Monday, July 20, 2009

[defending ourselves] the time has come

The railway-cuttings smothered in wild flowers

The first essential problem with any argument over guns is that people are not willing to look at the underlying and surrounding trends. This is not helped when the government massages the stats to produce the desired effect and then cries out that those supporting the right to be armed within one's home has no stats to back it up with.

Others beg to differ. Dan Rather claimed, and this was syndicated across the media that "[N]ow, like the US, the UK has a crime problem. And believe it or not, except for murder, theirs is worse than ours.":

In the report, which was also shown on Sky News, CBS News senior European correspondent Tom Fenton said police statistics were flawed, as only one in four assaults was recorded. "The violence of soccer fans is most familiar but that is only the tip of the iceberg. The reality is the streets and shopping malls of Britain are a battleground."

We the people of the UK, know full well about the no-go areas and the parts of the country where insurance premiums have gone sky-high. Everyone knows of the ASBOs [linked for non-Brits] and the threat they pose. Go to a shopping mall and look about. The problem is, the hysteria over the young reinforces the ASBOs running amok. Think about it one moment. Young people always like to kick against authority but if they see adult fear of them faithfully reported by the MSM most days, then they're going to feel empowered. This has been largely Labour's doing.

And Joyce Lee Malcolm pointed out that things are not as rosy as painted:

Over the course of a few days in the summer of 2001, gun-toting men burst into an English court and freed two defendants; a shooting outside a London nightclub left five women and three men wounded; and two men were machine-gunned to death in a residential neighborhood of north London. And on New Year's Day this year a 19-year-old girl walking on a main street in east London was shot in the head by a thief who wanted her mobile phone. London police are now looking to New York City police for advice.

Has the removal of weapons made British citizens feel safer? Has it hell. Malcolm again:

Instead it has left law-abiding citizens at the mercy of criminals who are confident that their victims have neither the means nor the legal right to resist them.

This is the reality of our times now over here. Behind the hedgerows, the civic centres and the narrow lanes, it is:

1. the removal of effective deterrent to crims;
2. the insane ancillary legislation which makes it a crime to defend oneself in one's own home

… which has left parents fearful for their children and not willing to take any risks nor to trust anyone "suspicious". And under the draconian overreaction to Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, the CRB legislation which sees even falsely accused people left with smears against their name in perpetuity for any future employer to access, everyone is suspicious and a climate of fear leads to the government's next step in the tightening of the screws.

Julia M reports the following:

Members of the public are to be given the power to report anyone they suspect of posing a danger to children, under a new Government scheme.

People who suspect an individual of being unsuitable to work or volunteer with children will be able to refer them to the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) through a form on its website. After receiving an allegation from a member of the public, the ISA will examine the available evidence and contact the person concerned to allow them to mount a defence.

Julia points out:

Mount a defence? To what? They aren't being charged with a crime, they are being accused, on the basis of an anonymous tip off, of one of the worst things anyone could ever be accused of...

People, this is precisely how it was done in the USSR. Don't forget I've lived over there so this is hearsay from the horses' mouths. The principle of denunciation was in operation for decades. You have something you're not happy about? Turn in your neighbour and be rewarded by the State for being a good citizen.

Can you imagine the effect on community relations? The damage to the society and how completely the government then assumes control?

Gun control is an integral part of that process.

The real story in the UK

The BBC's editor tried to use Home Office statistics to prove that crime is down but all that did was produce reactions like this by Dan6713.

The entire number of officers including specials in a 24 hour day may be nine that means only three on duty at any one time provided no sickness or holiday and then added in to every figure are the counties single firearm unit or rapid response unit. So a huge town and villages may only have a single proper officer on duty but the figures actually show about twenty.

Fiddles and lies abound but I know this much I attended a neighbourhood watch meeting and was astounded at the anger within our community at those without a voice suffering in lawless britain. The papers reflect what you dont know in the growing rich and increasing poor regions of the EU.

Incidentally, if you click on Dan's name, you'll see that all the comments he's had the temerity to make have been carefully listed for future reference. That's the situation we live in.

Another commenter says:

The British Crime Survey does not collect data from people under 16. So all those incidences of children being mugged for their mobile phones or trainers on their way home from school, are not being reflected.

