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What use is eternal vigilance if you're unarmed?

Sean Linnane: GUN CONTROL.

As a man who never saw military service, I can only be respectfully grateful to men like Sean who have put themselves in harm's way to protect us. Orwell said "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." Those of us who chose other occupations have much cause to thank those men (and now women) in the military, not to mention the police and other emergency services.


There's no reason however, if the laws permitted, why we couldn't take more responsibility for our own everyday protection. In Britain, the laws sadly don't permit. With an estimated four million illegal firearms in circulation we don't so much have gun control as a state guarantee to armed criminals that they will meet no resistance. Yet I never meet more horrifed responses than when I tell British friends we should have the right to bear arms.

Why is it, do you think, that the arguments presented in the linked post carry so little weight this side of the pond?


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The false Captain Ranty (Friday, March 09, 2012 at 03:24 PM),

I mean why?
What do you really hope to prove?
You had an argument with him on his blog. You both disagreed. An angry exchange. It happens all the time. It's called life, but to do what you're doing and using his moniker to post utterly ignorant and stupid replies is really the wrong thing to do.

I really can't believe you could be so stupid and over an argument on an internet forum.


Captain Ranty

Thanks Anon.

You are quite right. It is the troll.

I am a peaceful man.

Our information on him is complete. We will be contacting his employers. We will be asking several questions. At first, I just wanted him to be reprimanded.

Now I want him fired.

If he continues with these malicious lies I may want him charged as well.



I doubt that this is from the real Captain Ranty--the Captain wouldn't sat anything as stupid. A troll has been harrassing him lately and said troll probably hopes some copper will read this and stage a raid.


While Tom's article is absolutely correct in relation to handgun ownership, it is worth mentioning, that although there are restrictions to handgun ownership in UK, it is your right to own a shotgun, provided you conform to some elementary and sensible guidelines.

Shotguns are considered by many to be the best deterrent and most effective home defence weapon. I am aware of current UK "thinking" (if it can be called that) related to home defence, that is a conumdrum for you to unravel if you wish to safeguard your property and family.

A useful resource is the British Association of Shooting and Conservation. Their guidance here is useful.


Don't look at me with your "horrifed responses" you are so preaching to the converted. The authorities pretend they can protect you, but all they can really do is bag up your body and try to figure out who did it afterwards.


You are free to come to incorrect conclusions, thats one of the great things about democracy.

Happiness is an important consideration.


Which will give the higher body count of the innocent, an armed or unarmed populace? I know which I think it will be and am happy to live in a gunless house.


Certainly having a concise well-written constitution helps.

Amendment 2 -A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Even a cursory study will reveal that states with minimum gun control tend to have lower rates of homicides and burglaries. Washington DC and Chicago which are notorious for gun control suffer some of the highest murder and serious crime statistics, mirroring your experience in UK.

Also, as alluded to in several of the posters, reliance on a police force is effectively delegating your safety to often poorly organized and less-motivated government employees. Survival is rarely improved by waiting for a government employee to show up, assess the threat and eventually act upon their assessment.

Responsible gun ownership accompanied by proper training is no more dangerous than owning a car.

Single Acts of Tyranny

I have found this to be a useful bell-weather. Would Tony Blair like you to be armed? QED. Pass my Baretta.

James Strong

And don't forget the despicable action of the state in prosecuting Maya Evans for reading out the names of war dead at the Cenotaph.

(Triple commenting, Tom. You hit on two subjects that always set me off. Thank you.)

James Strong

Like you I never served in the military, the school cadet force was my limit. But I have met and known many service men and women.
Our country should honour them much more than we do.
We should remember two simple bumper sticker slogans:

Freedom is not free.


If you can read, thank a teacher. If you can read in English, thank a soldier.

We should honour our service people by asking them to risk their lives only in defence of our nation; never for the self-esteem of our politicians.

Over 400 of our people have died in the current Afghan war, which is going to have the same result as the 19th century British involvement in Afghanistan.
I am nauseated by the pious performance of the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition at PMQs when more names of our war dead are read out.

Honour our service personnel, bring them home.

James Strong

Thank you for this, Tom.

I have found it more difficult to convince people that all drugs should be fully legal than that we should have the right to carry guns.

There was a gunman in Cumbria perhaps a couple of years ago who would have killed many fewer victims if we had the right to carry concealed weapons. And they need to be concealed; you don't want armed criminals to know for sure that you are not armed yourself.

We should also have weapons to protect us against state violence. I do not object to armed police provided we can also have an armed citizenry. And the police have nothing to fear from law-abiding citizens having guns, PROVIDED that UK policing remains policing by consent and not policing by and for oppression.

You ask why the arguments for gun freedom don't carry the same weight in the UK as in the USA. Not easy to answer but I think that, in part, it is because of the myth of unarmed police. I grew up with that myth, it made us think we lived in a benign and safe environment.
That's less and less our environment now.

Archie Dean

Ah yes, our guardians and saviours....I reckon you've got that just about right bb.

I never cease to be amazed at the legions of people who appear happy with the idea that it is a perfectly legitimate purpose of government to set all kinds of targets for its subjects in respect of diet, levels of fitness, drinking, working, reading etc, etc, etc, etc, and whom I would suppose by definition also believe that all should then just jump to willing attention and rush to comply.

Nietzsche's 'voting cattle' I suppose......
It's depressing really.


Dr Evil

Tom, we should be allowed to bear arms as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, 1689. The handgun ban was a stupid knee jerk response to a nutter who should have had his guns taken away. The police knew he was unstable, but he had important friends. Not only should we have guns we should be allowed to carry them concealed. You would see a significant improvement n manners and behaviour too. If I was in charge I would even consider making it mandatory for all households to have at least one gun. That bloke Moat wouldn't have killed so many if the people nearby had a nice Glock 9mm.

Andy Frith

I think it probably has something to do with the high rates of gun crime in the US, which are frequently raised whenever the topic of gun control is raised.

Of course, Switzerland tends to be ignored, despite a higher rate of gun ownership and lower gun crime.

The reason for the high crime in US inner cities probably has more to do with the war on drugs than guns per se. Legalise drugs and then see how the crime rate falls.

Captain Ranty

I always have a gun with me, lawful rebellion has its enemies they won't take me out without a firefight.

barnacle bill

Probably the reason why so many recoil at the idea of an armed populace is that too many are still of the mindset of believing that those in authority are there because they have the "Public's" interest in their hearts.
Not that they are really a thievish bunch of enslavers, who given half the chance, would sell their citizens for a handful of silver.

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