Why I'll never care about Europe's opinions on gun control
The common tropes of why gun control schemes from other countries would not work in the US are not invalid. There's simply too much area, too many people, too many guns, too much cultural significance, too many legal hurdles, and not enough money or door kickers to implement effective buy "backs" or confiscation. However, there's another serious problem that very few people recognize: the peace, stability, and relative respect of human rights in basically every western allied nation is upheld by the United States.
Europe is the strongest example of this. Quite simply, the last eighty years of peace in western Europe is not historically normal. We paid for it. We paid for it in military bases across NATO countries to maintain stability, which those countries gladly accepted after the horrors of World War 2 and facing the threats of the Cold War. This not only kept the Soviets from deploying tanks across Europe, it kept those nations from going to war with each other. Of course, the USSR was maintaining their own bases on the other side of the iron curtain, posturing against the west and keeping eastern countries in a state of cooperation - but not with a stellar record of respecting human rights. But then, their people didn't have the means to force their will on the government instead of the other way around, did they?
Furthermore, it was our Navy that deployed and maintained a global force, something no other country has even attempted to match, to clear shipping lanes of pirates and privateers for an historically unprecedented global trade network. Of course, we were really only offering direct protection for countries that denounced communism, but hey, it worked- and the proof is in the dropping worldwide rate of poverty related preventable death, such as exposure and starvation, decade over decade.
Continued in comment:
Now, I'm not going to sit here and defend globalism or our military posturing as it stands post- cold war. But between the security and economic benefits we offer to the world, it is undeniable that it is in the best interest of western allied governments to remain mostly benevolent toward their people. For instance, if Canada were to suddenly decide that they were going to round up and prosecute a certain class of people, it would be the United States that would spearhead a worldwide response - global shipping to and from Canada would begin to restrict, and in the worst case scenario, military action would be employed. Of course, this example is deliberately ridiculous, but it remains less ridiculous to think that Canada would establish the next Auschwitz than it is to think that we would do nothing about it. There is a very clear carrot (free trade and prosperity) and stick (military action) that keeps western allied governments mostly benevolent.
So, how do we trust the American government to remain mostly benevolent, if it is maintaining the foundation of the peace, prosperity, and approximation of freedom that most of the western world takes for granted? Because I think we can agree that the US government is not worthy of our trust. Simple: a government must respect their people's vote if there exists the means to dismantle that government with force. If a government cannot be held to account with violence, it has no long term reason to not run roughshod over its people. The United States government usually remains in line, because it is afraid of its people. Anyone who tells you otherwise didn't learn any lessons of fighting insurgent forces in Vietnam or Afghanistan. And if there's any government employee who isn't afraid of pissing off American gun owners, it's because they're too goddamn stupid to make a living in the private sector.
To recap, there is a clear chain of accountability that forms a critical cornerstone for world power, stability, and economics: civilians in most countries live at ease because their governments remain mostly benevolent. Those governments would largely devolve into dictatorship, war, and genocide without American military presence and security in global trade networks, as they did for most of their histories. And the American government remains accountable to its people, because Americans reserve the right to revoke their privilege to govern by force.
I believe, wholeheartedly, that if this chain breaks the world will experience unimaginable consequences.