P320 Entry: Something’s Rotten in the State of Denmark

Spyderco Pingo

By Ulla Lauridsen

I’m a Dane, a sports shooter and a longtime reader of TTAG. I’m also incredibly envious of your Second Amendmend rights. Let me tell you about the weapons laws here in Denmark. Basically, the government and the police are very much against anyone being armed. A steady rise in violent crime since the 70´s has led to still more restrictive weapons laws, leaving law abiding citizens increasingly defenseless . . .

Let me give you some examples: Pepper or teargas sprays have never been legal. Not ever. Violations carry the penalty of a fine. Tasers? Of course not. It’s not even an issue.

Knife laws have been tightened steadily. Today, you are allowed to carry a folding knife – and it has to be a folding knife – with a blade no longer than three inches. The knife must be constructed so that it requires both hands to open it, and the knife cannot have a lock. The Spiderco Pingo was designed so as to fulfill all these requirements.

As anyone can see, this outlaws a lot of excellent knives for a lot of purposes. For instance, people unpacking crates in shops have been found guilty of transgressing the law for having forgotten a Stanley-knife in their pocket when leaving the workplace. The Stanley-knife locks, you see.

Obviously, I and other law abiding Danes are highly inconvenienced, while all sorts of scum blithely ignore the law. If you are caught in possession – and have committed no other crime – you get a week in prison.

As for gun rights … well, there really is no such thing. To obtain permission to buy a gun, you have one option only: join a sports shooters association and shoot regularly for at least two years. Then you can apply to the police, arguing that you need a personal firearm to further develop your marksmanship. The club chairman will have to co-sign and if your criminal record is clean, you will get this permission.

You can only buy guns for which there are competitions in your sports shooters association, and you can buy at most two of each caliber – whether you actually need more guns is left up to the discretion of the local police. All guns are registered, obviously, and have to be presented to your club chairman once a year. You cannot leave the club without joining another – if you do, it will be reported to the police immediately, and your permit will be revoked.

And when I say ‘guns’, I mean semi-auto pistols and revolvers only. Also, they have to be more than eight inches long so as not to lend themselves to concealment. The guns you own must be stored at home in an approved gun safe. When going to the range and back, they must be packed away safely – definitely not carried in a holster on your body. And you cannot stop in at a store, for instance, unless you leave the weapon in a locked car. As I walk back and forth with my guns in a backpack, I have to go straight there.

Obviously, these firearms are not intended for self-protection. Actually, you are well advised to never hint at any such motive in your shooting association. Sport, sport, sport is the watchword. And illegal possession of a gun is an automatic one year prison sentence.

Does this mean there is no gun crime in Denmark? Of course not – but I have to admit it’s a lot less than in America. Personally, I think this comes down to our traditionally very homogenous and peaceful society, but it is difficult to convince my fellow Danes of this. I refer to the fact that most households in Switzerland have a full-auto or semi-auto military gun while maintaining a low crime rate, but to no avail.

Danes in general are very happy with the way things are and look at ‘conditions in America’ with abhorrence. What we have here is a sort of contract: we renounce weapons for ourselves in exchange for the police keeping weapons out of the hands of criminals.

As much as I love and cherish my SIG P226, I find this attitude acceptable and somewhat reasonable as long as the politicians and the police keep up their end of the bargain. The problem is that the balance is slipping. When I was a child back in the 70’s, it was front page news every time a gun had been used in a crime anywhere in the country. Basically, only organized criminals – biker gangs – had them, and they only shot at each other. Now, every punk seems to have one, and it’s becoming an everyday occurrence. As much as the police strive to take guns away from criminals, there seems to be no shortage.

Violent crime is on the rise for reasons difficult to discuss in polite circles here in Denmark, and the politicians are getting desperate. Their answer so far is a constant tightening of laws and sentencing. As the readers of TTAG know, the legal approach only really affects law abiding people, and stronger sentencing does not seem to have made a dent.

One part of the gun laws especially sends the chills down my back:

“If, in exceptional circumstances, it is required in the interest of public safety, the Minister of Justice can decide that objects or substances prohibited by § 1 shall be forfeited to the government against full compensation or deposited. Prior to setting such rules negotiations should, if possible, be undertaken with the organizations The Danish Shooting Union, The Danish Sports Federation and The Company Sports Association.”

The translation is mine, and it’s probably not the best, but you get the gist: Our Department of Justice can decide to take our weapons away completely, if they think ‘circumstances’ warrant it. I have a feeling that they will do so at exactly the moment we need them the most.

You Americans should be eternally thankful for your Second Amendment, because it establishes a RIGHT. In Denmark, gun owners – we few, we happy few – are on probation.

comments

  1. avatar BDub says:

    Damned if you do, Daned if you don’t.

  2. avatar Dontbestupid says:

    Our Second Amendment RECOGNIZES a natural right, given by God Almighty. It establishes nothing.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Evidently God doesn’t have jurisdiction in Denmark then.

      1. avatar Gene says:

        God does, they just won’t acknowledge it.

        1. avatar Hannibal says:

          What’s the difference?

      2. avatar B says:

        “The argument goes something like this: ‘I refuse to prove that I exist,’ says God, ‘for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.’
        “‘But,’ says Man, ‘the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED.’
        “‘Oh dear,’ says God, ‘I hadn’t thought of that,’ and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.

        1. avatar ThomasR says:

          That was funny. I used to believe that people that believed in a higher power were fools and gullible idiots impervious to logic and reason.

          Then I was gifted with the direct experience of the connection to that higher power; Then I knew that higher power was real. I had been like a man born blind at birth; never truly knowing that the sun was real and that I could see objects millions of light years away in the night sky. and believing that people that spoke of the lights existence as being fools and idiots.

