Ukraine considers private gun ownership to fend off invasion

AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

I’m rather glad the United States isn’t in the same position as Ukraine.

The prospect of invasion from a larger, more powerful neighbor is never a pleasant one. As we’ve noted, steps are being taken to deal with that potential outcome.

While there have been some indications that tensions are lessening, that potential still exists. As such, it seems some are considering private gun ownership as a solution.

Allowing people in Ukraine to legally own handguns would greatly improve national security against outside “aggressors,” Ukraine’s Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov told news agency RBK Ukraine on Thursday. The move would “increase citizens’ personal security, help law enforcement and certainly reduce crime rates,” the minister claims.

Reznikov said on Thursday he has been a “longtime gun-rights supporter”, adding that “as a lawyer” he believes a gun law is long overdue in Ukraine. In late 2021, the local UNIAN news agency published a piece calling Ukraine “virtually the only nation in Europe lacking a gun law.”

The defense minister has advocated the idea of people “getting a right to … carry handguns” and pointed to the experience of “many other nations.” Reznikov also argued that it would help Ukraine prevent a potential aggression.

Sounds good, right?

Well, it’s definitely a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t really go far enough. Resnikov wants the kinds of weapons that would actually be useful kept away from the public, issued only to reservists should the need arise.

So that’s less than ideal.

However, I still find it interesting that at a time when Ukraine is legitimately concerned about an invasion, they turn to private gun ownership as a potential solution.

Our Founding Fathers did the same when they wrote the Second Amendment. They’d just come out of the other end of a war with a foreign power and knew that there would potentially be another. They were mistrustful of standing armies and wanted the citizenry to be able to defend themselves.

It seems the Ukrainian defense minister is following a similar line of thinking with his statement.

And, to be fair, a population armed with handguns could be useful in the event of an invasion. Oh, they might not be able to do much during the initial push into the country, but for guerilla operations, I can see how the handgun can be used to take out enemy troops and secure their weapons for more offensive punch.

Regardless, though, this is a good move and I’m glad to see someone in Ukraine make the suggestion. I only wish he’d recognize that an armed populace is better when it can be fully armed rather than only partially. Still, when you’re worried about Putin sending troops across the border because he has nothing better to do, it’s better than nothing.

It’s only too bad no one had this revelation a year ago so people could have taken still more steps to defend their homes from Russian aggression.

And it’s a firm reminder of why protecting and defending our Second Amendment is so important, so that we’re never in this position.

While it’s unlikely he ever said it, the quote attributed to Japanese Admiral Yamamoto is certainly accurate. If you ever try to invade the United States, there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.