All over the world, in different countries in different ways, but all the people have the rights for the self-defense. In the Western countries, like in the US for example this is the second amendment to the constitution. In some other countries, including Russia before the revolution it was the obligation of the Government to protect the people and at the same time it was the right to protect themselves. Nothing changed during these hundreds of years. The people must have the right to protect their families, their property. Another question is that it is absolutely impossible now to register the owners of the handguns and automatic rifles. I’m not sure if it is necessary for the civilians to have their automatic rifles at homes, but handguns and shotguns – this is the right of any person in the democratic countries to have it, to carry it and to use it in the specific conditions, that’s obvious. I can say about Russia for example – our people own around 5.6 million units for now and it is only few cases when these weapons were used for the criminal offence. Most of the criminal cases with the usage of the weapons, criminals used the illegal weapons. Legal weapons are not in use for the criminal cases. That’s why I absolutely disagree with the people who say that it is necessary to put all the obligations for the protection of the people and their life on the Government.
Sir, but I have also heard a counterargument which is that when a person gets to possess a gun, his psychology might change in a certain way. And if a psychology of that particular person is a little bit – shall we put it – fragile, I mean he is not a psycho but he might be somewhat hysterical, he might be prone to hysterical reactions – how do we make sure that he does not use the weapon excessively?
Well, it is a question of how this work is organized. In some states in the US, in Germany, in most of the European countries in which the citizens have the right to own, to buy the handguns there are different types of regulations, including the special procedures to check the person – to check him from the medical point of view, psychological point of view. It is an obligation of the Government how to organize the control and how to organize the maintains, let’s say so, of the psychological situation with the owners of the guns and handguns.
That’s not a big deal. We have a lot of examples when it is organized pretty good. Let’s imagine, you will say that no more guns in the hands of the civilians. Good! But immediately the criminals will use this situation and will attack. In many countries, like the post-Soviet countries, in Baltic states – Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia – people received this possibility from the Government to carry handguns and shotguns and rifles and we can see the statistics that the criminal offence is going down.
Interestingly enough, I was talking to several people from Israel, they also told me that it is extremely difficult for them to get a permit to carry a gun because a person needs to justify the need to carry a gun and after all he goes through different kinds of checks. And there is also some kind of an educational program for those people.
Absolutely! This is absolutely important. And essentially it is the work which has to be done by the authorities. But at the same time in the democratic countries the people have the right to protect themselves, their property and their families.
Sure! But do I get it right that tightening of the arms control legislation in the US which Mr. Obama has signed into a law, and which has caused such huge controversy, I’m not sure it affects the right of a person to protect himself and his family, or is my understanding wrong?
I think it is some sort of the journalist tricks when they are describing the situation of what in reality Obama wanted to do. He wants to out under the tough control automatic rifles with which I agree. But at the same time there are no talks about any type of regulations which will be implemented and will cancel the second amendment to the constitution of the US. That is impossible, it is a part of the culture, it is part of the democratic principles of the US as a state and it mostly a speculation.
Yes, it is some kind of overreaction, do I get it right?
Yes, absolutely! I think so. It is a country of lawyers, and I’m a lawyer myself, so they will find a legal way how to control the automatic rifles and they will find a way how to open the doors to the gun stores for the people to buy this if they want. So, they will find a solution, definitely.
If they are fit to carry a gun, right?
Well, to carry a gun, it is also not in all the states. For example in Germany you cannot carry a gun with you under your suit or whatever, you can carry it in the car, you can keep it at home, you can carry it in the briefcase, whatever. So, in different countries different regulations. But the basic principle is still in place and it will be for the future.