Lectures about Guns18 Apr 2007
In the wake of the shootings in at Virginia Tech, there have been the usual comments in the German media about the lack of gun control laws in the US. I can think of a few ways to point the finger back here.
- The largest employer in my wife's home town is Sauer & Sohn, "Germany's oldest's gun manufacturer" since 250 years.
In 2006 there were nearly 350,000 registered hunters in Germany
Where we live, the main social club in most towns is the Schützenverein, or shooting club. The biggest social event of the year is the Schützenfest, where shooting is combined with alcohol. The Schützenfest in Hannover can be compared with the Oktoberfest in Munich or the Dom in Hamburg.
When we just moved here I was told I could make big money smuggling trigger mechanisms from the US into Germany. Gun fans in Germany could import non-functional weapons from the US, but the mechanisms were not so easy to get.
It seems every few months there is a gun accident involving children here, almost always involving a legal but unlocked gun from a parent. The US National Rifle Association may be a gun lobby, but they also teach basic gun safety, which includes keeping one's guns locked when stored.
As usual, Andrew at German Joys makes the point much more logically than I ever could. Lax gun laws in the US make life slighty unsafer than in Europe, but only slightly. It's not enough to get on your high horse.