The truth about weapons

Photo by Christopher Farrugia from Pexels

The United States are criticised globally in their use of weapons, especially in Europe where governments and citizens believe it is an harm towards each other. As European citizens, we relate the high numbers of murders to the ease of buying weapons. But what are the facts exactly ?

We have met Charles, a French guy interested in weapons in a country, and a continent, where weapons are seen such as a war object, a “murderer” thing, or simply for hunting (but no one cares about this one). 

Well, today we are about to learn more about US and European regulations and the reality of these curious objects that we, for most of us, fear.

At first, Charles was attracted to Hollywood movies, then he visited the Invalides Museum in Paris where you can find one of the richest military history collections in the world. “At that moment, I knew that I wasn’t only interested by how impressive that kind of object could be but also by all of the historical aspect.” he admits.

The first time he held a gun was at 17 with a family friend who turns out to be a weapon’s fan, “he told me to pick up whatever I wanted from his weapons and I had the chance to shoot with a m1911” says Charles in an enthusiastic way. “I just wanted to know what would happen when you pull the trigger.” 

Regarding the regulations, Charles adds that every States are different and some of them are even tighter than some European countries concerning weapons regulations. “As you can think, it is allowed to buy and use easily a gun in Texas, but what you might not know is that the State of New York is more severe than Europe.”

In Europe, it is allowed to get a firearm under strict restrictions such as Germany, France, Spain and Switzerland. Two countries only have completely forbidden weapons, except for hunters : the Netherlands and Denmark, although the UK remains the most severe in Europe. 

To get a firearm in France, you need to respect some strict criteria.

  • In a professional activity : if you work in security for example.
  • As a civilian : it is possible to get a shooting licence but requires a huge amount of paperwork.
  • If you are threatened with death and can prove it. It is very uncommon to get this sort of authorisation, in case you could prove it, you would be allowed to carry a gun at any time.

After the terrible terrorist attacks happened in France, the question of the weapons was brought by the former US President Donald Trump. Well, the French government did not really take it well. In a matter of facts, guns have killed more than they have protected and it is the common opinion of our European leaders. 

In Europe, it is easier to get a firearm illegally than legally. The paperwork is huge and you need to prove your sanity, while getting a weapon in the black market is not as hard as we think. Most of the murders and assaults are not done with legal weapons.

Charles, 25 years old

We often hear about the weapons regulations, especially when we talk about the US regulations, while the most problematic is the black market. Charles assumes that “a murderer would never take their time to fill the paperwork, he would directly buy an illegal one.”

Charles, who has an open-mind on the topic, suggests that it is important to get to know the topic before having an opinion, but also adds that carrying a gun is very dangerous and it must not be allowed easily. Otherwise people could take advantage of it by hurting one another.

He does believe that it is a good thing not to authorise weapons in Europe because it would bring more accident than protection. “The French regulations, which is similar to the Western European countries, is quite effective and should not be changed.” Admits Charles.

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