, 04:44 AM
However, this does NOT equal a more pro-RKBA stance. It only reinforces the view that guns are evil because they killed an innocent person.

It's totally unscientific, but I'm noticing more muttering on the net from Brits who are starting to realize they've created the closest thing to Orwell's nightmare that's ever existed. The British state has done what the tyrants of old could never dream of. There's literally a camera on every streetcorner of London, and pairs of eyes watching everything that you do. If you bring so much as a stick into the city you're subject to arrest and detention. I think it's starting to sink in, even through the incredibly thick British skull. I'm a firm believer that truth always wins out, even if it takes a lot of blood in the streets first.

Cosmoline
December 19, 2006, 04:54 AM
we would have agred with Patton and invaded the Russians

This is a bit OT, but I've been reading up on the Red Army lately. There's a whole batch of excellent books that have come out in the past few years based on research of archives opened up after the fall of the USSR. The time to dictate terms to Uncle Joe would have been during lend/lease negotiations in 41 or 42. By 45 when Patton was making threats the Red Army was the most powerful on Earth, and would have been more than our match even if we had convinced tired old Britain to fight them with us. They had better tanks, they had far more men on the ground in Europe, they were highly mechanized and above all they had millions of ruthless and seasoned frontoviks fresh from victory. They were also willing to soak up losses that would have turned every face in DC pale. And they had the SKS-45 in the works :D

LAK
December 19, 2006, 06:08 AM
Every "old Europe" person I have come across is an effeminate whiner.
In Old europe firearms were relatively unregulated. It is the New Europe socialist change agents who aquired a grip on both the "right" and "left" parties in europe following WW2 that have changed all that.

The Old Europe whiners are perhaps lamenting what they allowed to happen over a period of a few decades. How they have been deceived - or deceived themselves - along the way. As they gave up their sovereignty to a eurostate, and their "conservative" leaders sold them out along the way. There will be similar whining not too far down the road in this country when a sizable number of folk finally realize that they have been sold out as well in an identical manner.

--------------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

RedAlert
December 19, 2006, 06:12 AM
While I admit I took this sentence out of context:

"Why do they always feel the need to get involved with our politics like they live here yet they don't know a damn thing about our country?"


You said that about the Europeans with reference to the USA.

Rather ironic, considering our present position in Iraq. We sure didn't understand their politics. If we had, things would be much better there than it is now. While we entered under the pretext of WMD, in my opinion, President Bush was determined to invade regardless of world opinion.

Yes, that statement could easily have been made by an Iraqi citizen referring to the USA.

RDF

PILMAN
December 19, 2006, 04:32 PM
Right, i'm not saying invading Iraq was the right thing but it still boggles my mind why someone living in England would care if we own guns or not?

MD_Willington
December 19, 2006, 04:41 PM
European Mindset: Are they all against guns or is it just me?


Nah, my second cousin from the UK visited us in Canada when I was 12, we went to a sporting goods store and he said he wanted to buy me a .22... but because he was a foreigner and they had some silly gun laws we had to settle on a air rifle instead. He thought he could just buy a .22 off the wall rack in the sporting goods shop in Canada.

G36-UK
December 19, 2006, 04:42 PM
why someone living in England would care if we own guns or not?

Well, there's two types of Brits (Scotland and England) that have an interest in American gun laws.

The Anti-gunners want American laws to reflect the "Progressive" laws in Britain (despite the fact that the sort of gun laws we have are about as progressive as burning a cross on somebody's lawn), and support anti-gunners in America.

The pro-gun people* may see American laws as good examples of fairly reasonable laws, and would support Americans like you guys in the hope that your common sense will someday become an export.

*I'm pro-gun, but not an owner, so this part is pretty much a guess.

Fosbery
December 19, 2006, 05:49 PM
Indeed Cosmoline. I have also noticed a number of people realising that Britain is not at all dissimilar to that depicted in 1984. THey're also becoming more pro-gun. Stories of innocent people being powerless to defend themselves against vandals and thugs and even animal rights terrorists (who do all sorts of nasty things to anyone involved in animal testing). The police, they are realising, do absolutely nothing about all this and they're see that we need to take responsibility for ourselves and that guns are the preferable way to do this. Also, the realisation that gun control is a failure (in its stated aim of reducing crime, gun crime, murder etc) is setting in. However, this is only amongst a few of the people I know and I don't think it's respresentetive of the British public who, in many cases, are crying otu for yet more Orwellian and opressive measures.


