Weapons in Western Europe
In Europe, weapons, except hunting and sporting guns, are reserved to security professionals. There is great variability from one country to another, England very restrictive, France a little less. However, there is an absolute rule (with the exception of Switzerland) weapons of war, assault rifles remain in armories of the army or police. It is still possible in Europe to buy an AK47 (Kalashnikov) or other weapon of war on the black market. Should you own one, hope that the police does not find you in possession of this type of weapon.
What is true for weapons of war is also true for handguns even if, for the latter, it is always possible to officially apply for an authorization. This authorization will be limited in time and will not be obtained without a thorough investigation.
Weapons in the USA
The good kitchen marks the French society, the arms represent to the US a fact of society.
If the US is the worst polluter of the earth, American citizens, regardless of origin or race, have, more often than not, an eco-friendly behavior. But it should be repeated, if American citizens are polluters at the collective level, they are respectful on a personal level. Without making a judgment on utility, cruelty, or poetry of hunting or fishing, hunting or fishing imposes, at the same time, a proximity of the individual with nature combined to a deep familiarity with the fishing equipment or the gun.
Distribution of weapons in the world
The following link shows the distribution of weapons per group of 100 people. The US has more than one weapon per capita and if we exclude the Falkland Islands. The second country in the ranking is Yemen, a country traditionally at war for several centuries. Yemen still has half less number of guns per capita than the USA. France and Germany fall into the thirtieth ranking with less than 20 weapons per 100 inhabitants. And for these two countries, hunting weapons, mainly double-shot guns, represent the vast majority of weapons.
In Europe, the right to hunt was reserved for nobles. In France, during the night of August 4, 1789, the feudal privileges were abolished. The right to hunt was granted to all. Who says hunting, says hunting rifle. Access to this type of weapon has been widely open. Today access to this type of weapon remains subject to an authorization, easy to obtain but still to be authorized.
In the USA, during the first years of the Republic, from the time the colonies of the Americas declared themselves independent, the military weakness of the federal state as well as that of the states composing the federation, required to find original solutions to protect themselves from an English counter-offensive or a rogue military coup. The original solution was to legalize militias populated by self armed citizens. For this purpose the constitution of 1776 was amended (Amendment) a second time. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of expression and religion, the Second Amendment paves the way for the constitution of autonomous armed militias to defend the hard-won freedoms.
The Second Amendment
The text of the Second Amendment as voted is as follows:
A well-organized militia is necessary for the security of a free State,
the right of the people to detain and carry weapons will not be violated.
This amendment is composed of two parts, the first declares an absolute necessity of the moment, ie protect the newly gained freedom, the second gives the means to the realization of this absolute necessity.
Today, when Americans in favor of unregulated arms possession refer to this amendment they make two mistakes.
The first is to refuse a hermeneutical reading, that is to read the text with understanding the political and military situation at the time of its adoption.
The second and certainly most serious mistake is to ignore the first part of the text that refers to the formation of defense militias that could not exist without the second part, the free possession of weapons.
The understanding of this text imposes that the individual freedom of possession of a weapon makes sense only if this possession fits into a militia of defense of freedoms. Today the mechanisms of protection of the superstructures of the state exist, are credible and are submitted to the Constitution. Therefore militias are not needed anymore. Today militias present more risks than advantages for the Democracy. On many occasions armed militias have tried to create islands of lawlessness or even of cession. What happened in Wako Texas is a perfect example of a deviant practice of the Second Amendment.
Today, August 2019, it seems that the shootings in Texas and Ohio are initiating a change of attitude towards war guns. It took a massive shooting in New Zealand to drastically change the law and prohibit semi automatic rifles, Canada followed this path some years ago. In both cases Democracy was not endangered, neither was individual freedom. It will take years and political courage to normalize this unacceptable situation, but it seems that a change is now possible.
And if real world stats do not frighten you, the following link will help.
By doing your home work, you avoid swallowing the usal NRA BullShit.