"Outlaw arms and you arm outlaws"


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iapetus
February 19, 2006, 01:56 PM
UK: An opinion piece in the Sunday Telegraph today:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/02/19/dl1902.xml&sSheet=/opinion/2006/02/19/ixopinion.html


Outlaw arms and you arm outlaws
(Filed: 19/02/2006)

Strangely enough, no one seems to feel any safer. When the laws on gun ownership were tightened after the Dunblane tragedy in 1996, we kept being told that the whole idea was to prevent such things happening again.



How meaningless those assurances must seem to the family of Rachael Bown, the conscientious police officer whose first words, after being shot by a gangster in -Nottingham last week, were of self-reproach: "I've let everyone down and I didn't get him."

When the Firearms Bill was passing through Parliament, the Sunday Telegraph was a lonely voice railing against the proposed restrictions. A ban, we argued, would have done nothing to prevent the atrocity.

We protested that proscribing guns would affect peaceable citizens, not villains. Indeed, its main effect would be to ensure that criminals came to enjoy a monopoly of firepower.

In the aftermath of the massacre, no one was much minded to listen. Tony Blair made a disgraceful speech, telling Labour activists that opponents of a total ban on pistols somehow cared less than he did about the murdered children.

The tabloids took up the same theme, running a nasty campaign against the few MPs brave enough to argue that pistol-shooting should be allowed to continue in safe, licensed premises.

Gun-owners, who had waited patiently to give evidence to the official inquiry, found that they had been forestalled: by the time Lord Cullen produced his eminently sensible report, all three parties had pledged to go beyond it.

Nearly nine years on, opponents of the ban have been comprehensively vindicated. Gun crime, far from falling, has increased. The only people who have been affected by the legislation are law-abiding shooters.

Handguns have been outlawed, and our Olympic pistol-shooters have been forced to train abroad. Meanwhile, owners of shotguns have found themselves having to wade through a good deal of extra paperwork.

As so often, the full force of the law has fallen upon the respectable bourgeoisie, not upon the villains.

It is easier to go after a parking offender than a money-launderer; easier to prosecute your Auntie Jean for losing her ID card than to stop the suspicious foreigner (who will, in any case, be exempt from having to carry a card if he has been in the UK for less than six months); easier to arrest the farmer who is late renewing his shot-gun licence than to tackle the Yardie - as the horrible case of WPc Bown reminds us.

The Firearms Act was passed for the worst possible reason - not in order to secure a specific objective, but do show how strongly MPs felt about something. Alas, it was only the beginning.

A frightening array of Bills has since been passed on the same premise: laws on religious hatred, police powers, detention without trial and, most recently, identity cards. In each case, the chief purpose is to look tough rather than to achieve anything.

Will we never learn?

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Old Dog
February 19, 2006, 02:22 PM
Interesting. And sad.
Iapetus, does there seem to be any sort of growing awareness anywhere in the U.K. that the gun ban was, if not a colossal mistake, simply not effective in preventing/reducing violent crime?

swampsniper
February 19, 2006, 02:36 PM
There does not seem to be much awareness, in general, in the U.K.:D

Sistema1927
February 19, 2006, 03:13 PM
The Firearms Act was passed for the worst possible reason - not in order to secure a specific objective, but do show how strongly MPs felt about something. Alas, it was only the beginning.

The mantra of the modern man: Look how strongly I feel.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and good feelings as well.

Autolycus
February 19, 2006, 03:19 PM
Good Read.

mordechaianiliewicz
February 19, 2006, 03:50 PM
I've put up before that a Democracy is not something to be worshipped. The reason is that the only way they can work is if certain things are never put up for vote. Whether direct democracy, representative, constitutional system, or a parliament.

In Britain, most of the populace, after being given a certain (stupid) message from early in their lives became hoplophobic. Then, they elected people to office who were more than willing to take away their ability to protect themselves.

Now, these same sheep are bah-ing for these increased restrictions. :banghead: Many Britons want surveillance, want id cards, want the police to be able to violate their rights. For the good of the state! To protect us from terrorists! etc. The #1 terrorist in Britain right now is the government. (Yes, I said it, and I'll say it again) The #1 terrorist in Britain right now is the government.

But, that is a government where an ignorant sheep-like mass is doing it's best to destroy the minority of those that have any inkling of freedom left. It is a society tearing itself apart, and sooner or later, as is the way of things, Britain will become just like Singapore or China in it's prosecution of the free thinking.

An ignorant public, drunk on television, drugs, and legalized prosecution will believe they are handed rights instead of given privileges, revocable by the state to keep them sated, while evil bureacrats with competing versions of utopia destroy the greatest empire the World has ever known.

