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Another gun massacre that nobody could interrupt because they didn’t have the guns handy

I have only two quibbles about this otherwise excellent press release by Sean Gabb of the Libertarian Alliance. One, I don’t believe Sean was ever “speaking in London”, as the press release claims. I believe he just sat down and wrote what follows, probably in his home on the south coast. Two, the word “premature” seems an odd way to describe the ending of a similar killing spree in the USA in 2002, by the better armed citizenry that they mostly have over there. Was this interruption to be regretted? The first blemish above is just a pet hate of mine, probably best ignored. And the second I put down to Sean’s eagerness to get his press release out quickly, which I applaud. Indeed, this press release was how I first heard about this horror:

The Libertarian Alliance, the radical free market and civil liberties institute, today calls for the relegalisation of civilian gun ownership in the United Kingdom as the only way for ordinary people to protect themselves against gun massacres. [This news release is prompted by the killings of at least five people on the 2nd June 2010 in and around the Cumberland town of Whitehaven.]

Speaking today in London, Dr Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, comments:

“This outrage will certainly bring calls from the police and other victim disarmament advocacy groups for further gun control. However, bearing in mind that civilian ownership of handguns was outlawed in the two Firearms Acts of 1997, we fail to see, unless the murder weapon was a shotgun, what there is left to be outlawed.

“The Libertarian Alliance notes that these shootings would have been extremely difficult in a country where the people were allowed to arm themselves. We understand that the killer, Derrick Bird, was able to drive in perfect safety around Whitehaven, shooting people at random. None of his victims was in any position to return fire. Only when armed police could eventually be brought in did he feel it necessary to run away.

“In the United States, at least one campus shooting was brought to a premature end by armed civilians. The same is true in  Israel, where many members of the public go about armed. Only in a country like England, where the people have been systematically disarmed, can a killer go about like a fox among chickens.

“The Libertarian Alliance believes that all the Firearms Acts from 1920 onwards should be repealed. The largely ineffective laws of 1870 and 1902 should also be repealed. It should once again be possible for adults to walk into a gun shop and, without showing any permit or proof of identity, buy as many guns and as much ammunition as they can afford. They should also be able to use lethal force, at home and in public, for the defence of life, liberty and property.

“Only then will ordinary people be safe from evil men like Derrick Bird.”

Indeed.

How many more such slaughters must be perpetrated in Britain before it is realised that making guns really, really, really illegal, which disarms everyone except those willing to break all such laws and go out a-slaughtering, is only making things far worse? I remember the Hungerford Massacre, which went on for as long as it did because the police had to get guns from London, which took hours. After which, inevitably, they made guns even more illegal. The Libertarian Alliance predicted further massacres, and we were not wrong.

The more rural parts of Britain used to be full of guns, and were, partly because of this, very law abiding. Not any more, on either count. Why do such killing sprees now happen? Because, now, they can.

44 comments to Another gun massacre that nobody could interrupt because they didn’t have the guns handy

  • Isn’t it just a convention that press releases must always report somebody as having spoken somewhere, even if they haven’t? Like “Trixxie Wynde-Turbyne, president of the Campaign Against Stuff said today…” kind of thing?

    Shooting a gunman is premature from the point of view of the gunman.

  • For premature presumably read expeditious or timely. An Alliance shouldn’t, as you say, make mistakes like that. But what draws my attention more is this:

    It should once again be possible for adults to walk into a gun shop and, without showing any permit or proof of identity, buy as many guns and as much ammunition as they can afford.

    Now, the Alliance could have said this:

    Adult citizens should have the freedom, as indeed we once did, to buy a gun in order to defend ourselves and our families against evildoers.

    I’m interested in why they insist on the “no proof of identity required” riff, as well as the suggestion that rather than buy a gun and a couple of rounds, the typical Libertarian gun shop customer will be staggering out with armfuls of weapons of all imaginable sizes and calibres, like an early Jack Nicholson. It sounds almost as if they are deliberately stating their belief in gun ownership in what they feel to be the most extreme and controversial terms, not so much because it’s necessary or expedient to do so at this point but because of a contrarian, argumentative spirit – kind of an épater le bourgeois thing. Of such is the kingdom of failed political ventures.

  • In the linked press release, Sean Gabb writes:

    In the United States, at least one campus shooting was brought to a premature end by armed civilians.

