TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia tend to be fatalistic about the fate of gun rights in California, New Jersey, New York, Hawaii and the like. Some consider these “slave states” lost causes and advise gun owners therein to GTFO ASAP. Others say that we must fight for their firearms freedom, lest the infringements spread, virus-like, to other states. As for European gun rights . . .

There’s not much debate. Or sympathy. Well, the continent is thousands of miles away. And it’s all about America First these days, apparently. But Europeans are people too. I’m sure some of you encounter Europeans who’ve taken a break from their native statism to visit or work her in The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

What do you tell them when they ask about your guns? Are they hostile or wistful about your ability to keep and bear arms? Is there anything we can do to help Europeans regain their natural right to armed self-defense? Or should be bunker down and tend to our own ballistic garden?

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104 Responses to Question of the Day: What Do You Say to Europeans About Your Gun Rights?

  1. Working in sales as I do, I occasionally get a tourist or two wandering in to gawk at the racks and cases of toys.
    “Yes,” I say, “in America our government is prohibited from denying a citizen’s civil right to be armed.”
    If they have a decent grasp of english, this usually leads to a fun discussion of what civil rights are and why they don’t have them where they come from.

  2. Depends on the persuasion of the Euro in question.

    It’s either “GoFYourself” or “Yeah, America IS pretty awesome…my condolences about that thumb you live under”

    • “I see. So, just to clarify what you’re telling me, Mr.Tourist: in your country citizens DO get robbed, assaulted, raped, terrorized and murdered – they just don’t usually get SHOT – unless it’s your government shooting them, is that right?”

      • I would tell “Mr Tourist” that in the United States when a human being tries to break into your house, tie you up, behead your wife in front of you, sodomize your children in front of you, shoot the family dog, cut off your manhood and shove it in your mouth and leave you to bleed to death, but not before burning the house down with you in the basement, that you have the God-given right to adequately prevent that from happening with any type of firearm you choose. In Europe you basically have no adequate defense. In case you didn’t notice I used the word human being, because a criminal is still a criminal even if it wears a uniform issued by the government.

  3. The most receptive persons I had talked to in Italy were the soldiers in Pisa. They were outstanding in their professionalism as well as their pro-USA gun attitude.

    • Europeans tend to exhibit one of 3 different attitudes in my experience

      1. Fascination and jealousy of the liberties enshrined in the constitution. – This guy doesn’t have to be sold on the validity of the constitution, and would gladly hang the entire parliament to get what Americans have. Probably over-represented in interactions with Americans because this continent draws the highest quality Europeans towards the smell of freedom and has for 500 years.

      2. Curiosity – These are like the sex/drug tourists. They are in the US, so they have to go shoot a gun. It’s what you do in the US. They also want to try BBQs and shoot fireworks, etc. Basically the same idea of how Americans will want to go smoke weed in Amsterdam, or (redacted) in Thailand. Although these people will shoot your ammo and eat your food, it is doubtful that they have the same enthusiasm for liberty as tier 1, and would probably respond as favorably to US gun laws in Europe as your “I want to speak to the manager”-haircut suburban mother would to a opiate/marijuana store on the corner of her children’s school block.

      These aren’t beyond help, but they have yet to make the connection that the US is safer and better than Europe, and will only continue this trend as more Muslims sneak into the EU. It hasn’t quite “clicked” yet in their heads, but you might be able to make some progress.

      3. Scorn – These are the ones we won’t mourn when europe falls to Islam. They are better than you, their countries are better than you, and we’re just a bunch of inbred idiots who are going to destroy the planet with our cars and shoot each other over minor disagreements. Mockery and ridicule is all you will get, so it’s all you should dish out.

  4. Except for islands of freedom like the Czech republic and Switzerland it seems most European folks have accepted being slaves. SOL…

    • If you have to pay property tax on “your” land, you’re still tithing for massah. I guess we Americans have accepted slavery, too.

      • You think paying property taxes is slavery or akin to being disarmed? Sovereign citizen much?!?😜

        • You don’t own anything if the government can drive you out of house and home by the barrel of a gun for not paying them rent.

        • Why no it’s EZ to argue with…you don’t live in the woods do you?!? You want to go the prepper route go right ahead…duh. All those modern amenities have to be paid for. Unless and until you go the mountain man /wilderness family route you are FOS…

      • One of the reasons for the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 was the realization that the Articles of Confederation provided no means for a central government to generate revenue. The Constitution that came of that convention was intended to solve that problem.

        Even the most libertarian among us realize that there are certain services that must be rendered by our government (e.g. “provide for the common defence”). The government must have a means to fund such services.

        Taxing real estate is one of the oldest forms of government revenue known to man. Some people think it’s unfair, but there’s really no such thing as a fair tax. The government can only collect it from those who have the means to pay it.

        • Could always scrap all the welfare, social programs, transgender duck studies, and bloated military spending and strip the government back down to its original minimalist state. Put a border tax on imports, having the exporter pay that fee to sell on the American market, among various “use taxes” ex, gas tax, tollways, and if its just not enough, a flat percentage income tax or a commercial sales / licensing / any number of forms tax.

          Times do change and in this day and age, we do need some degree of standing military if only for the high skill occupations and continuation of military knowledge, so that a base exists to quickly raise an army.

          Year after year the government gets record setting tax collection and they still manage to drive us further into debt.

      • I can see both sides of this argument. Curtis makes a valid point, the government is a necessary evil which must have some form of revenue and it can only get it from those who have the means to pay it and those means must be ones that the government is aware of. Even black market drug lords pay something in taxes for the property that they own and most of the stuff that they buy.

        OTOH, the argument against property taxes is one I understand. If you don’t pay your taxes the government can evict you from the land that you “own” which I would argue means you’re effectively renting it from them.

        This is one of those things where you kind of just have to accept that there is no perfect solution. Taxes, like death, are inescapable and you’ll always end up shelling out for something you don’t use or don’t particularly want to pay for. However, if everyone just got to pick whether or not to pay taxes there are a lot of necessary things that wouldn’t get done.

        Really, I think the vast majority of this argument would disappear if the government didn’t try to regulate so much stuff that it has no business being involved in and was actually competent about half the stuff it does.

        • Your last paragraph is true for about 90% of arguments about governments and rights.

          Hell, I was having this conversation with my dad the other day as it relates to carrying weapons. If it were free and easy to obtain a license, complete with mandatory training that was worth a damn (and again *free and easy* to obtain that training), to carry in any fashion (showing consistency in government, which will never happen), then many of the arguments about carrying concealed or open would disappear overnight. That demands competence from our governments, so that will never happen, and thus we need constitutional carry. *le sigh*

        • A perfect example tangentially related to firearms:

          There’s a company called Tru-Flare that makes pen style emergency flare launchers. Awesome! However, good luck finding a new one because they’re now illegal to import.

          Is the launcher illegal? No. The flares? No. However Tru-Flare sells these things with a projectile called a “bear banger”. It’s a noise maker, just a fucking noise maker. That item is now classified as an explosive by our dear friends at the BATFE. No reason for it, just changed the classification.

          So you can find these things all over Canada, Europe and elsewhere in the world. Import to the US is now banned. Now, lots of things are banned in the US and imported via internet sale. This? I’ve been trying for months to find someone who will ship me one. No way in hell it’s going to happen. No one has the balls to violate an ATF diktat because of the power that agency has and the wrath such a violation might bring down upon the company in question. The only realistic way to get one is to take a quick trip up North and bring it back sans the “bear bangers”.

          Dumb as hell, but that’s government work for you.

        • I’ve never understood why that revenue had to be so unearned as property tax. I agree that a government working for the most basic common good should and needs to be funded by the people it supports.

          But couldn’t the government provide a good or service that it’s position makes it uniquely competitive in? Why not have the government compete with private industry in some manner of low-margin, mass production of manufacturing, or mining, or something, where the profits of their successful competition were used to fund the government while also adding to the competitive market.

          Win, win, win. There would be the issue of the government using its power to unfairly adjust the playing field, but thus would require us to have real, effective limits on government. Which is obviously a sticking point…

  5. Brought an Indian guy to the range last weekend. He’s in for a month for work. It was an experience of a lifetime for him, especially after he grasped he’d never be able to do it in his country.

    • Had a similar experience with a Pakistani friend of mine that recently got his citizenship. I am trying to talk him into buying a gun for himself but he’s afraid it will put him on some kind of terrorist list. I honestly felt terrible when he told me that.

      • Offer to sell him one of yours.

        Are private sales required to be reported where you live?

        (You can conveniently *forget* you ever sold it…)

        • I did offer to build one to his specs and then sell it to him once I tired of it in about a week, but he seems like he wants a handgun first so I will let him decide.

    • While I wasn’t able to get them to the range due to time constraints, I did take a coworker and some customers from India to the gun counter in Walmart. Somewhere out there is a Captain in the Indian Navy with a picture on his phone of the two of us standing in front of a rack of AR’s and shotguns at Walmart.

  6. Non Americans broadly fall into two categories: ‘Guns are awesome/we love America’ and ‘Oh my god you are all murdering maniacs/get me the hell out of here’. It will be very obvious to which you are speaking, and the conversations will basically write themselves. The former will be a great conversation, the latter will be a lot of pearl clutching and finger wagging, if they can stop their knees trembling long enough to even speak to you. In all fairness, I have found many more of the former than the latter, but that may be because a) I stay primarily in free states and b) the latter are usually too afraid to speak about such things.

    As an aside, the guy that runs the 3 gun matches at my local range is most definitely of British origin, which I find endlessly ironic.

    • In fairness, a lot of Americans are the same! They’re either pro 2A (or at least hands off) or they’re the type that infest the media/politics and definitely fall into the ‘pearl clutching bloody shirt waving’ camp.

      FYI I’m British (will be working on my US citizenship ASAP!) and am ardently pro 2A, and my wife is from the US and loves big government socialism and would ban guns if she got the chance. Sigh…

    • There is also the “America can do what it wants but I just don’t understand why you need guns category.”

      My British friends like guns but think the U.S. takes it too far.

    • Back in college (way back . . .) I was talking to an Australian exchange student about guns and when I mentioned one of my latest trips to the gun store he stopped dumb founded: “What? You have stores that sell guns here?” And I was equally dumbfounded and asked in response: “Well, yeah, where else would you buy your guns, in a back alley somewhere?”

      This was back before I understood anything about private sales. And, fortunately, no need to transact in alleys. They tend to be dank and stinky.

      .

