Saturday, June 25, 2016

Guns Abroad, Today Germany

The German gunman who took hostages in a theater was "disturbed." Undoubtedly. That's a prerequisite for such an action, I suppose. He did not have an "Islamist motive." That's reassuring.

What really interested me was the German approach to gun policy. The NRA does not have a strong foothold there from all appearances.

In Germany, anyone younger than 25 has to pass a psychiatric exam before he or she is allowed to apply for a gun license. After that, applicants must wait a year, pass tests, and explain why they want a firearm. Once the license is approved, gun owners must be included in a national registry. 

Since 2009, the year a young man who had dropped out of high school fatally shot 15 people and himself, gun owners may be required to take psychiatric tests if they display erratic behavior. Police can also make home visits to be sure owners' weapons are properly stored, although owners do not need to divulge where the keys are, according to the LA Times. 

Yes, I can just see that all passing in Congress

Tough gun control laws in Germany that were rigorously tightened after two ghastly school shootings in 2002 and 2009 have helped cut the number of firearm killings in half to about 50 a year, according to experts.

Germany, where gun ownership had already been treated as a privilege rather than an inherent right, made it even harder to own a firearm.

And they sing praises to Odin that they have no second amendment. 

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