    However, reading his link, one discovers that these 2 armed civilians are actually off-duty USA police officers with guns (and body armour in one case) in their cars.

    Though I am distinctly sympathetic to the case for relaxing gun bans in the UK for the very reason that this would (or at least could, with the right legislation and enforcement) provide many more armed good citizens than more armed illegals, I really must say that this sort of mistake/misrepresentation does not do any good for ‘our’ case.

    Best regards

  • The same is true for the cases in Israel: in most, the guys who saved the day were off-duty police officers, soldiers or security guards with an appropriate license – for a civilian in Israel getting a gun permit is next to impossible these days.

    And, what Endivio said.

  • dWj

    12 people all killed at once will make for more news attention than the mundane deaths that take place in far greater numbers every day. The deaths should be prevented as can be done without excessive costs, but, from a purely rational standpoint, I’d say the value of liberty that legalization would entail is far greater than the value of the lives saved. Still, both are benefits, and in a world where freedom-haters will try to spin the anecdote in their direction, I can’t really fault someone on the side of the angels for taking the PR standpoint.

  • Sunfish

    Nigel-

    I could speculate as to Gabb’s motives, in that he is constitutionally unable to acknowledge that police do anything besides hit Home Orifice statistical targets and arrest NuLab political opponents for political crimes and dabble in child molestation. But that would be cheap of me.

    There was at least one attempted mass shooting in the US that was broken up by a private citizen: a high school in Pearl, MS, where a school administrator was armed.

    Leaving aside deterrent value of people being armed: There are remarkably few attempts at mass killing in places with lessened barriers to the presence of (legally-)armed people. So few that I’m having a lot of trouble remembering ANY in the last decade or two that took place in a location with no legal barrier to armed private citizens.

  • Endivio, the press release states the only Libertarian position. If you accept the rationale of gun control in any form, there’s no point making the argument. Consider on another issue that has just been mentioned on this blog, if a Libertarian said-

    “People should be free to buy alcohol, after identity checks, in limited amounts decided by society, under suitable supervision”.

    That wouldn’t be a libertarian argument. It would be accepting the statist case, and pleading for permission to buy a beer if they think you worthy of one. That’s not what liberty is about.

    There was a time in England, and not so long ago, when you could just walk into a shop and buy a gun. That’s what the LA are fighting to get back.

  • I linked to this post at Classically Liberal from my blog back in 2007. It mentions the Appalachian School of Law incident as well as several others where and active shooter was stopped before he otherwise would have been because someone else was able to arm himself.

    I have a post of my own on active killers and gun free zones here.

  • John

    Ah, lolbertarians.

    You are 25 times more likely to be shot to death by in the USA than in the UK.

  • Ham

    Like Endivio, I can’t see the rhetorical value in stating the most extreme Liberal position. I am relatively unaware of this issue, and I would like to hear from others opinions on whether or not this hypothesised legalisation of firearms should come with a licensing scheme similar to that for cars. It is my intuitive response that it should.

  • Eric

    Two, the word “premature” seems an odd way to describe the ending of a similar killing spree in the USA in 2002, by the better armed citizenry that they mostly have over there. Was this interruption to be regretted?

    I don’t see any implication of regret in the use of “premature”. As I read it, all he’s trying to say is the killing spree would have gone on longer if it had not been stopped.

  • Sunfish

    John-
    How many mass shootings in the US have occurred outside of “gun-free zones”[1] in the last decade?

    (Pretty sure I can name your next proposed scenario. It’s one that keeps me up at night even though it’s still merely hypothetical. But your fetishistic worship of victim-disarmament laws wouldn’t prevent it.)

    [1] By which I mean, all places where John Q. Public cannot legally carry a loaded firearm concealed upon his person. Just so that we don’t get into the weeds here.

  • John

    Sunfish – I dunno, but most shootings aren’t mass shootings. I don’t dispute that having lots of guns available everywhere could potentially reduce the total number of casualties from each mass shooting, but it would massively increase the total number of incidents and single-victim shootings. I can’t see how it’s tangibly worse for one person to kill twelve victims than for twelve people to kill one victim each. Or, to make the maths match up to the actual comparison with the US, for 300 people to kill one victim each.

