Saturday, March 14, 2009

Germany's gun controls drove most firearms underground

As has already been noted elsewhere, Germany's already tight gun control laws
did nothing to prevent a bloody murder spree almost simultaneous with a similar
crime in Alabama. What hasn't been much discussed, though, is the extent to
which Germany's laws have also driven the majority of firearms in that country
beyond the reach of the law.

This is disturbing to an American. I Europe, people routinely disobey laws, and unless they happen to be caught, and when and if law enforcement wants to prosecute. This breeds a general and widespread disrespect for laws at all levels of society. Is that what we Americans want? We have traditionally respected even laws with which we disagreed. More and more, though, we find ourselves in the same boat as the Europeans, weighing the costs of non compliance with the sillier aspects of our own laws. This is a dangerous precedent, which will eventually render government either ineffective, or tyrannical, or both.
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