Monday, June 13, 2016

On the Topic of German Weapon Control

This is one of those history essays that I occasionally deliver.

From the Roman ages in Germany.....up to the was a fairly common thing for feuds to be handled by various means, which included bloodshed, some swords in active use, and some villages burnt to the ground.

A feud might be referred to as a "small horse"....which an all-out war would be referred to as a "big horse".  I sounds kinda silly but you have to imagine a couple of German guys standing around....frustrated or angry over the folks in the next valley, and having a few drinks.  At the right time.....someone would refer to this situation as a "small horse" and that was slang for the guys to huff-and-puff.....and take off for some action, which might mean death, injury, or some village burning.

So, as you get into the 1000 AD period in Germany, oddly enough, there are these various Catholic Church efforts and and an entire movement referred to as the Peace of God.  This was supposed to impose rules on various communities, state-cities, and kingdoms.

You come to the efforts in 1495 under Emperor Maximilian I in Germany to wrap all this feud business and have some "control" over the public....less sword-play, less unnecessary deaths, less village burning.  This effort at the Diet of Worms resulted in what would be referred to as perpetual public peace.  You can call it the first hint of 'gun-control' in Germany, or whatever, but this was to cut back on violence within the Germanic states.

The German word or phrase for this original effort?  Ewiger Landfriede.

At some point in the consolidation was taking place with Prussia and the other Germanic states....another round of change came up....referred to as Volksbewaffnung.

Interesting enough....this was an effort referring to the Swiss idea of a militia in each community, and this militia would have access to guns.

This failed....mostly because of some serious revolutionary activity in the years of 1848 and 1849.  This episode scared the Kaiser to some degree....that a bunch of weapons in the hands of the public....was a bad thing.

What came after this period.....was a willingness to allow regulated ownership....mostly around hunting rifles and shotguns.

As WW I came to a odd thing occurred with the surrender.....German troops just started walking home and taking their weapons with them.

Naturally, this scared the crap out of the new Weimar Republic, so a total disarming law was put into place in 1919.....with zero effect.  It meant ALL weapons, to include hunting rifles and shotguns, and the public simply wasn't going to accept that idea.

So in August of 1920.....the next law went into effect which centered strictly upon military style weapons.....they were forbidden.  Hunting rifles and shotguns?  Approved.

In 1928, they went to the next step, where a license was required.

All of this....before the Nazi regime came to power.

So after 1932, the chief change that the Nazis brought into place was centered on gunsmiths to keep records of repair and maintenance.

After WW II, various laws have come and gone.  Weapons are considered something that any German can acquire, if he takes the classes, passes the tests, shows mental competence, and maintains a gun locker.  To say gun control is in place is true.....but most Germans would say that if they want a gun, they can get it.

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