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Right to Have Arms in the Country of Lawlessness

Right to Have Arms in the Country of Lawlessness
Stas N. 25.08.2010

Speaking about self-defense weapon we mean that with its help law-abiding citizen will give adequate answer to the criminal. For example, at attempt to plunder apartment or a summer residence. In such situation it's possible to attack using long barreled, smooth-bore gun which citizen possesses on the lawful bases. In the light of periodically arising debate about sale of short barreled rifle gun of self-defense the following question appears: what could be done in the street where law-abiding citizen is almost unarmed?

The deputy of the State Duma G.V.Gudkov gives answer to this question in one of the programs on Central TV-channel: "For today citizens have wide spectrum of weapon of self-defense including guns of firing rubber bullets".

One could only envy optimism of the deputy. However, we got rather sad impression after visiting of the Moscow weapon shops to look at "wide spectrum of weapon of self-defense". Electric shockers and gas balloons is difficult to carry to the category of weapon. From the point of view of common sense these are self-defense means. The only weapon which remains is permitted by legislator "complex OSA - fire tubeless weapon of domestic production with bullets of traumatic, gas and sound-and-light influence" as well as guns and revolvers firing spherical rubber bullets - "Makarov", "Nagant" and so on certificated for sale as "gas weapon with possibility of firing rubber bullets".

There's no sense to discuss characteristics of these products so far as they are in details described on pages of weapon magazines. Let's imagine - tomorrow amendments to the Law "About Weapon" come into force, they allow law-abiding citizens having license get and bear short barreled rifle gun of self-defense (pistols and revolvers). What will it change? I think nothing.


It is not enough to permit bearing of short barreled gun, it is not enough to write good laws, it is necessary that these laws worked in practice - efficiency of laws in force is defined by their law enforcement. Fire-arms, as it is known, kill, it was created for that purpose. At self-defense from the danger of death assaulter should be killed. I underline - not stopped but killed. Otherwise, the one who protects himself will die. There's no happy medium. It is sad but it's a fact.


Responsibility comes after application. It's useless simply to disappear from a scene - each unit of short barreled rifle gun passes control shooting before going on sale and it's just a matter of time to find the one who shoots. Differently speaking, the owner is adhered to his private gun. But law enforcement today protects crime. All criminal cases on self-defense with application of fire-arms by the way got on the lawful bases come to an end in court of the first instance with guilty verdict.

The majority with few exceptions who gave armed rebuff to the criminals are imprisoned or have conditional term, i.e. previous conviction. With all that it implies: end of career, impossibility to continue working or to receive new work, to create family, etc. In essence, a person who gave armed rebuff to the criminal is beaten out from habitual life. Moreover, all cases are alike as twins - it is possible to write under carbon paper. It suits all.

First of all, it is good for militia: there's no need to investigate anything, there's no "cold case". There's complete set - there's a shooter (the defending party). The weapon. The corpse. Nobody cares for the rest. Next "check mark" is earned and official report about detection of grave crime without delay goes to the tops.


Secondly, it is good for court: there's no need in hearing the case. Case is on the table, everything's written in it. No one is interested in what has happened in reality. Prison term is appointed, case is closed. The number of "not guilty" verdicts in such cases after hearing in courts of the first instance doesn't reach even 1%. One judge after announcement of guilty verdict confessed: "I can't pronounce not guilty verdict many reasons including that I would be wrongly understood: shoot and you will be justified".


So, it means that "not guilty" verdict is a catastrophe of universal scale. Why? It is other story. Legalization of short barreled weapon as such in isolation from legislative base, legal proceedings together with law enforcement practice and acting law-enforcement system will solve nothing.


Why supporters of legalization of short barreled weapon because of the desire to have a gun in the pocket don't want to recognize: legal and criminal lawlessness in which we live will pull fire lawlessness behind itself. "As necessary defense is not only lawful but also socially useful act, the law should be on the side of the one who defends himself and not on the side of the criminal". (Comments to the Criminal Code of Russian Federation art. 37 "Necessary Defense")


It turns out that guilty verdicts are being brought in for "socially useful acts". Total absence of logic. Problem with inspectors, problem with judges. Professionals left or make units. Professionalism of those who remain leaves much to be desired. If to put it mildly. I do not want "to throw address stones" but if someone ever faced local inspector or investigator from remote regions? If no, thanks God.


Now taking into consideration low solvency of the population we have a question: where one should take money for the competent lawyer? The answer "sink or swim" is not suitable here because as I have already told "... ... ... necessary defense is not only lawful but also socially useful act ... ..." and intervention of the State for protection of citizen who used weapon is its - of the State - direct duty. By estimations of lawyers, according to the different estimations, about 15% could allow to have such lawyer. This percentage is even less, if the case is difficult and will have to pass all instances up to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation.


With legalization of short barreled weapon the number of prisoners at such law enforcement will strongly increase. It will become easier to put into prison - as citizens will start to defends themselves actively. Criminal conditions in the streets will lead to it. The shaft of cases connected with self-defense will fall upon inspectors and investigators. If they don't want to investigate them now, why do you think they would starts? Certain stereotype of conducting of cases connected with self-defensive will appear. Such cases which number will sharply increase will simply stamped or to be played up to this stamp. It's more convenient to do like this. And, the main thing, it's easier.

For example, though notorious, nevertheless the most widespread situation: car owners citizens A and B. don't divide a driveway. Little by little business ends in a fight, citizen B gets a gun and shoots at citizen A. As a result to arrival of ambulance citizen A is already dead. Well-being of citizen B allows to invite "right lawyer" for protection and to use personal contacts. If it is not enough, to invite the second lawyer. I hope there's no need to explain what "right lawyer" means. Further, as a result of efforts of "right lawyer" either at the stage of preliminary investigation or during proceeding (if case reaches court) unexpectedly is found out that citizen A during the fight got a subject similar to a gun out of the pocket. Citizen B, having considered that it was a weapon and that thus there was direct danger to his life and health, applied self-defense fire-arms which he had on the lawful bases. Who will check, whether citizen A really had something similar to gun in his hand? If he really had, where is it? I will risk to assume that nobody will check. At worst citizen B will receive a year or two, conditionally. In the best, he will be justified.


For one side all ended more or less well. For the opposite side - it's a tragedy. Someone would say I am exaggerating. Probably yes, I am exaggerating. But in general, probably, it really will be as I say. Everyone can find out oneself on a place of citizen A. Other problem - drunken driver. Cases of detention of drivers in condition of narcotic intoxication becomes frequent. According to traffic police, about hundred drivers in the state of intoxication are being detained every day in Moscow. What about the number of those who are not revealed? As you know, there are seven days in a week. As a result of simple arithmetic action we have 700 people or a bit less. How many of them will have fire-arms could be only guessed. What will this unfortunate driver imagine, whom will he shoot and what will be bases for it - is not known even to the Supreme Being.

That's why I want to ask question to all adherents of legalization of short barreled rifle guns of self-defense: if it's possible to permit the sale of such weapon in the country of not working laws? I want that the answer will be fair, at least the answer given to oneself.  


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