[This article appeared orginally in the (UK) Daily Mail.]

Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute in the United States has raised a very interesting issue for those who believe that a complete collapse of European society is inevitable. 

Mitchell wrote a piece titled ‘European Economic Crisis Highlights an Increasingly Important Reason to Oppose Gun Control‘ where he argued that many of the not so rich in Europe may need to arm themselves for personal protection in anticipation of a possible economic collapse. I agree.

Here is how the Mitchell argument plays out.  He writes about his first hand experience in talking to some Europeans who are convinced that European society is very close to a complete economic collapse.

Need for firearms: It is not out of the question that the Euro will collapse, resulting in social unrest and no government to protect the public.

“About a year ago, I spoke at a conference in Europe that attracted a lot of very rich people from all over the continent, as well as a lot of people who manage money for high-net-worth individuals. What made this conference remarkable was not the presentations, though they were generally quite interesting,” Mitchell wrote.

“The stunning part of the conference was learning – as part of casual conversation during breaks, meals, and other socializing time – how many rich people are planning for the eventual collapse of European society. Not stagnation. Not gradual decline. Collapse,” he wrote.

Mitchell then argues that these high-worth individuals have made plans to escape if violence breaks out. What about the middle class who don’t have the money to escape?  What about the poor?  Europeans who can’t afford to move or escape may need to buy a gun or two for personal protection if violence breaks out.

Many in Britain fear the development of a situation such as in the US, where bullets can be purchased in the local supermarket.

I understand that it is more likely than not that there is will no complete collapse of European society in the very near future, but we may see isolated collapses in different countries. Greece has already experiences significant social unrest.

If a Greek collapse starts a domino effect hitting Italy, Spain, Portugal and other in danger nations, an economic collapse could happen quick. It is not unthinkable that the European crisis morphs into a collapse in the very near future causing massive and more violent social unrest.

If that were to happen, in may countries there would be no resources for government to protect citizens. It would be every man and woman for herself.  In that circumstance, a well armed populace would help law abiding citizens to protect themselves from evil doers who may seek to take economic advantage of anarchy.

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is instructive for Europeans.  In part, the a amendment states, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

This provision in the U.S. Constitution does not grant a right to Americans. It recognizes the natural right of all people to be free and to protect themselves from harm. It comes from other citizens or a tyrannical government. There is a presumption in Americans society that the people can be trusted to be free and have the ability to resist oppression.
There are many reasons for Americans to treasure the freedom to carry a firearm, yet Mitchell has come up with a new reason that has special applicability for Europeans — Personal protection against social breakdown.

“If politicians destroy the economic system with too much debt and too much dependency, firearms will be the first and last line of defense against those who would plunder and pillage,” wrote Mitchell.

Mitchell is right.  Americans have a right that may need a second look by Europeans yearning for more freedom and fearful of economic collapse.  Europeans may want to empower citizens by recognizing the natural rights of all people to protect themselves from harm in the very near future.

Read Brian Darling’s RightMinds blog here.