If you sat around this weekend observing German news....there's a piece to the American shooting that keeps popping up. Germans tend to push these events into the top five reported items when they occur. The general observation? Americans need gun control like the Germans have it. Then the madness would stop.
On the flip side of this....mass shootings occur in Germany, although the quantity is nowhere near the amount that you'd see in the US. Because of this lesser trend....the Germans attribute their success to their method of gun control.
The Germans run a fairly strict deal of registration. You go to the county office and register. You have to attend a weapons class or hunting class before you get the license. This isn't some lousy Saturday eight-hour class. It could take several months....meeting for a couple of hours on a Saturday....to eventually get that license. Now, you can buy a gun and ammo. But not so quick....there's the matter of the gun storage container in your house, with one key only. No, your wife does not get a key....unless she completes the same class.
I should add this other odd requirement....the doctor's note. You see....you have to have a note attesting to your physical and emotional situation. If you are on pain-killers.....you might not get the note. If you are emotionally unbalanced....you won't get the note. Since you tend to live in the same village all your life, and go to the same doctor.....there's some knowledge about your past. So a nut-case might not so easily get a license. The chance of a hundred unstable Germans getting a gun license? Well....honesty, a dozen of them might actually slip through the doctor's note business.
You see....with all this German gun control business....it's just not perfect.
A guy here. A kid there. Every few months....there's a confrontation between some guy and his neighbors. Or you have the ex-husband who shoots down the ex-wife and her cousin. Or you have the fired worker who returns to shoot the boss.
High-powered assault rifles? No. The laws kind of prevent them, but you can get various pistols, hunting rifles, and plain old shotguns.
Concealed weapons permits? Well....it's an odd thing. If you register as a body-guard, and take the right courses to be certified, then you can carry a weapon in performance of your duties. Otherwise? You never carry a concealed weapon ever.
Do something stupid and threaten a neighbor? Oh goodness.....the cops get such a report....notice you in the national database (it actually went digital in 2012), and they visit you to confiscate your guns until you prove you aren't a threat.
Show any serious emotional issues? You just might lose that license that you spent hours and hours working to get.
Cops show up at your house and ask you to show your collection.....and you pick the key up out of the kitchen drawer? You lose your collection real fast. That key has to be on your person....twenty-four hours a day.
Inch by inch....the Germans built a process. It's kind of like the way they build a BMW or a Mercedes. Yes, it's very unfriendly for a guy who wants to start a gun collection this weekend.
Guys using guns in the defense of their home? Well....there's always a story or two each year where a home invasion was almost complete, and the home-owner stepped into the mess with a gun and stopped things on the spot. Judges tend to settle with the gun-owner in episodes like this.
So for around every hundred-odd gun episodes in the US.....you have one episode in Germany. For that....the Germans think gun control works. Yeah, that's some bragging to this entire method. Germans want you know that they have a nice method and you should just step over the line and admit your system is wrong.
An American would sit and pause for a minute.....then ask if guns are a right or a privilege in Germany. Germans hate questions like that. They generally try to answer a right.....as long as you pass the license process. Course, you remind them....you remember some German political figure who enacted the confiscation of guns back in the 1930s. You forgot his name....but he was a gifted speaker who said that people need protection, with the government's help.
The return of the confiscated weapons? Well....that's a funny thing. Some foreign guys arrived from a distant land in 1945. These foreign guys had experiences earlier in their land where some government folks confiscated their weapons as part of a government protection strategy. Eventually, things just didn't seem right. So the Germans regained their confiscated weapons....only because the foreigners injected their version of rights into the mess.
Germans hate that reminder.
So they will retreat back to the standard "you-are-wrong" speech, and talk about mass shooters. Arguing with a German....is futile (yeah, Borg-like).
What an American ought to take away from this? There are a couple of things that Germans have learned. They don't want nuts with guns. They don't want a bunch of mass shooters walking around. They will admit it's not perfect, and there's still cases of evil that occur once in a while. But this is the best solution under all options....as far as they are concerned.
So that's the German situation with gun control.