After the New Year’s attacks and assaults almost two years ago in Cologne, Germany, that ended 2015 and kicked off 2016, German citizens scrambled to defend themselves.
Unfortunately for them, Germans don’t enjoy the freedoms Americans have in terms of self-defense choices — Germany has some of the strictest gun regulations in Europe, according to The Local. Many were forced to look to tools other than firearms to defend themselves.
What Germans ended up with was a variety of weaponry that ranges from the most advanced to the positively medieval.
According to the BBC’s Europe editor, Katya Adler, defensive weapons were flying off the shelves after Cologne’s night of savagery, when rampaging Muslim immigrants caused a violent scene that made headlines around the world.
Products on demand included pepper spray, gas pistols, tasers, and bats — but some customers were even picking up crossbows and swords.
“A lot of women are coming to us, and a lot of older people,” said the shop manager, Pavel Svedlov, said in a January 2016 interview.
“I have 10-15 sorts (of) pepper spray… normally it’s full here, but now, you see, it’s empty. I have nothing now.”
The man still had a stock of blades and crossbows, but his brisk business was certainly telling of the 2016 environment.
Although I’m pretty sure Svedlov has had ample opportunity to restock his shop since the fallout of the Cologne sexual assaults, the demand can’t have gone down to pre-immigration crisis levels. Germans — and Europeans elsewhere — have just had enough.
That fatigue was showing in the immediate afterman of the Cologne disgrace.
“I understand that refugees need somewhere safe to go but Germany can’t save the world by itself,” Adler’s taxi driver, who was unnamed, said according to the BBC.
“Hopefully this nightmare will soon be over — for them and for us. Then they’ll be able to go back to their own homes. And leave ours for good.”
According to RT, even the “small arms” permit requests have skyrocketed.
According to a computer translation of an article in Die Welt, Germany considers this terminology a little differently than we do.
The “small gun license” pertains to an “irritant and alarm” weapon — a handgun that shoots mace, etc.
In the first half of 2015, there were 269,899 such weapons permits in Germany, according to Die Welt.
“As of June 2016, 402,301 small arms licenses were stored in the National Arms Register,” the Federal Ministry of the Interior told Die Welt.
Meanwhile, over the same period of time, there was a reported slight decrease in “firearms cards,” which would permit Germans to be armed with something a little more deadly than mace.
Well, if push comes to shove, there’s always the crossbow-and-sword option.
Thank God we live in the United States of America.
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