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'Think tank: If each of us carried a gun...we could help to combat terrorism' TimesOnLine.co.uk

Doug Huffman

Jun 9, 2006
Washington Island, across Death's Door, Wisconsin,
imported post


The firearms massacres that have periodically caused shock and horror around the world have been dwarfed by the Mumbai shootings, in which a handful of gunmen left some 500 people killed or wounded.

For anybody who still believed in it, the Mumbai shootings exposed the myth of “gun control”. India had some of the strictest firearms laws in the world, going back to the Indian Arms Act of 1878, by which Britain had sought to prevent a recurrence of the Indian Mutiny.

The guns used in last week’s Bombay massacre were all “prohibited weapons” under Indian law, just as they are in Britain. In this country we have seen the irrelevance of such bans (handgun crime, for instance, doubled here within five years of the prohibition of legal pistol ownership), but the largely drug-related nature of most extreme violence here has left most of us with a sheltered awareness of the threat. We have not yet faced a determined and broad-based attack.

The Mumbai massacre also exposed the myth that arming the police force guarantees security. Sebastian D’Souza, a picture editor on the Mumbai Mirror who took some of the dramatic pictures of the assault on the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway station, was angered to find India’s armed police taking cover and apparently failing to engage the gunmen.

In Britain we might recall the prolonged failure of armed police to contain the Hungerford killer, whose rampage lasted more than four hours, and who in the end shot himself. In Dunblane, too, it was the killer who ended his own life: even at best, police response is almost always belated when gunmen are on the loose. One might think, too, of the McDonald’s massacre in San Ysidro, California, in 1984, where the Swat team waited for their leader (who was held up in a traffic jam) while 21 unarmed diners were murdered.

Rhetoric about standing firm against terrorists aside, in Britain we have no more legal deterrent to prevent an armed assault than did the people of Mumbai, and individually we would be just as helpless as victims. The Mumbai massacre could happen in London tomorrow; but probably it could not have happened to Londoners 100 years ago.

In January 1909 two such anarchists, lately come from an attempt to blow up the president of France, tried to commit a robbery in north London, armed with automatic pistols. Edwardian Londoners, however, shot back – and the anarchists were pursued through the streets by a spontaneous hue-and-cry. The police, who could not find the key to their own gun cupboard, borrowed at least four pistols from passers-by, while other citizens armed with revolvers and shotguns preferred to use their weapons themselves to bring the assailants down.

Today we are probably more shocked at the idea of so many ordinary Londoners carrying guns in the street than we are at the idea of an armed robbery. But the world of Conan Doyle’s Dr Watson, pocketing his revolver before he walked the London streets, was real. The arming of the populace guaranteed rather than disturbed the peace.

That armed England existed within living memory; but it is now so alien to our expectations that it has become a foreign country. Our image of an armed society is conditioned instead by America: or by what we imagine we know about America. It is a skewed image, because (despite the Second Amendment) until recently in much of the US it has been illegal to bear arms outside the home or workplace; and therefore only people willing to defy the law have carried weapons.

In the past two decades the enactment of “right to carry” legislation in the majority of states, and the issue of permits for the carrying of concealed firearms to citizens of good repute, has brought a radical change. Opponents of the right to bear arms predicted that right to carry would cause blood to flow in the streets, but the reverse has been true: violent crime in America has plummeted.

There are exceptions: Virginia Tech, the site of the 2007 massacre of 32 people, was one local “gun-free zone” that forbade the bearing of arms even to those with a licence to carry.

In Britain we are not yet ready to recall the final liberty of the subject listed by William Blackstone in his Commentaries on the Laws of England as underpinning all others: “The right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defence.” We would still not be ready to do so were the Mumbai massacre to happen in London tomorrow.

“Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India,” Mahatma Gandhi said, “history will look upon the act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.” The Mumbai massacre is a bitter postscript to Gandhi’s comment.

D’Souza now laments his own helplessness in the face of the killers: “I only wish I had had a gun rather than a camera.” Richard Munday is the co-author and editor of Guns & Violence: The Debate Before Lord Cullen


Legendary Warrior
May 21, 2006
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There are some in Britain that get it right. Perhaps there is hope for merry ol' England yet.

Yata hey


Regular Member
May 1, 2007
Bandera, TX
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Grapeshot wrote:
There are some in Britain that get it right.  Perhaps there is hope got merry ol' England yet.

                 Yata hey

I was born there and lived through the total gun ban - this is partly why I'm such an ardent supporter of the 2A here. I saw just how fast and easy it was for the politicians (with the aid of the sensationalist liberal media) to disarm the populace. Apparently, politicians don't like armed taxpayers. Who would've thought!! :shock:

Anyways, it's been over 10 years since the ban and crime has risen tremendously. Burglaries are so common now that if a burglar gets caught - they simply get a caution from the police. No court, no jail, no fine. That's how common it is!

God forbid you forget to remove the snatch-plate off your car stereo there. You'll come back to broken glass and a missing stereo. If you don't have locking wheel nuts on your vehicle, you'll come back to find it on piles of bricks.

What amazes me though is that most Brits still think the US is a crime ridden sod hole with drive by shootings happening on every street corner - and most Americans think Britain is this merry green little land with no crime whatsoever. It's actually the other way around!

My personal take on things is that guns become a victim of their own success. An armed society truly is a polite society. As you read in the attached newspaper article, everyone in England carried weapons back in those days and crime was virtually none existent. Because there was such little crime, it was easy for the hoplophobes to say "we don't need guns" and the ever apathetic population to go along with it. Then, as more and more gun laws came into effect, the crime rates went up and up.

Eventually, it'll get so bad that people will begin to cry out for CCW laws or similar - or there might be a revolution. If those laws ever pass, crime will go back down and things will have come full circle. So it can all start again.

However, Britain has gone so far to the left in the last few years that I can't see these laws passing anytime soon. They have literally been brainwashed!

On a side note, I've met a guy here in Texas who happens to be from London. We got talking about guns. I showed him one of mine and he thought it was "scary". Said he thought people who carried guns are "paranoid".

I asked him if he didn't like the idea of others carrying because, in fact, he couldn't trust himself to handle a weapon. He said no. So I then said, "So it's a case of you trust yourself... but nobody else is trustworthy?" He wasn't sure what to say after that - but I wonder who's really the paranoid one?


New member
Dec 4, 2008
, ,
imported post

Quednic- Share your sport!!!

Offer to bring your friend shooting, and keep on him about it. Give him a short talk about safety and go kill some paper or cans and have fun. I have brought many new shooters out to the range and haven’t had anyone say it is not for me. Most have been “bitten by the bug” as put it.