          The proof of the existence of G-d is real is all around us, if we simply open our eyes to it’s magnificence.

        2. avatar Hannibal says:

          Why do you not write “God”? The word “God” is not the proper name of a deity, by any means (Yhwh might be the best we can come up with). It is, at best, a representation of the idea of a deity. By writing “G_d” you are doing the exact same thing as writing “God”, spelling out the representation of the idea of God except you are doing so in a way that makes you a bit more needlessly sanctimonious.

        3. avatar ThomasR says:

          Good question Hannibal; It is a reminder to myself that the I Am can never be truly understood, to be “owned” if you will, in this plane we currenty reside in. It is the Great Mystery.

        4. avatar Rich Grise says:

          Sure he can! And he wants to be our pal: http://www.godchannel.com

        5. avatar JuanCudz says:

          Just as funny when Douglas Adams wrote it.

    2. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

      “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”

      I don’t see the G-Sauce anywhere in there.

      1. avatar Sam Spade says:

        That’s because you didn’t read the document that the Constitution was written to enforce:

        We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

        1. avatar Don says:

          Sorry but I think that’s the Declaration of Independence you are quoting.

        2. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

          The constitution begins with

          “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

          Mentions nothing about a creator or God. You can say it was implied from our declaration of independence, but not in the constitution.

        3. avatar Rich Grise says:

          The only god mentioned in the Declaration is Nature’s God, which isn’t Yaweh.

        4. avatar John Sell says:

          He was quoting from the Declaration of Independence and righty so! The Declaration is, in fact, our first and foremost founding document. It is what defines the principles of our country and set our freedom, backed by the blood of those who fought. The reason that does not apply to the Constitution? Because our country existed before the Constitution did! We had a form of government BEFORE the Constitution, called the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution defines what our government is, what the governments duties are, and what they cannot do. The Declaration defined us as a free nation.

        5. avatar Pat says:

          Well said John, and Amen.

        6. avatar Gordon in MO says:

          The Declaration of Independence is the statement and promise.
          The Constitution is the document that fulfills the promise.
          The Bill of Rights provides for enforcement of the Constitution.

      2. avatar Ben says:

        If you believe God gave the right to you, more power to you. If you don’t believe in God and just recognize it as a right for merely being a living human, same thing. No need to get all uppity when someone says “God”.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          Problem has been the confusion between the God of Love and the God of Power.

        2. avatar Pat says:

          Rich, I think it was that great scholar Huey Lewis who sang the praises of “The power of Love”.
          It is a curious thing, as it makes some men weep, and other men sing.

        3. avatar Rich Grise says:

          The Beatles got it to a tee – all you need is Love. 🙂

      3. avatar William Burke says:

        Exactly. Stop being churlish, Hannibal.

        But Ulla, can you carry a tire iron? A crowbar? How about a bullwhip? Does that tingle the heart of your north Germanic constabulary?

        Edit: I meant LOINS.

        1. avatar Hannibal says:

          Feel free to take the word “God” out of both his and my responses and replace it with whatever you prefer (natural law, etc); that thing, whatever it is, evidently does not exist in Denmark as it relates to guns. Well, unless it’s tinkerbell. Because Tinkerbell is the only thing I can think of at the moment that stops existing if you stop believing in it.

          The point being, it’s silly to make the distinction people keep making that the Constitution only ‘recognizes’ some sort of right, and does not grant them. There either is no such thing as a set of natural rights, or it’s completely useless, since it can be abrogated so easily. The only right is to what one can bargain for or take. When the Constitution was written it was done so to recognize that the citizenry was not bargaining away it’s right to self-defense to the new government. But that doesn’t mean that we cannot do so; we certainly can, and Australia and the UK are the result. There is no magical ‘natural right’ to prevent it but our own very human will.

        2. avatar Rich Grise says:

          You have survived three million years of evolution, you’re damn right you have a right to whatever you can get.

          The secret to becoming a Free Human (rather than a brute) is learning how to get what you want not by using force, but through free exchange with peers.

        3. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

          Absolutely not. Any cop would just look at that, confiscate it and fine you unless you had a very good explanation. Of course they ‘profile’ somewhat. As a fortysomething woman I could probably get away with walking while carrying a tireiron

    3. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

      What I meant was: The Second Amendment establishes that you have those rights. As in ‘makes clear’. Maybe I’m just not as familiar with the language.

    4. avatar NJ Joe says:

      The Danes will be referring to GOD as “ALLAH” soon, as they will be the first European country to have a Muslim majority. Hope they will be happy with Sharia law while “abhorring conditions in America” Perhaps things will be better under their Islamic betters, than when they surrendered to the Nazi’s in under six hours, with their unarmed, defenseless, tails between their legs. PS…Ulla, you are welcome to come to the USA and enjoy you GOD given freedom…(just not in NJ, NY, MA, MD or any other blue state.)

      1. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

        Thanks for the invitation. I think I just might have to stay here and defend my country as opposed to the despicable surrender in 1940.
        You are wrong about the muslim majority, though. That’ll be in Sweden circa 2050, if not sooner.

        1. avatar NJ Joe says:

          Pardon my error, I had read it was Denmark. I must also admire your decision to stay and defend your home country. I too, have not left my home state of PDSSNJ (People’s Democratic Socialist State of New Jersey), but it is getting harder everyday to stay where the majority have opinions so abhorrent to me. Perhaps we both will escape to freedom before it is too late. PS…Please tell your fellow countrymen that gun crime in the USA is mostly isolated to large cities, which are filled with “Menschliche Müll”

        2. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

          I do that, every chance I get. As someone else said: 80 % of violent crime is committed by criminals against criminals.
          Ordinary Americans commit no more crimes than Europeans, guns or no guns, as statistics from the state of Utah attest to, I believe.