Angrycitizen 2 said:

In the real world - some measure of the utter corruption of Govt crime figures can be gauged by an excellent book by David Fraser, called a Land Fit for Criminals. Unlike Mr Easton, who cobbled together a few highly selected and misleading charts from a Government propoganda machine, Fraser spent 30 years researching crime, suggesting real crime ran 5-6 times higher that that reported.

Civitas published a report in 2002 showing, even then, that actual crime was about 4 times higher than that recorded (which totalled about 60m crimes a year). The real comparison ought to be made then with other countries: Nationalmaster stats show we are the 6th worst country in the world, with figures about 250% higher than the global average.

A crown court lawyer commented:

Violent crime is down because it is less recorded. If the victim is incoherent through drunk, there is no report. If there is no report, there is no crime and the police are doing their job - according to their targets.

Detection rates are up because the police now have the option of fixed penalty notices. Get someone who has committed an offence of minor violence, tell them if they admit it they can have an instant £80 fine and, voila they admit and and are free to go. If they don't pay the fine there is very little chance of being chased up.

The fact that shoplifting is up dramatically is nothing to do with the recession. It is because about 15 months ago it was effectively decriminalised. Before, if you were caught shoplifting, you were arrested, charged, went before a court - got a record and probably saw your name in the local papers.

Now you get a fixed penalty notice in whatever name you give - the police record it as a detection and everyone is happy. Criminals have always worked by balancing risk and reward - shoplifting is a low risk crime as is cyber crime. Its made low risk because no-one cares.

The reason for pressing on with this point is to show that the view the government wants you to have – namely that crime is down and everything is rosy – is not only not shared by a significant proportion of the population but it is to support an agenda of making the average citizen powerless and the citizens I know in the UK are not happy about that at all although most are resigned to it.

Just how much testimony do you need before you see that it is a lie which is being peddled in Britain. Respected high-flying lawyer Tom Paine wrote, about the recently released crime stats:

If you believe domestic burglary in Britain is down by 54 percent, there is no hope for you. You are destined to live in a Britain of one party government, constantly-exceeded 5 year plans and shortages of everything caused by counter-revolutionary saboteurs.

He also mentions the Telegraph article reporting the EU Commission report acknowledging that the UK is violent crime capital of Europe.

Tom writes:

No-one who is paying any attention could doubt this. For goodness' sake, even Henley Regatta has suffered hooliganism. I hear that the city where I have my pied à terre in the North of England suffers one murder every time there is a race meeting at its ancient hippodrome.

Analysis of figures from the European Commission showed a 77 per cent increase in murders, robberies, assaults and sexual offences in the UK since Labour came to power.

Joyce Lee Malcolm wrote on our experience in the UK; her book is reviewed:

Investigating the complex and controversial issue of the real relationship between guns and violence, Joyce Lee Malcolm presents an incisive, thoroughly researched historical study of England, whose strict gun laws and low rates of violent crime are often cited as proof that gun control works.

Malcolm also offers a revealing comparison of the experience in England experience with that in the modern United States. Today Americans own some 200 million guns and have seen eight consecutive years of declining violence, while the English--prohibited from carrying weapons and limited in their right to self-defense have suffered a dramatic increase in rates of violent crime.

David Wootton (London Review of Books ) said, of this data:

Joyce Malcolm's book reminds us forcibly that arguments for gun ownership were, until quite recently, respectable and persuasive, and that gun control and peaceable behaviour appear to be unrelated phenomena.


Tom Paine wrote [see links above] of the credulous public which believes what they are told and what they feel, rather than the reality of what's going down. An example is Scot James Kelly who encapsulates the blind, blanket view that Britons should not defend themselves thus:

The difference in this debate is that I have been arguing on the basis of what I believe to be true, and doing my best to explain why I believe it. Kevin, by way of contrast, claims to be able to literally ‘prove’ his case beyond any doubt whatsoever by recourse to detailed statistical data.

Er yes … Kevin uses data. As he should.

Astute readers will have picked up the seeming discrepancy between Tom saying people accept the government's stats uncritically and many saying there is a climate of fear [or at least of unease and disquiet].

There is no discrepancy here. The two can very much go together. Reality outside, through our senses, reveals the true situation but the stats, as released by the government, must be true, mustn't they? So thinks the average cit. Therefore what we see out there every day must be wrong. Why must it be wrong? Because the government statistics and protestations tell us so. So whilst, on the one hand, we grumble over the government and even get angry over second homes, saying politicians should be shot, at the same time we unquestioningly accept their bloody statistics. Oh, they must be right because they are "Official".