  7. A lot of people underestimate the access to guns that Europeans have in many countries. In France, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, and more, you can get guns by jumping through a couple hoops. Maybe they have more restrictions on the types of guns, waiting periods, licensing and training, etc., but that’s not uncommon with regards to ANYTHING in europe.

    Look into how much it costs purely in regulatory compliance to merely own a car in Sweden. In order to get their drivers license they have to take a driving course that is so comprehensive (includes training on skid pads and requires demonstrating the mastery of recovering from understeer and oversteer, for example) that it costs about ~$2,000. And then their cars need to undergo heavy, full inspections that are so comprehensive that those each cost about $800 at regular intervals. I think when a car is brand new it has to get the inspection after 3 years, and after that on the 5th year, and after that every single year, and if they ever find anything wrong with the car they automatically take away its registration so that it must be fixed before returning to the road, AND THEN you have to take it back to the inspector and pay a SLIGHTLY reduced fee to have it re-inspected. And they disqualify cars for things that most cars in America have like rust on certain parts of the car, or broken suspension. As a result its hard to find a car on the Swedish roads older than 8 years, it just doesn’t make economic sense to maintain older cars to those standards.

    So they have a more collectivist mindset over there and they don’t mind making individual sacrifices for what they see as the collective good. IT’S NOT WORSE, IT’S DIFFERENT. It still works, much to the chagrin of many right-wing Americans who have never travelled out of the country. Go to Sweden or Denmark and tell me they’re not doing things right, lol they are two of the most functional, competent, efficient, educated, clean, and productive countries in the world, and they have a very collectivist worldview relative to the US.

    So many people that comment on this website get triggered like a tranny at a Ted Nugent concert any time someone suggests that there might be a background check or required training or any sort of accountability associated with gun ownership. Most europeans, even those who want to own guns, would not understand that attitude. To them, what’s a few minutes of paperwork, a few hours of mandatory training, a few hundred euros of fees, and a couple weeks of waiting to get a gun if they believe that it keeps it out of the hands of the wrong people and saves the lives of some of their countrymen.

    Which to me is an eminently sensible position. NOT BETTER, BUT SENSIBLE, and it probably saves a few lives over there. True, they do not have the historical narrative and tradition of how our guns are our guaranty of democracy, and I am as much a believer in that concept as any other American. But they have different understandings of how their democracies are maintained, including (fingers crossed) not electing obvious tyrants like Donald Trump that don’t have a scintilla of respect for the principles of democracy. (Sometimes you all confuse me, you live and die by your right to own guns in order to oppose a tyrannical government, and yet you vote for the politician most likely to turn towards tyranny, wtf).

    So you all can do what you want but the Europeans, even the gun owners amongst them, laugh at your attempts to patronize them. They will just turn towards each other and whisper sarcastically, “so how many of all those easily-obtained guns are involved in your 30,000+ annual gun deaths”

    • See, you were doing good, and then your TDS came out. Trump is much less of a tyrant than Hillary or Obama, and I dare you to find one shred of evidence even suggesting otherwise. You won’t.

      Getting back to your main point, with the exception of Czechland, and to a lesser degree Germany, the types of guns you can get in Europe are exclusively for hunting of game and have absolutely zero application in any sort of military role, which is entirely by design. The point of gun ownership is not hunting, it is for armed conflict, so these guns have essentially no effect on the conversation from our point of view.

      • Well then you can ignore that DJT part, I will never understand what people like you believe that Obama has done that can even be compared to ideas that Trump has spoken, so we will never agree.

        But regarding your assertions about limitations on European gun ownership, its simply inaccurate. You can own semi-auto rifles in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, as well as Czech Republic, with the proper licensing. You might have to join a local shooting club, take a test, whatever other hoops to jump through, but its doable. Even in France I believe that it is doable.

        Regarding DJT, he has no respect for the bedrock principles of democracy, and to people like me who are concerned about preserving democracy, without having to resort to violent revolution if possible, its very distressing. When he lies and says that there are millions of people who illegally voted for Hillary, or that he won’t honor the outcome of the election if he loses, he’s undermining trust in our electoral system, and the peaceful transition of power upon the outcomes of elections is a fundamental democratic principle. When Trump roots for Putin and Russia over our Western allies, he’s advocating for a regime that literally murders journalists that cover them negatively, and literally murders opposition politicians that get too popular. There are over 30 Russian journalists who have died under suspicious circumstances over the past few years, and several politicians too. Freedom of the press and of political expression is obviously a bedrock principle of democracy. When Trump attacks a US Federal judge as unable to handle his case objectively due to his ethnic heritage, he’s interfering with the independence of the judiciary, yet another bedrock principle of democracy. When he plots to ban all muslims from America, he is imposing a religious test on immigration and access, yet another attack on democratic principles.

        • Hey smart one. You can’t preserve what doesn’t exist. We are not now and have never been a democracy. By design. Democracy is a horrible government system that puts the will of the mob above the rights of the people.

        • Tom, take your islamofascists and ram them up your a$$. Of all people, ‘liberals’ should oppose fundamentalists imposing their positions on other people, running down crowds with trucks, massacring people in night clubs, ‘honor killing’ young girls.

          I’d say “shame on you” but that would require you to have a sense of shame.