  3. avatar BLAMMO says:

    … Today, you are allowed to carry a folding knife – and it has to be a folding knife – with a blade no longer than three inches. The knife must be constructed so that it requires both hands to open it, and the knife cannot have a lock.

    So, knives must be as useless and dangerous to the user as possible. Must they also be dull?

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Have you tried to buy a Kukri with an edge lately?

      1. avatar B says:

        I have been itching for a Falcata machete lately. Something classy, yet functional in the event of zombies.

    2. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

      Nope. I have to say, for fairness sake, that scouts can carry a real knife, fishermen and hunters, too, but only to, from and during the activity. If you forget you knife in the tackle box and forget the tackle box in the trunk of your car the next day, you could be busted.

  4. avatar Martin B says:

    I blame it on the European Union. People can travel without let or hindrance all across the Union. Which means anyone interested in weapons which are illegal in one country can easily travel to another country where they are easier to obtain. A lack of respect for the law is all that is required.

    Actually we have similar rules in New Zealand for handguns, except our guns have to have 4″ barrels, for similar reasons. But long guns aren’t a problem, it is almost mandatory to have a shotgun, a .22, and some form of centrefire pig or deer rifle.

    As you can imagine, driving to another country isn’t possible. And air travel puts the kibosh on any arms smuggling. I don’t know how our criminals manage to obtain hand guns. And I don’t want to know.

    1. avatar Jim Barrett says:

      I think its a bit more complicated than that. I would suggest that it has a lot to do with what I’ll call the “civilization curve.” Places like Denmark and the rest of Western Europe are much further from their frontier roots than the U.S. is. The further you get from the self-reliant attitude required of frontier dwellers, the more you are likely to accept the nanny state who watches over all of your needs idea.

      Parts of the U.S. are headed in that direction, but we also have a fair number of people who still have a frontier mentality that serve to balance things out. In other parts of the world such as Eastern Europe, Asia, and South America, the people have never really had guns of their own in large numbers. Oppressive states have more or less held sway for much of the time and out of fear, never let their citizens own guns out of fear. of the loss of power.

      Australia and New Zealand remain somewhat more inexplicable. Their frontier days were much more recent – essentially on par with the U.S.’s but they made the decision to embrace the firearms restrictions favored by European nations. If I had to guess why, I might suggest that a greater percentage of the population in those regions lives in the cities rather than in smaller towns and communities (like we have in the U.S.). City dwellers are more likely to favor tight gun restrictions and heavy police presence and a disproportionate number of them could cause the shift in gun rights viewpoints.

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        I can’t disagree with your assessment, but I have to point out the fallacy of such thinking. Not to pick on one state, but a few years ago in Connecticut a pair of thugs held a family hostage, raped and murdered the wife and two daughters and set the house on fire after beating the father half to death. The police responded 34 minutes after they received the 911 call. Then when the Sandy Hook shooting happened the first cop was on the scene in 90 seconds where he parked his squad car a quarter mile away and waited 9 minutes for backup. Whether it takes 9 minutes or 34 for the police to arrive when you need them is most likely a moot point. You might as well be in the middle of the Alaskan bush. When seconds count we are all on our own.

      2. avatar William Burke says:

        I pretty much agree with your analysis.

      3. avatar ccw says:

        I like your take on that, it makes sense.

    2. avatar Stinkeye says:

      “As you can imagine, driving to another country isn’t possible. And air travel puts the kibosh on any arms smuggling. I don’t know how our criminals manage to obtain hand guns.”

      Boats are probably involved somehow, I betcha.

  5. avatar Spencer Gottlieb says:

    Skider på den våben lov i Danmark. Jeg have været der få gange og hvert gange er jeg lille smule uncomfortable at ingen have deres egen våben, og forstår ikke nogen om hvordan en samfund skal funger med folk at har våben med.

    Faktisk sidste gange har jeg prøvet at finde en pistol, kun for sjov, taget mig kun få dagen at finde nogen af min venner at kender nogen for en våben….og det koste ikke så meget. sindsyg at folk forstår at deres lov virker ikke.

    Tak for en gode forklaring af Europansk?Dansk våben lov, det gøre mig helt glæde at en Dansker have skrivet for min yndlings blog.

    1. avatar JohnO says:

      That’s easy for you to say.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        😀 ROFLMAO!

        Mah funny bone done got tickled.

    2. avatar Gunr says:

      Yeh, I know how you feel, I don’t like Feinstein either!

    3. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Your keyboard’s broken, fella.

  6. avatar Steve Case says:

    >> As much as I love and cherish my SIG P226, I find this attitude acceptable and somewhat reasonable as long as the politicians and the police keep up their end of the bargain. The problem is that the balance is slipping.

    You mean the balance of power is slipping towards the government? Who’da thunk it!!

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Wait! What “end of the bargain” is that? I’m unaware of this bargain of which you speak.

      1. avatar B says:

        Its the end the relocation troops point at you when you refuse to go to the camp.

    2. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

      As I see it, and as most Danes see it, the power is slipping away from government and police. They’ve come up against a group of people they don’t know how to tackle.

      1. avatar Ardent says:

        In their own way, a healthy percentage of American gun owners are like your Danish criminals; we’re something the government hasn’t figured out how to tackle, and likely can’t. Thing is, the only laws we’re interested in breaking are the ones that unlawfully restrict liberty in the first place.