Meanwhile, there is a range of evidence to the contrary available but you have to search for it because it never makes it into the MSM, e.g. the BBC.

Joe Huffman, a pro-self-defence blogger from the States, puts a simple challenge on this issue:

Can you demonstrate one time or place, throughout all history, where the average person was made safer by restricting access to handheld weapons?

So far, it has not received a definitive and clinching response, except by massaged or imperfectly gathered statistics using questionable procedures. Quite the opposite picture emerges, for example, from Massachusetts:

If the intent of the Gun Control Act of 1998 was to discourage the sport of hunting and competitive target shooting and to disarm Massachusetts citizens, it must be considered a howling success. In 10 years since its passage, the number of licensed gun owners has decreased from 1,500,000 to 220,000, an 85 percent drop, according to figures provided by the by the House Post Audit and Oversight Committee. Well done!

If the intent was to reduce crime, then that law must be considered a miserable failure. Based on incidents per 100,000, gun-related homicides are up 68 percent, assault related gun injuries up 72 percent, assault related hospital discharges up 160 percent, gun assault Emergency Dept visits up 222 percent and gun assault outpatient observations up 538 percent. Keep in mind that these increases occurred when there were 1,280,000 fewer licensed gun owners in the state.

You might like to check this link, a report prepared by the Taskforce on Community Preventive Services in the U.S., where the question of whether removing firearms has led to a decrease in crime or not. They "found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes," although they added that meant it was inconclusive and suggested that more research be done.

In fact, all that happens when you ban guns is that:

1. people resort to other means – in the UK, this means knives and broken bottles;
2. the real crims who would never register a weapon and have no incentive to do so, can run around as the enforcers and do as they please.

Here is an example - four shot, one dead.

For all practical purposes private individuals aren't allowed to carry guns to protect themselves in California. The results are predictable and tragic:

TEMECULA, Calif. (AP) — A gunman opened fire at a Korean Christian retreat center, leaving one woman dead and four people injured, authorities said. The gunman, described as an Asian man in his 70s, was among the wounded, Riverside County Sheriff's Sgt. Michael Lujan told KNBC-TV on Wednesday.


Why do the government want you unable to defend your family or yourself? Joe Huffman's "Jews in the attic test" begins with a question about any new legislation further eroding one's ability to defend oneself:

Will this law make it difficult or impossible to protect innocent life from a government intent on their imprisonment or death?

He then goes on to list some laws that fail the test and why:

# Government mandated ID cards and the authority to demand them at any time. The oppressed class will be unable to masquerade as a member of the neutral or oppressor classes.

# Searches without probable cause. Imagine you are attempting to smuggle your "Jews in the attic" to a safer hiding place. If the police at the roadblock can search all vehicles then you and your precious cargo are headed to the "work camps".

# Government monopoly on medical care. This is a bit surprising -- isn't it? If it is illegal for you to pay someone for anonymous health care then how can your "Jews in the attic" receive health care?

# Firearm or firearm owner registration. The registration information can be used to confiscate the firearms used to protect innocent life -- as it was under the 1938 Weapons Control Act in Nazi Germany.

# Elimination or severe restriction of anonymous financial transactions. The purchase of food and other supplies for your "Jews in the attic" would show up in the records as being excessive compared to what your needs were. Just as power consumption records are used today to catch home marijuana growers.

Cultural differences

Let's face it, there are some cultural differences between the U.S.A and here. We have grown up differently and faced different challenges. It is true that we are not as gung ho, we remember a time when policeman, bobbies, wore funny, reassuring hats and walked the beat. In those days, one could go up to one for help and even a chat.

Today, you're liable to be put on the database.

The police were not armed in those days, the railway cuttings sported wildflowers, the local post office was a place to natter; the teashop was where we rested our tired feet. This was Britain, where anything which ever happened was to someone else.

We're a "nice" people, unarmed, not needing to be armed, everything lovely.

Except that Britain has moved on, in line with the governmental agenda. The police are armed now, they do shoot Brazilian electricians, they do stitch people up in the West Midlands, there are CCTVs everywhere, they do have bombings in London while the leadership happens to be up country at a global conference on that day, the government is trying everything possible to get people onto the central database and all transactions are recorded and sent to that database until some jobsworth leaves the data disks on the train on the way home from work.

