The country in the heart of Europe is terrified by the counterproductive, treacherous approach of the EU apparatchiks to gun laws
Czech political parties experienced a somewhat rare wave of unity today which was unfortunately not shared by most of the European Union. The European Parliament voted 491yes-197no-28abstain to ban the sales of new semi-automatic guns.
The largest community in my homeland that is affected are the owners of Model 58. It's known by the Czechoslovak acronym Vz 58 and "vz" stands for "vzor" i.e. "template". After Kalashnikovs appeared, all socialist countries were basically forced to adopt the exact Soviet design. Czechoslovakia got an exception because if a country with this somewhat legendary arms industry were forced to accept the Soviet technology, it would be rather offensive. Vz 58 appeared as a Czechoslovak answer to the Kalashnikovs. It's a full replacement but all the parts are actually different and the Czechoslovak rifle is arguably better than the Soviet competitor.
Tens of thousands of men have obtained a semi-automatic Vz 58 that was created from an automatic Vz 58 that was employed by the army. Many of these men have used these rifles while they were serving their two years.
It seems that Czechia will be allowed to legalize the current users of Vz 58 but new sales will be impossible. It obviously means that every terrorist will be able to buy the rifle from a current user but no law-abiding Czech person will have the same right. Moreover, some new duties have been codified. For example, people will have to acquire some extra licenses even for their depreciated rifles etc.
Czech social democratic interior minister Milan Chovanec with his legally held rifle. President's wife Ms Zemanová recently acquired hers, too. Chovanec proposes a constitutional amendment allowing one to shoot a terrorist.
All or almost all Czech members of the European Parliament voted against the proposal. This includes the folks from the center-right ODS and TOP 09 parties, Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL), classical liberal Party of Free Citizens (SSO: one MEP Mr Mach), populist billionaire's ANO movement, social democracy (ČSSD), and the communist party (KSČM). Folks like Richard Sulík, a Slovak classical liberal, had the same opinion.
These MEPs were mocking the regulation, pointing out that it only constrains the good guys and not the bad guys, and said lots of jokes about Waterloo fought with wooden sticks, screaming Boom Boom (Mach, SSO). Mr Zahradil (ODS) thinks that it will be a tool for the EU regulators to homosexually rape law-abiding citizens while the terrorists will laugh. A terrorist will hardly buy the gun in a shop (Maštálka, KSČM). The EU should also ban axes, trucks, and machetes because terrorists use them (Richard Sulík). Well, RS should be careful about this witty recommendation, it could be the only proposal in the EU he has ever made that will be adopted.
Ms Dita Charanzová (ANO, and an important official in the ALDE liberal fraction) has proposed amendments. Despite her important position, the European Parliament didn't even bother to vote about those.
Ms Gabriela Koukalová, the world's top female biathlete
Mr Jiří Pospíšil (TOP 09), an MEP for TOP 09 and a former justice minister, pointed out that he was a gunless vegetarian (and homosexual) but he knows that the regulation will cause chaos and Czechia has to defend itself against this tyranny – and complain in the European Court of Justice. He mocks the fact that only the future prospective buyers will be affected. Can you imagine that e.g. Czech huntsmen would take the role of terrorists and committed a terrorist attack in downtown Prague, he asked?
Minister of defense and ex-actor (often a detective on TV) Mr Martin Stropnický (ANO) wants to prepare Czech laws that would circumvent the EU regulations and allow the people to keep their rifles etc. by institutionalizing some organizations (perhaps similar to those in Finland and Lithuania) whose members aren't considered full-blown civilians and are therefore exempted. ČSSD-led ministry of interior is working on a lawsuit and the minister released a statement praising the billionaire's ANO, their coalition partner, that they exceptionally didn't behave as traitors today (the campaign for the elections in the Fall is obviously on). ODS considers this regulation of law-abiding citizens unacceptable according to Ms Jana Černochová, too. She claims that ODS will root for defiance even if it means EU sanctions against Czechia.
Vice-premier Bělobrádek (Christian democrat), another holder of the gun license, thinks that the Czech laws are appropriate but points out that the EU regulation is sometimes excessively demonized and Czech interpreters often overlook some exceptions that the regulation allows – so this guy is the main lukewarmer. However, the huntsmen's association hopes that all of Czechia will get a national opt-out and they plan a Wenceslaus Square rally tomorrow to support Chovanec's constitutional amendment (which basically faded away due to the lukewarm approach of other ministers, but will be discussed in the Parliament).
Ms Vicky Ford, a stupid British would-be conservative woman, was behind the proposal and said some remarkable things during the discussion, e.g. that "people who claim that this regulation reduces people's freedom are spreading fake news". Oh, really? Surely you haven't passed any exams in mathematics or logic, have you, bitch?
Needless to say, the demilitarization policies are a highly sensitive issue in Czechia partly because of our 1938, 1939, and 1968 memories. When external powers make sure that Czechs don't have weapons and can't defend themselves, such a loss of sovereignty usually brings some highly undesirable political consequences.
Some simple weapons of the Hussites, the 15th century pro-reformation rebels. Words such as "pistol" and "howitzer" arose by modifications of the Hussites' names for some of their weapons.
The Netherlands according to David Černý's Entropa.
By the way, Turkish leader Erdogan wants a bed in a Dutch mental asylum. During his increasingly crazy exchanges with the Dutch, he has accused the Dutchmen of murdering thousands of folks in Bosnia, and he encourages the Turks in Holland to take over the low-lying country. Not bad. :-)