The U.s. Has More Guns, But Russia Has More Murders

A worker at the Grand Okhota sportsman gun shop in Moscow on April 23.

14, Putin even managed to get Assad to join the U.N. Convention on Chemical Weapons. Now Assad has to get rid of his chemical weaponry. If not, the U.S. is seeking a U.N. Security Council blessing to bomb some military installations to smithereens from air and sea. And on Saturday in Stockholm, Putins chief of staff Sergei Ivanov, said Russia could back peddle on their peace initiative if Assad drops the ball. I am talking theoretically and hypothetically here, but if we see any certainty that Assad is cheating, we could change our position, said Ivanov during the International Institute for Strategic Studies Global Strategic Review conference in Sweden this weekend. On Wednesday, Assad pledged to destroy his countrys chemical arsenal Ivanov said Russia would err on the side of caution, even if it was proven that Assad did indeed use chemical weapons in the Aug 22 attacks outside of Damascus. The U.N. did not say who was behind the attacks. I can imagine what the global community will do then, Ivanov said. Russia would take only diplomatic action what else can we do? Ivanov warned that the Syrian opposition would entirely lose interest in any future negotiations in the event of external military intervention, Ria Novosti news agency reported from Stockholm today. It will count on the U.S.

Russia: What It Means

That works out to about 9 guns per 100 people in Russia and closed to 100 guns per 100 people in America. The most recent homicide statistics for Russia show that there were 21,603 killings in 2009. A worker at the Grand Okhota sportsman gun shop in Moscow on April 23. Karpov Sergei/ITAR-TASS /Landov A worker at the Grand Okhota sportsman gun shop in Moscow on April 23. Karpov Sergei/ITAR-TASS /Landov According to the FBI, the United States had 13,636 homicides in 2009 with a population that is more than twice as large. More than 80 percent of those killings were gun-related. It’s difficult to make a direct comparison of gun homicides in the two countries because Russia doesn’t break down its murder statistics. Russian Gun Laws Russia has tough gun laws on the books. It’s illegal for Russian citizens to own automatic and semi-automatic guns. It’s possible to apply for a handgun or shotgun license, though citizens are required to provide reasons such as hunting or target shooting. Applicants face strict background checks, including criminal history, a full psychological evaluation and a medical exam. They must pass a test on firearm laws and safety.

Could Russia Side With U.S. On Syria War? has an excellent summary of the law. The following is an excerpt taken from author Innokenty Grekov’s analysis of the statute : Propaganda is the act of distributing information among minors that 1) is aimed at the creating nontraditional sexual attitudes, 2) makes nontraditional sexual relations attractive, 3) equates the social value of traditional and nontraditional sexual relations, or 4) creates an interest in nontraditional sexual relations. If you’re Russian. Individuals engaging in such propaganda can be fined 4,000 to 5,000 rubles (120-150 USD), public officials are subject to fines of 40,000 to 50,000 rubles (1,200-1,500 USD), and registered organizations can be either fined (800,000-1,000,000 rubles or 24,000-30,000 USD) or sanctioned to stop operations for 90 days. If you engage in the said propaganda in the media or on the internet, the sliding scale of fines shifts: for individuals, 50,000 to 100,000 rubles; for public officials, 100,000 to 200,000 rubles, and for organizations, from one million rubles or a 90-day suspension. If you’re an alien. Foreign citizens or stateless persons engaging in propaganda are subject to a fine of 4,000 to 5,000 rubles, or they can be deported from the Russian Federation and/or serve 15 days in jail. If a foreigner uses the media or the internet to engage in propaganda, the fines increase to 50,000-100,000 rubles or a 15-day detention with subsequent deportation from Russia. If you thought the wording was a little vague, Grekov agrees. Because the law is spelled out so broadly as to what counts as “propaganda,” literally anything that’s even the remotest positive or even neutral reference to homosexuality is suspect. It could be two women holding hands as much as it could be a debate on the relationship between Alexander the Great and Hephaestion. Paintings of Jupiter abducting Ganymede could be seen as corrupting. And don’t think for a second that foreigners are exempt. No matter whether you agree with it or not, a visitor is always subject to the laws of the country he or she is in, be it Russia or the United States.