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MP301
04-16-2009, 1:56 AM
Hope Germany doesnt go like England or Austrailia.... The gun rights they have now are lame at best already.... interesting article..


Germany struggles with gun ownership laws

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6083082.ece

Fran Yeoman

In a low-ceilinged room in west Berlin, a gunman steadies himself, aims and fires. The noise is startling even through sizeable ear protectors, but he doesn’t flinch before pulling the trigger again. Despite the Magnum revolver he looks like an off-duty lawyer, which he is, down to his shiny brown brogues.

Next to him, firing a similar weapon at the cardboard targets 25 metres away, is a ginger-bearded mechanic in a baseball cap. It is practice night at Kleinkaliberschützen Berlin (Small Calibre Shooting Club Berlin, or KKS), and an eclectic handful of men — the one woman present doesn’t appear to move out of the common room — have come to take part in one their country’s favourite pursuits. To British ears, guns plus Germany means wartime armies or dramatic shooting sprees, particularly in the wake of last month’s school massacre and this week’s bloody gun attack in a Bavarian courthouse. But guns are part of the national culture, and their appeal stems from the centuries-old hunting, sporting and back-to-nature traditions of German life rather than the more recent penchant for militarism.

There are more than 15,000 gun clubs in Germany with around 1.5 million members, not to mention the legions of hobby hunters. There are roughly 10 million legally-held guns and perhaps double that in unregistered weapons, making it the fourth-largest civilian firearm-holding nation in the world behind the US, India and China, according to the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey.

Wait....What? India and China have the 2nd and third largest civilian gun ownersip? I guess everyone in Mubai didnt get the memo? And China? I guess my view on that government is a bit off??? Anyone ever heard of the Geneva-based "small arms survey" ?

Every summer Schuetzenfest, or shooting festivals, take place in towns and villages across the country and in some places are the centrepiece of the civic calendar. But guns are now, in the wake of recent events, under scrutiny.

The lawyer, who requested that only his first name Roman is used, gives a thumbs-down to indicate that he is not happy with his performance.

Others have been similarly displeased about the backlash that gun clubs have faced since Tim Kretschmer, who learned to shoot with his father at such an institution, opened fire at his former school in Winnenden in March and claimed 16 lives including his own. An open letter from the victims’ parents helped reopen an emotional national debate about gun laws. After a registered gun club member killed his sister-in-law and himself during a row in a courthouse in Bavaria on Tuesday, the state premier offered his own pledge to re-examine the rules. A day later, another 59-year-old Bavarian man shot his ex-wife dead before turning the gun on himself.

Members of KKS do not think that the gun ownership laws, which they argue are very strict already, are to blame. Thomas, a ponytailed bank worker who started shooting with his policeman father at the age of eight, said: "You cannot stop this by forbidding legal weapons. It’s the same when young men die in cars at fast speeds. It’s not the car, it’s the person who can’t drive it."

Here they do everything by the book. Roman has his own air pistol, which he brought to the club in a padlocked case, but having joined in summer 2007 he has not yet fulfilled the stipulated 18 visits to the club that form one of several preconditions to buying his own Magnum, and so he must use one held at the clubhouse.

However, Wolfgang Nietsch, the club’s 74-year-old chairman, is sceptical that the rules are always adequately enforced by the state authorities.

"It is the law that you have to keep your guns in a locked cabinet but the police don’t have enough time or manpower to make sure," the retired pipe-layer and owner of 15 guns said. "One policeman said to me that they know 90 per cent of the cabinets are not adequate." Mr Nietsch has been attending gun clubs since 1968, when a damaged ear drum put an end to his competitive swimming. His daughter, now middle-aged, was a champion shooter as a teenager, and he is worried that not enough young people are taking up the hobby. The minimum age for membership of KKS is 12 — Mr Nietsch thinks that children should begin shooting even younger than that with the right supervision and training — but there are no juveniles among the club’s 80 members and relatively few young adults.

Roman, who at 36 is one of them, thinks that the more traditional aspects of some clubs are putting younger people off. "I like this club because you can concentrate on shooting," he said. "It is a sport. People train regularly and the club’s teams do well in competitions." The costumes, bands and marching associated with Schuetzenfest life "are not attractive to younger people," he said.

Nevertheless, gun clubs and shooting remain immensely popular. The Marksmen’s Association is the fourth biggest sporting organisation in Germany and, particularly in a general election year, few politicians are likely to risk alienating its members.

After a school shooting in Erfurt in 2002 left 17 dead, Germany tightened its laws and raised the minimum age for gun ownership to 21. In the wake of Winnenden, Angela Merkel called for a relatively modest change — spot checks to make sure weapons were being stored correctly — but a month later things have already gone quiet. Mr Nietsch has his own thought on what the reason for that is: "The law won’t change because 60 per cent of MPs are hunters." Thomas, the bank worker, seems confident that the gun club’s place in German life will long outlive the turbulent aftermath of the recent shootings. Such tragedies are "not good for the discussion," he said, "but the next issue will come along soon."

TheBundo
04-16-2009, 3:49 AM
For India and China, with their populations, to be 2nd and 3rd (and distantly from America, I'm sure, if Germany with only 10 million is 4th), isn't saying that much. Party members, for sure (in China), or some kind of law people, hunting, etc. India is the world's largest democracy, not that big of a surprise, with a lot more dangerous wild animals than we have). I suspect we have more private guns than the next many many countries. Maybe all other countries put together (legally bought, anyway) :)

Nessal
04-16-2009, 3:52 AM
Yet people still fail to understand that trying to control the lawless with laws is futile.

tmuller
04-16-2009, 8:06 AM
I don't have time to look into this but very likely misinfo.

