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Kevin Baker: 1, Gun Banners: 0

The inimitable Kevin Baker has put up another of his Überposts™©® (sic).  The post in question is a complete, thorough demolition of UK-style personal defense prohibition. It’s not even about gun bans, per se, (though the post re-drives a few nails in that particular coffin) but rather about the differing cultures in the UK versus the US with respect to self-defense.  It addresses the oft-posed question of “How’s that gun ban working out for you?” and answers both “not well” and also “the gun ban alone isn’t the problem.”

When I was a student in England, during our orientation, we were briefed by a very distinguished former police officer.  When asked, he told us that, while we had a right to defend ourselves under British law, we were “best not to use that right.”  Even if the tools of personal defense were available, it seems unlikely to me that British subjects would be safe in using them.  Of course, I’d rather be judged by twelve than carried by six, as the saying goes, but I wonder how many Brits feel the same way.

In this regard, I think Kevin Baker’s piece is well-researched, cogent, and topical, and I highly recommend it.  One thing I appreciated most about it was that it lacked the condescension towards the situation that I’ve seen in a lot of other articles.  The legal situation in the UK isn’t simply one which outlaws firearms, but one which essentially outlaws self-defense in any form.  This is not something to sneer at, as it winds up putting good men and women behind bars for the “crime” of meeting force with force when no other option was available.

Given that climate, what the British people need isn’t derision, but whatever support we, as outsiders, can give them in changing their laws if they so choose.  I think articles like Kevin Baker’s are a fantastic way to do this.  They demonstrate that, far from reducing crime, the criminalization of self-defense and the effective tools therefore are correlated with rising crime in the UK.  The opposite situation, roughly  shown by the increase in Right-to-Carry legislation in the US, has correlated with a steady decrease in violent crime here in the states.1 In short, they demonstrate that there is another way.

Of course, the UK isn’t my country.  I have no claim on its laws, and it’s presumptuous of me to try and say how the country SHOULD go.  Still, if the subjects of the British Crown decide that they want to rally and win back their right to defend themselves and their loved ones, then those efforts should be accompanied by our wholehearted support and not with sneers of “I told you so.”

In closing, I offer the following poster with no further commentary:

Send a Gun Poster

Image taken from NRA-ILA.

1 – Correlation is not the same as causation. Your legislative mileage may vary. Offer not valid in Wisconsin, Illinois, or Washington D. C. Some restrictions apply.

Posted in Guns, Politics.