  • IanB, I’m not arguing a hypothetical statist case that “gun ownership should be allowed provided that it’s only one Diana-Rigg sized threeshooter per adult, obtainable having completed a two-year course on Responsible Ownership at your local Community College”. On the contrary, I agree with what is said, but I also think that there is an art to presenting and winning arguments, not to mention getting Press attention. If you want to persuade rather than preach to the converted, there’s still a lot to be said for the Socratic method. First your target audience has to assent to the principle that it’s better to be able to defend yourself than not to be able to defend yourself. Once you’ve got that, you then ask (again, ideally referencing some topical event) who is in a better position to judge who is qualified to own a gun and what sort they might need: the citizen himself, or some toff politician in a silk tie holed up in Chalfont St Giles. When you’ve got those two points down, the rest follows pat.

    Defiantly trotting out The Position in response to every news item is the Way of Dave Spart. I haven’t seen it work anywhere. Even Lenin was smarter’n that.

  • RAB

    I don’t dispute that having lots of guns available everywhere could potentially reduce the total number of casualties from each mass shooting, but it would massively increase the total number of incidents and single-victim shootings.

    But why John, why?

    If you have twelve shootings, then you have twelve unstable people, them having guns is neither here or there.
    Plenty of people get murdered every year in the UK and guns have nothing to do with it. Them not having guns doesn’t seem to deter them does it?

    I would love to be able to carry a gun, purely for self defence, and in spite of purist Libertarian views already expressed, I wouldn’t mind leaving at least my name and address with the seller. Hell, it is a lethal weapon after all!

  • JohnRS

    When only the crims and the crazies have guns then the public are merely there to provide the targets.

    Arming the citizenry is the only logical course of action now that increased gun control has been shown to be a total, abject failure today.

  • Well, I drafted a response to dWj, but it ran to over 500 words and was rather obscure, so I’ll just try the final paragraph:

    And by what basis, other than respect for ultimate truth, does one determine ‘the side of the angels’?

    @Sunfish: I am absolutely delighted that there are real cases (well, at least one) of (non-police) armed citizens halting homicidal maniacs. Let’s promulgate the links (and I say that without any intention of scepticism). I’m also happy to accept the deterrent argument, though some (presumably statistical) evidence would help go beyond just its plausibility.

    @John: You state:

    You are 25 times more likely to be shot to death by in the USA than in the UK.

    However, this gives no reference/link to your source.

    The ever-useful Wikipedia on murder rates actually gives it around 5.4/2.08, which is rather short of 25 when tools are ignored.

    @IanB, who teases us and tests our libertarian principles with an equivalence of:

    People should be free to buy alcohol, after identity checks, in limited amounts decided by society, under suitable supervision.

    Well, I like the better the analogy of guns with motor cars, another lethal weapon under misuse: we licence cars to owners and prefer our roads are populated only with trained (and hence licensed) users. The bottle as weapon against others is certainly not much affected by its alcohol content: in fact its usually pretty much empty and leaky before the blow lands.

    Best regards

  • I’d like to add a belated acknowledgement to Ham (at June 2, 2010 10:47 PM) concerning the motor car issue, and apologise for missing his earlier contribution.

    Best regards

  • Nigel, I’m neither teasing nor testing. The argument against alcohol is that it causes collateral damage, and that whatever responsible users may gain from it, the costs of the collateral damage are borne by others who have not chosen to participate. If you wish a direct example, one usage of alcohol as a weapon is in the subdual of rape victims.

  • Spencer Whitlock

    Those questioning the supposedly contrarian wording of the press release would do well to read “The Purpose and Strategy of the Libertarian Alliance” (1981), which states that:

    …[the Libertarian Alliance] should not be much concerned with the direct results of publicity seeking efforts or of campaigning for particular political measures. All of the group’s activities should be judged in the light of long-term propaganda… it will be a welcome bonus if any of these efforts are intrinsically successful, but it will be no great tragedy if they have no effect on legislation or on mass opinion. Their main value is in recruiting the few potential libertarian propagandists, and in helping to educate those already recruited

    Seen in this light, the wording chosen by Mr. Gabb makes much more sense.

  • Valerie

    Uhm, John, it might help to look into WHO is doing the shooting in the U.S. cases….

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Ah, lolbertarians.

    You are 25 times more likely to be shot to death by in the USA than in the UK.

    Posted by John at June 2, 2010 10:45 PM

    I make the UK’s murder rate to be 1.4 per 100,000. Here in Maine, USA, the rate’s not a lot higher, running around 1.7 per 100,000 – despite the basically unregulated supply of firearms. If you’re an adult, have the money and can pass the federal background check, you can buy a pistol, rifle or shotgun at a store. Or you can buy one from a private individual and avoid the background check, all perfectly legally.

