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“Let’s officially have a look at that”

Alison Hernandez was a little too open to new ideas:

Civilian gun owners could help fight terror attacks, police commissioner suggests

A police commissioner has suggested that civilians with gun licences could be allowed to use private weapons to defend their community against terrorists, in comments that have been rejected by a senior officer.

Alison Hernandez, the police and crime commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, said “I’d really be interested in exploring that” and “let’s officially have a look at that” when a caller suggested the idea during a radio phone-in.

She said she was interested in having a conversation with her chief constable to “see what would be the implications of it”.

However, her comments led to a warning from a senior officer that citizens should not arm themselves and the force said that armed civilians could be caught in the crossfire.

Deputy Chief Constable Paul Netherton told the BBC it was “definitely an emphatic ‘no'” that people should be arming themselves against such a threat.

A Police and Crime Commissioner is “an elected official in England and Wales charged with securing efficient and effective policing of a police area”, rather than an actual police officer, so do not be misled into thinking that openly expressed crimethink has reached the police. But it has reached people who officially talk to the police.

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63 comments to “Let’s officially have a look at that”

  • Alisa

    That woman is mad – mad, I tell you! What was she thinking???

  • John K

    The view of the British state is that if you find yourself in a terrorist incident you should run away. If you have to defend yourself, you may use bottles, tables, chairs or your bare hands, but nothing which is actually useful and designed as a defensive weapon.

    Have a nice day and please die legally, citizen.

  • Once you realise that the primary function of the police is maintaining the authority of the state, with public safety only an occasional consequence of that, the attitude of most police becomes easy to understand.

    I praise Alison Hernandez for her views, but I think she may mistakenly think her job is to promote protecting us rather than the state 😆

  • Once you realise that the primary function of the police is maintaining the authority of the state, with public safety only an occasional consequence of that, the attitude of most police becomes easy to understand.

    I implied that in a Twitter response to the story Natalie links to. Several policemen got rather put out by that: they genuinely see themselves as faithful servants of the public. Then one popped up demanding the “cuts” be reversed. Public servant, indeed.

  • Mr Ecks

    The late Peter Cook told the story (on “Parkinson”) once about a trip to New York.

    He was in a sex club and started having a conversation with a naked woman who was sat on a revolving dais being ogled by a crowd. It was an ordinary talk about how she enjoyed her job (“a bit boring” apparently)but it clearly upset the sex fantasies of the viewing bystanders as two large nasty-looking men emerged from an office and asked Cook if he would like to be killed.

    “No thank you” he quite reasonably replied.

    “Well fuck off quick then” was their rejoinder.

    Cook did so but was perturbed to notice the duo were following him down the street at a little distance.

    He was greatly relieved when he saw one of New York’s finest on the corner ahead.

    “Officer I am being followed by two men who have threatened to kill me” says Cook a trifle grandiloquently.

    Replies the cop”Well for Christ’s sake don’t involve me” and walks off quickly.

  • knirirr

    The suggestion seems fine to me, but even if the political objections were overcome (I doubt this very much) there would be a few practical considerations:

    1. Proper training would be essential, for there’s more to defensive shooting than is taught in target shooting clubs. Perhaps we could import some instructors from the US if they have some to spare.
    2. The police would want to check that applicants asking for permission to tool up to shoot terrorists had been properly trained as per (1), and they are already having trouble keeping up with the applications and renewals for sporting licenses. An increase in the number of firearms licensing officers would be required, as would more funds for their departments (the police might well like more funds though).
    3. This sort of role would probably require handguns, and the ones we’re still allowed in the UK are a bit antiquated (e.g. 1850s-60s black powder revolvers).

  • Mr Ecks (June 13, 2017 at 1:52 pm), the light comedy “Psmith, Journalist” (P.G. Wodhouse, written almost exactly 100 years ago), contains light-hearted references to the fact that this police attitude – along with gang-related voter fraud – has been around in New York for a long time.

    I can recall a conversation in an Oxford postgraduate college in the early 80s in which some US tourists who’d been stopped for a parking offence gave an absolutely typical “your police are wonderful” description of the incident compared to the same thing in the US. I’m not sure they’d say the same now.

  • … do not be misled into thinking that openly expressed crimethink has reached the police. But it has reached people who officially talk to the police.

    In a bureaucracy, this is called “progress”.
    In the EU, this is called “an intractable ideal”.

  • An armed populace creates a hostile working environment for the criminal class. Can’t have that. The criminal class constitutes a significant portion of the electorate for municipal officials.

  • bobby b

    The comments so far in that Telegraph article certainly don’t represent a populace so cowed and anti-gun that an eventual re-arming of British society should be completely discounted.