They and the criminals are armed. Mr. And Mrs Average and their two children have had their chance to defend themselves removed. "Oh," we say, "we can always phone 999 or call in two nice friendly bobbies."

By the way, can anyone recall who wrote the words below?

And then England--southern England, probably the sleekest landscape in the world. It is difficult when you pass that way, especially when you are peacefully recovering from sea-sickness with the plush cushions of a boat train carriage under your bum, to believe that anything is really happening anywhere.

Earthquakes in Japan, famines in China, revolutions in Mexico? Don't worry, the milk will be on the doorstep tomorrow morning, the New Statesman will come out on Friday. The industrial towns were far away, a smudge of smoke and misery hidden by the curve of the earth's surface.

Down here it was still the England I had known in my childhood: the railway-cuttings smothered in wild flowers, the deep meadows where the great shining horses browse and meditate, the slow-moving streams bordered by willows, the green bosoms of the elms, the larkspurs in the cottage gardens; and then the huge peaceful wilderness of outer London, the barges on the miry river, the familiar streets, the posters telling of cricket matches and Royal weddings, the men in bowler hats, the pigeons in Trafalgar Square, the red buses, the blue policemen--all sleeping the deep, deep sleep of England, from which I sometimes fear that we shall never wake till we are jerked out of it by the roar of bombs.

There was a time when it was not necessary to defend oneself in this country of ours. There was a time when an Englishman's home was his castle. There was a time when a Briton wouldn't dream of being armed.

That time has passed.

UPDATE: Just found an old post I'd forgotten I'd written.


  1. But the police are still not armed as a matter of course, are they? I take the point about people using other means of violence if they don't have guns but that doesn't mean they should have guns as a right. I've seen the looks, first of disbelief and then of wonderful relief, of people arriving in the UK from countries where they have reason to fear the police. I wouldn't want that to change.

  2. The quote about the "deep, deep sleep of England" - I thought it sounded like Orwell. Just looked it up and it is.

  3. WC, It's clearly been a while since you were in the UK then. When were you actually last here? From your words it looks like you live in the UK but you have been in Sicily since 2005. Plod are armed now more than ever and it shows with people getting shot by plod on a regular basis for carrying tablelegs without a license. Even in our part of the country which is very quiet I see armed plod on a regular basis just walking the streets. Try and go to an airport and you can't find plod unarmed. Plus there are rapid response units all over the place ready to get anywhere in a few minutes but only if a gun is waved by someone, criminal or victim. Try and report a burglary and see how quickly they arrive.

    People are already scared of plod and that has increased over the last decade with the last few years being at an accelerated rate. Personally, I wouldn't call one because they are more likely to charge you than your attacker. You have money and won't fight back and they don't have money and do fight back.

    Personally, until we all have the right to weapons and don't get prosecuted for using them against criminals then crime will continue to be a risk free business. We need to make the cost of crime unacceptable to the criminals.

    As we can see in the US, their crime rate is coming down. Ours is going up and essentially we are the same people with similar hopes, fears and morals. I wonder what the difference is? Oh.Wait they are facts and we can't use them in an emotional arguement. Well to me, and many others, the facts prove the case. Not our governments facts of course because they aren't really facts at all just figures with a bias.

  4. Anon, I wanted to leave your comment up but it was too ad hominem. I know it's annoying and I might even agree but as I had to delete one on another post which directly attacked a third lady blogger, I had to be consistent and delete this one. Sorry.

  5. Your crime rate is up fifty times since the day it was legal (that is, no law on the subject) to own, carry, and conceal without a permit. The welfare state has undoubtedly changed the UK far more than gun bans, but those issues are not divorced.

    In Florida, turnpike muggers look for rental plates at service stops. They have a pretty good idea they will not have to deal with an armed citizen of Florida. They love the British accent.

    Some years ago my daughter was in a bar in the Southwest in which a Mexican gang of illegals came to rob the place. When they shot the man sitting directly next to my daughter, the whole place drew down on them. The survivors excaped back to Mexico, where they are undoubtedly doing the same thing without the complications. Northern Mexico is horrendous, and guns are of course illegal.

    There are different expectations here and we mean to keep it that way. Criminals generally understand that. That is probably all they understand.

  6. Lord T, yes, I did leave the Uk in 2005 and was last there in 2007. I know the police are armed more now and of course I'm aware that they are , necessarily, armed to the teeth in airports and ports. I would suggest that there are other reasons why the crime rate is going down in the US. I still believe that violence begets violence.