        • @Tim

          I am very opposed to all those things, I am very concerned with the permissiveness towards backwards medieval Muslim beliefs in the modern West. However, the solution is not to sink to the level of the islamists. The solution is to re-commit to our core principles.

          This is yet another area where the alt right confounds me. “We are very proud of Western heritage and don’t believe in compromising it for people who have worse ideas”. I AGREE!!! And the best things that the West ever created, the concepts that set us apart from the relative barbarians of the middle east, are Enlightenment Philosophy and our Classical Liberal values. So in whose addled mind does being proud of the West mean throwing out all of what makes the West so great?

        • I think the point we’re trying to get in to your head is that truly free people in a classical liberal weatern democratic republic have the uninfringed right to posess weapons of war as an ultimate check against government tyranny. Subjects of kingdoms or neo-liberal (i.e. socialist) systems have only the illusion of freedom and are merely permitted to have firearms….. if djt ends up being a tyrant, we can deal with him. We out number and out gun the government (literally) 1000 to 1.

        • Specifically, what had Trump DONE or pledge to do that undermines the bedrock of our system, and that is worse than anything Clinton pledged to do? As for Trump’s support of Russia, well, should we not have a decent relationship with them? Being civil/respectful toward another country is NOT the same as giving tacit approval for the way they handle things. And honestly, Trump respects Putin, and vice versa. Big deal. You can respect someone (and that respect, by the way, will tend to lead to amicable resolutions, compared to, say, HRC’s STRONG and vocal support for instituting a no fly zone over Syria, which would have led to a pointless and bloody war between the US and Russia) without condoning what they do, or even liking them. I personally respect Joseph Stalin. The single-minded determination he showed in taking over Russia and turning it into a totalitarianism is nothing shy of incredible.

          He was also a monster who I personally despise, and whatever hell he is in, it’s too nice. As for Trump’s criticism of that judge, well, it wasn’t the judge’s ethnicity Trump was talking about, but rather the judge’s membership to an activist organization dealing with immigration of Latinos. He said it like an idiot, I agree. But it was a reasonable point. Look, you have only leveled a few criticism at Trump that actually have some substance to them. But I ask you this: do you genuinely believe Clinton would have been better? If the answer to that is an unyielding “yes”, than you are either ignorant, stupid, or your own principles do NOT line up with the principles that used to define America, and that some of us still deeply value.

          However, if you are wiling to at least consider an alternate point of view, look into it. A good place to start is her vocal desire to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce of Arms Act, making manufacturers liable for criminal uses of their products. HRC was nobody’s friend, and in my personal opinion, she was (I say was because after 2 failed bids for the white house, her politically career is OVER) the absolute worst sort of political. In my personal opinion, she lacked ANY core convictions of her own, looking at everything solely through the lens of personal benefit to her. Say what you will about Trump, but he does at least have a handful of convictions. Simplistic ones, admittedly. But convictions none the less.

    • That’s a stinkin’ load of BS. People in those countries may be able to get guns for target shooting and hunting, but they can’t carry them or use them for self-defense or they wind up on the wrong side of the law. And they need them right now. Muslim immigrants are attacking people and raping women with impunity. And those perps aren’t even the terrorists!

      Those countries are not “doing it right.” They are basically socialist, one-world order (EU) countries where the productive few support the idle many. That is not a model that can sustain itself for long. Apparently, you would have preferred Hillary, who was committed to turning the US into a third-world-like hell hole like the EU countries are becoming. If are serious about your statements, why aren’t you are planning to move to one of those socialist utopias?

      Your statement about how many of our easily-obtained guns are involved in deaths here shows your true anti-gun colors. You are making it about the guns, not the people who use them. I say you are troll.

      • And this is why I re-assure all my liberal friends when they complain about how sensitive and soft people on the left have become, triggered so easily by any idea that they don’t agree with.

        “Don’t worry”, I assure them, “It’s definitely a bad thing that people on the left have gotten so sensitive to unfamiliar ideas, but to be fair to your side, the right has gotten just as bad. Tell a right-winger that there should be abortions on demand, or that there should be a tax on carbon, or background checks on gun transfers, and you’ll immediately get called a “troll” who is trying to hurt their feelings, or receive bombastic threats about how they’re going to be taking their guns and marching to Washington if any of that happens. Don’t worry, many on the right have gotten just as soft and pansy-like”.

        • Not me Tom, I won’t call you a troll.

          I’ll just say it like it is.

          You are evil.

        • I used to believe that a licensing or registration system was OK since I didn’t plan on becoming a criminal. Then Katrina happened and gun confiscation became the order of the day.
          Guess who were the only ones among the “citizens” that still possessed weapons.
          That changed my mind about a lot of things.

        • No, you’ll get called a retard and if you persist on pestering us, you’ll get the living shit beat out of you. Unlike SJWs..

          1. We’re actually social. We have large groups of friends.
          2. We believe in justice. We think that people have to be held accountable for their retardation.
          3. … and quite a few of us actually ARE or at least were warriors.

          We don’t break windows, we break faces.

        • Reply to Tom Moscone: I’m a right wing atheist and I want abortion to remain legal for two reasons.

          1.) There are always rare but legitimate reasons for seeking an abortion.

          2.) Most of the women who use abortion as a means of birth control are leftists. If their children lived they would grow and cast votes for the left.

          Let these socialist cows cull the herd. I applaud them for every potential voter that they terminate.