I think to Star Wars. Princess Amidala saying, "This is how Democracy ends, in a hail of applause." I believe the line is.

:cuss: 'em. If they don't want freedom, fine. We'll take those liberty starved from the UK who want for a better life. But there is a lesson here I believe for everyone in America who believes in liberty.

boofus
February 19, 2006, 03:56 PM
Will we never learn?

No, your finest hour was in 1940. It's been downhill ever since.

M-Rex
February 19, 2006, 04:34 PM
UK: An opinion piece in the Sunday Telegraph today:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/02/19/dl1902.xml&sSheet=/opinion/2006/02/19/ixopinion.html


...And...in other news, scientists have determined that the big yellow ball in the sky is the 'Sun', and it travels from east to west roughly every 12 hours or so.

Now over to Buffy Puddinpop for the weather.

***********************************

Good article!

Standing Wolf
February 19, 2006, 05:28 PM
A few people commit crimes; therefore, we'll punish everyone.

KriegHund
February 19, 2006, 06:02 PM
At least some people have some sense left.

Lucky
February 20, 2006, 12:35 PM
Good article, on my day off I'll see if I can get a newspaper here to re-publish it. It's very very timely.

Crimson
February 20, 2006, 01:08 PM
The #1 terrorist in Britain right now is the government

Seconded





If they don't want freedom, fine. We'll take those liberty starved from the UK who want for a better life. But there is a lesson here I believe for everyone in America who believes in liberty


Right after I get my degree mate

ctdonath
February 20, 2006, 02:17 PM
I'm sensing a change.

England is finding violence increases when citizens are disarmed.
Canada is about to scrap its CA$2B gun registry.
USA is seeing increasing CCW permission; national reciprocity is becoming viable.
etc.

Slowly, ever so slowly, the tide is turning.

XLMiguel
February 20, 2006, 09:20 PM
I'm sensing a change. . . .Slowly, ever so slowly, the tide is turning.
I'd like to hope so, but I'll feel better when I see 'em hang Rebecca Peters by her heels and paint her butt Dillon blue and toss the UN out of NYC -

As TJ noted, 'the price of freedom is eternal vigilance -' The fight will never be over, there will always be some faction trying to 'control' by some means or another.

fedlaw
February 21, 2006, 09:29 AM
I'm sensing a change.
Things are changing in GB, but not for the better. The folks who brought us certain of the "inalienable rights" we enjoy have seen fit to alienate a few of the more troublesome ones (troublesome to big brother), such as: double jeopardy and self defense. Big Brother across the pond is now allowed to retry a person found not guilty until it gets the verdict it wants (guilty). As for self-defense, let us remember the barrister who used a sword cane to defend himself against an attacker and was convicted (although he was later released) and got a stiffer sentence than his attacker or the farmer who used a shotgun to defend his home against a burglar. As for civil liberties, keep in mind the universal collection of DNA in the country that inspired 1984.

iapetus
February 21, 2006, 03:46 PM
Interesting. And sad.
Iapetus, does there seem to be any sort of growing awareness anywhere in the U.K. that the gun ban was, if not a colossal mistake, simply not effective in preventing/reducing violent crime?

Well, there was this article, and a number of others (mostly also in the Telegraph) to the same effect.

I've also heard, very occasionally, people on radio phone-ins (e.g. BBC Radio4 "Any Questions" / "Any Answers") saying either that gun / other weapon bans are useless and/or that people should actually be allowed to carry defensive weaponry.

(Probably too few to stop the "UK is lost" posts, but much more numerous than they were a few years ago, so there may well be a change of opinion in progress).


Also, a number of Conservative MPs have been agitating for changes to the self-defence laws. (Although bear in mind that it was the Conservatives that were responsible for the major gun-control laws (self-loading rifle ban and pistol ban; I don't know who was responsible for the "self defence is not a valid reason to get a firearms licence" rule).

Spiphel Rike
February 22, 2006, 06:37 AM
How strange, that's more than one such article from england. My city's paper had something that starts to question whether or not the gun laws are effective. Not exactly what I would like to hear, but a step in the right direction.

50caliber123
February 22, 2006, 06:48 AM
the worst part is when I hear liberals over here saying "we should be just like them." By that, they mean gun banning, but not just gunbanning, other things too. I argued with my grandmother about free health care in England. She is 71 years old and for free healthcare. I told her its not free, its "free". Why do you think there are so many people coming here for medical prcedures - that are elderly! The cutoff for "free" is age 55. Ironic my grandmother would want such a thing, b/c of a heart condition that landed her in the hospital a few years ago, when she was 63. In England, with its "free" healthcare, they would have turned her away at that age!

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