same signature” as the World Trade Centerrnbombing. Indeed, they do.rnI concKide with the words of a veteranrnpolihcal observer, John Keegan (defenserneditor of tlie Daily Telegraph, writing inrnthat newspaper on September 14):rnThere are two reasons why PresidentrnPutin might help. The first isrnthat Russia is also plagued by thernmenace of Islamic terrorism that,rnin Chechnya, has inflicted humiliationrnon the successor to the oncegreatrnSoviet army. The second isrnthat lending assistance to NATOrnmight persuade the alliance to admitrnRussia to membership.rnThere is, perhaps, not much differencernbetween what I say here and whatrnKeegan says in his article—except that Irnrealize that the developments he anhcipatesrnspell the end of freedom in Europe,rnand he does not. Keegan believes thatrnRussia’s help is a hopeful sign, invaluablernto the West in its plight, while 1 believernthat it marks Russia’s triumphant returnrnto Stalin’s dream of totalitarian hegemonyrnof Eurasia.rnBut what would people have said to arnwriter who, a few days after Pearl Harbor,rnwrote an article warning the West againstrnan alliance with Stalin?rnAndrei Navrozov is Chronicles’rnEuropean correspondent.rnGianni,rnGet Your Gunrnby David Kopel and Carlo StagnarornOne of the most important reasonsrnfor the sweeping victory of SilviornBerlusconi and his House of I_,iberty inrnthe recent Italian elecHon was concernrnfor public safety, which ranks as the number-rnone issue on the minds of voters, accordingrnto some polls. Berlusconirnpromised to do whatever was necessary tornmake people feel safer, and his platformrnaffirmed thatrnSafety of the people, preservation ofrntheir security and protection ofrntheir goods, is the basis of the contractrnbetween citizenry and institutions,rnwithout whom the governmentrnloses its historical and moralrnlegitimacy.rnPublic safety is leading some Italians tornrediscover the virtue of people’s ability tornprotect themselves.rnAn online poll conducted by Publiwebrn(a major Italian web portal) asked,rn”Is it legitimate to defend one’s propertyrnwith guns?” Fifty-nine percent said “si,”rnwhile 36 percent would allow the use ofrnfirearms only in an extreme emergency.rnA mere three percent categorically rejectedrnthe use of firearms for the defense ofrnproperty.rnItalian cifizens do not enjoy a constihitiorialrnright to bear arms, and, unlike inrnthe Commonwealth countries, there isrnno common-law tradition, either. Purchasernof a firearm requires a police licensernand registrafion. As of 1996, therernwere 757,240 people licensed to possessrnshotguns for hunfing purposes.rnHandgun permits are much harder tornobtain. Usually, permits are granted tornthose whom the government decidesrnhave a “need” to carry firearms for self-defense,rnsuch as jewelers or others who carryrnvaluables for business purposes. Thesernlicenses have declined from 42,396 inrn1996 to 31,850 in 1998.rnDr. Paolo Tagini, assistant editor of therngim monthly Arm; Magazine {web.tiscalinet.rnit/armimagazine) explains the complexityrnof Italian laws:rnThere are . . . fifty Italian gun-controlrnlaws, which have been passedrnover the last sixty years; such a “legalrnstrafificafion” has made possiblernthe introduction of ever stiicterrnlaws, that have often failed in protectingrnhonest citizens. The Italianrnsystem doesn’t work with regard tornthe illegal import of guns (especiallyrnfrom the Adriatic Sea); on thernother hand, honest citizens oftenrnmust suffer useless torments whosernnever-stated goal is to move themrnaway from guns.rnItaly has a thriving illegal import/exportrntrade in firearms, especially with Albaniarnand the rest of the Balkans.rnActual use of a firearm for protectionrnoften leads to criminal prosecution. Inrnone case in southern Italy, a man was relaxingrnon his terrace when a gang startedrnshooting in his direction. He returnedrnfire and shot a 15-year-old gangster. Thernman was criminally prosecuted for injuringrnthe gangster, under the theory that hernshould have taken shelter behind a parapetrnrather than firing back.rnIn Brescia, a man had been robbedrnthree times. One night, he heard suspiciousrnnoises from the courtyard. Hernlooked out the window and saw a gangrntrying to jimmy his door. He took out hisrngun and fired, killing one. He is beingrnprosecuted for intentional homicide.rnA hunter kept his gun in an armoredrncabinet, as the law requires. One day, hisrnson stole it and used it to shoot anotherrnadolescent. The himter was prosecutedrnfor failing to store his weapon safely.rnThe media are worried about risingrnItalian sentiment in favor of self-defense.rnAs noted columnist Corrado Augiasrnwrote in the liberal daily La Repubblica:rnWliat would be the result if everyonerncarried guns? The Far Westrnor, if you prefer a nearer and onlyrnapparently more gracefiil picture,rnRomeo and Juliet’s Verona. It tookrncenturies to limit the right to selfdefense;rnI don’t think we should gornback.rnIn the hardcore communist daily IIrnManifesto, Massimo Carlotto deploredrnthose who believe in “the necessity ofrnself-defense. . . . The time has come tornunderstand and seriously monitor thernphenomenon, with the goal to restrict therngun trade.” His view is typical amongrngun-control supporters, for whom anyrnsystem short of total prohibition is seen asrnfiill of loopholes.rnModern Italian gun-control laws daternfrom the Fascist period; the Public SafetyrnAct was passed in 1931 as one of a seriesrnof measures designed to put an end tornleftist violence. Addressing the ItalianrnSenate, Benito Mussolini explained:rnThe measures adopted to restorernpublic order are: First of all, thernelimination of the so-called subversivernelements…. They were elementsrnof disorder and subversion.rnOn the morrow of each conflict Irngave the categorical order to confiscaternthe largest possible number ofrnweapons of every sort and kind.rnThis confiscation, which continuesrnwith the utmost energy, has givenrnsatisfactory results.rnYet after the fall of the Fascist regime,rnthe gun-control law remained and wasrnDECEMBER 2001/53rnrnrn