  7. Welshcakes, with all due respect, you just would not make that statement if you lived here. You do need to see what was in the post itself - the things that are happening.

    They can't just be ignored and we pretend everything's fine because it clearly isn't. If it was, all those commentators and writers wouldn't be saying these things.

    Read what xlbrl says. When you remove the ability of citizens to have some form of deterrent, especially in these days in lawless Britain, then you are leaving them exposed to anyone with a gun, i.e. the crims.

    This is what the anti-gun lobby can't get through their heads - we are NOT making it safer for people. The crims will always be armed.

    At least we can start by allowing arms in our own home, as used to be the case and it didn't start a run on weapons - the society was not armed to the teeth.

    Just the right to bear arms was enough to make a crim think twice [including those from the government].

    Thanks, Welshcakes, for commenting, also Lord T and xbrl.

  8. Two of my favourite quotes by Col. David Crockett...

    "Remember that government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take away everything you have."

    "There ain’t no ticks like poly-ticks. Bloodsuckers all."

    ... and from the opening credits of John Wayne's film 'The Alamo'

    "They now faced the decision that all men in all times must face... the eternal choice of men... to endure oppression or to resist."

    So... will you endure... or will you resist?

  9. I don't agree with arms in our own homes that is the thin end of the wedge and would lead to complete lawlessness.

    We do however need to address the criminals. That is where the law should come in...

    If it was applied fairly and justly then we wouldn't have the problems where people defending themselves are the ones that get slammed by the law, rather than the other way round.

  10. "I don't agree with arms in our own homes that is the thin end of the wedge and would lead to complete lawlessness."

    ... and something else to dust.

    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

    Thomas Jefferson .

    It's OK lads... we've got Welshcakes Limoncello, CherryPie, a bucket of green custard and a abrasive post on the devil's Kitchen to defend liberty in the UK. I for one, will sleep more soundly tonight.

  11. Obviously Harry didn't read what I said properly ;-) but I am used to that with guys, they always miss the point of what you were actually saying.

    Ooops! I think I have strayed into your other post by mistake ;-)

  12. Let's leave that exchange up, as you answered it yourself, Cherie. It will be interesting how the Brits and Americans will differ on this.

  13. CherryPie said, I don't agree with arms in our own homes that is the thin end of the wedge and would lead to complete lawlessness.

    That is an interesting hypothesis. Can you demonstrate where this has actually happened?

    My experience has been that when a gun has been put in the hands of an individual they are no more or less law abiding than they were before the gun was in their hands. I've even put a gun in the hands of a guy from England to test the hypothesis that Brits can't be trusted with guns. I didn't really believe that hypothesis but I thought I should test it because apparently the British government believes it to be true.

    He took a few shots then then told me, "It's just a piece of metal! I thought I would be nearly overcome by a sense of power. But it's just a piece of metal."

    Yup. Just a piece of metal. And he was no more inclined to shoot someone than he would have been inclined to hit someone if the piece of metal had been the shape of a hammer or to cut someone if the metal was in the shape of a knife. A similar experiment with another Brit yielded similarly benign results.

    I admit it's a very small sample size but at this time I'm disinclined to believe the presence of firearms in British homes represents a greater risk of lawlessness than does the presence of knives and/or hammers.

    Perhaps you have access to some data which I do not and can share it with me.

  14. It's also the deterrent factor and balancing the ledger.

    If a crim knows there's a chance there might be a gun in the home [which the parent naturally has locked away from the children and the law supports self-defence as a justification], then that 54% drop in burglaries really might come about.

    You'd really think twice about breaking into that place. Also, the lack of constraint which allows road rage, people lashing out at others and so on today, knowing there are few consequences, would be nipped in the bud.

    You really are going to consider what you do, violence wise. For most Brits, firearms is an alien concept because they've forgotten or are too young to know how it was when common sense ruled our relations.

    I know it horrifies some, the idea of guns.

    And yet, between you and me, there are weapons out there already, you know, tucked away somewhere or buried in a cache. It's a fait accompli.

    Make them legal in a home for a start and then we can begin looking at the other issues later.

    There's another reason for this as well - things are going to get messy in our society in the next few years and those we traditionally looked towards to protect us - well, it's not their remit now.

    This is where the Left will say, "Everything's rosy - we can trust the State to protect us," and the Right just looks at them and shakes the head.

