Michael Schaus

It’s beginning to border on the surreal. We’ve talked to great lengths about the inversion of international influence between the US and Russia. Under President Obama we have seen America’s command of world events sink to an unrecognizable (and quite embarrassing) level, while the Bond villain in the Kremlin has taken control of international conversations. And then, there’s this from the IBTimes:

Russia, which according to official figures has the fifth highest murder rate in the world, has relaxed its gun ownership laws.

Yep. The land of Vladimir Putin, run by an oligarchical collection of cronies and criminals, is about to relax their gun laws… And not by just a little. After the reforms, they’ll make some US jurisdictions look positively Soviet. While places like New York and Washington DC continue to make it (almost) impossible to get a permit for carrying a handgun, Putin’s Russia is about to make it easier.

Previously, Russians were only permitted to own firearms (subject to approval) for hunting or sporting. But under the new law they will soon be allowed to carry guns, open or concealed, for the purposes of self-defense. (Yeah… A background check and training will be a prerequisite.)

And let’s face it, having a gun for self-defense is probably not the worst idea in Russia. While America saw its share of homicides in 2011 (roughly 13,600), Putin’s homeland saw far more… Despite having a population that is almost half of the US, Russia recorded over 21,000 homicides in the same year. (Wow… So much for believing that gun control works, right Chicago?) The new laws aim to curb that trend, and add to Russia’s homeland defense against outside threats.

Of course, IBTimes was quick to point out that 80 percent of American homicides are “gun related.” (As if it was the gun’s fault that someone decided to kill a rival gang member.) So, let me give this some perspective: 80 percent of America’s homicides are “gun related”… And yet we still manage to have almost a third fewer murders than a big-government (generally anti-gun) nation on the other side of the world. Russia is hoping to curb some of their violence by liberalizing the restrictions on firearm ownership, and concealed carry. And our Mike Bloomberg clones stateside are doing just the opposite.

In short: Russia will soon be a little less like Chicago, and a little more like Texas. (Ha… Can you imagine Putin in a cowboy hat?) Vlad even endorsed the idea, by channeling a 20th century Chicago gangster:

"You can get a lot more done with politeness and a weapon than with politeness alone."

Russians will, no doubt, embrace their new freedom with grace and responsibility. After all, at one time Russia was one of the most heavily armed societies on earth. It wasn’t until the Communists got into power that the people in the Soviet empire saw their right to self-defense begin to deteriorate. With the world becoming an increasingly dangerous place, Putin rightly understands that an armed populace will deter foreign invaders, and reduce the threat of domestic criminality.

So, while a former KGB officer (who bemoaned the fall of the Soviet Union) is embracing the freedom that comes along with civilian firearm ownership, we here in the US have a bunch of “progressives” who would like to restrict American’s God-given right to self-defense.

Like I said… It’s beginning to border on the surreal. Next thing you know, we’ll hear that Socialist Canada is more economically free than the good old US of A. (Oh, wait… It is.)


Michael Schaus

Michael Schaus is communications director at the Nevada Policy Research Institute and is responsible for managing the organization’s messaging with the public, the media and NPRI’s membership.
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