    Everyone seems to want an armed police officer standing next to them for protection, but too many don’t stop to think this through logically. I, like quite a few people I know, am more proficient and more practiced with firearms than most cops. I’ve had more tactical training than most cops. (They don’t get much, if any. A civilian SWAT crew might get some tactical response training, but it’s nowhere near the TV-fueled idea of military-response teams we see on TV.)

    To think that an armed cop is a better source of security than an armed populace is not well thought out. We could never afford enough of them to make them anything more than an after-the-fact cleanup crew.

  • Sigivald

    “The police are the public and the public are the police” is almost unthinkable in modern Britain, isn’t it?

    At least to the bien pensant class, that is.

  • When Obama started up the importation of Syrians, we in America had to watch our pathetic governors act like cry babies. They have no way of constitutionally rejecting anyone once they are allowed in to the country, but everyone of them could have started up an ‘arm the citizens’ campaign. In fact, it ought the be the sort of thing a ‘conservative’ would want to do, given that it ought to permanently change the political landscape in their favor.

    But so far, they just flake rather than operate outside the box the left has prepared for them.

  • Tomsmith

    double

  • Tomsmith

    State mouthpieces like LBC radio were trying really hard to talk this idea down today. They fear it.

  • Runcie Balspune

    How about a compromise? Allow people to carry drive stun tasers and pepper spray?

  • APL

    “and the force said that armed civilians could be caught in the crossfire.”

    For a full eight minutes there was no crossfire. Just blood running in the gutter.

    “During these incidents, highly trained police firearms officers and special forces will be deployed .. ”

    Highly trained police firearms officers shot Harry Stanly dead in the street.

  • Mr Black

    There will never be any crossfire as the bad guys will be dead long before the police arrive. Their main fear is that such action would reveal how useless they are, always arriving after the action.

  • Regional

    Then never stand up in a gunfight.

  • Laird

    “and the force said that armed civilians could be caught in the crossfire.”

    A typical meaningless comment. Unarmed civilians could just as easily be caught in the crossfire, too.

  • Eric Tavenner

    But it just wouldn’t do to allow the serfs arms. :mrgreen:

  • Phil B

    Due to the paranoid attitude of the Police and politicians, any Firearms certificate issued in the UK will be endorsed with a condition stating “The Firearms listed on this certificate shall only be used on approved ranges” and if the certificate holder has shooting rights on a farm or similar, after the Police have ‘inspected” the piece of land, it MIGHT be endorsed with “and on (name of farm or piece of land)”. If they are feeling generous, it might also state “or by invitation only” meaning that of a friend has shooting rights on another farm, you may be allowed to shoot there if accompanied by the person with the shooting rights. Usually they insist on another variation (at your expense) to check the second named farm and endorse it with the name of the second farm etc.

    Using a firearm to defend yourself or others contravenes all these conditions. Do you want to risk your life, liberty and property by contravening these conditions? Do you fondly imagine that the Police would NOT prosecute you to the limits of the law if you did? Ask Tony Martin about this …

    In short, it ain’t gonna happen and the ignorance and projection by the people who neither know how Firearms legislation works and is enforced in the UK and who state “Look what happens in America” and wilfully refuse to do just that will howl down any and every sensible discussion of the matter.

    If I were Allison Hernandez, I would be revamping my C.V. toot de sweet as they say in France.

  • the other rob

    For a full eight minutes there was no crossfire. Just blood running in the gutter.

    Very well said. That particular point has been discussed in some detail here, in recent days.

    It bears reiterating, however, that that wasn’t just any eight minutes. It was eight minutes in a capital city, just round the corner from the seat of government, with the country on maximum terror alert and 5000 troops on the streets.

    God knows how long it might take at any other time and place.

    One of the commenters to the Telegraph article mentioned that he used to own a Glock 17, presumably for target shooting. That presupposes a period of time between 1982 and 1997, which seems plausible.

    As I type this, there’s a Gen 4 version of that on my hip. I rarely go anywhere without it (or something similar) and it’s hard to find a room in our house that doesn’t have at least one loaded firearm in it (with the exception of bathrooms – I need to think about that).

    I know a chap who survived being shot by a mugger. His handgun was two feet away, inside his car.It didn’t do him any good because he couldn’t get to it in time. All this talk of minutes obscures the fact that it’s seconds that count.

  • Ferox

    It bears reiterating, however, that that wasn’t just any eight minutes. It was eight minutes in a capital city, just round the corner from the seat of government, with the country on maximum terror alert and 5000 troops on the streets.

    God knows how long it might take at any other time and place.

    I wondered that myself. My mother used to live in Buckden, a little village somewhere near Huntington. If such an attack had happened there, might not the terrorists have managed to work their way through the entire village before the police arrived?

    Since these sorts of attacks cannot be stopped in advance, the only defense against them is an armed and belligerent populace, ready to act on its own behalf at any time.

    Apparently the officials believe that not being (seen as) a racist is preferable to being alive, at least for the plebes.

