We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

And some worms do turn

In the early Spring of 1998, when I was still a jobbing scriptwriter, I was invited to a showbiz party held in the home of a TV producer who had hired me to work on some his projects. During the course of the evening I got into conversation with an actress who had just finished filming an episode of a TV cop drama. She told me that she had been trained to handle a gun convincingly and I replied that that was the type of training we could all do with and for real. I could not have caused her more offence if I had stuck my hand up her skirt.

“So you think we should all go around shooting each other then?” she exclaimed.

That’s what it is like over here. Anti-self-defence is the default position. It is the accepted norm. It is so universal and unquestioned that even unarmed self-defence is often referred to as ‘vigilantism’. It is uncivilised and neanderthal. We don’t need to defend ourselves; we have our marvelous police to do that for us.

Prior to today, promoting the right to bear arms was only marginally less controversial than promoting legalised child sex abuse. Given that context, the appreance of this column may reasonably be regarded as something of a turning point.

“Given this scandalous situation, it is time for the Government to confer a new right on the people: the right to bear arms. Gun control in this country is in any case a joke. There is far more gun crime now than there was before the idiotic law passed by the Major government to ban handguns after the Dunblane massacre”

One has to be living in Britain to appreciate exactly how ground-breaking that statement is and it is made all the more significant by the source. Simon Heffer is not a Libertarian, he is more of a traditional paleo-Conservative but he is a high-profile commentator and is generally regarded as a serious voice. He is the kind of man TV producers want on their talk shows when they need a bit of gravitas. He can be excoriated and villified and, indeed, he will be both but he can’t be ignored and that matters.

Despite this pleasing development, I have a quibble and an important quibble. Mr. Heffer invokes the state to grant us a right to bear arms. This is wrong. It is not a licence and what the government gives, the government can take away again. We already have a right to bear arms, bestowed upon us by our ancient common law heritage and exercisable by the mere act of being born. All the government has done is to deprive us of it. Now, if Mr. Heffer can get his head around that concept as well, we will really be cooking with gas.

That said, he is to be heartily congratulated for saying what was, up till now, not even thinkable. In doing so, he has prised open a door that was previously glued shut, nailed over and padlocked. The restoration of our common law rights is still a journey of a thousand miles but the first few steps have been taken.

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