      2. avatar Rich Grise says:

        That’s the primary problem with one-size-fits-all, herd oriented society – one drought, and the whole bleeping herd dies!

  7. avatar Pillager1900 says:

    One of my good friends from college is a Dane and his views on firearms are way off to the left (hell so are his politics). I have constantly tried to persuade him that disarming a populous is not the best route for solving violent crime (He constantly tells me that gun crime is different than violent crime … sigh … the only difference is the tool used). He also tells me how wonderful things are in the land of Denmark since there are no guns and how much happier everyone is there since they distribute the wealth via their tax system.

    At the end of the argument I ask him why is he here if it is such a cesspool. His response is that he can not afford to live there due to the high taxes, at which point I break out in a loud snicker.

    On a plus side, he can not vote.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      “Populous” means “well-peopled”. An adjective. The noun you want is “populace”. That’s all of us.

    2. avatar Ben says:

      Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’d be a little worried about someone who, assuming he truly thinks this, believes that gun crime and violent crime are somehow two completely separate things.

      1. avatar B says:

        You have to count them as different! Otherwise the gun control arguments completely fall apart.

      2. avatar Pillager1900 says:

        He is a really nice guy, just a little confused by the whole freedom thing.

        1. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

          All Danish politics are way off to the left. The entire Danish spectrum would overlap with the Democrats. NO ONE here is against abortion. Everyone here is PRO the wellfare state. We have the highest or next to highest taxes in the word, huge benefits for a lot of people, free (mediocre) healthcare, free (mediocre) higher education, etc.

        2. avatar Rich Grise says:

          That sort of thing can present the illusion of working for a long time, with a homogenous society where everyone is almost a genetic clone of each other and one size really does fit all, but it only takes one drought to wipe out the whole herd.

  8. avatar SD3 says:

    No offense, but if I lived in Denmark, I’d “make like a tree, and…”

    1. avatar Brian in WI says:

      Get out of here?

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        Vamoose from Esperanza.

  9. avatar Tactical Tightwad says:

    So basically all of the self defense laws in Denmark are the same as they are in New York City.

  10. avatar Jay Williams says:

    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  11. avatar S.CROCK says:

    Its rare to read a TTAG article that makes me happy that I live in cali. I will have to bookmark this article for when I need some cheering up.

    So it not acceptable to say you want a gun for protection, but what if you use it for that? Mandatory prison sentence for preventing your family from getting robed, killed, etc?

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Those paper targets could gang up on you…

    2. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

      Actually, the self defence laws are very reasonable, maybe because Danes in general are very calm and patient. In a famous case a couple of years back a watchmaker, who had been robbed several times, had bought a gun illegally. The next band of robbers were shot at – one of them, he followed out into the street and shot in the back. He was convicted for having an illegal gun, but otherwise exonerated. Served a year, I believe.

      1. avatar B says:

        Just think, in Texas he would have been a hero, the DA would have applauded his actions and declined to press any charges since he would not have violated a single law.

    3. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

      As my gun is legally owned, I do not think the police would have a problem with home defence, as long as I didn’t go overboard. They would not stand for me executing a thief-turned-robber, but as long as I showed reasonable restraint, it would be fine. They are not zealots.

      1. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

        I would have to tell them it was temporarily out of the safe for cleaning, but otherwise … not a huge problem.

  12. avatar Mrt says:

    “Violent crime is on the rise for reasons difficult to discuss in polite circles here in Denmark,”

    the population is no longer as homogenous as it used to be?

    1. avatar ThomasR says:

      , Google immigration and Denmark and you will see why there is a rise in crime rates since the 70’s.

      The wonders of Multiculturalism. Promoting separation, isolation, Balkanization and ultimately, intertribal warfare from it’s inception.

    2. avatar CentralIL says:

      That was my interpretation.

    3. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      My wife lived in and attended college in Denmark for two years about ten years ago; right before she moved back to the U.S., met me and all that followed. We were talking about this very topic just the other day, and how Denmark was being inundated at the time with refugees/immigrants from places not well familiar with the rule of law and Western standards of civilization; but who are drawn to the country’s generous welfare system. Places like Afghanistan and Somalia, in particular. Even then it was taking a real toll on the country and its livability, so she came back home. Sorry for Denmark, but it worked out well for me.

    4. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

      Exactly.

  13. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

    Can you carry a club or bat of some sort?

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      There may be golf courses. Iceland has ’em, so why not Denmark?

    2. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

      Absolutely not.

  14. avatar Rich Grise says:

    “I refer to the fact that most households in Switzerland have a full-auto or semi-auto military gun while maintaining a low crime rate, but to no avail.”

    Interestingly, Switzerland also has a tiny tiny government.

    1. avatar Chuck in IL says:

      Oh, to have a tiny tiny government!

      1. avatar fw says:

        It’s also a tiny country. Pop 8 million, 16,000 sq miles (126 mi across)

        1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          Perhaps that’s the point. With a smaller country, there’s greater transparency of government finances and a more direct linkage between taxation and government services. With it being easier to see and assess what the government is actually doing with your money, as in a small country, it’s easier to keep control of the politicians and their spending. Toward that end, it might not be mere coincidence that of the top four richest and most diverse economies in the world, three of them, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Singapore, are all small places with small governments and low per capita government spending.

          Maybe those are special cases, because they’re so small, but when you look at some of the somewhat larger countries you see a similar pattern of lower government spending per capita correlating with higher living standards and more freedom. Chile (pop. 17 million), Taiwan (pop. 24 million) and South Korea (pop. 50 million) all employ the small government model, and they each outperform just about all of their similarly sized peers.