        • Totally different. Just because we’re telling you you’re wrong doesn’t mean we’re getting “triggered”. If we were getting “triggered” by the existence of your opinion, we would be out protesting over it, or staging cry-ins on college campuses, or tweeting about how awful it is, how terrified we are to see the loss of compassion, or how fearful we are for the future. You are wrong. Plain and simple. But there is a HUGE difference between telling you you are wrong (even saying so in a rather vehement or hyperbolic way) and being “triggered” by your opinion. If you genuinely don’t see that, than you have as much intellectual integrity as any other liberal.

          Which is none, in case that wasn’t clear.

      • LOL We know where you get your news and it rhymes with “tightfart”. Look up the current reporting of Tim Pool, who is currently in Sweden being funded by Paul Joseph Watson, investigating alt-right claims of massive immigrant crime in Sweden. Turns out, those allegations may have mostly been fake news written by Russian propagandists.

        • @pwrserge

          I have travelled myself to Sweden and to many other countries, what I know is based on my own observations and experiences. Take a break from the pepe memes and see the world, it might broaden your horizons.

        • Brother is hitting all the alt-left snowflake-inspired buzzwords.

          Breitbart!
          Alt-right!
          Pepe memes!
          Triggered!

          It’s like Soros is paying him based on how many buzzwords he gets in here.

        • Son, I’ve visited almost every country in continental Europe and speak three languages fluently. (and can get by in two more) Quite frankly, you can take your bullshit and try to sell it to someone who doesn’t have family over there telling him how much the continent has turned into a shithole.

    • Tom, I understand your position of “IT’S NOT WORSE, IT’S DIFFERENT.”

      You then say the European’s attitude is; ” ‘What’s a few minutes of paperwork, a few hours of ……to get a gun if they believe that it keeps it out of the hands of the wrong people and saves the lives of some of their countrymen.’

      Which to me is an eminently sensible position. NOT BETTER, BUT SENSIBLE, and it probably saves a few lives over there.”

      My point is that all of that paperwork, training, etc. does NOT really “Keep [guns] out of the hands of the wrong people.” Criminals are gonna criminal no matter what the laws are and no matter what “sensible regulations and hoops” people are told to follow.
      Rather than focus on the tool and creating hoops through which law-abiding owners need to jump, focus needs to be on the criminals. First, we need effective efforts to stabilize families and communities and provide true education and opportunities. Second, for those who still insist on breaking the laws and hurting innocent people, punishment should be severe enough to prevent them from re-offending and also to cause other would be criminals to rethink their career choice.

    • ” . . .not electing obvious tyrants like Donald Trump that don’t have a scintilla of respect for the principles of democracy.”

      This comment doesn’t even merit a simple reply. Please go away.

    • Norway and Sweden – we’re talking about fairly homogenous countries with populations of 5M and 10M respectively.

      NYC has 8M in the city alone with 20+M in the metro area.

      As countries go, these really are outliers in just about everything.

        • But…but… that simply cannot be! Tom/the-revolution/2Asux/paid government troll/ said so! He wouldn’t lie! People wouldn’t just lie, only for their own personal gain. Would they?
          sarc/ naturally

        • Yes yes very compelling, I always make sure to take anonymous youtubers who use pepe memes and complain about cuckholdry very seriously.

        • Pepe-Memes!
          Cuckholdry?
          Shenanigans!

          Old Mr Soros can feel his wallet getting a little lighter!

          Tom, to the safe space…away!!!!

      • Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, France, Serbia… add up all the european countries where you can own guns, that’s a quite a lot of population.

        I don’t think that the issue is population size, I think the issue is collectivism vs. individualism. Europeans are happy to accede to their restrictions because they truly believe that it is in the greater interest. Americans have a more individualistic perspective, which I think is better in many ways from my perspective as a successful American benefitting from this country, but what I was reacting to is people who think that they are denigrating or patronizing europeans by making fun of their firearms laws. My point is that they like their firearms laws, they are just as sure that Americans are insane for our laxity as we are that they’re insane for their restrictions.

        • And if one wishes not to be a part of the collective, then there is no recourse in that society for him to take responsibility for his own life, safety, well being, etc. It doesn’t matter how soft, tender, liberal, high-minded, etc a tyrant is. Tyranny is tyranny. And all tyranny, when left unchecked by say a heavily armed populace, will always degenerate in to violent tyranny.

    • Can you point out one thing that Trump has done rhat is tyranical. Please do not list policy disputes over his immigration orders. Despite what the 9th Circuit ruled the original order is backed by the statutory authority given the Chief Executive by Congress per Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 4

    • From the campaign speeches I heard, I thought Bernie and Hillary sounded a lot more tyrannical than Trump. I guess it depends on your perspective.

      More importantly, we have a Constitution designed to limit the amount of damage any single tyrant can do, even if we’re foolish enough to elect one. It’s the only reason we survived eight years of Obama tyranny.

    • Suppose someone could make a valid argument that further restricting gun ownership would prevent 10,000 suicides at the cost of 5,000 additional deaths of victims of violent crime who were no longer able to defend themselves. I think Europeans would accept such a trade off. Most Americans would not on the grounds that society has no right to demand such a sacrifice by the victims.

    • “Go to Sweden or Denmark and tell me they’re not doing things right, lol they are two of the most functional, competent, efficient, educated, clean, and productive countries in the world, and they have a very collectivist worldview relative to the US.”