    The issue IS going to come up more and more as the noose tightens around us and the no go areas get to ridiculous proportions.

    Today was just an opening salvo.

  15. James, you may throw a cheri pie at me if I am wrong, but I cannot imagine that England would man up in self-defense or in any other quality it was once thought to have in abundance without a conflagration to shock its slumber and change its momentum.
    There is a sad maxim I've seen no reason to doubt: Liberty that is taken by violence may be recovered by violence, but liberty surrendered voluntarily is never recovered.
    Cheri Pie Syndrome is far more lethal to civilization than the criminals or jihadist it produces in abundance because it is the disease, not the symptom. And many millions have it, more all the time.

  16. Not 100% sure what point you are making. I figure you are listing symptoms of what looks like the government has to promoting state control and public dependency.

    we all know the police are generally not there to protect, until you call them after you needed them, unless you are a motorist...

    We all know their most visible sign is people dressed up in uniforms that look close enough to police ones to fool at a distance. People who we hear stand by while members of the public drown.

    We all know the police strongly discourage the public to defend themselves, for their own safety, and arrest them if they do.

    You say "There was a time when it was not necessary to defend oneself in this country".

    Was that when it was still ok to own and keep a gun at home for self defence? when Non criminals could own handguns? Lots of homes in the country had shotguns and if a burglar was injured by a householder then that was just an occupational hazard?

    Cherry pie I am sure it used to be ok to own handguns. It didn't lead to complete lawlessness then, why should it if they are licensed?

    It's not like there are not already guns in the hands of criminals, more than when they were made illegal I bet.

    Welshcakes. The police are armed at airports and other locations and wear stab vests that look like flack jackets everywhere.

    To be fair I don't know what else they can do when crazy people try to ram airports with car bombs.

  17. Xlbrl and Moggs

    Even a law change to allow people, in their own homes, with family, not to be prosecuted is a right that a lot of Brits are going to insist on and no doubt there are going to be some test cases before it rights itself. The thing is - no one wants to be the one to bell the cat and this is how the government keeps us cowed.

    However, in removing the power of anything from people, they've increasingly made the people free to choose their own way and one of those ways is the right to defend oneself when the law won't do it for you and in fact, the law is against you.

    Brave New World? Maybe but people find solutions to meet necessity - it's very simple. If they feel this necessity nationwide, then that change is going to come.

  18. Von Hayek, Road to Serfdom-

    "The differences between the virtues which will continue to be esteemed under a collectivist system, and those which will disappear, is well illustrated by a comparison of the virtues which even their worst enemies admit the Germans to possess, as well as those which they are commonly thought lacking, those in which the English people used to pride themselves in excelling with some justification. (paraphrase)
    Few people will deny that the Germans on the whole are industrious and disciplined, thorough and energetic to the degree of ruthlessness, conscientious and single-minded in any tasks they undertake; that they possess a strong sense of order, duty, and strict obedience to authority, and that they often show great readiness to make personal sacrifices, and great courage in physical danger. All these make the German an efficient instrument in carrying out an assigned task, and that has accordingly been carefully nurtured in the old Prussian state and the new Prussian-dominated Reich.
    What the “typical German” is often thought to lack are the individualist virtues of tolerance and respect for other individuals and their opinions, of independence of mind and that uprightness of character and readiness to defend one’s own convictions against a superior which the Germans themselves, usually conscious that they lack it, call Zivilcourage; of consideration for the weak and infirm, and of that healthy contempt and dislike of power which only an old tradition of personal liberty creates. Deficient they seem also in most of those little yet so important qualities which facilitate the intercourse between men in a free society: kindness and a sense of humor, personal modesty, and respect for the privacy and belief in the good intentions of one’s neighbor.
    These individualist virtues are virtues which smooth social contacts and which make control from above less necessary and at the same time more difficult. They are virtues which flourish wherever the individualist or commercial type of society has prevailed and which are accordingly missing as the collectivist or military type of society predominates."

    So what we see is England losing its greatest virtues, without ever possessing those which are necessary for the ruthless maintenence of socialism.