  • the other rob

    “Look what happens in America”

    Which would be nothing, or next to it, when it comes to lawful firearms owners. The vast majority of shootings in the USA are perpetrated by criminals, using illegally possessed firearms, against other criminals with the same.

    Several studies have shown that in my state of Texas those licensed to carry a gun are, on average, more law abiding than peace officers.

    Let me offer an example, from recent history. The other week a man who was twice my size tried to pick a fight with me in a supermarket. I assessed the situation, concluded that there was little to no chance of deescalating it, and left.

    In law, I had no duty to retreat. It would have been lawful for me to have stood there until he had worked himself up to throwing a punch and then shot him.

    But who, aside from mentalists, wants to do that? I’d have kissed his ass, if I thought it would deescalate the situation, because I’ve got through half a lifetime without ever having taken a life and it would be peachy if the other half could go the same way.

    Round here, most people who carry guns do it because they *don’t* want people to get killed.

  • bobby b

    Phil B
    June 14, 2017 at 3:24 am

    “In short, it ain’t gonna happen and the ignorance and projection by the people who neither know how Firearms legislation works and is enforced in the UK and who state “Look what happens in America” and wilfully refuse to do just that will howl down any and every sensible discussion of the matter.”

    Your preceding sentences describe quite closely the environment regarding the use and carrying of guns that existed here in the US only twenty or so years ago. Back then, if you wanted to carry a pistol, you had to ask your friendly sheriff for permission, and unless he was your brother-in-law or you were very rich and powerful, permission was not granted. Only criminals carried guns. Now, almost all states have recognized our gun rights.

    So, you are bemoaning the possibility of ever changing such a cemented-in environment when here in the US the environment was changed from almost the same starting point in only two decades.

    It won’t happen by Thursday. It’ll likely take decades. It will certainly never happen if people keep saying “stop discussing it, it’s never going to happen.” It would be a good start if y’all stopped thinking of your government officials as anointed wise men who should be obeyed and realized they’re mostly just the dweebs who used to love running for student body president in junior high school.

  • WindyPants

    In the meantime, get yourself a longbow and a couple of bodkin arrows. Hardly makes for concealed carry but it does make you feel like a proper saxon!

  • Jamesg

    Presumably if the populace was armed then the terrorists would have gone on a shooting rampage rather than a knife one. I’m guessing it is not possible for the terrorists to get access to firearms, or at least enough of an inconcenience/risk that they have gone for knives/cars. Overall, for the moment at least, I certainly feel safer knowing the number of guns in the UK is low. I have never seen a firearm in the UK privately held except a shotgun.

  • In short, it ain’t gonna happen and the ignorance and projection by the people who neither know how Firearms legislation works and is enforced in the UK and who state “Look what happens in America” and wilfully refuse to do just that will howl down any and every sensible discussion of the matter.

    Talk to a policeman about this. They are absolutely delighted that the public are defenceless and wholly reliant on them, yet complain about cuts and their workload. And the police also expect the plebs to be grateful for “protecting” them, even when they don’t.

  • EdMJ

    “Under no circumstances would we want members of the public to arm themselves with firearms, not least because officers responding would not know who the offenders were, and quite obviously they would not have the time to ask.”

    If only there was some way to spot the offenders, like some sort of chant they would be yelling…

  • Deep Lurker

    bobby b,

    It’s also worth noting how the anti-gun advocates screamed that there would be a huge spike in shootings, that blood would be running in the streets, each time another US State reformed its carry laws to a “shall issue” system. But that didn’t happen.

    My working theory is that the anti-gun advocates (or at least the true believers among them) consider self-defense to be a malum in se crime, especially if committed with a handgun carried specifically for the purpose of self-defense. In their minds, handing out licenses to carry handguns is morally equivalent to handing out licenses to legally commit rape, or licenses to legally purchase slaves. Even in the case of the police, they consider it a violation of public trust if a cop uses his issue sidearm for self-defense, rather than for enforcing the law.

    This “self-defense is a crime” view can also be seen in schools here in the US, where for decades the common policy has been to punish students for fighting. Both students: The one for starting a fight, and the other for the at-least-as-evil crime of fighting back in self-defense. And the more recent “zero tolerance” policies exist at least in part to keep school authorities from unofficially going easy on those students guilty of self-defense.

    Rejecting this “self-defense is a crime” nonsense is what radicalized me into the libertarian extremist I am today.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Well, everyone knows that Britons lack the maturity to be trusted with weapons; for that reason the US, in order to protect the American public, should restrict US visits by Brits to locales which have gun control laws like Britain’s.

    OK, I keed – but imagine the indignation in the UK if an American politician were to make that proposal for that reason.

    This is called shoving the puppy’s nose in it.

