Everyone in the gun community has heard the expression, “It’s better to have and not need, than to need and not have.” But to many of our friends across the pond, this expression is as foreign as American football.
For the most part, citizens within European countries have taken a position of “I’ll never need, so why bother having” with respect to guns and, more specifically, owning a firearm for self-defense.
This has been true for some time even despite a recent reminder of what a heavily armed spree-shooter can do to an unarmed populace, as in the case with Anders Behring Breivik.
Following that tragedy, lawmakers across Europe counter-intuitively called for more gun control, as if that would somehow stop sociopaths from plotting and executing terrorist attacks.
But hopefully times are a-changing. With Europe on the brink of an economic collapse, hopefully citizens are starting to really take a long hard look at their gun rights, or lack thereof.
Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute recently wrote an article titled 'European Economic Crisis Highlights an Increasingly Important Reason to Oppose Gun Control,' where he pointed out that many of the middle class and lower income citizens might need to arm themselves for personal protection with a systemic economic disaster looming on the horizon.
Mitchell, who travels abroad to lecture, said this about his experiences in talking to Europeans.
"About a year ago, I spoke at a conference in Europe that attracted a lot of very rich people from all over the continent, as well as a lot of people who manage money for high-net-worth individuals. What made this conference remarkable was not the presentations, though they were generally quite interesting," Mitchell wrote.
"The stunning part of the conference was learning – as part of casual conversation during breaks, meals, and other socializing time – how many rich people are planning for the eventual collapse of European society. Not stagnation. Not gradual decline. Collapse," he wrote.
As he goes on to correctly point out, if the shit hits the fan, rich people can always leave their countries and flock to their respective safe havens in the U.S or in the Caribbean, etc.
But what about the poor and the middle class who lack the means to get away? What do they do?
To some extent, the London riots were a prime example of what would potentially happen all across Europe if a full-scale economic collapse were to occur. Many defenseless, law-abiding citizens would fall victim to attacks by hoodlums, robbers, and other criminals.
As Mitchell pointed out, “If politicians destroy the economic system with too much debt and too much dependency, firearms will be the first and last line of defense against those who would plunder and pillage.”
If they haven't already, our European friends might want to take a closer look at our Second Amendment.