Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Unlike Americans, Russians do not need to own guns

Russians do not want to own traumatic weapons. Most Russians believe that traumatic guns do more harm than good to its owners, a recent study said. Residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg have a greater desire to protect their lives with guns, rather than residents of smaller towns, who do not have a habit of taking guns along when going out.

VTsIOM, a Russian public opinion research center, conducted a research on one of the most controversial issues of recent times - traumatic weapons. Indeed, over the past year, the number of incidents involving the use of rubber bullets has been growing steadily. According to polls, four out of every five of those surveyed do not think that people need to possess traumatic weapons in Russia.

Also read: Americans, never give up your guns

The survey was held mostly among residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg, aged from 18 to 24. Seventy-eight percent of respondents have no desire to either acquire or carry traumatic weapons. Residents of regional cities are much less worried about their safety than those living in villages or smaller towns. As for the age category, the desire to carry such weapons manifests most in young and retirement age. Middle-aged people are less willing to deal with any kind of weapon.

The opinion of the general public on the subject of traumatic weapons does not need to be studied much. It all can be seen with a naked eye. After shootings at weddings, people became seriously concerned about the topic of possession of guns. Russian deputies, in turn, began to make laws and amendments that relate to the use of traumatic guns. For example, Russia's Code of Administrative Offences had to be changed. Article 20 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation in the new edition runs as follows: "Shooting in designated areas in violation of rules or in non-designated areas." Thus, the fines for shooting at weddings became more expensive. The article provides for a fine of 40 to 50 thousand rubles ($1,700), if a shooter decided to use their weapons in populated areas alone, or up to 100 thousand rubles ($3,400), if it is a group of people that opened fire.

The move affected the interests of those, for whom weapons serve as a hobby in the first place. A huge number of fans of shooting, who enjoy spending some of their time in specialized shooting ranges, wonder, if the Russian government is indeed going to deprive them of their hobby because of "shooting weddings."

"The laws that have been taken are contrary to the interests of those who would never open indiscriminate fire on the street," member of a shooting club Alexey Nikiforov said. "For us, weapons mean not only self-defense and the right for safety, but also a hobby. And now they try to ban or restrict the use of arms and the rights to receive them. They use one argument for this: do you remember Vinogradov, who shot his colleagues, or have you heard about those weddings, when guests fire their guns in downtown Moscow? I remember, I've heard, but I do not see how it could relate to me personally? We are being told: if Russians are given weapons, then they shoot each other. I want to say one thing to this: do you know how many guns are owned in Russia legally and illegally? The number is huge, but no one shoots anyone. A lot more people are killed in car accidents - does it mean that we have to ban cars?"

Advocates of the right to possess arms believe that Russia has no culture of handling guns or rifles. Dozens of people die in the country every year just because they ignore safety rules in handling weapons.

Anton Frolov


Read the original in Russian


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