Czech president Miloš Zeman has said Europeans should “have the courage to invest in our own guns” in order to guard against international terrorism, like millions of U.S. citizens have.
The elder statesman — a veteran of the Prague Spring uprising against the old Communist regime as well as the Velvet Revolution which finally brought it down — made his comments in an address to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, an intergovernmental forum which predates the quasi-federal European Union by several years.
“The level of international crime is growing because of Islamic terrorism,” he said, in response to a question from an Armenian politician.
“I am open and frank, and I do not use the phrase ‘Islamic terrorism’ lightly but, in the overwhelming majority of cases, it has Islamic origin. It is connected with genocide in Armenia.”
President Zeman added: “What can we do against international criminality? Invest in the police, invest in the army, and have the courage to invest in our own guns.
“My wife has a pistol. Of course, she passed all necessary tests, but now I am guarded by my wife, and not only by bodyguards,” he smiled.
“The Second Amendment to the American constitution says that everybody has the right to have a weapon — of course they must fulfil the necessary conditions and tests.
“We Europeans are a little more careful than the Americans, but after Barcelona and many assassinations, I think that the difference between Europeans and Americans is not so great.”