I was in my local town at the weekend and I noticed the CCTV cameras. I knew they must be there but I'd never really looked for them. They're 'disguised' as streetlights. They are different to streetlights, so you can easily tell the difference if you look, but if you were just out shopping you'd never notice they were there. The cameras are contained in the 'bulb' of the streetlight, and it's blacked out so that you can't see which way it's pointing (this also protects it from thrown items presumably). THere is a band of downward pointing spikes about 2/3rds of the way up to prevent people climbing up there. They are placed just like streetlights, at the roadside edge of the pavement, and there is one about every 50 meters on one side of the road (none on the other side).

My village has two government CCTV cameras as far as I know. Again, they look much liek streetlights. One watches over a small seating area/public garden, the other watches the village center.

The nearest train station has numerous cameras, and every shop will have a camera inside (these are privately owned, but the police will take the tapes as evidence should a crime be comitted nearby).

In addition to police, my town also has 'street warden' patrols. These are civillians who work as street wardens (part time I think) and they're supposed to deal with low-leverl crime like littering, vandalism etc, and generally support the police. They can hand out on-the-spot fines for various things. They don't have the power of arrest that police have, but they can make a citizen's arrest like anyone else.

http://www.ebusinessdirectories.co.uk/BusinessDirectories/Media/ReadingBD/StreetWardens.jpg

The phrase 'red shirts' comes to mind. Stormtroopers comes soon after.

I predict (or rather, guarantee) that their powers will grow and grow until they're not at all disimmilar to the above organisations.

mordechaianiliewicz
December 19, 2006, 06:18 PM
This is truly unsettling.

As I've said before, I believe the problems which arise from Europe's social systems failing (when the governments there are unable to take care of their baby boomers), the influx of Muslim immigrants (many of whom are in your homelands only for work and civil benefits, and not to "be" English, French, etc.) and the militarization of Europe sure to happen when the US's power wains and China and India don't want to hold your bags will result in one of three options.

#1. Muslims take over. Eurabia. The Muslims impose their culture and beliefs on you, and Jews and Christians run, living secret lives in a country that hates them.

#2. Total disaster. A free for all. The EU collapses, and the countries themselves collapse, fighting amongst themselves when the social systems don't work.

#3. The collapse of social systems, and the rise of Muslim violence results in massive crackdowns. Fascism takes hold, but not just against the Muslims. Against everyone. Soon, with modern technology everything you do is monitored and scrutinized. The EU is powerfull enough to make local elections more or less irrelevant, you simply get your pick of masters. And although the social systems don't do what they promise, the bureacrats in Belgium have all the guns, so what are you gonna do about it?

While I think #1 is most likely in the long run, #2 does give hope of regaining self-reliance, and the best new start from ground up.

But #3, ah #3. That is what worries me. If the EU holds together, and the principle of "who has the guns, wins" in this case would be disastrous. The Muslim problem is gone, but at the point of a gun. And no one is really safe. The Muslims would still strike from the Middle East in revenge. And your freedoms would be gone, for nothing.

ArmedBear
December 19, 2006, 06:21 PM
The EU is powerfull enough to make local elections more or less irrelevant

That's already a done deal.

Gaucho Gringo
December 19, 2006, 06:36 PM
All the risk taking, adventurist Europeans immagrated to the US and left the doctile, fearful ones in Europe. Up untill 75 years ago the trip to the US was not for the faint of heart. And a lot of them learned to use a gun once they got here. The one thing I find interesting is twice in the last century Europe dragged the US into wars the Europeans started and the US did not want anthing to with untill we were attacked. Then when we straighten things up, they start saying we are bad people again. In my opinion it is really too bad an asteroid doesn't hit everything east of the the Atlantic Ocean to the western shores of the Pacicfic Ocean to both Poles. Then we could get on with our lives without having to listen to it.

anotherKevin
December 19, 2006, 07:05 PM
I recall a Euro asking if Montana was crowded, on one forum.

Euro's like to state as fact that Americans are ignorant, and uncultured, yet take Hollywood and Baywatch as absolute tangible fact. They don't know the differences between the states, or even how many states there are. Ask a Euro - chances are the answer will be 51, for some strange reason.

