What would be your actions in case of a threat to the lives of your loved ones, your child, your wife, your parents, friends, or even a casual passer-by on the street?

What would you prefer:
• to have an opportunity to resist the offender in case of attack,
• to hope: on luck, on the help of law enforcement services?

What would be your actions in case of a threat to the lives of your loved ones, your child, your wife, your parents, friends, or even a casual passer-by on the street?

Do not you want to have a confidence in your own safety and in the ability to protect the surroundings?

One of the examples. In the city of Elyria, Ohio, the intruder illegally penetrated in the house of Sarah Long. The proprietress, hearing the cry of her 17-year-old daughter, ran into the room and found a man there. Then the woman ran to the bedroom and took out a pistol stored there. Returning to the room, she found a criminal near her youngest 15-year-old daughter, which one had cancer of the brain and was unable to resist, because the symptoms of the disease. After seeing the weapon, the man hurried to escape, but was detained by the police later. 33-years-old Brett Santo was the malefactor, he already had a criminal past, including heroin possession, theft and burglary. One thing is certain – the story could end not so well if the woman did not have a weapon.

Many can say that this is only one case per million, and the negative consequences of the weapons legalization substantially outweigh such rare examples. But is it in practice? To answer this question, it is worth to look at the experience of other states.

United States of America: According to the statistics, the population has 120 barrels per 100 people and less than 5 murders per year per 100 thousand people.

In Brazil, which is one of the leaders in the number of murders, namely 25 per 100,000 of inhabitants per year, there are only 8 firearms per 100 people in possession. This number of murders is more than twice as high as the average index.
Experts attribute such a situation to the fact that since 2003, the Brazilian authorities have increased the age of weapons buyers from 21 to 25 years, tightened the requirements for the number of documents, required to obtain the permission to store weapons. But the most important thing is that the authorities banned citizens from wearing weapons everyday by this law.

As we see, these limitations only led to the increase in number of crimes with the using of weapons, after all most of the crimes are committed using illegal weapons.

It turns out that the ban on possession of short-barreled weapons not only does not protect citizens from possible danger, but also deprives them of the opportunity to protect themselves.

The criminals do not think twice before the attack with the purpose of robbery, murder or rape, they are sure of their impunity, since they know that they will not meet real resistance.

In a quiet Switzerland, the government not only permits, but prescribes citizens to have weapons at home. The army is formed on the police principle, and the reservists keep assault rifles, pistols, etc. at home at the time of service. In the country of cheese and chocolate, almost 46 barrels per 100 people – this is the first place in Europe.

A research conducted in the USA among prisoners showed, that 60% of criminals would refuse from their intentions, if they even theoretically believed that the victim could be armed. Thus, we get a 60% reduction in the crime rate.

Statistics show that countries with the most unfavorable criminogenic situation, with the greatest number of murders, have imperfect arms legislation and ban on the daily carrying of arms by citizens.

Close neighbors to us in territorial and cultural terms: Sweden, Finland, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Estonia, Latvia, Moldova — in each of these countries – and this is far from a complete list – there is clearly defined weapons legislation, allowing citizens observing certain conditions, to own weapons. And now let’s look at the level of murders — Norway has the «highest» index, and it is 2.2 per 100 thousand people.
And now consider the situation in Ukraine, which, according to data for 2016, is ranked 104th out of 219 in the rating, which based on the level of intentional murders.

Perhaps the problem with the acceptance  and leading arms legislation in Ukraine to the pan-European standards consists of several aspects:
• On the one hand, Ukrainians, who have formed legislative and, as a consequence, executive authorities through elections, are sure that these authorities are corrupt and venal, and therefore are not able to act clearly within the laws;
• On the other hand, legislative and executive authorities, because of lack of  the confidence to their own citizens, do not want to have an understandable legislation, which is able to provide the rights to the Ukrainians to defend themselves.

It is convenient to the authorities to keep each of us in the uncertainty — it’s still not clear what will be the end of the attempt for the human to protect himself and his loved ones. Alas, the one who decides to self-defense with the use of firearms is awaiting a criminal and judicial trial with very unpredictable consequences.

Most recently in the Kharkov region, a woman shot  from a gun belonging to her husband an unknown man, which broke into her house, where there was not only her but also there were her two young children at that time. Now the woman is accused in a deliberate murder during the excess of the necessary self-defense measures. Ask yourself, is it justly – to blame the mother, who wanted to protect her children?

Honestly answer the question: if it was your wife, sister, mother, but just your dear person, how would you rate this event? The police appeared on the crime scene after a considerable period of time, only after the arrival of the ambulance.
This case clearly demonstrates the need for change. The authorities must understand that the population realizes completely the responsibility for owning and using weapons. Nobody says that Ukraine should act radically and inherit the example of the second amendment to the US Constitution that guarantees the right to own and wear arms.

We can start with small steps: using the regulatory function of laws, regulate the possession and use of the weapons for self-defense, introduce the categorization of weapons possession, establish clear rules and verification criteria for obtaining licenses according to established categories.

All these will help to develop the weapons culture among the population further, and a person with weapon will be perceived as able to protect and save the life and health not only themselves and their loved ones, but also, perhaps, yours. Then no one will have a question: «Do we need this?»

The topic of responsible possession of weapons is so urgent today that it immediately evokes a keen interest in the society; it is evidenced by the recent blitz poll published at the forums in the FB.

Andrii Baranov

Translator — Andrii Komar

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