  • APL

    Ferrox: “If such an attack had happened there, might not the terrorists have managed to work their way through the entire village before the police arrived?”

    You mean like Hungerford or Dunblane? Both outrages, perpetrated by mentally deficient/disturbed individuals who in the latter case had connections to the Establishment, which may have assisted him to procure weapons through legal means.

  • Deep Lurker (June 14, 2017 at 9:44 am): “This “self-defense is a crime” view can also be seen in schools here in the US”

    And in their reaction to this incident. 🙂

  • JohnB

    > Phil B June 14, 2017 at 3:24 am

    > In short, it ain’t gonna happen

    Tish. Much too defeatist.

    > and the ignorance and projection by the people who neither know how Firearms legislation works and is enforced in the UK

    How the enforcement of legislation currently operates is of little or no importance when considering the principle of the right to bear arms.

    > and who state “Look what happens in America” and wilfully refuse to do just that will howl down any and every sensible discussion of the matter.

    The ignorance of the mob has been with us for a while. I don’t see it as a reason to compromise regarding a better structure for society.

  • Patrick Crozier

    In the days i.e. before the First World War, when just about anybody could own a gun the murder rate was about half what it is now.

  • Dr Evil

    All we need is for the Bill of Rights 1689 to be honoured and the gun laws pre 1922 initiated. Then I can go in to a shop selling guns with my form filled in at the post office (in duplicate for the state to have a copy). I present my form to gun seller, buy my gun and ammunition. Et voila! End of. It should be that simple. Why should I have a licence for a machine I own? Why should the police be involved? And it would be a hand gun. And I would want to carry it in public too.

  • Dr Evil

    In addition: I learned to shoot at school. It was a Lee Enfield mark IV rifle. very accurate. We also had fully auto stens and brens. The masters who were in charge of the CCF had all been WWII veterans and knew the ropes. We were taught them. At university I joined the rifle and pistol club and shot mostly pistol. The golden rule is never ever point a loaded gun at a person unless you intend to shoot them. Golden rule 2 is always make sure you unload your gun completely after using it safely.

  • EdMJ

    Perhaps the Swiss model might be a more palatable idea to promote here?

    Switzerland has the second largest armed force per capita after the Israeli Defence Forces

    http://factmyth.com/factoids/switzerland-requires-citizens-to-own-guns/

    Yet, despite the prevalence of guns, the violent-crime rate is low: government figures show about 0.5 gun homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2010. By comparison, the U.S rate in the same year was about 5 firearm killings per 100,000 people, according to a 2011 U.N. report.

    http://world.time.com/2012/12/20/the-swiss-difference-a-gun-culture-that-works/

  • JohnB

    Fairly sure we don’t point ‘unloaded’ guns at people either, DrEvil.

  • Alisa

    Switzerland has the second largest armed force per capita after the Israeli Defence Forces

    Unlike in Switzerland, the majority of Israeli civilians is unarmed, and is not allowed to be armed by law.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Alisa, do you mean that civilians aren’t allowed to own firearms (or other serious weapons) at all? Or that they can’t carry in public, nor use in self-defense in their homes?

    I just want to be very clear in my own mind, because I see over and over the claim that in Israel most civilians (at least the adults) are “armed”; and as you may have figured out, accuracy is important to me. The reason is that any time we GunNuts make a statement that is shown to be untrue, we who believe in an an unabridged right to keep and bear arms (“RKBA”) are called liars. (Heck, forget “shown.” Plausibly, or implausibly, claimed by GunGrabbers everywhere to be liars and clearly Demon Spawn.)

    I’ve seen this claim about the ubiquitous armed civilian Israelis made by people here who should know better.

    And I appreciate your making this point again. Thank you. :>))

  • John K

    Julie:

    Israeli gun laws largely follow the pattern left by the British Mandate.

    Thus, licensed gun ownership is possible, but that does not translate into concealed carry. The average Israeli is as likely to own a gun as the average Briton or Chicagoan. Licensed security guards do have the right to carry guns, but that is as far as it goes.

    Some settlers on the West Bank are loaned guns by the IDF, which is why you often see them carrying Uzis, but that gives a false impression of the average Israeli.

    I must confess I was surprised when I looked into this, but that is the case.

  • llamas

    Oh, FFS. Guys, that’s the bureaucrat’s answer. Let me translate for you.

    “let’s officially have a look at that” = “I am too polite, and too politically astute, to say right out loud on the steam radio that you are barking, moonbat crazy if you think that any arm of any UK police agency, whether supervisory, strategic, tactical or regulatory, will ever come with 100 parsecs of endorsing the idea of armed self-defence by any citizen. This will never, ever happen and if you think it ever will, you need your head examined. So we will ‘officially have a look at that’ for the 3.4 millisconds it takes every single participant to yell ‘Never!, at the top of their lungs, and then we will go right back to promoting today’s diversity-inclusionary-non-discriminatory buzz-word salad. Thanks for calling.”

