What the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution can tell us about gun control
Sparked by growing unrest due to the Ukraine's Euromaidan protest movement against the government, that country broke out into open revolution this month.
With the Ukrainian police under the direction of President Yanukovych being filmed engaging in shooting at demonstrators in Kiev, and reports of up to 100 killed in violence in the country, we have been subjected to a series of photos in which ordinary citizens are taking up arms against a regime that is illegitimate.
The thing is, these arms are pitiful in comparison to those being used against them.
(Chains and a captured police riot shield equip this rebel)
(A Daisy Model 880 pellet rifle is heavy artillery due to the country's strict gun control measures)
(Another with a Chinese made single shot air rifle and great trigger discipline..)
(When the going gets tough the rebels get front end loaders...)
(There is always the bat for this rebel clad in NATO surplus West German jacket and a Warsaw Pact helmet)
(Motorcycle helmets are seen often as in this one on the noggin of a rebel with an improvised "Captain Kirk vs the Gorn" style projector)
According to a study by Gunpolicy.org, the Ukraine only has some 3.1-millon guns owned by civilians across the country. Two thirds of these are off the books and unregistered (and thus illegal to possess). The Ukraine has just 640,615 legal firearms owners who in turn have just over a million guns-- most of which are shotguns, with semi-auto rifles and pistols in many cases being hard to obtain legally. This is about 6 registered and unregistered guns for every 100 people. The Ukrainian police and military forces are estimated to own some 7.5 million guns including some of the most modern select-fire small arms in the world. The government outguns its citizenry and does not have to listen to them.
(The few firearms available to the common man in the Ukraine are shotguns, mainly double barrel and single barrel varieties as seen with this rebel)
"Human nature being what it is, it's always a risk when people's gun rights are obliterated. Now, it doesn't happen overnight, but it does happen," says Erich Pratt, director of Gun Owners of America when asked by the left-leaning Daily Beast about the Ukraine. Citing mass killings of unarmed civilians by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the Kim regime in North Korea, Pratt points to Ukraine's strict gun registration laws as the first step toward firearm confiscation. "It turns a God-given right into a government-given privilege."
Hopefully this type of situation would never happen in the United States due to our adherence to the 2nd Amendment and its protection that extends to every citizen of the republic. By contrast to the Ukraine, it is estimated that the total number of firearms available to civilians in the United States is 310 million: 114 million handguns, 110 million rifles, and 86 million shotguns-- a figure that is almost one gun for every citizen.
There are an estimated 8 million civilian CCW holders, 5 million NRA members, 300K GOA members, 600K Second Amendment Foundation members, etc. et al . The US police force numbers just 800,000 and our military just over 1.3-million, -- all of whom have sworn to protect the Constitution of the United States.
You see the 2nd Amendment is not about hunting, target shooting, or plinking, it is about protecting the country and keeping its government ultimately responsible to the people. Remember, Washington did not cross the Delaware to get to a duck blind or shooting range.
As a test to see how a totalitarian government can change its mind once its citizens become properly armed, after some 1500 military grade weapons and over 100,000 rounds of ammunition were seized by rioters from a government warehouse on February 19th, the government asked for a truce within hours. The Ukrainian Gun Owners Association on Febuary 20th then put up a post pushing for a constitutional amendment recognizing the right to bear arms.
The next day embattled Ukrainian President Yanukovych signed a compromise deal with opposition leaders, envisaging a new national unity government, constitutional changes to hand powers back to parliament and early elections, to be held by December.
Two days after that the country's Parliament named speaker Oleksander Turchynov as interim president while former President Yanukovych fled the country before he ended up like Mussolini or Gaddafi.
Saturday the demonstrators swarmed Kiev in celebration and the country is now picking up the pieces, sans its old president.
Nearby Russia, is saying that the new regime in the Ukraine is made up of 'gun toting mutineers' and refuses to work with it. Meanwhile, with just 5-million civilian gun owners, is seeing many call for more liberal gun laws, which could give the Russians plenty reasons to make sure the new Ukrainian government fails.
Let freedom ring.