        2. avatar Rich Grise says:

          That’s just a simple natural law. Less Government = More Freedom = More Better for Everyone!

        3. avatar Ardent says:

          I’m reminded here of an incident occurring shortly before World War I. The German Kaiser was the guest of the Swiss government to observe military maneuvers. The Kaiser asked
          a Swiss militiaman: “You are 500,000 and you shoot well, but
          if we attack with 1,000,000 men what will you do?” The soldier
          replied: “We will shoot twice and go home.”

          Quite pithy that!

    2. avatar Fabian B. says:

      Being Swiss, I contest that idea. There has not been as much corruption* of power as in the US, but the power is there, ripe for the taking (increasingly taken, too).

      *By corruption, I mean not only bribery and shady dealings, but more importantly the wielding of power to control whatever aspect of people’s life the particular individual or committee has power over.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        OK, I can accept that. Still, it shows that even teeny tiny governments get corrupt, so the best government is the least possible government, preferably zero!
        http://youtu.be/xMoPBDz5ycA?autoplay=0

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          DAMN these 20-minute videos to hell! I’m listening to John Fahey!

      2. avatar Ben says:

        Isn’t full military disarmament gaining popularity in Switzerland?

  15. avatar Josh says:

    I’ts always interesting to read about gun rights (or lack thereof) in other countries. Well done.

    1. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

      Thanks!

  16. avatar ProfBathrobe says:

    Crap man, that’s a massive shame. Still, it’s always good to hear we’ve got brothers and sisters overseas, and I hope you get to visit sometime to try out the really fun stuff.

  17. avatar Kale says:

    Thanks for sharing! Every time I dream of living in a European country, I’ll remember this article.

  18. avatar former water walker says:

    I am grateful to be an American. My ancestors left the European cesspool to be free. No offense but I don’t give a rat’s a## what the rest of the world thinks of us. Europe would NOT exist without the United States. Sorry you live in the socialist paradise of Denmark.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      “Europe would NOT exist without the United States.”

      lol wut?

      1. avatar Kale says:

        I guess he’s referring to the World Wars. If that’s the case…that’s a bit of a stretch.

      2. avatar JoshtheViking says:

        Well, Europe would probably exist, but it would exist under the rule of a Nazi or (more likely) Soviet empire.

        1. avatar Hannibal says:

          Yeah, maybe. Of course without the United States in WWI the history that followed that would have probably been quite a bit different as well, so the Nazis and Reds might not have even gained the power they did.

        2. avatar B says:

          So no difference then? *badumTISH*

        3. avatar Yellow Devil says:

          @ Hannibal: I often pontificate that if the U.S. didn’t get involved in WWI and Germany won, than WWII probable wouldn’t have happened at all. However, I think the devastation of the war and poverty as a result of it would have made Socialism attractive and eventually brought Fascism and Communism to rise anyways. Instead of another World War, I surmise that just overall turmoil would have gripped Europe as factions fought one another for control of their prospective governments. The rise of Communism was already taking place in Russia during the WWI and I see no reason why it wouldn’t have continued.

      3. avatar William Burke says:

        That’s the height of silliness.

  19. avatar Ralph says:

    It’s sad that Danish gun laws are as insipid as Danish food, because there’s nothing as insipid as Danish food. On the other hand, Danish people are great.

  20. avatar Jason says:

    I had the awesome experience of being able to work with the Danish Military and the Danish Home Guard as a joint military training exercise in the fall of 2013 on the island of Bornholm. It was amazing to see how envious they were of our gun laws in America. The fact that I go everywhere with my Glock 19 wowed them. When it came time to leave and head back home we did some trading of uniforms and what not. Was funny to see how valuable a switch blade and assisted opening knife was for barter. I will never forget the taste of the salted licorice-type candy the Swede’s passed off as good. Also got to work with the Fin’s and German’s during my trip. Thanks for the article.

    1. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

      You’re welcome, and thanks for your story. I’m a member of the home guard also.

      1. avatar Jason says:

        Was really interesting to perform an assault on the harbor in the middle of the town with civilians walking around. That would NEVER happen in the USA.

        1. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

          You know, Bornholm was ‘occupied’ by the russians for a while after the second world war. I think they are really happy to be free. But we do the same thing all over the place. The Home Guard is generally liked, everyone knows a member.

  21. avatar SteveO says:

    It appears the author entered a contest in which he cannot collect the prize . . .

    1. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

      Oh, yes, I have it all planned. I know a guy with a permission to import. He’ll process the paperwork for me.
      I’m a she, by the way 🙂

  22. avatar JNielsen says:

    Yep, it’s a lot more fun to be a Dane in Texas 🙂

    1. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

      I believe you! I keep pestering my husband to go. He’s not opposed to the idea – he’s a scientist. May I ask where you work?

  23. avatar former water walker says:

    LOL hannibal? 2world wars, Marshall Plan, lend lease, thousands of troops protecting European butts against Soviet( Now Russian aggression), Berlin airlift, sadly world’s reserve currency( don’t know where that’ll end up, hanging out in the Balkans, billions of bucks for NATO( do you feel safe?) Not a stretch at all boys.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      I’m pretty sure Europe would still ‘exist’ without the United States. Words have meanings. Who would be in control of the area? No idea, but anyone who claims to know is a psychic or a fool. People can’t even predict what would happen five years from that point, and you think you can know what would have happened if a million variables were changed?

      As I pointed out above, without the US intervention in WWI, it’s possible we would have not even seen the the rise of Nazi Germany or a powerful Communist Russia. And if you limit your counterfactual to WWII only, we still can’t know the result that would have happened once the dust settled between the major players.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Wow. You really are an ignorant jackalope, aren’t you?

