Wolfe Publishing Group

    From the Editor

    What a Difference a Day Makes

    The ad shown above was circulated in 1940, in the American Rifleman magazine, the official publication of the National Rifle Association. It was in response to Great Britain’s citizens gearing up to defend themselves against a perceived Nazi invasion. The British government, in its infinite wisdom, had seriously limited the private ownership of firearms. However, when invasion was imminent, the Brits went begging for firearms of any sort to help defend the country. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

    Just for the sake of discussion, let’s take the above ad and change the word “British” to “Ukrainian.” Now the ad is up-to-date and contemporary with the outrageous attack by Russia on Ukraine.

    Prior to the Russian invasion, it was possible to own firearms in Ukraine. However, a license issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs was required and each firearm had to be registered. Handguns were mainly illegal, except for the purpose of target shooting. Concealed carry permits were available, but only for those who could prove that a threat to life existed. Magazines were limited to 10 rounds or less and all firearms had to be kept unloaded and locked in a gun safe. These were only a few of the many restrictions on firearms ownership imposed on its citizens by the Ukrainian government.

    On February 23, 2022, following the Russian invasion, the Parliament declared a state of emergency and passed a law enabling an ordinary citizen to carry firearms outside of their home for the purpose of self-defense. On February 24, 2022, the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, “We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities.” By February 26, 2022, more than 25,000 automatic (not semi-automatic) rifles and 10 million rounds of ammunition had been handed out to civilians, according to the Ukrainian Defense Minister. This did not count the vast quantities of RPGs given to anyone who could present a valid ID card. Training in the use of military-style weapons, including RPGs, was organized and led by war veterans in many Ukrainian cities. Current photos taken of the conflict in Ukraine show civilians armed with a wide variety of weapons including .22 target rifles, World War I and World War II vintage-military rifles and machine guns, shotguns, pistols and even compressed air pellet rifles.

    One can only reflect upon how different history might have been had the Ukrainian government trusted its citizens with a much less restrictive firearms policies and provided for significant training in the use of firearms, especially in support of a civilian militia. Just possibly, realizing the cost of confronting a “well-regulated Militia,” Vladimir Putin might have entertained second thoughts about an invasion. It sure couldn’t have hurt the situation as far as Ukraine is concerned.

    It boggles the mind how much toxic hypocrisy festers in our own government concerning firearms policy, both at home and abroad. Unfortunately, there is enough time left under the current administration to make it worse. We can only hope that in our upcoming midterm elections, we can elect individuals to public office that recognize the value of the armed citizen who stands in support of, and is ready to defend his country and its government.

    “The Second Amendment; it’s not about duck hunting.”

    - Gut Ziel

    Wolfe Publishing Group