    To paraphrase Sir Humphrey – ‘let’s take a look at that’ means ‘ that will never happen’. Ever. E – – – – ver.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Patrick Crozier (June 14, 2017 at 1:10 pm): “In the days before the First World War, when just about anybody could own a gun the murder rate was about half what it is now.”

    And was in fact even less than that if you allow for medical improvements: some who would have died then will live now (I’m guessing there will be survivors from today’s shooting in Alexandria who would have died from the same wounds in 1914). A very vague rule of thumb, based on survival of wounded soldiers, would be to guess at adjusting rates by a third between WWII and now, and more for earlier times.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Thanks, JohnK. Does this mean you can have a gun as long as you keep it locked up in your gun safe where it won’t go off by accident and hurt, say, an armed robber (or worse) — as in Washington, D.C., before the Supreme Court decided that the 2nd Amendment applied to Mr. Heller, for some value of “abridged”? And I take it that open carry is also not generally available?

  • I think it was 1910 when Winston Churchill was Home Secretary. Some Russian political desperadoes started a shoot up. The local police could not find the key to their gun cupboard.
    So they asked passers by for their weapons and got sufficient pistols to give chase.
    Eventually reinforcements, including troops, arrived and Churchill put in a grandstanding appearance at what was called the siege of Sydney Street.

    Crime was very low in those days. Gun crime even lower – possibly because murderers were usually quickly caught and speedily hanged. Yet many respectable people carried an “equaliser” because cash was the usual medium of exchange for people such as sales representatives, rent collectors etc. No credit cards or electronic banking available!

    Fire arms control was introduced as a result of the Irish troubles. It was still easy to get a shit gun licence for ten shillings over the counter at the Post Office but rifled weapons required a fire arms certificate, issued by the police.

  • Phil B

    @Edward Spalton – you are referring to the Sidney House siege.

  • Phil B

    OK – I’ll respond as briefly as I can (I could write a 20 page essay on the subject of British Firearms law and only outline the stupidity) in response to some of the comments to my original post.

    Full disclosure statement – I obtained a British firearms certificate in 1976 for a pistol and over time owned a .357 magnum revolver, a .45ACP pistol, a .308 rifle and a .22 rifle. I shot about 100 rounds of pistol a week between 1976 and 1997 – somewhat in excess of 100,000 rounds – and rifle when I could, racking over 5,000 round of full bore and well over 25,000 rounds of .22. My firearms certificate was revoked in 1999 after my wife died as I might have taken my own life and/or been a danger to the community.

    The 1920 Firearms act was to prevent revolution – the Russian Revolution scared the bejeezus out of the establishment. Add in the fact that about 4 million men had just fought a war and were armed to the teeth with souvenirs, their own issued rifles etc. (no restriction on firearms other than having to obtain a handgun permit similar to a dog license – buy one at the post office) then the possibility of armed insurrection had to be prevented. It was sold as a crime prevention measure (they lied) and the Chief Constable of London wanted all firearms to be collected by the Police and dished out to Tories in the event of trouble. In short, they lied and from the start and the intent of the legislation was to remove firearms from the hands of the great unwashed. The discussions were placed under a 60 year rule and not released to the public until 1981. Handy that, eh?

    This attitude must be borne in mind whenever discussing the subject.

    The 1938 act was to up the stakes of any appeal regarding a firearms certificate by making the appeal heard in the Crown Court, not a Magistrates Court. Magistrates did not know the reason for the original law and generally upheld the appellants case. Costs could be claimed by the Police in the Crown Court and as these was substantial, it acted as a strong disincentive to challenge the Police.

    I should mention here that when WW2 broke out and there was a real danger that Britain would be invaded, the Home Office firmly refused to issue the civilian population with rifles in storage (look up the development and numbers produced of the Enfield Pattern 1914 – Britain had about 1.25 MILLION such rifles in storage). I suppose the horrors of an armed population far outweighed the unpleasantness of a Nazi invasion – after all, the Nazis would require a functioning government and they would work under the Nazi regime.

    One of the anomalies of the law was that shotguns were not restricted they were not considered to be a militarily useful weapon though air rifles and air pistols, being useful trainer and restricted to 12 pounds foot and 6 pounds foot power were. Naturally fully automatic machine guns were banned altogether.

    The possibility of licensing shotguns was discussed by as by the early 1960’s shotgun crime was insignificant – about 100 cases per year, most of them “Armed Trespass”, there is no specific offence of poaching so you are prosecuted for armed trespass – it was considered by Roy Jenkins not to be worthwhile.

