In a period of heightened tension over terrorism and EU-sanctioned mass immigration into Europe, the Czech government has passed legislation that would give its citizens the right to bear arms.
The first stage of the bill was agreed by 139 deputies in the country’s lower parliament earlier this year, receiving just 9 votes against. It proclaims that “citizens of the Czech Republic have the right to acquire, retain and bear arms and ammunition,” but they will still need to obtain a weapons certificate.
If approved by the Czech Senate, the right to keep and bear arms could be written into the country’s Constitution by 2018.
Interior Minister Milan Chovanec revealed that the right to bear arms bill was a direct challenge to the EU Firearms Directive, which restricts gun owner rights and prohibits semi-automatic weapons. “We do not want to disarm our own people at a time when the security situation is constantly worsening,” he said.
The situation he is referring to spike in crime and violence with the influx of “refugees.” It has triggered a huge backlash against intake quotas set by the European Union, which many Eastern Europeans regard as a German-dominated organization. Last May, U.K. Secretary of State and pro-Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson described the E.U. as an attempt to create a Nazi-style unified superstate through alternative means.
The migrant quotas have caused a rise in support for populist, anti-mass migration parties across Europe. Most of which take a tough stance on border security, terrorism and Islamic ideology. There has also been a surge in nationalism and increased border security across Eastern Europe, the former Soviet block countries. Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban describing EU migration policy as a “Trojan wooden horse” of terrorism.
Former Czech Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Andrej Babiš said: “We have to fight for what our ancestors built here. If there will be more Muslims than Belgians in Brussels, that’s their problem. I don’t want that here. They won’t be telling us who should live here.”
President Donald Trump has also gained widespread support from the Eastern EU member states, including Prime Minister Orban and Mr. Babiš. The President and First Lady Melania were warmly received in Poland in July. President Trump gave a speech calling upon citizens to defend their civilization from the threat of oppressive Islamic ideology.
An excerpt from Trump’s speech in Warsaw:
“And so I am here today not just to visit an old ally, but to hold it up as an example for others who seek freedom and who wish to summon the courage and the will to defend our civilization. The story of Poland is the story of a people who have never lost hope, who have never been broken, and who have never, ever forgotten who they are.
This continent no longer confronts the specter of communism. But today we’re in the West, and we have to say there are dire threats to our security and to our way of life. You see what’s happening out there. They are threats. We will confront them. We will win. But they are threats.
We are confronted by another oppressive ideology — one that seeks to export terrorism and extremism all around the globe. America and Europe have suffered one terror attack after another. We’re going to get it to stop.
We must stand united against these shared enemies to strip them of their territory and their funding, and their networks, and any form of ideological support that they may have. While we will always welcome new citizens who share our values and love our people, our borders will always be closed to terrorism and extremism of any kind.
We are fighting hard against radical Islamic terrorism, and we will prevail. We cannot accept those who reject our values and who use hatred to justify violence against the innocent.”
The move by the Czech Republic towards a right to bear arms for its citizens takes place as governments in Western Europe continue to erode their own citizens’ rights.
Last week, The Times newspaper published statistics revealing that British police are currently arresting 9 people per day for posting supposedly “offensive messages” on social media.
Earlier this month, UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd outlined a national police unit devoted to prosecuting citizens for posting “hateful material” online. She also proposed jail sentences of up to 15 years for anyone who views not only “terrorist content”, but also “far-right propaganda”. News outlets and prominent critics of mass immigration and Islamic ideology, including Breitbart, Nigel Farage, Steve Bannon, and President Donald Trump, have all been described as “far right” by mainstream media.
In Germany, Angela Merkel’s government passed a “social media hate speech law”, which forces platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to remove hate speech postings within 24 hours. The NetzDG (Enforcement on Social Networks) bill allows the government to fine social media companies up to €50 million (USD $58m) if they fail to comply.
In most countries, the legal definition of “hate speech” is open to interpretation. In Austria, 77-year-old pro-firearm rights campaigner Dr. Georg Zakrajsek was jailed for 5 months earlier this year for claiming that Islam had declared war on the Western world. Last year, Geert Wilders, was found guilty of hate speech for saying that he wanted fewer Moroccan immigrants to come to the Netherlands, because of the disproportionately high crime rate among that demographic.
Many more such clampdowns on free speech, particularly criticisms of migration policy and Islam, have occurred across the European continent recently. The massive surge in terrorism, gang rape and petty crime means that other Eastern European countries are likely to follow the Czech Republic’s example and take measures to secure the right to bear arm for their citizens.