    So firearms availability may make firearms murders more likely (just at a guess, a third to a half of Maine murders are done with a gun) but it doesn’t have a lot of effect on the overall murder rate: that’s more a product of local culture. Some of America’s local cultures are very violent indeed.

    I don’t want to trivialise murder, but it really is a pretty unimportant crime in the grand scheme of things: too rare, and too circumscribed in who’s affected by it, to matter much except to those immediately involved. An ongoing plague of robberies with violence such as the UK is currently experiencing, where every person can imagine himself the next victim, is far more disruptive than murder is to civil calm and the charity with which we deal with one another.

  • Sunfish

    @Sunfish: I am absolutely delighted that there are real cases (well, at least one) of (non-police) armed citizens halting homicidal maniacs. Let’s promulgate the links (and I say that without any intention of scepticism). I’m also happy to accept the deterrent argument, though some (presumably statistical) evidence would help go beyond just its plausibility.

    Pearl, MS (Link)

    Another event, while I think of it.

    But measuring deterrence is a bitch. It’s literally an attempt to measure something that didn’t happen and to prove a negative.

    another lethal weapon under misuse: we licence cars to owners and prefer our roads are populated only with trained (and hence licensed) users. The bottle as weapon against others is certainly not much affected by its alcohol content: in fact its usually pretty much empty and leaky before the blow lands.

    Every now and then, gun-control advocates in the US trot out the tired line about “We register cars and license drivers…”

    If we applied that logic to guns, there would be absolutely no restriction whatsoever on guns that stayed exclusively on private property and John Elway would be the biggest firearms dealer in Denver.

  • Peter

    The general tone and flow of the commentariat here makes me thank God that I’m a very well-armed American.

    The criminals, from what I’ve read, certainly don’t seem to have much trouble finding themselves a gun, and that none of you are even discussing doing the same (and to hell with the law) shows just how far you in the UK have fallen.

    I wish I had some better observation than “you lot are f*cked”. Too bad it’s true. (Formerly) Great Britain indeed.

  • Thanks to Sunfish for the 2 links to non-police takedown or subduing of homicidal maniacs.

    [Note however that the Colorado Springs takedown was by an erstwhile police officer and actual on-duty security guard (though armed personally and not through her employment). Thus that situation is a bit different from an uninvolved citizen licensed and carrying and with no training in armed combat/arrest.]

    As with Sunfish’s point on difficulty of demonstration of deterrence, there is difficulty in finding significant amounts of evidence, of the benefit against homicidal maniacs of an armed citizenry. But please do remember that I am, on balance, in favour of holding licensed guns (including, though reluctantly, their use for defence of self and others). I am just pointing out that the supporting evidence for that is not particularly strong.

    Sunfish also states:

    If we applied [the tired line about “We register cars and license drivers…”] to guns, there would be absolutely no restriction whatsoever on guns that stayed exclusively on private property and John Elway would be the biggest firearms dealer in Denver.

    I am not happy with this argument. In fact the whole things now seems to be getting into too much perfection seeking. Likewise IanB’s point on the dangers of alcohol; in fact I’m now so confused about his argument of equivalence that I no longer understand whether he believes it, is playing devil’s advocate, is a perfection demander in his libertarian ideas (some of which I share to some extent), or something else.

    There is more equivalence between licensing of cars and guns than there is between that of alcohol and guns.

    There is, IMHO, no chance of decriminalising gun ownership in the UK without licensing. Thus more licensed guns to more ‘approved’ citizens is as good as it’s ever going to get. Do we want that, or is some distant future with happy angels on pinheads and no or less licensed guns now what we would prefer? If it’s the former, it might be better to put up arguments that are less easily shot down by the opposing camp.

    Wikepedia reports that Derrick Bird held shotgun and other firearm licences, presumably for those weapons used in the massacre: Cumbria Shootings. The Times newspaper has an article on UK gun licensing.

    And let’s not forget that the reason for us discussing the issue now is so very tragic.

    Best regards

  • From a Libertarian Party policy perspective, the first stage currently is to roll back legislation from the last 30 years or so initially and to have the “innocent until proven guilty” mindset projected to handguns as they are (officially) to shotguns, as in “default yes, unless there is good cause to refuse” and any administration of firearms should follow that in spirit and letter.