Having grown up a Euro I can say that the nanny socialist propoganda is indoctrinated in toddlers, the belief that the government knows best is the underlying foundation.

They simply don't get freedom, having never recieved more than was permitted. Firearms are such a powerful statement of peering with government entities, putting us on an equalized footing, that it blows their mind.

Conversely - you should ask them if there was ever a teensy little piece of evidence that maybe, just maybe, the police wouldn't be able to protect them in time ...

Ramon67
December 19, 2006, 08:36 PM
It's pathetic. And to think our forefathers evolved from them.:cuss:

ozarkhillbilly
December 19, 2006, 09:42 PM
There have been many good points brought out here, I think mordechaianiliewicz and Gaucho Gringo where excellent points. The topic of Americans being ignorant of world events may have some merit, but keep in mind I can go get in my car and drive 500 miles in any direction and still be in the United States and if I go east or west I can go a 1,000 miles and still be in the USA, do that in Europe and you will have passed through three different countries and a couple of languages. Also I have found that many Europeans are not any more informed as to would events as Americans they are just more opinionated about them, facts many time do not matter.

I also do not see our country going the same route a our European cousins on firearm laws, while we should be vigilant, we have made great strides over the last 30 years we are better off today then we were then. Yes we have had some set backs and we all want them reversed but our gains have been greater and just look at the last election, while we lost some ground on pro-gun officials most new democrats claimed they were pro gun.

One last point is that while we in the USA might not be perfect we are the most free people, living in the oldest nation on the face of Gods green earth. Our government is the oldest government on earth nearly four time older then most of Europe.

Panthera Tigris
December 19, 2006, 10:54 PM
Most European countries were kingdoms in the first place, going back hundreds and hundreds of years. And as such, peasants were not allowed to be armed, as this was a danger to the king. This mindset has been ingrained into their consciousness for several centuries. Plus, they did not have a frontier to deal with. This makes the United States unique in the need, and now desire for firearms. So yes, for most Europeans it is an alien thought to actually want to have firearms, especially handguns. It's just not part of most of their thinking. It doesn't make them weird, and it doesn't make them sheep. It's simply the way they've lived their lives over the centuries differently from the people who came here.

I have a friend in socialist Sweden who will tell you all day he is just as free as we are, no matter what you tell him. We have also discussed the gun issue and he says folks in Sweden don't need to carry guns. He says our society here that requires us to have to carry guns is a product of our making.
That is his perspective, and our view of firearms is our perspective. And you know what? He's my friend, and I'll defend his right to think that. He's certainly not pathetic, and Europeans aren't pathetic either. They're just a different culture.

Ramon67
December 19, 2006, 11:22 PM
GUNS and TEXAS. :evil:

Old Dog
December 19, 2006, 11:39 PM
Returning to this thread, and noticed that only a few responded to the actual question, "are they all against guns, or is it just me?" Essentially, it seems as though most posters are simply chiming in with their views on the overall European mindset -- as they see it -- regarding welfare programs (socialism), the "docility" of the average European, revisionist views of European history post-1945, the perceived "lack of freedom" in most European countries, etc., ad nauseum ...

Again -- I reiterate: how many of you have actually lived in European countries for a time and spent time with the average citizen, discussing issues relating to firearms ownership, firearms as a guarantor of personal freedoms and civil rights, firearms as weapons to protect against a government becoming tyrannical, etc.?

I have discussed these issues with many, many citizens of European countries. I suspect many of you would be most surprised if you ever engaged in face-to-face discourse with some of the "Euro-wimps" and "Euro-eunichs" you so casually denigrate ...

I noted earlier than Americans often struck me as far more insular and xenophobic than the average European ... The quality of many posts serves only to confirm this for me ...

I have a friend in socialist Sweden who will tell you all day he is just as free as we are, no matter what you tell him. We have also discussed the gun issue and he says folks in Sweden don't need to carry guns. He says our society here that requires us to have to carry guns is a product of our making.And he's not really wrong ... As Panthera Tigris properly notes, it's simply a different culture. Some of these countries do tend to suffer far, far less violent crime than ours. Does this mean I should criticize the citizens of those countries for having totally different attitudes about firearms and freedoms than we in the USA do? Does this mean that the citizens of those countries do not value their civil rights and freedoms as much as we Americans do? I think not.

mordechaianiliewicz
December 20, 2006, 12:57 AM
I'm not saying you are wrong, in part or in whole. But the reason why I digressed and most of the people here digressed is because most of us believe we cannot explain European disapproval of firearms whithout throwing in our .02 cents about their culture.