    In 1966, Harry Roberts shot and killed 3 policemen in Shepherds Bush, London with a revolver he had brought back from Malaya during his time as a conscripted national Serviceman. Roy Jenkins was firmly opposed to the death penalty and as “Something Had To Be Done” ™ the 1968 Firearms Act brought licensing in for shotguns. In short, they lied AGAIN.

    As far as I can find out, around 1960 the reason to own firearms for self protection was quietly withdrawn and self protection was no longer considered “good reason” to own a firearm. This was decided by the Home Office, most likely in conjunction with the Police. The Home Office produced a white paper (proposed legislation) in 1973 in which they wanted to ban semi automatic rifles and further restrict shotguns as well as more restrictions on all classes of firearms) which was rejected by Parliament.

    Michael Ryan in Hungerford (and there is a very interesting tale to be told about how he was granted a firearms certificate by the Police within 24 hours of his application and had acquired illegal firearms plus hand grenades) massacred 16 people and as “Something Had To Be Done” ™ the 1973 white paper was dusted off and implemented. If you like the “Where’s Wally” pictures you will love a “spot the difference” exercise with the 1973 white paper and the 1988 Firearms Act. Other than the order of some sections they are identical. Note that the Police failed in their duty to vet the applicant and as Hungerford is only about 5 miles from Bisley where the Police firearms team were shooting, they returned to their headquarters to have firearms issued, introducing a delay that resulted in more people being killed than necessary. The details have a 60 year restriction rule on them.

    The next incident was Thomas Hamilton and Dunblane an again, any careful examination of the background and his erratic and criminal behaviour would lead any rational person to wonder why the Police granted him a firearms certificate. However, it was election year and as “Something Had To Be Done” ™ then handguns were banned. The records of the incident are buried under a 100 year rule so we won’t discover what actually happened until we are all dead. Handy, that.

    As I mentioned above, the Police are entitled under the law to place restrictions on firearms certificates and do so to make the process of owning and shooting any firearm as joyless and unpleasant as possible. Self defence is not allowed using your legally owned firearm and when not in use, must be kept under lock and key with the ammunition stored separately. You WILL be in breach of the conditions of your certificate if you carry it in your own home and outside unless going or returning from an authorised range or where specified (e.g. a farm or other land).

    Note that since this is year 2017, then the British have been subject to 97 years of counting every firearm manufactured, sold, transferred and disposed of and every round of ammunition sold entered on someone’s firearms certificate. So, when the Police recover a firearm used in a crime, they do not have a fucking clue where it came from. But bearing in mind the principle of no one should be allowed to have a firearm except the state, it doesn’t matter. The system is designed to make it as awkward and painful as possible to possess firearms and make people think “Game isn’t worth the candle”. Added to that there has been almost a century of “guns are bad, gun owners are evil, gun nuts, gun fanatics, gun crazies” lies and propaganda, this has resulted in, as of September 2015 (the most recent year I can find searching the internet) 153,603 Firearm certificate holders out of a population of 65 million or 0.25% of the population. The overwhelming population buy into the propaganda and WILL NOT think things through. It is a religion and not amenable to rational discussion. The population will lecture me about handguns when they have never picked one up, let alone fired one, will quote what they think the law is and flatly disbelieve me or call me a liar when I point out their errors.

    I have carefully researched many aspects of the American system and gun crime in America is restricted almost exclusively to cities with tight gun control and large black populations (yeah, racist, I know but look here: http://crimeresearch.org/2017/04/number-murders-county-54-us-counties-2014-zero-murders-69-1-murder/, and here: https://www.teaparty.org/2-counties-12-nations-homicides-232984/ ), that more guns = less crime (Obamas threat of more restrictive laws resulted in a buying frenzy and well over 300 million guns were sold during his presidency, resulting in a decrease in murders) and that the majority of the American counties have zero murders. The USA has a low murder rate https://pri.org/stories/2016-06-27/map-here-are-countries-worlds-highest-murder-rates and is NOT the murder capital of the world, countries with draconian firearms laws ARE. Who’d a thunk it, eh? But “LOOK WHAT HAPPENS IN AMERICA”. For fucks sake PLEASE look what happens in America. Go ahead. PLEASE!!!

    For a good example of a British guy arguing that black is white with an American blogger, this link is a good one (get a coffee and a sandwich – it is long but illustrative of the mindset):

    http://smallestminority.blogspot.co.nz/2017/04/more-quora-debate.html

    Another anomaly is that since 1967 in the UK, a murder is only recorded when someone is convicted of the crime. So if a murder goes unsolved, then it is not counted as a murder. Here in Section 2, paragraph 35 (and please note the source of the document) is the definitive statement:
    https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199900/cmselect/cmhaff/95/95ap25.htm

    Murder is, in my opinion, vastly under recorded in the UK – I believe that about 50% of all murders are not solved so you can double the true murder rate. In other words, they are lying again and hoodwinking the British Public. Deliberately. Maliciously.

