While we’re unlikely to ever have any European-style gun control in this country, it doesn’t mean anti-gunners won’t try. If they’re smart, they’ll try and do it incrementally, rather than in one fell swoop, but it doesn’t mean they’ll be any more successful that way.
To make matters worse, though, the lack of an equivalent to the Second Amendment in these countries means things could get very ugly for the handful of gun owners that do exist. Take, for example, what Dutch officials are trying to do.
The paper says the requirements are included in amendments to the current law on guns and ammunition and follows the introduction of new European legislation. The privacy-sensitive information would be held for up to 30 years.
In order to register gun ownership, ‘the police will be able to process personal information including race or ethnicity, political beliefs, religious or other life-style convictions as well as health and criminal records,’ the draft legislation states. ‘There are diverse risk factors attacked to guns,’ justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus said in a briefing to MPs. This is why the police need information ‘from different sources’ to determine if it is safe to let someone own a gun.
The coalition Christian Democrats and Liberal Democrats, plus the Dutch privacy watchdog Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens and gun owners lobby group KNSA oppose the plans.
The Volkskrant says the move has been prompted by terrorist attacks in Europe, particularly the Paris shootings in 2015. The guns involved in those attacks were all noted as having been ‘deactivated’.
Now, my inner libertarian isn’t a big fan of anyone asking for religion on such a registration. No, I’m not saying that Muslims are all peaceful and there’s no reason to keep an eye on them or anything. What I’m saying is that once the information is stored, there’s little to stop the government from using that information in any way they so choose.
It also means that this information can potentially be used to block people from buying guns. Not part of the right political party? No gun for you!
It’s one thing to try and keep guns out of criminals’ hands, but this goes beyond that. This is an effort to keep guns out of anyone the government dislikes hands and let’s be honest here. If the government has a strong enough dislike of you, you need a gun.
What’s happening in Europe is terrifying. They pretty much managed to ban memes, for crying out loud. They already tightly control speech. Guns in private hands are almost unheard of, and now they’re wanting information that is, frankly, none of their business.
Don’t think for a moment that it can’t happen here, either. Someone will propose it at some point in the future if this flies the Dutch.
In the meantime, it’s probably a good idea to be thankful we live in the United States. I’d say we need to help the Dutch fight this, but we’ve got our plates pretty full as it is. But, if you can do something to help them, please do. This needs to be killed. Hard.