Might some of our views be misplaced. Yeah, you betcha.

I will tell you right now, my exposure to Europe is the handfull of Europeans I have known, and books I've read. But, the opinions I have formed based upon that experience I believe are not without merit.

By the way, for my Eastern Europe theory, Oleg is from Eastern Europe.

Oleg, if you see this, is there a certain truth in it?

The Scandinavian
December 20, 2006, 05:27 AM
European Mindset: Are they all against guns or is it just me?

Maybe it's just you? Gun ownership is widespread here in Finland. Shooting sports, hunting and collecting are quite popular.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Finland


You need to be very careful about making broad assumptions ;)

Fosbery
December 20, 2006, 10:13 AM
It's true that some European conutries, particularily Finland, Switzerland and Sweden do have very high rates for firearms ownership. Whilst this is great, in my experience (with the excpetion of Switzerland) they are valued only for their sporting/hunting/collecting use - not for defence.

Another thing that annoys me is that British pro-gun groups never EVER mention self-defence, or defence from government or anything like that. ALl they ever talk about it sports and hunting. I love shooting sprots and I'm all for people hunting but that's NOT what a right to arms is for.

max popenker
December 20, 2006, 11:16 AM
It is funny that you almost completely missed the biggest European country - Russia ;)
We have long history of oppression, but hunting was a mean of living in many parts of the country, and still is.
Also, Civil war, Great patriotic war and local wars of the late 1990s left too many "unregistered" guns out there.
And, contrary to the most of the world, we had our gun rights gradually improving. slowly and via mysterious ways, but - improving.
For example, back in Soviet times pistols 9and defensive arms at large) were prohibited; the only possible uses for guns wee hunting and sport shooting
Recently, we were first to purchase shotguns for home defence (without right for hunting, which requires licensing etc), and then - to buy some sorts of less-lethal pistols which fire rubber bullets. It is miles away from your ordinary 9mm or .45 in terms of stopping power, but certainly better than bare knuckles...
And we have hopes that in several years we would be allowed to own something more effective.

F#ck, i hate be "being allowed to own" but it is the way the social life goes. At least, it does not get worse with the time.

PILMAN
December 20, 2006, 03:05 PM
I really never considered Russia or Eastern Europe when I meant the average European mindset, I guess I should have said European Union as I consider Eastern Europe to be quite a different mindset overall from the EU mindset. I knew Russia had some strict gun laws, I think Czech has some very lean laws however when it comes to gun ownership. I would have to say the most anti-gun nations in the EU would have to be England and probably the Netherlands and Spain. From my experience, most of the people that debate against gun ownership appear to be from these countries specifically.

Then again this may not just be a European problem, it could be liberalism it's self. It seems like the world went from seeing America as a savior and a good guy to look up to, as a rolemodel to something people hate and poke fun of. Our values and European values and culture appear to be quite different. I guess it's difficult for someone living in Europe who hasn't been to the US to understand our taste for guns however. Until they have experienced crime, murder, and hurricane katrina. I just hope we don't follow the path that so many European Countries have already followed.

As for the people posting here from England, it's great to see you posting. I always like opinions from people who live there and know what it's like firsthand. It's a shame so many antis taint the opinions of the pro gunners living in those countries.

Silvanus
December 20, 2006, 06:52 PM
Unfortunataly, you're right PILMAN.

Most people I know are against firearms and as you metioned don't understand your culture. It's sad but true. You'd think that with our history, everyone would at least understand (if not support) private gun ownership, but they don't.

If people ask me why I buy guns, I always say 'because I want to' or 'because it's fun to shoot' (I can't say for self defence, because I can't carry a pistol in Luxembourg and it would freak them out even more). But they don't get it. For them, a firearm is meant to kill people and nothing else. But then I wonder: why do a lot of people practice martial arts for example? To hurt/kill people (the original purpose)? To exercise (they could jog or lift weights)? Or perhaps for self defence or because they enjoy doing it?

