Europeans calling for fewer gun laws

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

We have too many gun laws on the books. Most gun rights advocates know this and will happily tell anyone who will listen that this is, indeed, so.

Yet gun control advocates think there aren’t enough. They often point to Europe and note the laws there. They want similar restrictions and think it’s some grand travesty that we haven’t followed the Europeans’ lead on gun control.


The thing is, a lot of Europeans are wanting a system a little more like ours.

“Civilian gun ownership can make authoritarian drifts very difficult because it gives people the ability to resist,” Andrea Favaro told Euronews.

He is part of Firearms United, a pan-European firearms lobby, which claims to bring together more than 100 million law-abiding gun owners in the region.

It’s a movement which wants to loosen gun control laws in Europe, bringing them de facto more into line with US gun laws.

“We are not ideologically driven,” he said. “I am a libertarian. But we have people who are conservatives and those on the left. All of us just want common sense gun laws.”

There are many reasons why some advocates want to see more guns in Europe

Favaro – who owns three pistols, three rifles and a shotgun – claimed “being able to carry a firearm deters violent crime, especially those that by nature are committed against victims of opportunity.”

Experts fiercely contest this claim that guns protect people, however.

“Pro-gun advocates have an almost romantic notion that if you could give everybody guns, everybody would be safer. But that’s simply not true,” said Dr Brian Wood of the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA).

Research suggests areas with higher rates of gun ownership do not have lower crime rates. In fact, a Harvard University review found gun availability is correlated with more homicides.


Yet there are problems with that review, much like every other piece of “research” that pushing gun control.

Now, with that said, let’s address some facts here.

First, Europe has stricter gun control laws and a much lower homicide rate than we do here. That’s something many gun control advocates here like to argue and I’m sure it’ll play into the discussion there as well.

Yet let’s remember that our non-gun homicide rates are higher than their all-cause homicide rates. That alone should make it pretty clear that the issue isn’t gun laws, but something else that has nothing to do with firearms at all.

As such, there’s absolutely no reason to believe that loosening the gun laws in Europe would have any kind of negative impact on public safety.

Of course, why would it? If people want to kill someone, a gun isn’t the only way to do it.

Yet in many cases, a firearm is the only way for many to effectively defend themselves. A petite 105 lbs woman isn’t going to have an easy time against a 280 lbs rapist, after all. It doesn’t matter how many weekend self-defense classes she took. She’s going to have a very bad time.


Unless, of course, she’s armed.

That’s as true in the US as it is in Europe.

I sincerely hope these folks can mobilize enough to loosen some of the idiotic gun laws we see on that side of the ocean. The people there deserve better than what they’re getting.

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