      When these countries started down the path to more socialism they were among the most homogeneous countries in the world. More importantly, they were filled with cheerful, industrious, self-disciplined people. Such folks could probably make any system of government work well, mostly because they had so little need of it. I have seen what they have described as “pretend socialism” because of these characteristics.

      America used to be much like this. Our constitution worked because most of us did not need (or wish) to be ruled. There are still a lot of us who get thru our day just fine without having our government feed us, house us, pay our medical bills, or inspect our cars. Unfortunately, too many “Americans” seek to play the system for what it will put in their hand and screw everyone else. We are not Danes or Swedes. You bring that kind of collectivist system here and it will collapse.

      • Sweden ain’t doing so hot right now. Swedes are about to become a minority in their own country. Thanks unlimited immigration.

    • No, if the system is so restrictive, it is worse, because it is a form of tyranny. Saying that it is still productive, clean, functional, etc…is like saying Mussolini made the trains run on time. And spare me the Euro snobbery about guns. The reasons gun rights people in America are so resistant to things like waiting periods, background checks, mandatory training, etc…is because such things are always just used as stepping stones to further and further gun control. They never are just created in isolation where they’re the final step in gun control and that’s that. So your Euro friends can “laugh” all they want at American gun rights proponents, it only shows their ignorance about the subject.

      Furthermore, things like that infringe on the ability of someone to acquire a firearm quickly and cheaply should they need one. I bought my first gun, a $12 gauge shotgun recently, for protection. I could not afford anything more. If I had had to shell out $200 for training/licensing fees, then another $100 say for a safe for “safe storage” of the gun, then possibly more money for whatever else, I never would have been able to afford the weapon.

      If you need the gun quickly, you can’t get it because of the restrictions, and then the training requirements may be conducted in a highly restrictive manner, such as only having the training done on one or two days a month, that’s it, if it doesn’t fit into your schedule, too bad, wait until next month, etc…right now I work and go to school, so my schedule is limited.

      As for your Euro friends supposedly whispering about how many of America’s undetected guns are used in our 30,000 gun deaths, well 12,000 of those deaths are homicides. The rest are suicides. Of the homicides, about 80% are due to inner-city gang violence, of which most of those guns are acquired via illegal means anyway.

  8. I haven’t discussed gun rights with any of the Europeans I’ve met, but living near the Canadian border, I have discussed gun rights with my fair share of them. The most recent:

    Canadian: “I don’t understand it at all. Why do you people want to hunt with automatic rifles?”

    Me: “Ugh.”

  9. “Come on in boys, the water is fine.”

    Seriously though, I am happy to talk gun rights with just about anybody, assuming they are genuinely curious or open to discussion. People (Europeans or otherwise) who are only interested in hearing their own echo and posing “gotcha” questions aren’t worth the breath.

    I haven’t talked with many continental Europeans about the issue, but I do have friends and family in Scotland, NI, and ROI. The ones from Scotland and ROI seem mostly ambivalent. They don’t particularly agree with the laws in their country but aren’t engaged enough to really care. They pretty much see it as folks should be able to have shotguns or bolt action rifles. Now the family from NI seem to be a little bit more pro-gun and understand that government can’t (or won’t) protect you at all times.

  10. I only had one encounter that was about 9 months ago. It was a co-worker who was from England, who now lives in San Diego. He blurted out that he thought the Second Amendment should be repealed. I asked him if he knew what would be required to do that, namely Article V of the Constitution. He said he did. Then I said, “Then you know that’s never going to happen, so as long as you are in this country, you’re going to have to live with it.” His retort just floored me. He said, ” I think the Second Amendment is a license to commit murder!” I was just speechless at his stupidity. I thought of possible comebacks, but I was in a work environment, so I held my tongue.

    “No, murder is still illegal, despite the Second Amendment.”

    “I though it was the Brits who invented the “license to kill” there, 007.”

    “So why don’t you go on back to effin’ Limeyville where you came from, where people are subjects without rights and not free citizens. Oh and BTW, the next time you get attacked by the Germans, and you will, you’re on your own!”

    Or just “F-you!”

    • It sounds like he has found his spiritual home in California!!!!!

      Please don’t tar all Brits with the same brush, there are a large number who appreciate firearms and the firearm culture in the US. It is unfortunate that the UK has restricted the ability to own a firearm severely, and also has never had the concept of using force to defend oneself & ones family (at least not in recent times). And once these rights and abilities have been restricted, they ain’t coming back!

  11. Absolutely nothing. And that is because it isn’t about a mere weapon, but an entire change in paradigm.

    Americans have rights that are assumed inherent in the citizen; they’re “Keep Out” signs written by the people to the government, defining areas where government may not rightfully tread.

    Europeans, as with most all the rest of humanity, have “rights” that are more accurately privileges granted by the government.

    If Europeans or any other foreigners want American liberty (and most of the world doesn’t anyways, as liberty can be messy and scary sometimes), it’s on them to create it in their own land and defend it for themselves.

  12. Some of the most enthusiastic firearm owners I know in Australia are English and German. I think the laws in Australia are too restrictive but compared to most of Europe they are easy.

    English clay target shooter told me he used to get an average of three police inspections a year of his safe storage while the law was one.