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          Ralph, you fail to understand to fine etymological distinctions between “exist” and “exist”. 😀

      2. avatar S_J says:

        As I recall, it was Woodrow Wilson (arguing under the auspices of the post-WWI League of Nations and his Fourteen Points) that strived for a more amicable peace with Germany, but France and Britain weren’t having it. I have many bad things to say about Wilson but at least he wasn’t responsible for creating the conditions that made Nazi Germany possible.

        1. avatar JuanCudz says:

          I have to disagree. It was the high interest rates on the war loans the US offered Britain and France that caused them to put the squeeze on regarding reparations from Germany. So you could argue that the US indirectly created the Nazi party. And having learnt the lesson explains the Marshal Plan mentioned earlier.

      3. avatar Ardent says:

        That really is inane. The Germans actually did conquer all of Europe with no apparent intention of ever relinquishing control, or at least not for 1000 years. The Brits were whipped, the Soviets were on the ropes and neither could have held out without lend-lease long enough to mount a real defense. Without the US the best case scenario was that the Soviets finally pulled it out and defeated the Germans, and by their actions and in some cases admissions, they would have ruled the area instead of the Germans, liberators they were not.

        Only the power and essential altruism of the US allowed for the defeat of the Germans and a simultaneous check on Soviet expansionism in Europe while allowing self rule in the nations there. Any other analysis defies all evidence in the history of WWII, pre and post war.

        As for WWI, the American presence likely only hastened a forgone outcome but if it did so it saved untold numbers of lives. If the outcome wasn’t preordained, the US commitment likely resulted in Europe being divided the way it is rather than Germany stretching halfway into France. The Treaty of Versailles might have been punitive, but it was going to be punitive without the US, in fact we had lost little and lacked the bitterness of the French and English. So either the US intervention had nothing to do with the rise of Nazism, or else it did contribute, but only because in forcing the Germans to accept surrender it enabled a bad treaty. As for the Bolshevik revolution of ’17, what that has to do with US intervention in the first WW is beyond comprehension unless you insist that the defeat of Germany enabled favorable conditions for the culmination of a revolution begun 12 years before.

        You seem to suggest that unchecked German expansionism is the lesser of possible evils, which is absurd on it’s face and which also puts you firmly in Cromwell’s camp, not something very popular really in any circle anywhere.

        I can really find no support for your assertions that don’t involve either bizarre contortions of facts or else a moral ambiguity concerning national sovereignty and unjust wars of aggression and the consequences of appeasement. If you have some facts to the contrary I’d be happy to see them.

  24. avatar guest says:

    I think a lot of it, and not just in the case of Denmark, boils down to Government > People. Basically there is no country I can think of where every time there is a major or gradual assault on rights the govt gets put into place for doing just that, and I am not talking just about gun rights I mean all rights.
    In fact I challenge any one of you try finding a country where the people are completely sovereign and in full control of the govt, and always have the last word when it comes to major issues. I do not think you will find one, expect some ridiculously small unimportant tribal state.
    All western countries and all major countries are like that: the state decides what’s good for you, and you just shut up, consume, pay taxes and obey. There is something fundamentally wrong about this, but then again it is literally survival of the fittest: if people forfeit their right for anything at one point, ANYTHING AT ALL, then end up using more and more in the long run, and so far people especially in western countries where the “baaaah” call of the sheeple has always been “well we live in a civilised country, blah blah blah, we do not want xxxx and xxxx like in that OTHER part of the world” combined with naive trust of their govt has eventually led to exactly this. Peace trough obedience, peace trough surrendering of power. And guns are just one part of a bigger picture.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      People forget that the government isn’t the country. It happens here too.

  25. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    I’m sure Mr. Lauridsen gets it, but I get a little sick of the stereotype northern Europeans have that America is a violent society, when Americans of northern European decent have a murder rate that would fit right in place with those in northern Europe. Meanwhile our neighbors to the south that have much stricter gun control have murder rates much higher – Honduras’ rate is 20+ times higher. Blaming the second amendment for our higher than northern Europe (except Russia) murder rates is a sure sign of ignorance.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Ignorance is the correct word. The people aren’t stupid, but they only know what they are told. Just like people here.

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        There’s no shame in ignorance. I, for instance, know very little about microbiology. You can’t know everything. But I’m wise enough to know what I don’t know. The only shame is in thinking you know what you don’t know. An ounce of humility goes a long way.

    2. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

      Absolutely. It’s the people, period. I keep asking friends why there are no work place shootings in our police stations? Those officers are all carrying guns with chambered rounds. No one ever knows what to say.

      1. avatar Yellow Devil says:

        But, but only the police can be trained to have firearms on them! /Emulation off

  26. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Sure hannibal…and if Hannibal had crossed the Alps and conquered Rome we’d all live in an alternate universe. We saved Europes ass. and if Corporal Hitler hadn’t lost his sight after being wounded he wouldn’t have gotten so pissed off at the Jews…no WW1 …no end to the Ottoman Empire….no partition of Palestine…no Israel…no second coming of JESUS. Yep there sure are a million variables. I must be a psychic.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      The US saved Europe’s ass for sure, but not necessarily from the Nazis. Germany was already doomed by the Soviets. Germany lost more than 600 divisions on its Eastern front! And without Operation Overlord, the Soviet Army would have run roughshod all the way to the Atlantic coast.

