The Czech parliament is working to liberalize the country’s gun laws, allowing people to better defend themselves. The reason for this new policy is safety, as well as practicality; in light of recent attacks in neighboring countries, the Czech government recognizes that disarming people puts them in danger, and that broad European gun control policies are ineffective. The Interior Minister said it best when he asked parliament to “show [him] a single terrorist attack in Europe perpetrated using a legally-owned weapon”.
In contrast, the European Union’s answer to terror is as counterintuitive as it is feckless. France has spearheaded efforts to ban all “military-style” rifles – AR and AK-style rifles, not to be confused with those capable of automatic fire, commonly referred to as “machine guns” – from Europe. As my colleague Dan Mitchell has noted, the EU is violating its own commitment to state sovereignty in favor of radical, unsuccessful gun prohibition.
Despite strict gun control in France, Islamic radicals were still able to obtain rifles and kill 17 people in the Charlie Hebdo attack of 2015. More recently, in places like Nice and London, terrorists have worked around gun restrictions by using trucks and other vehicles to kill civilians.
The Czech Republic, which already boasts 800,000 registered firearms and 300,000 licensed gun owners, is taking proactive steps to avoid their citizens becoming victims without a means of defending themselves. The new measure is a protest against the self-destructive dogma of European gun control and in favor of civil liberties and self-empowerment.
If the rest of Europe followed the Czech Republic’s example, civilians would be able to defend themselves – whether against terrorism or “normal” crime – instead of depending on police and other government agents, which typically arrive far too late if at all.
[This blog post was first published by the Cato Institute. Read the original article.
Photo Credit: U.S. Marine Corps | Lance Cpl. Richard Blumenstein]