Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- -There is a mass movement in France that is spreading around the world. The French government of President Macron is reeling. The protests have been successful in stopping implementation of a “green” tax on fuel. Police have been out in mass.
How many guns do the Yellow Vests have? They are probably not carrying any, by choice. They have plenty of guns available. The situation and tactics do not call for them.
The Small Arms Survey estimates how many guns are in private hands around the world. France has about 20 privately owned firearms per 100 people[compare that to 120 per person in the U.S.]. Of those, two thirds are unregistered and thus, illegal.
Hunting is popular in rural France. Target shooting and collecting account for about 4.5 million guns. Small Arms Survey lists 8.2 million guns as illegally owned. Many of those are guns that were squirreled away from the wars that have swept over France during the last century. The vast majority of guns in France are in the hands of the population represented by the Yellow Vests, which is to say, the middle class, and especially the middle class outside of Paris.
In democracies, such as France, governments are swept aside long before the stage of armed revolt. The government of President Macron is already teetering, and not a single shot has been fired by the Yellow Vests. The President of the Philippines, Marcos, was swept aside without an armed revolution, in 1986. Even the Soviet Union was swept away without an armed revolt, in 1989-91.
There is always the potential for a democracy to be taken over by totalitarian thugs. Venezuela is a case in point. The Venezuela government has been able to purge the military and buy their loyalty with reliable food and money. In general, in democracies, there does not appear to be sufficient separation of the military from the population to create the requirements for armed revolt.
All other democracies seem far from Venezuela at this time.
Where privately owned guns shine is in restoring local order when government order fails. It is part of the premise of the Second Amendment in the United States Constitution.
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
As we have seen, over and over again, in national disasters in the United States, armed local militias spontaneously create themselves to fill the gap and restore order when government fails.
It works particularly well in the United States because of a long history of self government and self organization.
Civil government is not about to fail in France. Police unions have been reported as considering supporting the Yellow Vests. The Macron government has responded by passing a pay increase for police. Separate the police and the military from the people enough, and you set up the potential for armed revolt. It will not happen in France for a considerable period, if it ever does.
If massive, obvious, repression happens in France, those 8 million illegally owned guns will come into play.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.