Another thing that I don't get is why antis don't understand that stricter laws take firarms away from law-abiding citizens and not from criminals, they don't buy in legal gun shops...

mordechaianiliewicz
December 20, 2006, 07:07 PM
Mr. popenker, what do you mean, by "mysterious ways?"

I have been under the impression that in rural Russia, firearms ownership since the breakup of the Soviet Union is incredibly common, including illegal full autos, and even RPGs. But, that doesn't mean people talk about it, or that it is "accepted" past the concept that neighbors don't cross each other because they are all "doing it."

Atleast that is what I have been told.

I have also been told that in countries once part of the Soviet Union which are now independent, gun ownership (illegally) is incredibly common.

Zundfolge
December 20, 2006, 07:53 PM
from the original post
...then someone comes along from either the United Kingdom, or Spain and starts professing "You Americans and your guns"...

Its not really about guns, its just typical American bashing that most Europeans engage in.

Silly Eurobigots :rolleyes:

Fletchette
December 21, 2006, 01:49 AM
They don't fear crime and see no need for guns because they don't fear their neighbors (who are often ethnically similar, and because of the social systems, well taken care of). They trust the police because the police are well, not very busy taking care of horrific crimes, because they don't often happen.

I have to call BS on this one.

Plenty of crime happens in Europe. The Europeans just seem to have an amazing capacity to bury their head in the sand. Case in point: How many Europeans know of the 1999 Columbine School Shootings where 13 were killed? Just about everyone in Europe knows about it, and will often weave anti-American politics into their recollection ("Those Americans are so violent and gun crazy").

Now, how many Europeans know of the 2002 Gutenberg School Shootings where 18 were killed? Hardly any. Head, meet sand.

ripcurlksm
December 21, 2006, 02:18 AM
then someone comes along from either the United Kingdom, or Spain and starts professing "You Americans and your guns"

and starts professing "You Americans and your guns".... and how you saved Europes arse more than you can count on your two hands :neener:

:D

Medusa
December 21, 2006, 06:33 AM
I have also been told that in countries once part of the Soviet Union which are now independent, gun ownership (illegally) is incredibly common.
True. There are plenty of those around. Each time the police do the "bring the gun and register it" campaign to decrease the amount of illegal weapons, some MG-s turn up. Looks like a lot of households (especially farms in rural areas) have a MG as a house defence gun (like Degtyarev), or PPäh, plus grenades. I don't even bring up the bolt action or shotgun. haven't heard about any RPG for HD, though, but there have been some explosives around.

Once the police sacked one house and left with van full of arms and ammo, like several MGs, SMGs, pistols, cases full of ammo (thousands). Yeah, there's plenty of secret firearms around, in case those pesky commies return.

All guns are got from "Mother Russia" and largely from those dead red army troops during the WWII and later occupation.

G36-UK
December 21, 2006, 12:33 PM
"You Americans and your guns"...Why can't we be more like you?

That's the way that comment should finish.

lykoris
April 17, 2009, 01:13 PM
well gentlemen, this has certainly been an interesting read.

I guess not much has changed in the last two years and the divide seems to be growing

neverjeg
April 17, 2009, 01:51 PM
When I was in Europe and the UK, I found that, while many of my own generation tended to be suspicious of all things military, their parents (who would now be in their seventies and eighties) had a clear grasp of the need to resist tyranny.

Denmark was occupied by the Nazis for a time, and those who remembered had dark forecasts for the consequences of relaxing around fascism. Oddly, they nonetheless were quick to embrace socialism.


My dad grew up under Hitler's thumb. He moved to the US and joined the military when he was 18. My first rifle had to have the stock cut in half so I could reach the trigger. He's 80 this year - don't even talk about giving up freedoms around him. He won't shoot ya, but you will get an education.

goerz
April 19, 2009, 08:27 AM
well gentlemen, this has certainly been an interesting read.

