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Ever since we first told you about the EU poll about perspective future policies on firearms, "A common approach to reducing the harm caused by criminal use of firearms in the EU", we at ALL4SHOOTERS.COM warned our readers about how, according, to our opinion, the misleadingly-written questionnaire appeared to have a non-declared, secondary intent rather than just polling the European citizens' opinions: to provide a measure of how many gun enthusiasts and gun owners are actually active in the EU − thus to estimate the number of "enemies" that an EU-driven anti-gun agenda would have! − while at the same time tricking those who participated to the poll into answering in the required way, so to have an excuse or a justification of some sort in order to launch even more restrictive regulations concerning private ownership, carry, trade, and use of firearms by law-abiding common citizens.
As a matter of fact, the poll proved to be a disaster for the anti-gun front that lurks the hall of the EU palaces in Strasbourg and Brussels: according to what the European Commission states, around 92% of the over 86.000 European citizens who participated to the poll OPPOSES any further restriction on gun ownershop, as well as any other type of EU intervention on the firearms matter.
However, having been around for a while in the world of firearms, we at ALL4SHOOTERS.COM are well-aware of a certain constant behaviour that all anti-gun politicians, individuals and movements − in Europe, in America, in the rest of the world − have in common: if they have even a small, but noisy, minority supporting them, they'll boast "full public support" to push their agendas; but when the truth itself is against them, and when they face the fact that most of the people is as well, they'll just go on about their business and will try to push their agenda anyway, shoving it down everybody's throats.
This is appearently what the European Commission − definitely not known as a supporter of law abiding gun owners, and as a matter of fact a source for many attemptsm to destroy our rights to hunt, practice shooting sports, and defend ourselves! − seems to be aiming to do. While the Director-General for Home Affairs of the European Commission, Cecilia Malmström, refers to the poll as "non representative" (because it didn't gave the results they wanted!), the European Commission provides false and distorted informations about the results of the poll itself, by putting no particular emphasis on the largely contrary answers provided by average citizens while, on the other hand, delivering with great prominence the anti-gun answers provided by governmental entities and NGOs from entire Europe in order to push even more stringent, useless gun control.
On October 21th, the European Commission published a communication to the Council and the European Parliament (most commonly known as a "White Paper") entitled "Firearms and the internal security of the EU: protecting citizens and disrupting illegal trafficking".
Just when we thought it couldn't get any worse, the European Commission comes out with an asinine document full of falsities that starts out with a bang:
"While there are no precise statistics, the many firearms in illegal circulation are often the result of theft or diversion from their lawful lifecycle, of being illegally imported from third countries and of the conversion of other objects into firearms. Almost half a million firearms lost or stolen in the EU remain unaccounted for, the overwhelming majority of which are civilian firearms, according to the Schengen Information System."
They don't seem to mind the fact that the vast majority of firearms used in the EU for criminal activities have NO CIVILIAN ORIGIN, but are service pistols, rifles, and machineguns, coming from the State arsenals of the former Warsaw Pact and former Yugoslavian Countries, of which the respective governments lost control when the Communist bloc fell.
At least the European Commission should be honest enough to admit that well over three thirds of all firearms that circulate illegally in the hands of criminals and terrorists in the territory of the European Union have slipped out of the hands of the Governments − these very same Governments that, according to the anti-gun front, should be the sole entities with a right to have firearms at hand!
Furthermore, the European Commission contradicts itself in the very same intro while citing the worst tragedies that saw unarmed innocents fall victims of armed madmen in the past years − Oslo and Utøya (2011), Tuusula and Kayhajoki (2007/2008), Cumbria (2010), Winnenden (2009), Alphen aan den Rijn and Liège (2011), Toulouse (2012) − while at the same time admitting that:
"In the first decade of the 21st century there were over 10.000 victims of murder or manslaughter, killed by firearms, in the 28 Member States of EU".
So, in the years between 2000 and 2010, the firearm-related deaths by homicide or accident in the entire European Union can be counted in one thousand per year.
This is hardly an emergency, if compared to the number of yearly deaths by occupational accidents in Italy alone (between 700 and 1200 every year) or to the number of road casualties (more than 30.000 Europeans were killed in traffic accidents in 2011 alone, and that was a historical minimum!), leaving alone deaths by cancer, cardiovascular diseases, or other serious health conditions; these are the serious emergencies that the European Union should face, even more so since most of murders committed yearly in the EU are somehow related to important criminal organizations, which definitely won't be scared by a new European regulation!
Even more ridiculously, the European Commission declares:
"Every year there are over 4 000 suicides by firearm. On average, there are 0.24 homicides and 0.9 suicides by firearm per 100 000 population per year in the EU."
