Sunday, December 7, 2008

Great Article from the UK

Well, it appears that common sense hasn’t completely left the shores of Great Britain if a recent piece from the Times Online is any indication. It makes the simple, yet for the UK shocking statement: “If each of us carried a gun . . . we could help to combat terrorism.” The article covers the recent shocking massacre in Mumbai where a few trained terrorists killed or wounded over 500 people, and ties it to the long history of strict gun control laws in India.

The author points out that while India has strict gun control, all of the weapons used in the attack were “prohibited weapons” – yet those laws did not matter one whit to the deranged terrorists merely out to spill the blood of the innocent. Those same laws are equally “irrelevant” in Britain, New York, or any other place where individuals choose to ignore them in perpetrating their criminal ends – be those ends the drug trade, the arms trade, protection rackets, or simple mass murder in support of a “political agenda”.

The author also points out another sobering fact:

“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.”

I have great respect for many in law enforcement in the US. A neighboring county in Oregon (Clackamas) has a spectacular indoor pistol range run by the county Sheriff including marksmanship and practical pistol classes. Unfortunately even good cops can’t be everywhere at once and they can’t protect everyone. People are not, or should not be, sheep that require shepherds for protection. We must take some of that responsibility upon ourselves.

The author goes on to make that very point:

“. . .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.”

He goes on to cite an example from 1909 where Londoners used their own firearms to disrupt and bring down individuals attempting a robbery (who were fresh off an attempt to blow up the President of France). He also compares the growth of the “right to carry” movement in the United States and how our violent crime rates have plummeted.

It is clear that at least a few people in the UK recognize the scope of the mistake they have made as a people by throwing away their right to keep and bear arms. It falls to the United States, perhaps the last bastion of freedom in a darkening world, to show the rest of the world back to the light.

Until next time!

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