    Criminals in the UK today can just rent a gun for their deed. Availability? Hours or less if you know the right people. The shocking “cycle-by” shooting a few years ago was an example of a loaned gun.

    China has shown that when people snap – and I suspect this is about a crushing realisation of utter powerlessness and an attempt to make one last assertion of power before “the end”* – knives and other implements are just as good as guns at killing large numbers of innocents.

    The gun is an equalizer. Much more than a knife ever can be. A small Chinese schoolteacher can defend her class with a gun just as well as anyone. Those seeking “power” would not dare – and I use that word on purpose – IMHO to attack such places where they know a schoolteacher may be armed. I would not wish to be up against that schoolteacher defending her class, frankly.

    * most gunmen appear to my eyes to want to control their deaths too, either via suicide or deciding when and how the police take them down.

  • llamas

    Only to add to the already-excellent points made by Sunfish and PersonFromPorlock –

    If, as it would appear, this latest outrage was carried out with a shotgun (rather than a rifle or a handgun) then almost-by-definition, the killer was very, very close to his victims – between 50 and 100 feet. And that is the exact range of distances at which a citizen armed with a (concealable) handgun would have had an excellent chance of neutralizing him.

    As regards licensing, perhaps a better mental way to picture this is not to think in terms of the model of licensing ‘approved’ citizens, which smacks of a capricious approach that’s prone to manipulation and favouritism – which it almost-inevitably descends to, in the US experience [1]. A better way to think about this is along the lines of the ‘shall-issue’ doctrine, where a citizen is entitled to the license/permit/call it what you will unless disqualified under a clearly-defined, factual standard – usually based in medical/mental health and criminal-justice parameters.

    Most of the US states that have adopted what are often characterized as ‘looser’ concealed-carry laws have actually made little change in their fundamental laws – few states, for example, have added a concealed-carry provision where there was none before. Most simply removed an arbitrary, capricious or subjective standard for issuing a permit and replaced it with an objective, measurable standard for denying it, with all who meet the standard being issued the permit as-of-right. I don’t have a problem with a simple, subjective standard for determining whether a person is bats**t crazy or a felon with a demonstrated predeliction for violence before issuing them a permit to own or carry a deadly weapon – I liken it to the eyesight test I take to renew my driver’s permit.

    llater,

    llamas

    [1] Back in the Dark Ages, in many places in the US, you could easily get a CCW by making suitable and continuing donations to the sheriff’s campaign committee. In one memorable instance around here, the game was to buy two tickets each year to the sheriff’s birthday party celebrations – I’ve been told that some naive contributors actually made the mistake of showing up, expecting at least a burger and some beers for their $150 a head. Other sheriffs were less-venal – they didn’t actually take money, but they used their powers to reward supporters and punish opponents.

    Regardless of their actual fitness to be carrying a pistol. Reform around here began when the favourite of one local sheriff drew his licensed, concealed pistol in a bar and shot a man – over a game of quarter-bounce. This chucklehead also had a real reserve deputy badge – by the same route – and tried to tin his way out of the bar. Stuff like that tends to get in the papers.

  • Likewise IanB’s point on the dangers of alcohol; in fact I’m now so confused about his argument of equivalence that I no longer understand whether he believes it, is playing devil’s advocate, is a perfection demander in his libertarian ideas (some of which I share to some extent), or something else.

    I’m in favour of free gun ownership. The reality that we won’t get that in the foreseeable future is the same for any libertarian argument; liberty is not on the menu at the moment. So we’re obviously all discussing currently unattainable desires in terms of legislation etc. I want all drugs legalised too. No chance of that either. Doesn’t stop me arguing for it. We’re in for a long haul to achieve liberty. We all know that.

    The equivalence point I was making is simply that the same argument is applied to all Damned Things by statists; they measure the harm and, if the harm is greater than zero, demand restricition or prohibition. In terms of the argument, there is no difference between guns and booze. They both have demonstrable harmful effects. A utilitarian legaliser will then attempt to demonstrate a greater positive effect (e.g protection from guns, or pleasure from alcohol, or something). But I’m not a Utilitarian, and I think utilitarianism always will justify statist restrictions, because of the simple and valid argument that in general those who suffer the harm aren’t the same people as those who suffer the benefit. The man who enjoys a beer is a different individual to his battered wife. The fact that he may get greater pleasure from his drinking than the harm she suffers from her beatings is neither here nor there, is it?

