Russia has in place ‘Model Gun Control.’ A system that anti-gun politicians here drool over (as long as you don’t look at the numbers).
Licensing (with tiers), mandatory training, mandatory mental health screen, medical screen for drug use, license renewals, and so on. Their private firearm ownership rate is much lower than ours. The easiest item to get, starting at 18, is a hunting shotgun. Not just any shotgun, it must be on the list of hunting shotguns… not so dissimilar from a certain list of “safe” handguns in California.
An inexpensive hunting shotgun ($280 roughly) was used by a 19-year-old to kill 9 and wound 20+, proving once again that you cannot prevent tragedy… merely respond when it happens.
Instead of taking that object lesson in hand, the Kremlin jumped onto the “Do Something” train and is demanding more be done. “More!” they cry… because, more.
As you would expect that “more” is highly restrictive and highly invasive. They’re calling the shotgun an assault weapon, they’re calling for more frequent screenings of gun owners for drugs, alcohol, and mental health. They’re calling for reviews and committees. They are calling out that there is a rampant black market (duh), and that the conflict with Ukraine is fueling it. They are saying that the mental health screens are essentially “phoned in” which, again, duh. What are you going to ask someone if they don’t have a documented history of institutional necessity? “Excuse me, Yuri, but do you occasionally feel murdery? No? Cool.”
Just like no prior other criminal history is no guarantee of future events free from crime, no prior history of murderous mental tendencies is no real help either against those who are triggered to violence. This has been thoroughly documented that, while social problems are common in mass killers, they aren’t an exhaustive sign and the problems that trigger these events are experienced by vast swaths of other people. Losing jobs, relational stress, petty racism or other prejudice, fascination with killers. Hell that last one is literally a ‘white girl’ meme.
They are calling, in short, for firearms ownership to be a suspect behavior by default, and owners to essentially be forever on ‘potential mass murderer’ probation. Which, of course, won’t work. ‘Red Flag’ behaviors are unreliable beyond indicators of possible problems for soft intervention methods like counseling. An individual can still show too few or no outward symptoms and commit a violent murderous episode, we are not entitled to know or understand the reasons.
Funny though, they do not recommend the constant screens for alcohol and drug use to reduce traffic deaths. Russia having an abysmal vehicle fatality rate. The United States has a slightly higher rate per residency, but when you factor in number of vehicles Russia’s rate is nearly 5x greater than the United States.
Russia’s homicide rate is also drastically higher than the United States, the worst by far in Europe.
So if Russia, who has all the licensing, tiered ownership, and mandatory training in place, isn’t even in parity with the United States why do we continue to believe that their gun control schemes are effective? If we chalk it up to, ‘well they’re Russians’ like Russians just can’t be tamed beyond a certain level we would still see some efficacy in their systems that could be pointed at to say, “See, surely if the barbaric denizens of Eastern Europe can be tamed by such policies think of what they could do here!”
But they don’t, because people are people and cultural ethos tends to determine how people believe personal arms are meant to be used. Rules, written and recorded laws of behavior, have existed for over 4,000 years and yet in all that time these didn’t stop criminal or horrific acts. It only enabled a system of redress, assuming the system wasn’t the one commiting the horrific act.