    Would not Burke, could he see your century, not be writing this of you?
    "You began ill, because you began by despising everything that belonged to you. Respecting your forefathers, you would have been taught to respect yourselves. Compute your gains: see what is got by those extravagant and presumptuous speculations which have taught your leaders to despise all their predecessors, and all their contemporaries, and even to despise themselves, until the moment in which they became truly despicable. By following those false lights, France has brought undisguised calamities at a higher price than any nation has purchased the most unequivocal blessings. France has bought poverty by crime. France has not sacrificed her virtue to her interest, but she has abandoned her interest, that she might prostitute her virtue."

    We have lost this battle by increment, we will not win it by increment. Many wonderful people have attempted that, and will again, but we can say also that it is no a small acheivment to live like a free man one more generation.

    American conservatives adore the style and class of English conservatives; they recognize the canary in the coal mine.

  19. Yes, Xlbrl - very much. Interesting that I was reading Hayek this morning, in the context of Keynes.

    Canary in the coalmine - yes.

  20. James - Even a law change to allow people, in their own homes, with family, not to be prosecuted is a right that a lot of Brits are going to insist on and no doubt there are going to be some test cases before it rights itself.
    That is what my comment was about. I agree with you about Brits and Americans probably thinking differently on this. I also think views on this issue depend on whether you are male or female.

    xlbrl - What exactly is a Cheri Pie Syndrome?!!!

  21. Is it not possible to disagree with someone without talking down to them or getting personal here?

  22. For the record, Harry Hook, although I don't believe in having firearms or other weapons in the home, I am not a pacifist. There are causes I would give my life for, liberty being one of them. I've been accused of many things in my life but not of being a coward, thank you.

  23. Welshcakes - Is it not possible to disagree with someone without talking down to them or getting personal here?
    Apparently not I have more than my fair share insults thrown at me over the last few weeks from supposedly intelligent people!

  24. Ladies, this post is political and in politics, there are no beg-pardons becasue the stakes are high.

    Which is not to say I haven't been keeping an eye on how close to the line it got. Two ad hominems I deleted but the others I let go because Cherie is well able to take care of herself, politics being her RL field.

    I admit one by Xlbrl was line ball.

    Generally, I think both you ladies stood by your stance [which I can't for the life of me understand how] and for a political debate, this was not too OTT compared to some I've seen.

    People get frustrated when the truth is staring everyone in the face, when it's not a matter of opinion but of events and stats.

    However, I agree, there is no reason to call someone names.

    In Cherie's case, she can handle herself and is used to a bruising political atmosphere so I admit I let it go a bit further but it was lineball.

    One other thing was that there were a lot of Americans viewed this post, more than the usual number and those guys are not noted for being reticent in their comments.

    This was much more open slather than most posts.

  25. James - political debate I don't mind. I have them all the time in RL with people from both the left and right and even people with really wacky ideas.

    But none of those debates have resorted to name calling as they seem to here on the web quite easily. In RL people treat each other with much more respect. In fact the participants even enjoy their political differences and are constantly exploring where there are differences and when in fact there is a lot to agree on.

    Name calling I do mind and I personally think it undermines a persons argument when they feel they have to resort to it.

  26. It is always interesting to me how much the British and Americans are alike, and how much they are different at other times.
    When I was growing up, it was possible to buy firearms through the Sears catalog and at hardware stores. It wasn't until the Kennedy assassination that the law was changed, but even then it was fairly lax. When I was in high school, every year we had a contest for a deer rifle, which was given out at a student assembly. No one was hurt, no one panicked. During the deer hunting season, it was not uncommon for students to keep their rifle in their vehicle to go hunting after school. Deer hunting with firearms was perfectly legal to anyone 16 or older. I bought my own deer rifle at that age (a 1903A3 Springfield, for those who are interested). I can't imagine the fright and terror that I read from people on the Web when referring to firearms; to me it is like being afraid of a hammer or a screwdriver. It's all a matter of programming, I guess.

    "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater... confidence than an armed man."
    -Thomas Jefferson

    "When you disarm your subjects you offend them by showing that either from cowardliness or lack of faith, you distrust them; and either conclusion will induce them to hate you."
    --Niccolo Machiavelli - The Prince

    “The possession of arms is the distinction
    between a free man and a slave.”
    – Andrew Fletcher, Discourse on Government (1695)

  27. CherryPie, I didn't this Joe had a go at you. He asked you a perfectly reasonable question which you appear to have not answered yet.

    Personally,up until a few years ago I to believed that gun control was the right way to go based on my emotions. After some time at Joe's and Kevin's sites reading facts and the logic behind their views I have changed my viewpoint.