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        While I would have to make an allowance for Hitler’s instability, without America there was no need for him to invade the USSR in the first place. Yes, I know Germany invaded the USSR nearly 6 months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. But once it was clear that the Battle of Britain was lost, Hitler correctly deduced that in a couple of years Britain and the US would launch and invasion of France and once their armies had established themselves on the continent then Stalin would see the writing on the wall and attack Germany when she could least afford it. Hitler believed he could defeat the Soviet Union before the Americans and British could make that landing and if he had been as brilliant of a tactical general as he was a strategist he would have won the war. His biggest strategic mistake was to aid his ally Japan by declaring war on the US just a few days after Pearl Harbor. With a little luck he could have counted on Japan keeping America busy for years before he had to face them himself, and by that time he may very well have conquered the USSR and Britain, making an American invasion virtually impossible.

        1. avatar Delwin says:

          US factories saved Europe much more than US soldiers ;-). If not for Lend Lease gas, trucks, planes etc. Soviet Army would have bled to death trying to win the war – even if Germany would not be able to win as well.

    2. avatar William Burke says:

      Whoa! So we don’t live in an alternate universe at all? So all universes are identical?

      I think I need to pick out an alternate headstone. It will say diametrically-opposed things on either side.

    3. avatar B says:

      German banks control their government financial policies and Russia controls their gas (and Eastern borders.) We can only save them from so much when they just invite them in.

  27. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Ulla Lauridsen,

    Great article and thank you for sharing. Your situation shows us what will happen in the United States if “We the People” are lazy and do nothing. Fortunately, I cannot foresee that happening. I am amazed at how many people are recognizing the value and utility of being armed and able to defend themselves and their families.

    When you talk to fellow countrymen in the future, you can share three extremely important details about violent crime in the United States:
    (1) Violent criminal gangs are responsible for about 80% of all violent crime in the United States. And, fortunately for us, most of the victims are violent criminal gang members.
    (2) The violent crime rate for people who are not criminals is extremely low … much lower than most, if not all, countries in Europe.
    (3) Our violent crime rate peaked around 1993 and has been falling for 20 years … even though good people own many million more firearms today.

    I hope that may begin to convince your countrymen that firearms availability for good people are not responsible for violent crimes. In fact firearms may be an important part of the cure.

    1. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

      Thank you. I think it’s a little more complicated here, because there is no tradition for guns ownership (except for shot guns for hunting). There is no knowledge handed down from generation to generation, so if we could, all of a sudden get guns (not that there is any ‘risk’ of that), there would be a lot of accidents.

  28. avatar former water walker says:

    Leave it to us old guys to explain it all. How ’bout if Adolf got the atom bomb first? Or if Adolf hadn’t spent the equivalent of a trillion dollars on developing rockets that killed maybe 3000English? Or if Adolf had just lived with the Russians instead of killing 20(?) million. Or if Adolf had not had the pathetic Mussolini to the south. I did see an extremely interesting story on one of the history channels that Japan had developed a small atomic bomb( with lots of German help & radioactive material) at wars end. It was supposed to have been set off in Korea on August 13th…too little too late. Yep a genuine alternate universe.

  29. avatar former water walker says:

    Do ya think Adolf ever heard of Napoleon Bonaparte? You’d think he woulda’ known it was MADNESS to invade Russia. Here’s another fun alternate universe…how about if Truman had manned up and dropped some atom bombs on the Chinese in 1950? Instead of having Americans(&UN troops) slaughtered? I believe we may had 50-100. The Russians? 1 or 2? Would that have changed things up a mite? Yep.

    1. avatar B says:

      When have socialists ever let past failures of history deter them from pushing on? The plan is never the problem, they just needed a bit more political power. It will work this time. /sarc

  30. avatar I_Like_Pie says:

    How the heck do you eat a steak in Denmark?
    Tear it apart with 2 forks?

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      Do they even have steak in Denmark? I love those cheese pastries, but what else does Danish food consist of? Just curious.

    2. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

      You can have real knives at home 🙂 If you need them sharpened, though, you have to go directly to the shop and back.

      1. avatar B says:

        Huh, just like Jersey and Maryland. Both terrible failed and failing states.

  31. avatar DTAL says:

    Ah, yes. When politicians are too wimpy to address the real cause of violence (“demographics”) they always turn to guns.

  32. avatar Richard says:

    “Violent crime is on the rise for reasons difficult to discuss in polite circles here in Denmark, and the politicians are getting desperate.”

    Go ahead. Say it.

    We all know what you are getting at, and the biggest part of the problem is that no one will come out and say it. It’s “not polite”, or you “just can’t say that”.

    It’s the mass importation of violent subcultures. I’m not talking race or religion here, no one put words in my mouth. There are peaceful and violent people of all creeds and races.

    1. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

      Exactly. But the violent ones for some reason seem to come from muslim-majority countries. We have no problems with people from Thailand or Ceylon, for instance.

      1. avatar Richard says:

        Of course.

        Facts are, most people just want to go to work, come home, provide for their family, and have a little time to rest and relax, before starting over. Most people, the world over just want a calm simple life.

        It’s not Islam that is the problem in and of itself (well, no more than any bronze age invisible sky daddy myth) It’s the violent subculture in within many muslim nations. Keep. Them. Out.

        If I buy a bag of fruit, and one is rotten, I don’t take it out and put it in my fruit bowl. You don’t import rot and filth to spread.

        1. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

          I’m an atheist. But as much as I don’t believe in any god or gods, religions are not created equal.
          Jesus was absolutely non-violent. He bid his followers love their enemies. Muhammad – not so much. He robbed and murdered his enemies and raped their wives. I can’t help but think it makes a difference.
          Also, Jesus bid us love our neighbours. In Islam there is a clear line between the believers and the kuffar, whom you are encouraged to hate, kill and in general abuse.