So the very same European Commission admits that the percentage of gun-related deaths in Europe are risible, and tries to count in suicides, which should never be counted in, given that they are extremely high even in unarmed societies − in Japan, one of the most strictly gun-controlled Countries in the world with a 0.6% gun ownership rate, the murder rate is 21.7 per 100.000 population, which makes suicide the main cause of adult men between 21-44 years old − and also given that all studies show how a well-determined suicidal person will carry on his intent with alternative means if he/she has no firearms at hand: as a matter of fact, firearms are not the main instrument for suicides, not in Europe, nor in the rest of the world.
The European Commission lists nine points − each one more asinine than the previous and less than the latter − in the white paper that should point out the guidelines to face this so-called "emergency":
- A ban on private ownership of all semi-automatic firearms, even when not military-style: all of them, pistols, rifles and shotguns, centerfire or rimfire.
- Declare magazines and other components as "fundamental parts", making them available only to licensed gun owners, contradicting the
- Capacity limitation for all magazines (without further specifications).
- Limitation, by type and quantity, of ammunition that can be purchased and detained by private citizens.
- A ban on Internet sales of firearms and ammunition.
- A ban on the sale of decorative, parade, or ceremonial guns and reproductions.
- Restrictions to Airsoft trade and ownership, if not an outright ban.
- Imposing mandatory biometric protections on privately-owned firearms
- Imposing centralized storage for firearms, forbidding citizens to keep them at home..
It won't take a genius to see how this kind of policy would be stupid, totally impossible to apply, totally ineffective in safeguarding security in Europe, and an infringement to many basic rights of the European citizens. It's also blatantly clear how this text appears to have been written out of mere oplophobia rather than by somebody really trying to provide sensed solutions for common security in the EU.
We may be naive, but we can't understand how could we possibly be safer with a ban on ceremonial guns, reproductions, and Airsoft replicas − as a matter of fact some restrictions are already in place in some European Countries, like the United Kingdom, with no advantage whatsoever for public safety! This should be enough to show how safety is not the point: the point is the hate for guns and for what they're supposed to represent (and what do they represent?).
Another thing that's clear is that whoever redacted the white paper isn't exactly up to date with European regulations and with the gun laws of the EU-member States: On-line purchase of firearms and ammunition is already illegal everywhere in the EU. It's impossible to purchase a gun by mail, anywhere in Europe!
The proposals for a ban on semi-automatic firearms, for magazine and ammunition ownershop restrictions really deserve no further attention: they're already blatantly half-assed, totally idiotic, and on this basis alone the DS Home Affairs of the EC, Cecilia Malmström, should be ashamed of herself and of her contributors who helped in drafting such a silly pile of garbage. So much for the white paper overtly stating that "safeguarding the licit market for civilian firearms" should be a goal: there's only one way to safeguard the licit market for civilian firearms, and that is, refraining from imposing further restrictions, and force a removal of these already in place!
The proposal for centralized custody of privately-owned firearms reminds us of certain laws and regulations currently in place in Communist China, and there is no way that these could match the private property rights protected by the EU itself and by the Constitutions of the individual EU-member States.
Last, but not least, biometric protections should be discussed more deeply. Aside from sci-fi theories about providing civilian-legal firearms with something that could allow a Government to make them inert from a central control room (which is technically impossible), some companies have been working for years to come out with "security systems" that could make a gun accessible or usable only by its legitimate owner. German-based ARMATIX GmbH − which also owns most, if not all, of the current patents related to biometric firearms safety systems − has been lobbying for quite a while in America and Europe to make them mandatory. Despite what the latest 007 movie tells you, biometric safety systems for firearms simply don't work.
And this doesn't just means that in the event of a malfunction, they could make guns inoperable by their legitimate users, with catastrophic results in case of an emergency: independent tests have repeatedly shown how ARMATIX systems that make guns inert by being inserted in the barrel can be removed much more easily than what the Company says, without damaging the gun; the iP1 system, including a biometric sensor embedded in a wristwatch that the shooter has to wear in order to fire his gun, can be cheated into making the gun work anyway if a thief takes the gun away from the owner and still remains at short distance from the person wearing the transmitter!
Our readers should be aware of one thing: there's no cause for alarm. This white paper is not a new directive, it's not a law, is not even a trace for anything yet. Up to date it's... nothing, and with the European gun industry counting global powerhouses such as Beretta, Tanfoglio, Heckler & Koch, Glock, SIG-Sauer, FN, Steyr-Mannlicher, Walther, and many others, there's literally almost no chance in hell that such an abomination could ever see the light of the day.
It's however the responsibility of all law-abiding gun owners in Europe to help the gun lobby in the struggle to defend our sports and rights. We can do this by writing a message to Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and state out loud that we OPPOSE any and all restrictive EU policy about guns.
By European law, the European Commission must provide an answer to all inquiries posed by European citizens in fifteen days. Do it, and spread the word: flood Brussels with letters and E-Mails, requesting the white paper to be thrashed and the EU to cease and desist from any attempt to restrict the gun rights of honest citizens. The more, and louder, we are, the harder will it be for them to ignore us!