Thursday, August 11, 2005

Firearms ownership in Russia

This is a must-read opinion piece from the Russian News & Information Agency, detailing the red tape one must work through to legally own a firearm in Russia, and the restrictions on the types of arms that are allowed.

How I bought a rifle for self-defense in Russia:
American statistics are the main argument of Russian firearms advocates. According to the U.S. Justice Department, 34% of all criminals were wounded or detained by armed civilians, while 40% have altogether given up an idea of an attack for fear of reciprocal fire. In those states that allow citizens to carry concealed arms, the level of murders is lower by 33 %, and of robberies by 37%.

Advocates of legalizing firearms in Russia often refer to the experience of neighboring Latvia: After the relevant law was adopted, street crime dropped by 80%, and the Latvian police force has been cut.

The Russian Interior Ministry is adamantly against allowing firearms. The ministry is afraid that the crime rate will go up, and especially family shootings. Gennady Gudkov of the State Duma Committee on Security voiced a typical opinion: 'If we throw 10 to 12 million guns into the streets, any teenager will be able to seize a pistol from a woman. He will start shooting whenever he can. Guns will be stolen from cars and desk drawers. The number of lost weapons will go up hundreds of times, and they will be beyond control, i.e. ready for crimes. This is a dream come true for Russian criminals.'
Yeah, I bet they're really afraid of an increase in crime. I bet they're more afraid of something else: armed civilians. The writer of this piece also voices problems with owning but not having quick access to reliable firearms (something I'm sure we've all thought about):
Successful use of long-stemmed guns is depressingly rare. Burglars have already broken in while you're still fiddling with the key to the case to get hold of your favorite gun. It is not allowed to carry such guns, or have them assembled and uncovered in a car. As for a 'rubber' pistol, an attempt to use it for self-defense often only infuriates the attacker.
Read the whole thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment