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We answer, you reply, they skew

“Horses sweat, men perspire, ladies glow.” To the Guardian’s Steven Morris, responding to a government consultation is another of those famous irregular verbs that changes its form according to who does it.

UK gun lobby accused of helping to ‘skew’ consultation on tightening laws

The powerful UK gun lobby…

“Powerful UK gun lobby” my breech. It has lost every legislative battle in my lifetime.

…has been accused of mobilising tens of thousands of shooting enthusiasts to “skew” a government consultation on tightening firearms laws launched after the Plymouth mass killings in 2021.

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and the Countryside Alliance have made it easy for members and supporters to access the consultation from its websites – and advised them on how to reply to each of the 20 yes/no questions posed.

Making it easy for members of the public to respond to a Green Paper or other public consultation exercise is usually just the sort of thing the Guardian supports. The whole point of such things is that anyone with an interest in the subject is encouraged to give their view, and all advocacy groups consider it a core part of their function to tell their members that such consultations are taking place and to advise them what to say. Would anyone really prefer that a democratic country went ahead with a proposed new law without seeking input from all viewpoints?

The answer to that is yes, some would prefer exactly that. Among them is Peter Squires, a professor of criminology and public policy at the University of Brighton. He says,

“Virtually every independent-minded expert agrees on what needs to be done and then the Home Office conducts one of these farcical consultations and allows the self-interested single-issue shooting lobby to school its members through the process of rejecting the proposals.”

The consultation could turn out to be farcical in one of several ways. But if you want to give it a go, here is the link again. The deadline is tomorrow, 23rd August 2023.

25 comments to We answer, you reply, they skew

  • Todd Turley

    Made my morning with this line — “Powerful UK gun lobby” my breech. It has lost every legislative battle in my lifetime.
    The whole take is excellent; this line is superb.

  • Agammamon

    It has lost every legislative battle in my lifetime.

    Does . . . does the gun lobby not have guns? Because over here we found that having guns really helps when it comes to winning legislative battles – just having them, not even using them, just having them.

    When you have at least 1.26 guns for every man, woman, child, other, in the country, the attempts to ‘control’ guns become nothing more than pro-forma political theater and tribal signalling;)

  • Does . . . does the gun lobby not have guns?

    You clearly know nothing about UK gun laws. UK has some of the most repressive gun laws in the world already

  • bobby b

    MP in article: “We need ordinary people who want changes to gun laws to make a stand and send in their views to the Home Office consultation. If we don’t learn the lessons of the tragedy in Keyham, we will be doomed to repeat them.”

    So the complaint isn’t that the Massive British Gun Lobby skewed the poll – it’s that the Massive British Gun Ban Community didn’t skew it enough.

    In other words – “we got out-cheated! Now, get out there and cheat harder!”

  • Kirk

    Free men go armed, if they so desire. Only slaves and “subjects” have that right removed by their masters.

    From that, you can tell a lot about a government and the people who tolerate it. No right to self-defense? You’re a farm animal, nothing more, nothing less. You’re being farmed by your social masters for taxes and whatever else they might chose to take from you at a later date.

    The real issue began somewhat over a hundred years ago, when the people of Britain kow-towed to their “leadership” over this issue. The day will come when their descendants will curse their names for having acquiesced to perpetual serfdom.

  • Fraser Orr

    concern that the government will use the results of the consultation as an excuse to not make extensive changes to firearms laws

    How is that possible? How can you possibly make “extensive changes”? by banning the two dozen guns left in private hands? The only way to make extensive changes is to liberalize the gun control laws. Which might not be a bad idea, since you’ll need the guns to shoot down all those pigs that are flying by…

    Perhaps they might instead want to find out how this guy got a gun license despite the draconian British gun laws. Given some of the indicators including mental health issues and a record of criminal assault it is unlikely he could buy a gun here is 2nd Amendment land. Perhaps the guy who made that dumb ass decision might get the opportunity to look for alternative employment rather than vilifying the few remaining, law abiding and safe gun owners in the UK.

  • Carnivorous Bookworm

    Free men go armed, if they so desire. Only slaves and “subjects” have that right removed by their masters.

    Great theory, really is. But truth is private guns didn’t stop Trial-less Asset Forfeiture, FDR Gold Grab, Jim Crow, Bureau of Land Management, Eminent Domain abuse, EPA wetlands bullshit, Constitution-free zones near ports & Airports, etc.etc.etc.etc…

  • bobby b

    ” . . . private guns didn’t stop . . . “

    Just because aspirin won’t slow thinning hair, it has no value?

  • Paul Marks.

    As Todd Turley said – Natalie did well in calling out the Guardian newspaper on its direct lie about “the powerful U.K. gun lobby”.

    The Guardian lies all the time – and it is easy, too easy, to just get used to that. But we should not get used to that – when the Guardian tells lies (which it regards as “noble lies” – from Plato’s “Guardians”, “noble” because the lies push Collectivism – tyranny) we should denounce them, as Natalie does.

    Carnivorous Bookworm – the supporters of Jim Crow also supported “Gun Control” for black people, and they had good tactical reasons to do so. For example, the father of Condi Rice (the National Security Director for President George Walker Bush) drove off a KKK attack on his home – drove it off with his rifle (the KKK also bombed a church, killing little girls who were friends of Condi Rice). People in white hoods attacking your home look a lot less scary running from rifle fire.

    “Call the police” – often they were the police.

  • Paul Marks.

    Perry – so you have moved to Wiltshire?

    Moving out of London is a good idea.

  • Paul Marks.

    Interesting how Professor Squires redefines the term “independent minded” to mean conformist Collectivist.

    He turns the term “independent minded” on its head, reversing its meaning – as the left (such as the Guardian and so on) have long done with the terms “liberal” and “liberalism”. To be a liberal used to mean supporting lower government spending, lower taxes and less regulations (a smaller government), but the Collectivists stole the word (long ago now) and reversed its meaning.

    In the 1920s even some American supporters of the Soviet Union, the most oppressive Big Government regime on the planet, called themselves “liberals” – the lie was total, but they got away with it.

  • JohnK


    Thank you for drawing this to my attention. Despite being a member of sever shooting organisations, this is the first I have heard of it, and so I have sent in my response.

    The shooting incident in Bristol, much like that in Dunblane, resulted from a failure of the licencing system. The response of the authorities is to blame people who have done nothing wrong, and to make the system more complicated.

    This fellow Squires is a member of the “Gun Control Network”, a shadowy body believed to have seven members. Against this, about 600,000 own guns, so whose voice should carry more weight?

    The current gun control system is in essence the same one introduced in 1920 on the basis of lies to parliament. The official reason to introduce gun control was to disarm burglars. Cabinet papers published in 1970 showed that the real reason was to disarm the working class and to be able to confiscate legally held guns and distribute them to “friends of the government” if there was a revolution.

    Panic legislation brought in on the basis of a lie has managed to prevail for 103 years, only getting stricter over time. The only people it does not affect are criminals, but then again, that was never the point.

  • Kirk

    It was a fraud, just like it always is. Disarm the masses, then dominate them.

    Anyone trying to take your means of self-defense away from you? They’re not your friends; they’re your enemies. They aren’t doing that out of a sense of charity; they want to be able to force you into things without you being able to do a damn thing effective about it.

    What’s absurd is how often the con job works; the numpties in Britain would have never gotten away with it if everyone had said “Feck off, arsehole…”, and then refused to acquiesce. Every one of those politicians should have been thrown out of office, along with the law enforcement types that thought to play along. Didn’t happen, and now Britain pays the price. End of the day, they gave away their own and their children’s freedom.

    Telling thing about all of that… The NRA ran a program to help arm the Home Guard during WWII. Literal tons of personally-owned weapons were gathered up and shipped to the UK, and then used to arm the Home Guard. The idea and promise was that when the war ended, they’d be returned. Hopeful Americans labeled their weapons, and sent them off.

    End of the war? The “authorities” gathered up the weapons and dumped them in the sea, rather than return them to the free citizens who’d lent them to their nation in their time of exigency. I’ve an acquaintance of my childhood, then an old man. He’d lived “poor” most of his life, through the Depression. He managed to win a rifle from the Civilian Marksmanship Program by winning a fairly big match in the 1920s. That rifle kept his family fed via subsistence hunting during the Depression. At the beginning of WWII, he felt like it was his duty to send it off to the UK so that they could defend themselves with it. He had a brass tag made, with his name and address on it, attached it to the rifle and sent it off. That weapon had significant emotional value to him, but he thought it would do more good in the UK than here at home.

    He never got it back, and upon inquiry, was told that it was too much trouble to send the rifles and pistols back, so they’d dumped them at sea. He was bitter throughout the remainder of his life about that, and cursed the people of the United Kingdom for letting it happen. I think he’d have been fine if someone from the Home Guard had kept it on a mantlepiece, somewhere, but that dumping in the sea was a bridge too far, for him. The anger over that came off in waves, whenever he got to talking about it, even forty years later.

    There’s something obscene about that whole thing, when you think about it. Your independence and freedom are only maintained by force, in the final analysis, and when someone voluntarily gives you the means to do that, and you just toss those things into the sea…?

    Don’t look for help, next time around. You’re on your own, having proven yourselves unworthy as a nation.

  • JohnK


    A bit harsh if I may say so.

    I agree the destruction of those weapons given by Americans was a terrible thing, but typical of the bureaucratic mind.

    When gun control was introduced in 1920, millions of people owned pistols for self defence, and by and large they did not register them, they just kept hold of them. They still turn up, but not in the numbers they did.

    Shotguns were exempt from controls until 1968, and then until 1988 were not registered. Controls came in gradually. People in Britain were like the proverbial frog put in water which gets hotter until it is boiling.

    At least you in America can see what happened in Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. If you submit to a licencing regime and gun registration, eventually your guns will be confiscated. It is a pattern which has never been broken.

  • Kirk

    It’s harsh, but true. Y’all in the UK went willingly into the paddock; don’t be real surprised when the only open gates lead to the slaughterhouse.

    Only a fool relies on someone else to do the dirty work, and the fools of Britain have been outsourcing their own security to the very people who have proven to be unreliable. Need I point out Labor’s clear intent to dissolve the people, and elect another? Nobody got up in arms about that; it’s was an admitted fact of their policy, and not a person in Britain stood up and said “This is wrong, I refuse to countenance this…”

    Instead, Labor is probably going to win the next round of elections and double-down on the folly. Likewise, they sold your sovereignty to the EU back in the 1970s and 1980s… Did anyone care? Did anyone notice? They deliberately screwed up BREXIT such that you’re still beholden to Brussels; have you done anything about that?

    I’m having a hard time ginning up sympathy for England, these days. I’d like to; most of my ancestors came from somewhere in the British Isles, but I don’t feel a whit of connection to the modern-day residents. All y’all are a bunch of feckless fools, who don’t pay attention to your own history, and it’s a waste of my time to point out the folly of your collective actions. You or your children will learn, just as the “TWANLOC” types here in the US will learn. The hard way. Liberty and freedom are fragile things, and ohsoeasy to give away when you’re a lazy entitled bastard like most are, these days. Sad fact is, your kids will have to pay the price to regain those liberties, freedoms, and responsibilities. If they ever manage such.

  • Bulldog Drummond

    All y’all are a bunch of feckless fools, who don’t pay attention to your own history

    Says a bloke from the place that elected Joe Biden 😀

    and it’s a waste of my time to point out the folly of your collective actions.

    Then why are you commenting here? To be honest you do come across as a condescending arsehole rather than someone with a worthwhile point to make.

  • JohnK


    The worst thing is that they didn’t elect Joe Biden, and the people who stole the election are now trying to imprison the people who tried to protest the stolen election.

    I am not saying Britain is better or worse than the USA. We are both fucked.

  • JohnK


    As I said, in 1920 the people who owned pistols just kept them, by and large. They did not apply for a licence. Winston Churchill never had one, and he was just one famous example.

    In 1968 most people who owned shotguns did not get a licence. It took years until most had bothered to do so. We are not sheep. Our deep state is quite as evil as yours. But for your Bill of Rights you would be in much the same situation as we are.

  • Kirk


    I’d agree with you, were it not for the fact that there was essentially zero response to that admission of Labor’s that they were deliberately bringing in new people to form a more pliable electorate… Which, given their history of just doing as they pleased anyway, seems rather superfluous. Why bother? It’s not like the existing electorate was really bothering to say “No” in any clear way.

    In a country filled with rational self-interested types? That admission should have led to mass lynch mobs forming up in the streets, and then a summary trial and execution of all responsible government officials. Didn’t happen, did it?

    Just like, did anyone bother to honestly lay out what joining the EU would mean? To anyone across Europe? And, then, having done so, did they hold plebiscite elections such that people would have a say in surrendering their sovereignty? Or, did the numpties just do it, ‘cos it looked like a good idea?

    Here in the US, at least there was a protest at the encroaching paddock walls of things like Obamacare. Didn’t amount to much, and with the COVID BS they put in, it’s fairly obvious that most here are reduced to the status of sheep.

    Don’t get me wrong; it’s not like I don’t see the same things happening here in the US, but we’re not as far along, and we still have the tools to resist the statist freaks. In the UK? Good luck; I don’t see it happening, because even if someone finally gets pushed too far, the habits of acquiescence are there and none of the tools are available with any sufficiency. The forces of the state will likely win. Here in the US? LOL… Yeah. There aren’t enough of them, and they’re nowhere near as likely to succeed in putting the rest of us under the yoke.

    The biggest part of the problem you have in the UK is that you have surrendered even the moral ground for self-defense. People are prosecuted for harming burglars and muggers. The state of mind that indicates in the general culture is something I can’t even fathom, and it indicates an utter moral depravity across far too wide a swath of the culture. When you can’t even bring yourself to defend against an assault, why on earth should anyone else bother to defend you…? “Oh, it’s not OK for me to hit that nasty mugger, but the nice copper from down the lane? He can do it; he’s state-sanctified violence…”

    I’ve met actual residents of the UK who think like that, BTW. They thought I was the animal for being willing to defend myself, let alone demanding the right to maintain the tools to do so effectively.

    No idea how you come back from that, as a nation. I foresee a long period under the yoke, before the lesson of self-reliance gets hammered home.

  • JohnK


    Perhaps our deep state is a bit better organized than yours. We have had a lot longer for them to get it right.

    The EEC was not a feature of the 1970 general election, then bang, in 1973 we joined. No-one asked the people. But it was not such a big issue then. When there was a referendum in 1975, people voted to stay in the “Common Market”. It sounded like a good thing. In the 40 years that followed it became clear the “Common Market” was morphing into the United States of Europe, and the people voted to leave. I quite agree our Deep State wanted us to stay in, and did everything they could to thwart Brexit, but at least we left.

    As a nation we still have some spunk, as an example I cite the guys who every night cut down Mayor Khan’s spy cameras for his hated ULEZ zone.

    Self defence? It is still a right in law, how can it not be? I agree the Deep State types don’t like it, yes they would rather have sheeple, but at least we still have juries.

    I am not saying things are good, they are not. But I do think our paper based elections are mostly fair, and we do not try and imprison the previous prime minister.

    Anyway, God help us all. We need it.

  • Kirk

    The thing about US elections is that they’ve only gotten away with it so long as everyone thought the elections were fair, and nobody was looking. This last one, in 2020? Yikes.

    There will come a moment when they’ve lost the mass of the electorate. At that point, they’re done, and they know it. Which is why you see all the indictments of Trump.

    Which I suspect is going to backfire, bigly. Hard to say, really… There’s an enormous reservoir of “I don’t want to have to do this…” in the American electorate, because all the prime movers that’d likely be participating in any such violent reaction are reluctant to have to “go there”. When they lose that reluctance? No telling how far it goes or how long it lasts. We may never come back from it. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: You don’t need to be worried about all these FBI-provoked little deals like the January 6th BS. Worry when you see the hard cases showing up, without the handlers and the fluffers. The guys you need to be observing are all the various SF types they’ve put through things like Robin Sage and all the other training events. Those guys are out there, they’re not joining “militias”, but when they finally start participating in the madness? That’ll be the moment where it all begins to really unroll. What we’ve seen so far are poseurs and easily conned types that’re the low-hanging fruit for agencies like the FBI. The guys they really need to worry about aren’t chatting on the internet; they’re not leaving manifestos out there, and they likely don’t even know they’re going to be doing what they do, until they feel like they’ve got no other damn choice than to hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats. Once they engage, the various agents provocateur are going to find themselves up against a totally different class of opponent, one that actually knows what it’s doing and how to do it. It won’t be the KKK all over again; these guys know fieldcraft and all the tricks. If there are any “movements” that they’re part of, they’re likely reverse honey pots to suck in the attention of the agencies, to make them feel as though they are in control.

    There are people like this out there. It’s just that they’re not yet motivated to act. When they are? That’s the moment we all need to be worried about, because that’s when it all goes kinetic.

  • I’m sorry, as someone from across the Pond I never knew the UK had ANY organization that supported gun possession by ordinary citizens. I figure the only firearms any UK person has seen would be grandpa’s old Webley* he “forgot” to turn in, and the odd shotgun for the well-connected country squire. Isn’t the UK the country that bans self-defense by screwdriver and has been trying to ban knives?

    *The Webley in .455 is a fine revolver, and even the lesser Webley in .380 is good. Disclaimer: I own one of the Webley Mk IV’s with original Bakelite ™ and that oh-so-British lanyard ring. Shoots fine, I just use 38 Long Colt because I don’t trust 1938 British wartime steel to survive the intended relatively high-powered 38/200 ammo.

  • bobby b

    August 22, 2023 at 4:41 pm

    “Because over here we found that having guns really helps when it comes to winning legislative battles – just having them, not even using them, just having them.”

    Have to agree with this. The underlying purpose of an armed society – for our Constitution-writers – was to keep government honest. Not to actually overthrow government through force of arms, but to retain the possibility of such things happening. To have the realistic possibility of retaining power. To keep the skeer up.*

    It was an early adoption of the MAD philosophy. You can come at us, but it won’t be painless.

    * – General N.B. Forrest

  • Paul Marks.

    Bulldog Drummond – America did not elect Mr Biden, the 2020 Presidential Election was rigged. However, that may be precisely your point Sir – Americans, with all their firearms, did nothing (nothing effective) as the election (and their country) was stolen from them. About a million Americans turned up on January 6th 2021 (of which only a tiny minority went on to the Capitol building) – but it was horribly obvious they had no idea what to do, they just shouted and waved flags (as impotent as a British crowd).

    The point was made again in 2022 – the election for Governor of Arizona was blatantly rigged, election machines “sorry they are not working – come back later”, and vast numbers of mail-in ballots (postal votes) which were often not from actual voters.

    And the armed people of Arizona did…. well they did NOTHING, they trusted in the courts (the corrupt judges laughed at them), and even when the Wall Street Journal printed its despicable there-was-no-election-fraud-in-Arizona article, the people still did NOTHING. The editorial board of the WSJ were not challenged to a duel (sword-or-pistol) for their establishment lies – nothing (nothing at all) was done. Most people in Arizona are very sad-and-upset, as they watch their State controlled by criminal cartels (who have bought many people in BOTH political parties), but they do not do anything.

    “There was nothing effective the public could do in 2020 or 2022 – as it was clear that the security forces, including the military, are controlled by their establishment enemies”.

    True – but a very grim truth.

    In the face of the paramilitary forces of the Police State, such as the FBI (let alone the standing army – which the Founding Fathers warned against), the public are helpless. And the Corporate State (which, again, as bought people in both major political parties – including the leading “Republican” in the Senate, Senator McConnel) laughs at the public.

  • JohnK


    About one per cent of the British population owns guns legally. This is too small a number to constitute much of a “gun lobby”.

    Most European countries have higher percentages of gun ownership, because they are more rural. Britain is heavily urban by contrast.

    The reasons British people own guns are either hunting or target shooting. You will not get a certificate if you say you want a gun for self-defence, although it is not in itself illegal to use a legally owned gun for self-defence if the needs arises.

    I had some experience with the Webley Mk VI and the Mk IV, and I like them too. The Mk IV uses .38 S&W ammunition, so .38 Long Colt will be all right if it is the same specification.