Increased number of migrants in Germany has caused its citizens to fear for their own safety. Many crimes took place since the start of the migrant crisis. Those crimes include migrant-driven crime, rapes, assaults, stabbings, home invasions, robberies and burglaries.
German authorities, however, are going to great lengths to argue that the German citizenry’s sudden interest in self-defense has nothing whatsoever to do with mass migration into the country, despite ample evidence to the contrary.
The spike in violent crimes committed by migrants has been corroborated by a leaked confidential police report, which reveals that a record-breaking 38,000 asylum seekers were accused of committing crimes in the country in 2014. Analysts believe this figure — which works out to more than 100 crimes a day — is only a fragment: many crimes are not reported.
Germans, facing an influx of more than one million asylum seekers from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, are rushing to arm themselves.
All across Germany, a country with some of the most stringent gun-control laws in Europe, demand is skyrocketing for non-lethal self-defense weapons, including pepper sprays, gas pistols, flare guns, electroshock weapons and animal repellants. Germans are also applying for weapons permits in record numbers.
The scramble to acquire weapons comes amid a migrant-driven surge in violent crimes — including rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults — in cities and towns throughout the country.
Since Germany’s migration crisis exploded in August 2015, nationwide sales of pepper spray have jumped by 600%, according to the German newsmagazine, Focus. Supplies of the product are now completely sold out in many parts of the country and additional stocks will not become available until 2016. “Manufacturers and distributors say the huge influx of foreigners in recent weeks has apparently frightened many people,” Focusreports.
Wolfgang Mayer, the owner of a gun shop in Nördlingen, a town in Bavaria, said he has an explanation for the surge in gun licenses: “I think with the influx of refugees, the rise in break-ins and the many tricksters, the people are demanding greater protection.”
Mayer added that there is a growing sense within German society that the state cannot adequately protect its citizens and therefore they have to better protect themselves. “Since the summer, sales of pepper spray have increased by 50%,” Mayer said, adding that buyers are mainly women, of all ages — from the student in the city up to the widowed grandmother.
Pepper spray and other types of non-lethal self-defense weapons are legal in Germany, but a permit is required to carry and use some categories of them. Officials in all of Germany’s 16 federal states are reporting a spike in applications for such permits, known as the small weapons license (kleinen Waffenschein).
In the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, nearly 10,000 people now hold a small weapons license, an “all-time record level,”according to the regional interior ministry. Retailers in the state are also reporting an “unprecedented surge” in sales of self-defense weapons, with supplies of pepper spray sold out until the spring of 2016.
A woman in Gera who bought pepper spray for her 16-year-old daughter said:
“I think it is fundamentally proper for me to protect my daughter. She is at that age where she is out alone in the evening. If she says she needs this for protection, I think this is not unjustified. Of course, due to the current situation that we now have in Germany. We just do not know who is here. There are quite a lot of people who are not registered.”
Others deny that the rush to self-defense has anything to do with migrants at all. They blame a variety of different factors, including the early darkness associated with the end of daylight savings time, the jihadist attacks in Paris (which occurred in November, three months after sales of self-defense weapons began to spike), and the need for protection from wild wolves in parts of northern Germany.
Not surprisingly, a new poll shows that 55% of Germans are pessimistic about the future, up from 31% in 2014 and 28% in 2013. The poll shows that 42% of those between the ages of 14 and 34 believe their future will be bleak; this is more than double the number of those (19%) who felt this way in 2013. At the same time, 64% of those aged 55 and above are fearful about the future.
The poll also shows that four-fifths (79%) of the German population believe the economy will deteriorate in 2016 due to the financial burdens created by the migration crisis, and 70% believe that member states of the European Union will drift further apart in the coming year. The most predictable finding of all: 87% of Germans believe their politicians will experience a decline in public support during 2016.