    To me, liberty is a matter of principle, not utility.

  • In response to my point, as well as helpfully reducing my confusion as to his view, IanB writes:

    To me, liberty is a matter of principle, not utility.

    I’m very happy to go with that. However, I do think restrictions on liberty should be a matter of demonstrable and adequate significant utility. That all makes the whole issue a lot more complicated.

    As an additional contribution to the case for very limited restrictions on firearms, I note (from my previous link to Wikipedia on murder rates) that Switzerland has a murder rate that is little worse than the UK and much better than the USA.

    Switzerland also provides a large number of automatic weapons for its male citizenry to keep in their own homes; in fact, it looks to insist on them being kept there.

    It does seem to me that, should the availability of legal tools be the issue in the homicidal effectiveness of homicidal mania, Switzerland would suffer much worse than the USA. But there again, maybe it’s the deterrent effect.

    Or maybe the availability of legal guns is somewhere between peripheral and immaterial. That is except for the cause of statists.

    I hope that helps :))

    Best regards

  • Emac

    The more rural parts of Britain used to be full of guns, and were, partly because of this, very law abiding. Not any more, on either count. Why do such killing sprees now happen? Because, now, they can.

    Rural areas had less crime because rural areas are always more culturally rooted and just “sane” compared to city areas. They live in accord with natural law, and because they are closer to rhythms of life they have a generally better understanding of human nature, and its strengths and weaknesses. They see death more often than city people, animals and such, and so come to accept nature as having its own ways, whereas the city dweller is completely divorced from this knowledge. Traditions both theological and provincial conform individual actions. In the past everyone in the rural areas would have been a churchgoing Christian. in other words, everyone was more rooted and thus more stable. And, yes, there were more guns (full of guns? no), but that was a symptom not a cause. And they did not mind having their fellow Christian Englishman next door with a firearm because there was a natural kinship present which has also been disrupted by multi-culturalism.

    You have ignored all of this and boiled it down to “guns” made the countryside law abiding. Your world view is severely defective if you believe this stuff. Not just defective, it is morally bankrupt. It is a hair’s breadth away from Hobbesianism. Do you really think everyone is a criminal or psychopath who needs to be constantly “deterred” from killing people? Well, perhaps they are now, who knows, but they certainly weren’t like that in the past. Besides which the true nutcase, like this killer, is never “deterred” because they are not rational.

    The gun is only as good as the man behind it. And society only as peaceful as its culture allows. Britain is a damaged and deranged place in the modern world and more guns will not help that situation – even though I generally favour more forgiving licence laws for firearms. The irony is that if you took one of your hypothetical gun-owning country-dwellers from the past in a time machine to modern Britain his views on race, women, society and God would probably get him disqualified for firearms ownership and/or committed.

  • I’m surprised that it has taken this long for Switzerland to be mentioned. Just get off a train at Zuerich Hauptbahnhof, notice how many young men are carrying submachine guns around as nonchalantly as the young girls are carrying their skis and then say that it would be easy to get very far in that environment if you were to open fire on the general population.

    I don’t have stats for Switzerland, but I believe their gun crime rate to be extremely low.

  • Sigivald

    John: Hate to tell you this, but the vast majority of shooting deaths (that aren’t suicide; and of course suicides substitute other methods when guns aren’t around) in the US are of criminals by criminals.

    Nigel: Re. guns vs cars, cars are only required to be licensed and drivers’ licenses are only required on the public roads (at least here in Americaland).

    But more importantly, self defense is a fundamental human right in a way that “transport by the means one finds most convenient” is not, and in practice firearms are the only sufficient method of self defense, these days.

  • The irony is that if you took one of your hypothetical gun-owning country-dwellers from the past in a time machine to modern Britain his views on race, women, society and God would probably get him disqualified for firearms ownership and/or committed.

    Ah yes, back when women were baby making machines, non-whites were wogs and everyone spoke to their invisible imaginary friend on Sundays.

  • All this stuff about the countryside is nonsense. I live in a city, but I’ve seen Midsomer Murders, and nobody’s fooling me that they aren’t all homicidal maniacs. Every week there’s at least one murder, and that’s just in one little village. On a national scale, it must be absolute bloody carnage out there.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Yeah, Cabot Cove is the same way. And that’s (theoretically) in Maine! Must be down in the south part where the Hobbit infestation is really bad.