  33. avatar Out_Fang_Thief says:

    So Ulla, how many of you Dane’s are there? Last time I checked, it was 5 million, and change. Over here, that’s just the 5 Burroughs of NY city. Things are somewhat different for a country of 300+ million. Confiscating the firearms from a population of 3oo million is probably an impossible task. For a population of 5 million,..it’s doable. Also, it should not go without mention, that the U.S. is the youngest country, as well as last wild continent to be tamed by the Western Europeans. It was tamed with the gun, not the long bow and sword. Why is this so hard, for so many Euro’s to understand? My great-great-great grandfather was a scout for the throngs of Europeans heading out West from Americas original 13 colonies. My grandmother was born just 50 years after Lincoln was assassinated. Both the gun and America grew up together, and evolved together, and as such, have become part of our national heritage. A heritage of free men, not royal subjects. If Denmark, or any other European countries had been founded under the same conditions, Denmark, and those European countries would have a much different attitude about guns.

    1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      That makes a lot of sense, but the circumstances of Canada and Australia would seem to bear some similarities, too. How were they not able to enshrine firearms protections in their constitutions and keep from going soft today?

      I’m not even sure I’d agree that Africa has been tamed. So shouldn’t there be an active bias toward individial firearms ownership there, even more than an ancestral one?

      1. avatar B says:

        Canada and Australia were given their freedom from the crown. America took its freedom by force and enacted laws and protections to try to keep the boot heel of tyranny from crushing their future children.

      2. avatar Yellow Devil says:

        Australia used to be known for their Marksmanship and high (for their country) firearm ownership. But after the Port Author Massacre, the people decided to trade government sanctioned safety for individual liberty. To be fair, they are not the only ones guilty of that, after all we in America did that with Prohibition and other Progressive backed programs. Canada is a bit more accommodating with firearms, after all they can get imported vz 58s and qbz 97s which is something our government refuses to allow (hell we can’t even get our m1 Garands back from South Korea). But every time I visit relatives in Canada, firearms is something they always ask me about, like it some powerful mutant ability that shouldn’t be in the hands of most mortals.

  34. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

    I’m sure you are right.

  35. avatar Kent says:

    I spent most of 2013, attached to the 2nd BN, Royal Regiment of Scotland, in Helmand province. Had many interesting talks about our respective gun laws. They would listen incredulously as I called home and bought a 7.62 AR or other such goodies. (The fact that we can have SBR’s and suppressors really blew them away) They just couldn’t believe that it would be at my local gun shop, waiting for my next trip home.

    We really do tend to forget how good we have it, until you talk to the guys who have lost the freedoms we value. The Scots were a brilliant bunch of lads, by the way. Though I could never understand their love of a hot cup of tea, when it was 130 in the shade…

    1. avatar B says:

      I lived in Sicily for 3 years. No one pays taxes (they never completely finish a building), children live with their parents until they die and they inherit the property. Buying a house is a foreign concept to them. Jobless rate is huge, and the countryside looks like freaking Mexico with cacti and pink buildings with graffiti. It was a very eye opening experience on what socialists want America to become and was a big factor on my becoming more politically active.

      Their pizza was absolutely wonderful though. Stone ovens or nothin’.

  36. avatar Delwin says:

    Europe is partially diverse in respect of the guns but in general the gun ownership is deemed to be a privilege, not the right. Approach to the guns is different (starting from UK absurd through German mediocre to relatively good approach in Czech Republic or Slovenia). In one country you cannot own the handgun, in the other you can get CCW relatively easy (almost “shall issue” approach). In general however, the US citizens should value what they have – and they should work for saving it.

  37. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

    Fun fact: The Pingo is named after your crown prince, who used to be a ‘frog’ – same as a navy seal. They apparently use nicknames in that branch of the navy. He’s cool, and I like the knife also, but of course, it doesn’t really make up for the restrictive laws.
    We are, by the way, most of us, very thankful for British and American intervention and help during and after the Second World War. People of my parents’ generation think the Marshall-help was an incredibly generous gesture.
    To young people, I’m afraid, or some of them, it’s more like ‘nasty imperialist empire’ – we have a loony left just like any other country, but we’re a lot better off than Norway or Sweden, who are really giving themselves over to political correctness, multiculturalism and the Big Brother-state. Danes have a somewhat rebellious streak. A lot of people, for instance, carry an illegal knife ‘just because they shan’t tell me I can’t’.

    1. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

      That would be OUR crown prince. Duh.

  38. avatar Bungameng says:

    Here in Prague we always get thousands of Danish students during their spring school holidays. Note that we have very permissive culture when it comes to guns (firearms concealed carry permits are shall issue, knives etc. all legal without formalities), alcohol, drugs (growing 5 plants for your own purposes legal, having up to 15 grams only misdemeanor subject to fine – never enforced) and sex (prostitution legal. – none of it is an issue here.

    What we get when these “tourists” come is the following: They jump off the buses/planes in the morning and first go buy knives (preferably combat knives). Then they get high in the afternoon. Drunk in the evening. And after leaving brothels they are starting fights in the streets in the night.

    I understand that these are young males having a reckless fun, but if what is happening in Prague every spring holiday is any indication of what would be happening in Danemark, I would say that your gun laws make sense. We have hundreds of additional cops on duty just for the couple of weeks of Danish holidays.

    (IMHO it is only a matter of time when some legally armed Czech shoots a Dane in Prague in self defense – fully in his rights.)

    1. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

      I know. A lot of them are not ‘Danes’, though, they only have the passport if I am not very much mistaken. Your country sounds great.
      A couple of pictures: http://www.uriasposten.net/archives/45195

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