  13. I was talking with a German relative last July, and he exclaimed to me, “oh my god…..what if Trump becomes president?!?…..he’ll make everyone by a gun!”

    I laughed in his face. Told him Barack O’Bama already did that 8 years ago.

  14. I’ve had a few times, as a camp host, when European guests would ask where the nearest place to shoot guns was. I honestly wanted to just take them a mile or so back in our mountains and give them an opportunity with mine. Instead, I directed them to a couple of awesome guns shops with ranges.

  15. Thanks to the invasions by Muslims and Africans, and their disrespect for the laws of the nations they end up in, the views of the average citizens are changing to a more positive view of our 2A right. So called Right Wing groups are gaining memberships. The female candidate for the presidency of France is quite right leaning and has a growing following. Many of them are interested in going somewhere they can actually shoot guns. They are even surprised that some of the things they have heard are phony… like an AR fires full auto, anyone can buy a weapon at a gun show, etc. Those from the UK and Australia, especially those who were around when firearms were banned (except for the very rich) gripe about how they were deceived with things like “it’s ONLY the military firearms”, followed by “it’s ONLY the handguns”. Those not from Canada are surprised that Canada did away with rifle registration because the cost of the program was far greater than anything they got in return. Yesterday there was a report that one European nation populace wants their gun rights. I think, in time, the Euros may get their gun rights and the New Crusades will begin to drive the Muslims back to the middle east again. Of course, by then, we at have lost ours and be a Muslim nation. (sarcasm)

    • That report was about the Czechs, who are Europeans, but only geographically. Culturally, they’re quite different, and far better.

  16. My dad’s wife is Irish, and they spend about half the time here in the US and half their time in Ireland. Given her personal life experience of having lived through some of the Troubles, and the general anti-gun stance of the government there, she’s understandably indifferent to my hobby. Her sons though, always enjoy shooting when they visit Texas. To them it’s very much an “American” thing. Their enjoyment of it strikes me as being akin to the tourists who enjoy the Polynesian dances and food when they visit Hawaii. Nice and exotic, but probably not something they’ll adopt on a day-to-day basis anytime soon.

  17. I don’t worship my betters. I concede that NOBODY is more equal than I by reason of birth, socio-economic status, sexuality or color of skin.

    Being armed affords me the ability never to have to bow to anyone for anything.

  18. Gun rights or not, all 50 states are slave states. As far as Europeans go, they have enough on their plate than to worry about our 2nd Amendment. Most of Europe is being (intentionally)flooded with immigrants and the region is in a cultural, economic and national death spiral.

  19. What do I tell my European friends? Mostly, I tell them I don’t care enough about their good opinion of me to do something their way just because they say so. Makes one Belgian friend of mine crazy.

    Sometimes I even help out: “You can argue that I should do *whatever*(*) for your good opinion, for the good it does ‘society’, or for what it does for me. So far you have made none of these arguments.” “BTW, if you keep throwing a temper tantrum, not only will I ignore what you want, I will probably do the opposite just to spite you. I don’t like being extorted.” Somehow, she doesn’t find this helpful, or so she says.

    Even this doesn’t seem to help: “If you want me to do it just because you say so and save yourself all that tedious explaining, you could start by being admirable, first.”

    Conveniently, Herself gave us the shorthand of “deplorable” during the last election. Now, it’s simply: “Yeah, I’m deplorable, so you gotta convince me.” Before that, I had to resort to quoting Stripes: “Our ancestors were kicked out of every decent country in Europe.”

    My Bulgarian friends have that marvelous eastern-European, former Soviet satellite fatalism, so you don’t have to tell them much. In their world, you make whatever choice you must, under whatever situation you happen to be under. So, tool up if that’s better than not, and if that’s illegal hope you don’t get caught. What’s that line from Unforgiven? “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.”

    (*) She’s Belgian, so knows better than everybody what everybody should do and want. This goes with being Belgian, it seems. She’s double-plus annoyed when we lessers don’t get her, apparently intrinsic, superiority and just fall in line. Who are we to require convincing, almost as if we had our own opinions? This, too is Belgian.

    So, they planted the Palace & Administration of the European Empire the right place – they all think that way, there. Maybe it’s something in the water.

  20. I’ve run into several European military colleagues at the range locally. Mostly, they’re good shots and enjoy shooting the wide varieties of weapons available for rent/purchase. Only one of them went through the very rigorous process of legally purchasing a rifle over here that he could take home with him to Britain. It took him over six months to get approval. I asked him what he was planning to do when his tour here was up and he said that’s why he bought what he did- low magazine capacity, designed for hunting, scoped/bolt action. The other I’ve talked with is a German SGM. He usually uses the range to impress his female companion(s)… He seems like he’ll miss just being able to go shoot a SCAR when he goes home, but he also has his German hunting license (a ridiculously difficult process designed to only allow aristocracy the joy of shooting) and so can enjoy the pleasure of paying Uncle Fritz for the game he takes from his rented property…

  21. I’ve spent a lot of time outside the US, all over the world, and honestly it’s been rare for me to discuss politics with the people I’ve met. Generally speaking the topic simply hasn’t come up because other things were more immediately important or more interesting.

    Generally the foreigners that I’ve met here, in the US, at gun ranges or stores are there specifically because they thing guns are awesome. The others, well there’s no real reason for me to bring up gun politics or for them to do so.