  • Emac

    Ah yes, back when women were baby making machines, non-whites were wogs and everyone spoke to their invisible imaginary friend on Sundays.

    That is the only insight you can draw from 400 years of the protestant reformation?

    You’re right, let’s let the whiggers, the chavs, and the British Muslims all have unrestricted access to firearms and let the games begin! (Obviously anyone a member of the BNP would be excluded from owning firearms).

    Sorry for ruffling your post modern feathers here.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    After the first the rest come free.
    And they call me a sociopath.

  • JK

    I’m all in favour of gun rights, but if I had to make one point in response to the shootings it would be much closer to what Simon Jenkins says in the Guardian than Sean Gabb’s press release:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/03/politics-fear-security-lobby-money

    After all, the chance that it might stop once-in a-decade massacres is really a pretty weak reason to shape any law, pro- or antigun. For cutting petty crime I think drug legalisation would be ten or a hundred times as effective.

    To me the importance of gun laws are about the authority of the citizen vs. the state, and the state’s claim to legitimate use of violence. I think Jenkins actually addresses this point more effectively than Gabb despite not defending free ownership.

  • That is the only insight you can draw from 400 years of the protestant reformation?

    No, it is the insight I draw from atavistic commenters who look back to imaginary ‘golden age’, such as BNP supporters for example.

  • BoiledOil

    According to people in favour of making guns completely illegal, these people should have been raped, robbed or dead for the good of the ‘guns have no purpose’ cause.

    http://www.learnaboutguns.com/tag/self-defense-example/

    Pregnant women holds armed burglar at gun point – Video

    89 year old pulls gun on burglar

    http://www.examiner.com/x-38158-Cultural-Oddities-Examiner~y2010m4d21-Woman-89-shoots-at-intruder-runaway-saw-blade-captured-by-security-camera-VIDEO

    65 year old man shoots serial burglar

    http://www.learnaboutguns.com/2010/05/29/serial-burglar-shot-by-armed-homeowner/

    Elderly man shoots, kills robber

    http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/news/local/sun_coast/elderly-man-shoots-kills-robber-051810

    How long are people going to put up with the lie of our ‘safer’ society?

    http://www.armbritain.com
    http://www.britainneedsguns.co.uk

  • Sunfish

    Emac drooled:

    You’re right, let’s let the whiggers, the chavs, and the British Muslims all have unrestricted access to firearms and let the games begin!

    What criteria are you applying to the question of “Who is, and is not, to be let to arm themselves for self-protection?”

    After all, it looks like you’ve decided that some are more worthy than others.

    Or is there something that you’d like to clarify?

    (Obviously anyone a member of the BNP would be excluded from owning firearms).

    No, I said that BNP members, like all other Labour offshoots, are proof that anal sex causes pregnancy. Not that they should have fewer or different rights before the law.

  • OMG, so it’s true…

  • Paul Marks

    I agree with what Dr Gabb has said on this matter – all “gun control” regulations do is to disarm potentional victims.

    A person who is prepared to commit murder will have no problem with violating gun control regulations – to think otherwise is akin to thinking that a putting up a sign saying “gun free zone” in a store will prevent armed robbery.

    The establishment are incredibly dishonest on the matter of “gun control” (as they are on so many matters).

    As normal my favourate example of establishment dishonesty is from the Economist magazine – in this weeks issue the magazine claims that Britain’s low murder rate is due to gun control regulations and it traces these regulations back to the reign of Charles II (actually there were many in the Tudor period also — but it forgets them).

    Not a word about the Revolution of 1688 and the right to keep arms in the British (yes the British) Bill of Rights.

    Nor is there a mention of the fact that MILLIONS of British people owned firearms before World War One – yet the murder rate was very low indeed.

    Truth must not be allowed to get in the way of the ideology – the ideology being that “gun control” is good and there has always been gun control in Britain.

  • Paul Marks

    People who want to blame the American murder rate on lack of “gun control” will have to explain not only why many of the strictest gun control places in a America have the highest murder rate (Washington D.C., Chicago…….), but also why British cities (when there was no real gun control and firearm ownership was widespread) had a very LOW murder rate.

    Just as Swiss cities used to – the situation may be changing in Switzerland, but firearm ownership is not the cause as firearm owernship has always been almost universal in Switzerland.