    So, please, by all means, tell me that the establishment in the UK is amenable to common sense, factual discussion and actual, y’know, evidence that the firearms controls in the UK DO NOT WORK, never have done, never will for their STATED purpose and I will call you an idiot. I get tired of explaining the same thing over and over and over and over again to be told that I must be mistaken. They do work if you bear in mind the principle that the State has the monopoly on violence and the population must never be allowed to possess weapons. Any pleading for a relaxation of firearms controls are from a position of unarmed weakness and from on your knees. You think that is a successful strategy?

    Incidentally, in response to WindyPants (June 14, 2017 at 5:45 am) hunting with a bow is banned and possession of broadheads are banned too. Please research what you are proposing.

    In short, the politicians and the establishment have been lying for the last 97 years, continue to lie and as various communist dictators have said, “Power comes out of the barrel of a rifle”. If you believe that they will relinquish power, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I can sell you, small used denomination bills only, cash with order.

  • Cuffleyburgers

    Dr Evil slight correction … never point a weapon at a person unless you intend to kill them. Loaded or unloaded mkes no difference .

    Otherwise, interesting post. I was in the OTC at uni for simple reason I wanted to learn to shoot.

  • Julie near Chicago (June 14, 2017 at 5:01 pm): “Does this mean you can have a gun as long as you keep it locked up in your gun safe where it won’t go off by accident and hurt, say, an armed robber.”

    Exactly so. Furthermore, any firearms certificate applicant who gave the least hint of thinking their weapons could be used to prevent their being stolen, or their owner being murdered, would thereby ensure their application was refused.

    That rule was imposed many many decades ago, at a time when British police were very seldom armed. Today, armed police are much more common.

    BTW, “you can have a gun” – you can (maybe) have a rifle with a view to improving your target shooting skills at an approved range, or similar. You cannot have a pistol, unless its design is nearer to the 2nd amendment’s date of passing than today. The pistol ban was an end-of-millenium Labour change. IIRC, they did that about three or four years before they restricted free speech. (The two were not linked – each had its distinct political context.)

    When the London’s 2012 Olympic bid was won, Labour was still in power. The need to have shooting events embarrassed them and the need for pistol events really annoyed them. They went to some lengths to plan the facilities built for these not to be convenient to the sport after the event, nor overlap with, and therefore publicise, the existing ones. IIRC, this increased their budgeted cost to the taxpayer from £25 million to £43 million, but no cost-cutting argument could dent the Labour minister’s agenda.

    As always, Tories accept these Labour changes once done and do less extreme ones of their own from time to time in a futile attempt to prove they are not the nasty party.

  • Alisa

    Julie, what JohnnK said. And no, this does not mean that you can own a gun as long as whatever. Think of it as the opposite of the 2nd Amendment: we are prohibited from owning or carrying guns, unless we are issued a permit, and the number of categories (and people who fit them) which would qualify one for such a permit has been gradually shrunk to a bare minimum over the decades. Recently these categories have been slightly expanded, following the various stabbings and driver attacks over the past couple of years, but we are still light-years away from anything resembling Switzerland in that regard (and any other regard really).

    As to the stories people tell about Israel, you should hear the ones they tell about the US… Most people are better informed about what is going on on the Moon (not much, I hear), than they are about what is going on just an overnight flight away from where they live 😡

  • JohnB

    > Edward Spalton June 14, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    > Fire arms control was introduced as a result of the Irish troubles.

    No. That was merely the reason given (as other posters have illustrated so well).

  • JohnB

    > Phil B June 15, 2017 at 12:29 am

    > OK – I’ll respond as briefly as I can …

    😉 Crikey, if that’s the brief version.

    Thank you for an excellent and informative post. I totally agree – hope you didn’t think I was one of those hoping the establishment will change its stance.

  • JohnB

    > Niall Kilmartin June 15, 2017 at 7:05 am

    > As always, Tories accept these Labour changes once done and do less extreme ones of their own from time to time in a futile attempt to prove they are not the nasty party.

    Meh. They are two sides of the same coin. Another useful tool in the division and ruling of the people.

  • Phil B: that was… epic. Cheers! 🙂

  • John K

    Julie:

    I am not sure about Israel, but since they do not have any right to keep and bear arms, I imagine that guns owned for hunting and target shooting must be kept locked away when not in use. That is certainly the case in Britain.

    Phil:

    Further to your great post, the 1920 Firearms Act was carefully drafted not to conflict with the Bill of Rights and the Common Law right to self-defence. That is why you need a “good reason” to own a firearm, but this “good reason” is not defined. Also, provided you have this “good reason”, the Chief Constable “shall” issue the certificate. In Northern Ireland, the legislation says he “may” issue it.

