Yesterday evening I was present at a very interesting gathering that took place in the City of London.
I have not attended anything like this before. The format was that of a TV chat show which was hosted by a representative of the American NRA who fielded questions to, and took replies from, an almost entirely British audience. The event was filmed by an American production company and will, in due course, be edited into an info-mercial for distribution in the USA designed to press home to an American audience the folly and dangers of apparently ‘reasonable’ gun control measures.
It was a remarkably well-informed audience. Many of them were former shooters and gun-owners and, without exception, they were able to recount, by reference to both historical data and relevent legislation, the way victim-disarmament had started in the 1920′s as merely sensible measures to remove the ‘most dangerous’ weapons from society and, over the years, chip by chip, step by step, measure by measure, the disarmament programme advanced up to 1997 when all handguns were prohibited along with every other potentially life-saving tool (e.g. pepper sprays). Emphasised too, was the political and legal slippery slope which has resulted in a situation in Britain today where acting in genuine self-defence is classified as serious crime.
On the face of it, this is an exercise which will benefit Americans not Britons but, on a deeper level, it will benefit Brits as well because events like this bring together those too-few Britons who still believe in a right of self-defence and spurs them on to greater levels of mutual education and political activism. That is how things change.
I detected not the merest hint of a defeatist atmosphere last night. Indeed, I think it is fair to say that the self-defence movement in Britain, albeit still small, has been galvanised to an unprecedented degree.