Saturday, May 23, 2009

How gun rights in Romania were lost

From Transylvania Phoenix, on the loss of freedom in Romania under the Communists:
... You see, before the Soviet communization of Romania, the people had the right to have guns. I remember my father telling me my granfather owned a double barreled shotgun he used to hunt doves and rabbits with and a Luger pistol from when the German troops were retreating - they were getting rid of all the equipment by simply throwing it out of the troop transport trains.
When the communists took power in 1947 following falsified elections, the first law they enacted was total gun confiscation (for the greater good of course). Then after they made sure the population was disarmed they started the arrests, imprisonments, reeducation camps and killings.

So practically since 1947 it was illegal to own any firearms in communist Romania. The only exception was for hunting purposes: only single and double barreled shotguns, only with a special permit form the police, the owner was required to be a member of a state run hunting association and the guns must be registered and locked at the police station any time the dictator was in town.

After so many years of restrictions and servitude for over two generations, the perception of the Romanian population about gun rights changed in worse; I must admit when I first came to the US I too was surprised to see how owning guns is something normal and affordable and I too believed guns in the hands of untrained people can be dangerous (and keep in mind I served 2 years in the military so I was familiar with firearms) Luckily I was educated in the principles of the 2nd Amendment by a friend and that's how I got my first gun - a Glock 21.
... When the Soviets brought the communists to power in 1947 one of the the first things the new communist regime did was to confiscate all firearms. (as a side note: the Russians actually had to bring with them from the USSR the entire leadership of the Romanian Communist Party because there weren't enough "capable comrades" to be found locally). [emphasis added]

Anyway, after so many years of war and occupation the overwhelming majority of the people were sick and tired of the war; so they believed what the propaganda of the new regime was telling them. They were lied that the government will protect them, that guns must be surrendered for their own safety, that since the war is over there is no need for guns anymore and since they will start a new life as owners and rulers of the People's Republic (that sounds very tempting - the Republic of the People, isn't it?) they have no need for guns since the people are making the laws and enforce the rules.

So believing that crap, the vast majority of the population voluntarily surrendered their guns without firing a single shot. Next thing you know in 1947/48, the communists started making arrests. Leaders and members of the opposition Parties, all officers in the military, intellectuals, clergy, writers and artists, simple farmers like my grandad and small business owners; in other words the cream of the Romanian citizenry got imprisoned, sentenced to life, interned in reeducation camps, killed or simply disappeared forever. [emphasis added] ...

Read the full post here. We must never lose the one thing every would-be tyrant fears: a heavily armed populace willing to use physical force to defend themselves and their families from tyrants and oppressors.

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