    When the 1920 Act came into force, self-defence was accepted as a “good reason”, but somewhat reluctantly. Police guidance was that it should be restricted to owners of isolated houses. Nonetheless, small numbers of certificates were issued for self-defence, usually to jewellers and other people who handled large amounts of cash, though I think some judges also insisted on having a pistol.

    The numbers were small, but finally came to an end in 1969, when the Home Office issued a secret guidance to all police forces, stating that “self-defence” should never be accepted as a “good reason” for a firearms certificate. But they were sly. It was secret, and it was not law, merely “guidance”, so on the face of it, the Bill of Rights still applied, except it did not, and you were not allowed to know about it.

    You are quite right about the festering background of lies on which British firearms law is based. As you say, the whole system is designed to stop law-abiding people from owning guns, for the convenience of the state.

    Strangely, the one part of the UK where you can own a gun for self-defence is Northern Ireland, where because of the Troubles, about 9,000 people have a special licence to own a personal protection weapon. They keep that one quiet. It might be that they don’t like to admit that so many people can carry a handgun in that small province, without causing any problem to the public safety. It’s almost as if the British state is based on lies and hypocrisy isn’t it?

  • Alisa

    I am not sure about Israel, but since they do not have any right to keep and bear arms, I imagine that guns owned for hunting and target shooting must be kept locked away when not in use.

    Yep.

  • bobby b

    Phil B
    June 15, 2017 at 12:29 am

    “OK – I’ll respond . . . “

    Thanks for all of that. That was the education on the British attitude towards guns that I was looking for, and explains much.

    It’s depressing. No government should feel completely safe – immune – from its own citizens. I imagine yours does.

  • llamas

    Kudos +1 to Phil B. for an outstanding post, and to John K. for the useful and informative addendum. A tour-de-force of the history of UK firearms law, my only complaint is that I would gladly have read more detail. I knew a lot of this in bits-and-bobs (at least up to the 1980s) but have never seen it described so well.

    The careful description of the duplicitous and deceptive ways that the law was drafted and applied, to effectively remove the right to, and ability for, armed self-defence, without actually seeming to do so, is masterful. Bravo.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Paul Marks

    The view that the government could do anything it liked and that people have no rights AGAINST the state (a view that united the supposedly opposed legal thinkers Blackstone and Bentham – after all it was Blackstone who pushed the idea that Parliament had unlimited and arbitrary power, long before Bentham did) captured much of the elite but NOT the people – at least not at first.

    Even as late as the First World War there was an extensive Constitutional Club network in Britain (who remembered the tradition of Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke,of Dr Bonham’s case, and Chief Justice Sir John Holt of the Glorious Revolution period) and the British National Rifle Association was larger than the American one. Although the behaviour of the Ulstermen in clearly stating there were some things (such as giving away the country) that Parliament had no right to do, and that they would fight against Parliament if it tried to do them, was looked at with horror by the Oxbridge trained elite who had totally internalised a Hobbes-Bentham (the-rulers-can-do-whatever-they-feel-like-doing) view of “law” – law as the whims of the state.

    However, many ordinary people still had a traditional view of law – that it was the effort to apply the principles of justice (which were real things – not just whims) to the circumstances of cases. Had the public been told that the police forces made compulsory by the Act of 1856 would one day insist on a disarmed public – they would seen the forces of Edwin Chadwick and co as the forces of creeping despotism that they really were.

  • Tim

    This “self-defense is a crime” view can also be seen in schools here in the US, where for decades the common policy has been to punish students for fighting. Both students: The one for starting a fight, and the other for the at-least-as-evil crime of fighting back in self-defense. And the more recent “zero tolerance” policies exist at least in part to keep school authorities from unofficially going easy on those students guilty of self-defense.

    Because there is no “need” to defend yourself; all you have to do is report the “incident” (the other kid beating you up) to the proper authorities (the teacher) and they will “address it”. Fighting back will only escalate the violence. Besides, teaching children to hit back is teaching them to use violence to resolve their disputes with their fellows; you should learn instead to use other means of conflict resolution to resolve the situation; or failing that learn to be a good witness of your ass whoopin’ so you can report it more accurately to the authorities. And of course “zero tolerance” policies saves them the trouble of sorting out who started it; just punish both of them, problem addressed.

    The wrong way to handle a conflict:

    Victim Fights Back In NSW Sydney School | ‘Casey’

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isfn4OxCPQs

    This footage was recorded by a student at Chifley College in Sydney, NSW, Australia. The video has gained worldwide attension by the media and parents.

    The victim, identified as Casey Hynes by Facebook has been bullied all his life and takes a stand when he is repeatedly punched and thrown to the wall.

    Understand for his trouble he got suspended from school; “zero tolerance” policy.

  • Not exactly new though, the policy of punishing both the attacker and the child defending himself was in place when I was at school in the 80’s. Not that that’s a good thing mind you, just that teacherly attitudes are perennial.