I did take a quick look and it appears that the statistic is verified in several places. They do have very restrictive gun laws but I believe the number mentioned is accurate.

http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSL2834893820070828

http://www.sikhnet.com/news/how-gun-control-laws-contributed-mumbai-slaughter

vladbutsky
04-16-2009, 8:47 AM
Apparently there is Geneva-based "small arms survey", but I didn't find much data there yet: http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/files/portal/issueareas/inventories/civinventor.html

Gator Monroe
04-16-2009, 9:00 AM
There are more guns in California than may countries combined !:thumbsup:

yellowfin
04-16-2009, 9:12 AM
I read once in a news flash that India was offering gun permits as incentive for men to get vasectomies.

DDT
04-16-2009, 9:25 AM
I read once in a news flash that India was offering gun permits as incentive for men to get vasectomies.

Sounds like a thread on calguns.

For a CCW would you.....

For an AW permit would you....

AaronHorrocks
04-16-2009, 9:45 AM
Sounds like a thread on calguns.

For a CCW would you.....

For an AW permit would you....

I've spent my whole life keeping sharp objects away from my privates. :eek:

BigMac
04-16-2009, 9:48 AM
the comments about India are questionable, I am sure civilians are not allowed gun ownership in India, a legacy of British rule. I don't have time to look into this but very likely misinfo.

That would make you wrong... they have to get a permit and there are caliber restrictions.

stormy_clothing
04-16-2009, 10:50 AM
I don't understand the problem, someone kills a bunch of people then takes the quick exit.

no

stop him and exact revenge and let it be known that death for murders will not be quick.

Gator Monroe
04-16-2009, 10:56 AM
Sieze assets from the perps family /relitives if he takes the easy way out ?:eek::thumbsup:

MP301
04-16-2009, 3:30 PM
I read once in a news flash that India was offering gun permits as incentive for men to get vasectomies.

hahaahaha... " You can have this "gun": if you disable that gun"???? hahaha

MP301
04-16-2009, 3:34 PM
Sieze assets from the perps family /relitives if he takes the easy way out ?:eek::thumbsup:

Maybe your on to something here.....

Just about everyone has the oddball relative that is always into trouble or is "not quite right" and may be prone to going off the deep end. If families were aware that they are screwed if he said relative were to lose it, maybe there would be many many cases of the oddball relative "going missing... hahaha

tyrist
04-16-2009, 9:34 PM
hahaahaha... " You can have this "gun": if you disable that gun"???? hahaha

It's just a magazine cap.

Trench Broom
04-16-2009, 10:48 PM
There are more guns in California than may countries combined !:thumbsup:
http://www.moonbattery.com/archives/dianne_feinstein.jpg

Mazilla
04-17-2009, 12:47 AM
http://www.moonbattery.com/archives/dianne_feinstein.jpg

thanks, there goes my apetite....

CCWFacts
04-17-2009, 1:09 AM
the comments about India are questionable, I am sure civilians are not allowed gun ownership in India, a legacy of British rule. I don't have time to look into this but very likely misinfo.

A lot of people own guns in India, both legally and otherwise. The situation there is complex. They have a may-issue permit system, controlled by regional police chiefs (something like that). Of course there are lawyers there who can help get permits; money helps everything in India. I guess in that way it's a lot like the system in Los Angeles. After the Mumbai attacks there is now a lot of pressure from corporations (hotels etc) to make the system saner, and allow them to hire professional security (probably foreigners, like Israelis) and equip them with proper modern weapons. Everyone there understands that dialing 911 in India could result in an immediate response within hours or days. No one who lives there or who has ever been there would imagine that they can ever build an effective police there.

I know that if you go around the jewelry district, for example, you see a lot of old guys with old guns hanging around outside the stores. Not sure how effective they would be. That's not a knock on old guys or old guns; I'm sure we have some of both on CalGuns who are quite effective. But the ones I saw there look like they would have no idea what to do, and no inclination. Obviously the big companies there would want to go for foreign security people, or get some Sikhs or something.

cousinkix1953
04-17-2009, 2:17 AM
Sounds like a thread on calguns.

For a CCW would you.....

For an AW permit would you....
I can just see Sacramento doing this.

"Let them keep their banned assault weapons if they get a vasectomy. Those firearms must be destroyed, if they have no kids to inherit them. We will have fewer white trash redneck gun nuts in our population in the long run too."

Dr. Peter Venkman
04-17-2009, 2:21 AM
It never ceases to amaze me that Germany went from almost dominating the world to being a bunch of gun-fearing wussies.

dwtt
04-19-2009, 12:18 PM
Didn't the US have a hand in writing Germany's constitution after WW2 ended?

leitung
04-19-2009, 12:52 PM
Didn't the US have a hand in writing Germany's constitution after WW2 ended?

I believe so, and it goes to prove that if we had the chance to totally re write the us constitution right now, I would almost bet the 2A would be one of the ones left out. I believe that americans would be happy with giving up their gun right for some kind of free **** from the gooberment.

Sign of the times I guess, just gimme free **** and you can do whatever you want.

Pred@tor
04-19-2009, 1:05 PM
They didnt mention Switzerland in the article...