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That said, the underlying point of all of this evidence of extremely well-armed scofflaws around the world is this: the scofflaws’ motivations don’t matter; agreement with their reasoning doesn’t matter; sharing or even respecting their values is entirely irrelevant. All that matters is that, from one country to the next, across barriers of language and culture, government officials in even the most benign, stable democracies that have attempted to disarm their subjects, or to limit the weapons available for legal ownership, or even to do no more than track gun owners and register guns, have run into overwhelming resistance. Mass defiance has crippled registration programs, hobbled confiscations schemes and made a mockery of licensing programs.
Given a choice between complying with restrictions on firearms ownership and defying the law, a clear majority of people in most jurisdictions have chosen rebellion. The tighter the law, the more obvious the rebellion, to the point that the vast majority of firearms in civilian hands in Europe are owned outside the law.
If history is any judge, that’s probably a good thing. But even if you don’t agree, this is a world in which civilians are well-armed, and intent on staying that way.