I guess not much has changed in the last two years and the divide seems to be growing

Well, that's not entirely true. Italy introduced the "castle doctrine" in its legislation in 2006 (before that, you could only defend your life, not your properties with a firearm). We have a system of licensing and registration, but it's always been perfectly legal to keep guns at home for self defense. About 10% of households have at least a gun.
After the introduction of the law, there was a proposal to subsidize the purchase of guns for low-income citizens, but that was later scrapped because of fierce opposition by the leftists.
Among the other factors that could explain the different mindset of Europeans ragarding firearms, I think that the role of the Catholic Church, in countries where it is more influential, should not be underestimated (criminals are people that need to be helped, not shot; we should welcome all sort of illegal immigrants as an act of charity toward those less fortunate than us, and so on...).
Regards,
Goerz

jim in Anchorage
April 19, 2009, 09:01 AM
I am not about to jump in with both feet on this one, but I think the implication of the original thread is as false as assuming someone interviewed in NYC is going to have the same opinion on guns as someone in, well, Alaska. Europe is a lot of different cultures and the opinion of the man on the street in Paris may not be same as someone in Oslo.

hinton03
April 19, 2009, 10:15 AM
I have lived in Europe off and on for 9 years, 6 in the Army and now 3 as a contractor.

Whenever this comes up I just tell them we have the right to own guns because of them. They look at me like I am stupid and I tell them that the shots that started the American Revolution were a direct result of the British trying to confiscate the guns of citizens at Lexington and Concord.

It is because of that incident that our founding fathers realized the first thing a tyrant tries to do is disarm the populace and they ensured that would never happen in America by granting every citizen the right to be armed. They wanted to ensure that the populace could protect itself from the Government if need be.

"....Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it....."

In the history of civilization no more important words have ever been written!

Don't get me wrong, I am not for abolishing the government, but I am for having the ability to do so if need be. It never ceases to amaze me how the words our founders put it the constitution remain relevant 233 years later. Not just the second amendment but the document as a whole. I think it was Jefferson that said "Evey word in the Constitution defines the difference between liberty and tyranny".

Anyway, the European have no concept of this and just don't understand that the 2nd amendment is there to protect society as a whole and that any problems associated with an armed society are a price that is to be paid for the preservation of liberty.

rojocorsa
April 19, 2009, 01:38 PM
This has been an interesting read.

I remember reading about the Beslan School Massacre back in 2004. Basically villagers ended up lending the cops and Spetsnaz AK mag full of ammo. No questions were asked.

woodybrighton
April 19, 2009, 02:01 PM
No mainstream pro gun group in the UK is ever going to mention self defense
as zero chance of it being implemented getting .22 target pistols allowed would be a legal victory:(

the government ended mass ownership of weapons in 1922 as they feared communism 20 years later heyho no guns to fight facism:uhoh:
though to be fair if it comes down civilian owned firearms vs an invading army your more or less screwed.
Theres no public land so hunting was always a minority sport.

while shooting guns looks fun
ccw seems a reasonable response in a country where there's wide availability of guns.
the I need 10000 rounds of ammo and a dozen semi automatic rifles because the UN are coming to take my guns away :uhoh: seems to be slightly crazy.

JohnL2
April 19, 2009, 02:03 PM
I say always be on guard of the "sophisticated" and "enlightened" mentality.
I love an intellectual discussion as much as anyone else; but a lot of intellectuals just scare the [curse word] out of me.

HGUNHNTR
April 19, 2009, 02:05 PM
Once again Americans are demonstrating their ignorance of the rest of the world through loud proclamating statements about peple they know nothing about. If you want to ditch the stereotype, do some research on your own of different countries, hop on a plane and spend a week in Europe. Just proclaiming Europeans are used to being sheep is plain IGNORANT!!:cuss:

Please grow up THR'ers

hinton03
April 19, 2009, 02:12 PM
woodybrighton makes my point exactly. The British government banned guns in the hands of its citizens to protect itself from an internal communist movement. Governments do not have a right to exist, if the majority of a country's people want to be communist then that is the form of government they choose, if the majority doesn't want to be communist then an armed citizenry will prevent it. Having an armed citizen isn't just about protecting yourself from invading armies, it is about being able to protect your individual rights from a tyrannical government.

It is true that in today's world it is much less likely that a western nation would be placed in a position of having to overthrow its government by force. However, given the potential for attacks of mass destruction by extreme fringe groups, and the probable economic melt down that would ensue, I don't see it as impossible.

HGUNHNTR I have traveled and lived in Germany 82-85 and 06-09, Belgium 97-00, Kyrgyzstan 03 and Qatar 04-06 and I find the original post to be generally correct. Europeans are the ones that generally do not understand, or care to understand, the premise of the American Citizens right to own firearms and constantly make ill-informed, Hollywood influenced, assertions about that right. Is every european a sheep, that is an incorrect statement, but to allow your government to take away one of your most basic rights, to defend yourself and your property, is somewhat sheepish. Americans can't understand how you can place the welfare of your family in the hands of police with no individual recourse.

