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

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by PILMAN, Dec 18, 2006.

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  1. PILMAN

    PILMAN Member

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    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 Even in a debate where I present my facts, it seems like to them, facts don't matter and the "constitution is outdated" according to them (which is quite funny seeing as if my 2nd is outdated, why isn't our 1st?).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?
     
  2. Manedwolf

    Manedwolf member

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    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.
     
  3. Firehand

    Firehand Member

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    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.
     
  4. Mikee Loxxer

    Mikee Loxxer Member

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    Europeans seem to value security over freedom. They feel that having guns out of private hands makes them safer. They don’t care if they are less free. Remember Europeans are used to being subjects.
     
  5. DirksterG30

    DirksterG30 Member

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    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:
     
  6. bucktail

    bucktail Member

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    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.
     
  7. mordechaianiliewicz

    mordechaianiliewicz Member

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    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.
     
  8. Wesker

    Wesker member

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    I would guess being the host of two world wars in one century is enough to turn a lot of people off guns.
     
  9. PILMAN

    PILMAN Member

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    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.
     
  10. Wesker

    Wesker member

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    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:
     
  11. mordechaianiliewicz

    mordechaianiliewicz Member

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    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.
     
  12. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Member

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    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)
     
  13. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

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

    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.
     
  14. coyote_jr

    coyote_jr member

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    Holy Hit the Nail on the Head Batman
     
  15. Fosbery

    Fosbery Member

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    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.
     
  16. lance22

    lance22 Member

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    weenie whiners

    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.
     
  17. sterling180

    sterling180 Member

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    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.
     
  18. thirty-thirty

    thirty-thirty Member

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    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.
     
  19. G36-UK

    G36-UK Member

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    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.
     
  20. PILMAN

    PILMAN Member

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    Wow Fosbery, interesting stuff there.
     
  21. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

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    Let Me Oversimplify

    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.
     
  22. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    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.
     
  23. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

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    And By The Way . . .

    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.
     
  24. Racehorse

    Racehorse Member

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    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.
     
  25. SoCalShooter

    SoCalShooter Member

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    That's for me to know and not you!
    Swiss and the Swedes are the only ones I can think of that are not sheeple anymore.
     
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