Even as the crackdown on gun ownership in some states here in the USA progresses, people all across Europe are jumping through the required hoops to legally acquire firearms for self defense due to rising crime rates and terrorism. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, and The Times in the UK, it truly appears that Europeans have decided that they don’t want to wait for the police any more than we do here.
When hundreds of women were sexually assaulted on New Year’s Eve in several German cities three years ago, Carolin Matthie decided it was time to defend herself. The 26-year-old Berlin student quickly applied for a gun permit, fearing many women would have the same idea and flood the application process.
“If I don’t do it now, I will have to wait maybe another half year,” she recalls thinking. – Wall Street Journal
Women wanting to defend themselves. The same trend we’ve seen in the US. Women are the largest growing segment of new gun owners, even in places like Iraq. Women who truly want to be independent have learned that that can’t rely on government for their protection.
In Germany, legal ownership has risen by 10% resulting in 6.1 million registered gun owners. In Belgium, applications for gun permits have doubled after ISIS attacks in Paris and later Brussels. France apparently has more guns in circulation than Afghanistan and Iraq combined.
In Italy, Matteo Salvini, the Interior Minster and Deputy Prime Minister has pledged to loosen the European boot’s tough gun laws. In 2014, there were 400,000 applications filed for gun permits. In 2018, that number rose to 600,000. Back in October, Mr. Salvini told the Italian public that, “Defense is always legitimate! From words to action.”
Europe isn’t alone in expanding civilian firearm ownership. Israel has recently loosened their gun control laws as well. And Brazil under newly-elected President Jair Bolsonaro, is also looking to have an upswing in positive change for gun owners there, too. Bolsonaro stated during his campaign that “Guns don’t feed violence, just as flowers don’t bring peace.” And guess what? He’s keeping his promise.
Alas, the shining beacon of liberty, the United States of America, is going backwards at the moment with states enacting more stringent gun laws and President Trump (bump stock ban) and Republicans like Marco Rubio (red flag laws) pushing more restrictions. The fight to defend and extend our civil rights never ends.