August 2, 2007, 10:43 AM
after reading the "convo with European anti" thread i think that there's indeed a lot of cultural misunderstanding and historical ignorance regarding "the other guy's" countries, laws, and culture (including gun culture)
Therefore, i suggest to board members of various countries to introduce their own country, its culture and traditions (in gun-related fashion) to all other boar members from different countries.
I'll try to set a pattern in the following post.
August 2, 2007, 11:18 AM
Oh, behold - the mother Russia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia).
a country with turbulent and violent history that involved extensive use of firearms.
During early XX century gun laws in Imperial Russia were quite liberal, but tightened after some political killings (various Revolutionaries used handguns against officials); hunting guns, on the other hand, were almost unregulated.
The WW1, subsequent revolution and Civil war left enormous amount of small arms in civilian hands. The Soviet state mostly confiscated handguns, but hunting guns were again almost unregulated; what was more important, Soviet government widely promoted shooting sports among youngsters, as a part of global military preparations.
WW2 was a bloody hell, and it also left an enormous amount of guns in civilian hands; after the war, there was a temporary rise of violent crime, and one popular legend said that marshal Zhukov, while being in Odessa, ordered every military officer to carry his pistol while off-duty, and to shoot any "acting" criminal on sight. Apparently, this worked quite well.
What is important that there was no general position on self-defence; first, gov't position was not to show that something could be wrong in the worker's paradise, and second, a person was nothing, and the state was everything.
To serve and protect our country was a honorable duty for every able male.
Gun laws began to change to the worse during 1970s, with licensing, registration of guns, more strict control etc.
When USSR fell, hard times came. 1990s were period of high crime levels, with lot of violence, gang crime, contract murders etc.
Local conflicts, war in Chechnya, terror acts... this all made a big impact on our society.
In my opinions, there are two large groups with very different thinking. One is the "old school" people who think that state "ought to" protect them, pay them salary/pension, heal them etc. Those people generally do not believe in self-defense and prefer to rely on police, or comply to the criminals and after that whine about how ineffective police is.
The other groups is those people who prefer to depend on themselves, and who thing that government at its best has to "not to interfere" with private life. Among those, many believe that self-defence is necessary.
A very specific aspect of the Russian life is that it goes along the ancient saying that "strict nature of Russian laws is compensated by unnecessity of their execution"; that is, Russians in general are certainly not so law-abiding as Americans or most Europeans. That does not imply that most of Russians are criminals by nature - absolutely not. But it more speaks on our governmental traditions. Therefore, many people prefer to conduct their life as far from government eye as possible, because there's always a law or two you are breaking, even if you are sleeping in your own home :(
Current gun laws permit ownership of shotguns and rifles (all on license) plus so called "defensive" less-lethal weapons (originally tear-gas guns, but now mostly guns firing rubber ball bullets). According to official stats, there are about 6 to 7 millions of registered long guns, plus a million or so of registered "self-defense" weapons, and numbers are steadily increasing.
There are active groups that promote legalizations of handguns for civilian use, and we really hope to win one day.
Ufff, sorry for that mess of letters, but at least i tried to make a honest picture ;)
August 2, 2007, 11:32 AM
Thanks for starting this thread. I think our international members will definitely have worthwhile contributions to make; especially since it's sometimes difficult to find information on a nation's gun laws.
August 2, 2007, 12:11 PM
Great post max, lookign forward to see what other members post on this subject
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