Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel received a rockstar reception at her conservative party CDU’s annual convention in Karlsruhe. Merkel received a nine-minute-long standing ovation from the party delegates for a speech in which she refused to put a fixed limit on migrant intake. Germany is expecting to take as many as 1.5 million migrant this year. With each migrant expected to bring 4-8 family member in the short-term, the real number for 2015 alone could be well over 7 million.

However, some odd 30 party delegates dared to question Merkel’s stand on mass migration — out of roughly 3000 attending delegates. That’s 99 percent approval by the party cadre for Merkel’s open border policy. Even Stalin-era purges didn’t East-German dictators that level of support. The British newspaper Independent reports:

[I]n her keynote address to more than 3,000 Christian Democrat (CDU) delegates at a party congress in Karlsruhe, Ms Merkel effectively threw down the gauntlet to the rest of Europe and insisted that it share the burden in helping to solve the problem.

“We face the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War,” she told the party faithful. Appealing to other EU members for help she called for solidarity, saying that Europe faced a “historic test” and insisting: “The fight for a unified Europe is worthwhile – of that I am deeply convinced.”

Ms Merkel conceded that overcoming the problems facing Germany, which has accepted over a million migrants in 2015 alone, amounted to a “giant task”.

But the Chancellor flatly refused to accept demands from within her own ranks to set an “upper limit” on the migrant influx, or for the installation of Berlin Wall-style fortifications and controls on Germany’s borders.

If Merkel is putting up a brave face and telling other European countries to follow Germany’s example and open their borders to migrant influx as well, many Germans at home are in panic mode. Across Germany the sale of firearms is reaching an all time high. Not only guns and firearms, even self-defense products like pepper spray are difficult to get on the open market, as the demand for the product rose by almost 600 percent in just last two months. According to German magazine Focus, stores are asking customers to wait upto 5 weeks for the delivery of pepper spray. In neighbouring Austria, 70,000 more firearms were sold over the last years figures.

European political class and bureaucrats in Brussels are watching this new trend with great unease. European Commission which had long been talking about restricting gun ownership in Europe, is now openly pushing for a new gun control law:

A [European] Commission statement released on November 18 , five days after the [Paris] attacks, said the plans to reform Europe’s gun laws would be “significantly accelerated in light of recent events.”

As well as the expanded gun register, the measures included a ban on certain semi-automatic firearms, tighter rules for the online acquisition of guns, as well as standardized EU criteria for marking guns and decommissioning starter pistols, to make it difficult to convert them into functioning weapons.

“Today’s proposal … will help us tackle the threat of weapons falling into the hands of terrorists,” said Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in November. “We are proposing stricter controls on sale and registration of firearms, and stronger rules to irrevocably deactivate weapons. We will also come forward with an Action Plan in the near future to tackle illicit arms trafficking. Organized criminals accessing and trading military-grade firearms in Europe cannot and will not be tolerated.” [Deutsche Welle, December 21, 2016]

There is rising discontent over the  EU measures. An online petition against the proposed EU gun law has managed to get over 280,000 signatures to date. The statement in the petition called the EU draft proposal aimed at regulating law-abiding gun owners as an “an insult to our civil liberties and to the intelligence of the EU citizens as a whole.”

Germany under Merkel’s leadership has long surrendered its migration policy to people smugglers, criminal gangs and islamist radicals. As government and law enforcement authorities act helpless in face mass migration, there is rise in support for grassroots movements like the anti-Islamization group PEGIDA and anti-EU party AfD (Alternative for Germany).

Established political parties have failed to put a lid on this growing dissent in Germany and are now fearful of a backlash. Despite having the most restrictive gun ownership laws in Europe, Germany with its 5.8 million firearms still remains the one of the most heavily armed countries in Europe.

Video: Merkel speaking at CDU Party convention on December 14, 2015; refuses again to put a fixed limit on migrant influx

(Cover image courtesy ARD, German broadcaster)