I have found it a common view, among some Americans, that privately-owned guns aren't allowed anywhere outside of the USA. Not sure why this is.
As the Fragrant Flying Mammal states, rifles and shotguns are quite common in rural areas pretty much all over Europe. Yes, even in France.
Guns may not get quite the high-profile treatment here that they do in the US. It might simply be that, in Europe, a gun is simply considered a tool rather than some kind of religious sacrament/ideological symbol.
The fee's aren't unbelievable, but would violate the constitution here. (I.E. self defense is a natural right, not a paid priviledge.)
As common as the American missconception that hunting arms are scarce around the world so it the missconception about our rights comming from other countries.
Most of the world treats their citizens as if the rights are "granted" by the existing government. Y'all are treated as "subjects" by a ruling class with a "tough ****, daddy knows best" attitude.
Here the rights are recognized as being de-facto and belonging to any organism with enugh brains and teeth to defend them. We "grant" the rights unto ourselves through personal action.
I.E., you don't charge someone yearly permit fees for a constitutional right. That would be like making people pay dues for their freedom of speech or freedom from discrimination.
It's not hard to imagine a government that takes punitive action against someone for un-authorized speech or for being the wrong ethnicity.
Those types of governments are the very reason the second amendment was enumerated. Also note a complete lack of reference to "hunting" in it's text. I see resistance to tyrany, and defense of nation, but no hunting...
So FWIW, on this end of the pond we place value on being as well or better armed than those who wold do us harm. That intent comes before the duck hunting thing.
But...what about "defense against tyranny"--or does daddy know best?
A bit of an aside here: if you're a State, what might be the best way to ensure that you maintain power? That no others within your borders ever become sufficiently numerous, well-funded or organized to pose a threat? How to ensure a critical-mass of opponents of the State never, ever builds up, that no groups ever remains cohesive enough to be a problem?
How about divide-and-conquer?
A cultural tenet of rugged, "you're-not-the-boss-of-me" individualism might be the ticket for tyrants. This sacrament could be emphasized beginning in the earliest years at home and school. Ensure that even the term "collective" is frowned upon as ideologically tainted and unpatriotic.
Those growing up to assimilate *ahem* this tenet would then be too cantankerous, fractious and perpetually-divided to form anything more than a pickup-truck militia, which could neither challenge the State nor defend itself against it--the State (daddy who knows best) is always better-armed than private citizens. Private citizens who are convinced that they're all "free" and **** might be less inclined to believe that State would dare to challenge them--so they never challenge the State. Everybody's happy.
Not that this kind of mass-manipulation would ever occur to anyone...
Out of the frying pan, into the fire... Drudge just headlined "CIVIL WAR: SENATE TO GO FOR HANDGUNS" and linked to this: http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/publ...ssault-weapons
The main points are there, but for posterity:
Originally Posted by DiFei assault on weapons
As far as I can see, most gun owners in the US insist on getting the most effective self defense weapon they can.
Your rights obviously end exactly where your government wants them to end.
Why don't you grant yourself the right to own and operate TOW missiles through personal action? Not enough teeth or brains?