The Europeans pushing for looser and ‘common sense’ gun control laws
Andrea Favaro is part of Firearms United, a pan-European firearms lobby, which claims to bring together over 100 million law-abiding gun owners in the region. It’s a movement that pushes for looser gun control laws across the continent.
Its members aren’t ideologically driven, said the Italian from Milan, adding they just “want common sense gun laws.”
He referred to the Czech Republic as one place that has “good” firearms controls, highlighting the relatively lenient restrictions in the country that allow its citizens to easily obtain a gun and carry it in public.
Europeans Don’t Need Firearms To Solve Their Problems – Expert
There are a number of reasons why firearms advocates want Europeans to obtain more guns. Favaro – who owns a shotgun, three rifles and three pistols – claimed firearms deter violent crime. Several experts, however, strongly contest the claim of guns protecting civilians.
Dr Brian Wood of the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) challenged the common belief among pro-gun advocates that “if you could give everybody guns, everybody would be safer.” “That’s simply not true,” he stressed.
Research suggests people in areas with higher gun ownership rates do not see lower rates of crime. In fact, gun availability is correlated with a greater number of homicides, according to a Harvard University review.
Advocate Blames Media For Mass Shootings
While gun lovers in Europe allege firearms improve safety and make people freer too, Wood contested this claim, arguing guns can actually get people away from liberty. Higher gun ownership rates could prompt higher levels of injuries and deaths, he said.
Favaro opposed this, giving the example of Switzerland and the Czech Republic in defence. These countries are some of the safest places in the world, despite making it easier for their citizens to obtain firearms, he said.
Moreover, the Italian didn’t blame guns for mass shootings, and instead underscored the media’s alleged role in fuelling the phenomenon.
Each country’s unique political, economic and social circumstances make drawing parallels complex.
While the Czech Republic, where any citizen can carry a firearm, is the world’s 12th safest country, according to the 2023 Global Peace Index, countries like Ireland, Iceland and Austria which have relatively tight gun control laws are above it in the ranking.
Europeans don’t need firearms to solve their problems, Wood stressed.