    It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge. AH

  28. Cherri Pie Syndrome is a condition everyone is born with. Hayek makes the overwhelming case that our very instincts are collectivist, and yet that all civilization is based on the renuciation of that instinct.
    Rousseau's noble savage was not an individualist. "An isolated man soon would have been a dead man. This atavistic longing after the life of the noble savage is the main source of the collectivist tradition.
    Powerful intinctual impulses rebel against the learned rules and institutions that the extended orders of civilization requires. Constraints on the practices of the small group, it must be emphasized and repeated, are hated. Disliking these constraints so much, we hardly can be said to have selected them; rather, these constraints selected us.
    Our instincts, and the rules and traditions that have survived cultural evolution and serve to restrain these instincts, are in conflict. The conflict between what men instinctively like and the learned rules of conduct that enabled them to expand is perhaps the major theme of civilization."

    The problem with the invisible hand of Hayek's extended order of capitalism is that it's invisible. But our instincts need no expaining, and apparently little justification.

    I did not actually insult Cheri Pie, unless she would be insulted in being in the company of most of the human race, and certainly all socialist.

    I admit I am not part of the human race. Happier with that all the time.

  29. Lord T - I agree it was a bit remiss of me not to comment on Joe. I broadly accepted what he had to say on the issue and didn't think he was having a go at me in the slightest. I will be taking time to visit his site in the next few days.

    Xlbrl - Your last comment speaks for itself really, you were putting me down and continue to do so. But I guess you are not open minded enough to see that!

    James - Sorry xx

  30. The point is - that with all the digression into who called whom names, the central thesis in the post has not been touched or refuted - that:

    1. taking away guns has had no statistical impact on the reduction of violence anywhere in the world and in fact has led to a proliferation of small time violence;

    2. that if we are undefended, then we are at the whim of crims and the police who recently have become anything but friendly, in line with the socialist government's policy.

    3. the government lies - it has to, to maintain the fiction of reduced violence and keep weapons out of the hands of the population.

    Nu-Labour is very much international socialist, in line with the EU. It's been well observed that there is little to choose form between the socialists and fascists - witness Hitler's Germany where they were within the one party until the purge.

    The reason they were purged was not because they were more moderate but that they had a different master.

    Nu Labour have moved from the old unionism to a position of global socialism and all the traits are global socialist, not right wing - big government, runaway debt, huge welfare sector, crippling taxes, gross inefficiency and a societal malaise.

    These are the hallmark of global socialists. Take your pick - Whitlam's Australia, Allende's Chile, Kruschev's USSR, Brown's Britain - it goes on and on.

    It's a very clever move to try to call Brown's government right wing when it is nothing of the sort, for the reasons just quoted. It absolves the socialists of all responsibility for the mess.

    Just blame capitalism and the "right wing" Labour Party.

    That is absolute tosh by any criterion of what constitutes right wing.

    It is pure global socialist.

  31. I agree with CherryPie (and Welshcakes) about keeping things civil. no reason why it can not be done and to my view it undermines the position of those who can't.

    I do have to say tho i don't see anything wrong with firearms in the home, provided they are secured. I never held with people leaving shotguns in the kitchen.

    I'll probably get shot down in flames here ^_^ but...

    I think on balance it is probably more healthy for children to be taught firearms are not a toy but a dangerous tool to be treated with respect and handled sensibly with care.

  32. People forget or never knew that Orwell was and remained a leftist to his death. Unfortunately. But this shows even a leftest can understand what the link between citizens and guns are.

    "That rifle hanging on the wall of the working class flat or the laborer’s cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."

  33. Moggs, what if you're going to be in the kitchen and want it handy? The problem with demanding that all firearms always be 'secured' is that it usually means in a way that makes them hard to get to at need.

    As far as kids go, I generally agree: teach them that they're tools, not toys, and the proper way to handle them. That's what I did with mine starting between 7 and 8 years, and they did quite well; take the mystery out of it, and it helps.

  34. Firehand. Maybe I wasn't clear.

    I figure it's dumb to leave a firearm leaning against the wall by the back door (I have seen it done) where it can get knocked over, picked up by a kid or used by an intruder. Certainly if loaded.

    If a person is so worried about intruders they need a loaded weapon permanently to hand in their own home then they need better security, or a new neighbourhood.

    Firearms need to be up out the way in a cabinet, or case, or a rack.