JohnL2
April 19, 2009, 02:13 PM
Hey, would you pay my way so I could backpack through Europe then and get the lowdown?

Limeyfellow
April 19, 2009, 02:34 PM
The strange thing is, until the 20th century, a large amount of Europe were more friendly to gun rights than the US. I take an example of Britain were it was perfectly legal to carry by everyone but the actual police in the 19th century, but it was illegal in the US to carry firearms in towns.

The change occured after the Russian revolution, were fear of communism and gangs was used to strike down many gun rights. The same limitations where seen in the US in many places by the 50s, for instance Governor Reagan and his limitations on handguns to crack down on communists and the Black Panthers.

It usually how these bans always get put into place.

thesolidus
April 19, 2009, 02:34 PM
Accidently said to a Canadian once "If free citizens didn't have guns we'd still be English."
Well, since Canada didn't revolt against the crown, doesn't really agree with us in doing it (or is upset they didn't join in) and is still, technically, a British State that argument falls kinda flat.
Face it. America left Europe at the Altar! We thumbed our noses at the crown and ditched them. Then had the gall to be big and successful.
Europe is a bit Gentrified and is still somewhat Classist which is everything we loudly strive against.

Reality is lots of Europeans have guns. You either have to be Rich, Connected, in a 'Hunt Club' or otherwise licensed.

Oddly enough they either don't take handguns seriously or think they are only for criminals. Regular 'citizens' can't carry, so 'licensed' persons are not as constrained by US like gun laws. I've seen more 'security' guards in Belgium, France etc with SBR's than I see guards around here with Handguns. Almost every airport, train station, bus depot, big shopping area, high end Jewelry store etc I saw had either Officers or 'Security' packing SBR's!

Imagine getting a Mall Cop license and getting to pack a cut down full auto 5.56!

Dark Skies
April 19, 2009, 02:40 PM
There's an interesting dissertation on the 1996 British handgun ban here. It's in zip format

http://www.blntechnicalsvcs.com/Manuals/Firearm%20Diss.zip

It is very long but worth the read I feel. It records how decent shooting folk were victimized and had their legally held property confiscated by the State.

Despite the handgun ban shooting is very, very, big here. I know we're technically in Europe but the average Brit doesn't consider themselves 'European' regardless of how much the Labour government would like to foist that label on us. I'd like to see a lot less of the wild generalizations regarding our supposed downer on firearms. Pretty much all of the people I know are already either into shooting or are taking tentative steps to get into clubs and ownership.

Shung
April 19, 2009, 02:56 PM
I am a member of a race under exctiction here in europe, even in Switzerland.

We will keep fighting politically for our right to keep ("and bear" is already gone) arms as long as possible..

but only 2 scenarios are possible..

Wether the S will hit the F so badly, as in a scenario exposed here earlier, and we might understand how important keeping our guns is VITAL to our freedom,

or

We will loose our right to own guns, because the leftiest and utopist people will end up by ruling the whole continent.. I dont know how long we can still hold the ground.. maybe 10 years.. maybe less..

Anyway, both scenarios suck with a capital S...

Please, if scenario 2 will be the one, keep me a tiny place in Montana or Idaho for me.. I'd like to ask political asylum..


Shung, giving it up, muzzle first..

Blackbeard
April 19, 2009, 03:13 PM
Once again Americans are demonstrating their ignorance of the rest of the world through loud proclamating statements about peple they know nothing about. If you want to ditch the stereotype, do some research on your own of different countries, hop on a plane and spend a week in Europe.

HG makes a good point. This thread started to make the point that we don't like it when they categorize all Americans as psycho-crazy mass murdering cowboys. We shouldn't repeat the mistake by saying all Europeans are linguini-spined liberal serfs. There is certainly no uniformity of thought on any subject on either continent.

I wonder how many of the Europeans who want Americans to disarm have ever spent even one day over here. I've lived here my entire life and I've never heard a shot fired in anger.