    Most of the talk of guns I’ve had with foreigners relates to stories about hunting or “This one time…”. If you want some damn funny “This one time…” stories go find some folks from South Africa, especially folks who served in the Army or Recces. The content may not be the funniest stuff ever but the droll way they tell the story punctuated with little bursts of excitement, usually with an “In the end I got screwed” ending, will have you laughing until you can’t breathe.

  22. I’ve never been asked that question by a foreigner in the states or abroad. When I say abroad I mean Israel, India, England, Italy, Greece, France, Bahamas and several caribbean islands. Never been asked and where I live in SW Florida we have tons of Germans and Canadians running around everywhere it seems. Again never asked about the 2nd or anything related to it.

  23. I rarely have the opportunity for such a discussion. However, in such a situation, I would emphasize the cultural differences between the US and Europe and the differences in self defense law that result. An incident that occurred in my state twenty five years ago makes a good example. A mentally ill college athlete, off his medication, attacked a young woman on the street, beating her head against the sidewalk and leaving her with a fractured skull. The assailant was a big, strong guy, a football player. Perhaps, some of his team mates could have restrained him without causing injury. Doing so would have been beyond the ability of adults of normal size and strength. It would have been legal for an armed private citizen (or police officer) to have terminated the attack by holding a gun to the assailant’s head and blowing his brains out. The important point to make with respect to the Second Amendment is that it would also have been legal to beat in his head with a club or kick it in with a steel toed work boot. Under American law, preventing life threatening injuries to the victim justifies inflicting comparable, or worse, injuries on the assailant. (The athlete was ruled not responsible due to his mental illness. Several months later, he tangled with two police officers who shot him to save themselves. The bullet damaged his spine and left him a paraplegic. He died in his mid forties.)

  24. I have several friends from the Netherlands that I have had this conversation with. Then I take them shooting. While I won’t say that I fully change their minds afterwards, I do believe they understand our way of life a little better. It is mainly the girls that put up the most resistance to legally owned firearms. “There is no reason to own a gun.” “Do you hunt?” “Why do you need so many?” I just tell them it is the way I was brought up. It is just a different way of thinking. It is an enjoyable sport. Some argue that it just leads to violence or only weird people own guns. However, none has ever refused my offer to shoot a gun. I realize that most of the Dutch I have taken shooting have zero experience with firearms and only know what they have seen in the movies or on the news. I love when I get to take them out and show them what it is really like. I let them shoot everything from old WWII arms to suppressed carbines, rifle and handguns. It is then that they realize the appeal, the skill that can be developed, the challenge, and just the plain fun that can be had. I like to think that they sort of get it after a few hours of shooting. In that I don’t believe all is lost in the old world. While many of us may still frown upon mayo on our frites or shudder at the thought of a dropje, some states have legalized the “coffeeshop” . If we can adopt one of their views on social freedoms I don’t see why it would be impossible over time for them to adopt one of ours.

  25. I have not travelled to Europe in several years…I was in the province of Molise in a small knife making town… We talked about hunting and outdoors. I saw lots of shotguns carried by hunters and shepards.. I talked with a few people about our gun ownership here in the USA and many were surprised that rifles, handguns and shotguns are allowed especially in military calibers, ie 9×19, 7.62×51, and 5.56×45… in Italy you cannot own firearms in certain military designated calibers..

    • Hi Reazione, this info is old now. It used to be like that, but most calibers have been legalized now.
      .50 and 9×19 not, strangely enough……
      .223 and .308 are fully and freely available.
      I own a Garand in .308, for example.
      Enjoy life!
      Ciao

  26. I tell Europeans that they wouldn’t understand, and shouldn’t worry themselves about the concerns of free men

  27. If you want to know what Euros really think about guns, go to any gun range in Las Vegas. Odds are that the person in front of you and the person behind you are European. Or Aussies.

  28. The Europeans are suicidal. So are all the socialist/progressives in America. They have chosen to believe in the total goodness of government power. The white European colonialists converted warrior societies where everyone carried a weapon to acting just like their former white masters. Now Asians and Africans leaders don’t allow their own people to carry weapons. Just like in Europe.

    Now the Africans and Asians are invading the mother countries with millions of young men with just two strong arms. There are all empty handed. They don’t need a weapon in their hands. White European men are weak. They will let their women be raped. They will let their sons be raped.

    And we in America will watch it all on satellite TV.
    Thank god for the founding fathers and the American Constitution they created using the lesson they learned from the failures in Europe and Britain.

  29. I have had a conversation about guns with one European and several Asians. The European is from the UK and thinks the UK should have a 2a like the US does and mentioned that he travels to the US on occasion and enjoys his time at the range when he is here. The Asians (generally Chinese) mostly think the 2a is great and the ones in the US like to use guns but in China think they should keep it the way it is, not 100% impossible to get a rifle but nearly so, because if they allowed gun ownership their would be a significant rise in murder.

    My wife who is Chinese really enjoys shooting and range time and is annoyed at how difficult it is for her to get a carry permit (most places we have lived either don’t accept nonresident permits or require you to be a US citizen)

  30. Let me help. As a dual national who holds a EU passport, if you want to speak to Euro-peons first thing to do is to speak their language.

    So, some practice, repeat after me, in sha Allah, Ali snack bar….

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