Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Gun Story

“This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!”

- Quote from Adolph Hitler in 1935 on The Weapons Act (Germany)

It's an interesting story out of Germany.....the nation is fairly close now to a national database of guns and gun owners.

To be honest, over the last fifty-odd years.....every community police station had a paper trail of gun ownership.  If you went to the chief of police and asked him to list all the owners.....he could pull out a paper listing (usually cards), and that made everyone happy.

Well....we've come to a point where a digital database was the German goal.  Sometime early in 2013, all of the six million privately held guns in Germany will be in a national database.  From this, the 551 local 'counties' in Germany can now draw a serial number of person's name.

Is it actually an improvement?  If you had a crime committed by someone with a certain type pistol....it might help start a nation-wide investigation.  However, this listing only has the owners who admitted ownership.  The guys who bought four guns from a mafia guy a decade ago?  No.....his weapons won't be there.  The guy who got a Russian hunting rifle last year from a private collector in Moscow?  Well...no, his weapon probably won't be in the database.

How many illegal guns exist in Germany?  No one is sure.  I'd take a humble guess and state it's probably over one million.  Some are guns left over from World War II and guys just stored them in their basement without ever saying anything.

I can understand the basis of wishing a database would help....but in this case....it's probably worthless.

The quote I put up?  Yeah, it's from Hitler.  The Nazi regime figured out early in the 1930s that private gun ownership could eventually be a problem.  They didn't want anyone coming out in the evening hours and conducting a vendetta.  So guns had to be controlled.

Some Germans will be proud over the event and say they are closer to a protective society.  Frankly, if they lowered the speed limit on autobahns to 90 kph....they'd save a thousand lives a year, but they don't want to take that measure under consideration....so there are limits to just how many folks you'd like to save and how you do it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually the statement about autobahns is not right. We can look at the statistics for death by traffic. 2011 4009 people died by car accident, of which 60,9% died on the country roades, not on the autobahn. Reduce the amount of people dying in city traffic and the autobahn accounts for a really really low amount of traffic deaths. Most times its not even the speed, but a "Stau" or a defect, which triggers the accident. Putting speed limits wouldnt help, I would even assume it would increase the number of car accidents on the autobahn.

On topic of the pistols, well, I think it is more useful then the paper sheets. If gun registration is useful or not I leave open to discussion, I think nobody should have guns, but this is an utopia ;)