Dark Skies
April 19, 2009, 08:09 PM
"Fosbery - Another thing that annoys me is that British pro-gun groups never EVER mention self-defence, or defence from government or anything like that. ALl they ever talk about it sports and hunting. I love shooting sports and I'm all for people hunting but that's NOT what a right to arms is for. "

The trouble is we do not have a written constitution in which a right to bear arms is enshrined. What we have is The 1689 Bill of Rights. Specifically:

"That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law. "

As you can see there are two things wrong with this sentence. Firstly it specifically gives rights exclusively to Protestants - and therefore is automatically cut down by modern statutes that (rightly) prohibit discrimination. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly in this context, the Bill of Rights is clearly vulnerable to any subsequent law by the phrase "suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law.".

So the Bill of Rights can be and has been watered down by politicians to render it merely of historical interest.

And good luck on trying to get British shooting groups to play the self-defense angle. Remember how ordinary shooters were villified as 'gun nuts' and members of a 'sinister gun culture' by politicians, the media, and Snowdrop after Dunblane? Regular shooters have only fairly recently been forgotten about by the more rabid anti-gunners. We've been replaced by knife carrying thugs and gun wielding gang members as the nations's favourite bogeyman. The last thing shooting groups want to do is start clamouring for the right to bear arms for self-defence and draw attention towards us. We'd be back to being members of a 'sinister gun culture that must be stamped out.'

Far more prudent to keep our heads down, quietly enjoy our shooting, and wait for the constant rise of unchecked violent crime combined with ineffective policing to induce the general public to demand a means to protect themselves.

redneckdan
April 19, 2009, 08:35 PM
My grand daddy told me a story long ago about a field hand working a ranch out west many years ago. An aristocrate from the european contient was touring the country side on horse back and happend across the field hand while he was stringing fence. The aristocrate asked as to "the where abouts of your masters house".....the field hand looked up at the horse man and said "that man hasn't been born yet".... that should pretty well sum it up to you.

rightside
April 19, 2009, 08:51 PM
The media has brainwashed lots and lots of people every where. They are very important in government control. Be carefull of believing what you hear, check your own facts.

bob.a
April 21, 2009, 01:28 AM
I had a Greek med student as a houseguest for many months, and in fact knew him for several years before he got into med school. He hails frome Crete, his dad was a high-ranked officer in the Greek air force, and the young man went to high school and college in the US.

He tells me that on his home island, there are LOTS of firearms, including full auto. No one there is interested in giving them up, or telling the govt about them, and they are brought out at wedding and such, when there's a lot of celebratory shooting going on.

He's completely comfortable with that, totally in favor of the concept of firearm ownership.

Sadly, he's now un the UK doing research, because of the great difficulties in renewing a visa for work and study in the US; all this visa stuff was post-9/11 of course. I'm afraid the govt shot itself in the foot by restricting trhe ability of intelligent hardworking foreigners to even enter the country.

On the other hand, there's a gent from Germany in the flying club I used to belong to, who works for the World Bank (I think). When another member commented in email about violent criminal assaults by Hispanic gangbangers in the area where we hold our meetings, and I mentioned the impossibility of going around armed in Maryland, the German fellow made some disparaging remarks about American gun culture. You'd think a German would have a little distrust of govenments in general, but I guess he feels otherwise.

Still, the Germans do make some fine pistols. I'm fond of my HKs and Walthers.

lykoris
April 21, 2009, 02:44 PM
I think the basic premise that Europeans by in large are anti-gun is true....primarily because so few are exposed or know about guns as a percentage of the overall population as it is not a right in any constitution.

I don't like how the E.U. has so clearly become anti-democratic and it is all about control...those that pull the strings behind.

removal of a tyrannical government by force/defense are the two most important reasons for citizens to bear firearms.

here in Europe we are fighting a losing battle talking about sports/hunting purposes....bring up the other two you're shooting yourself in the foot...many European governments have been quoted as saying...'not going down the gun culture road of the US' or words to that effect.

I hope to move to Switzerland in the near future, the gun laws are very relaxed here...but I see that changing when Ireland revotes again on the European constitution...erghhh Lisbon Treaty and they bring in more anti-gun legislation. Over here if the people vote NO against a European Treaty, they have to re-vote until they say YES.

If I every move to the US, the 1st thing I would do would become a life member of the NRA.

we're totally screwed in Europe.(gun owners I mean)

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