The mass shooting in Newtown, Ct., sparked calls for stricter gun control laws in the U.S., while a fledgling gun lobby in Moscow drew a different lesson: Gun laws in Russia should be liberalized, The Atlantic reports. The National Rifle Association waited four days before issuing a public statement on Newtown. The Moscow-based Right To Bear Arms made its voice heard within hours, calling on its website for increased access to weapons.
“In this shooting six teachers died, six people who could literally use only their hands to defend children,” said Maria Butina, the organization’s 24-year old founder. “The murderer planned this knowing that no one would be armed.” Boosted by a surge of civic activism and a stream of violence that has kept guns in the news, leaders of Russia’s gun movement, which was virtually nonexistent a year ago, say all they have to do now is convince Russians themselves of the value of greater access to guns. At a Dec. 1 rally, U.S. country music legend Johnny Cash’s “Don’t Take Your Guns To Town” blared over a Moscow square, where about 80 people gathered as part of a series of rallies organized around the country to support gun rights in Russia.