I have been thinking about guns lately. Mostly because of Newtown, but also because, like the Americans, we have an ancient right to arm and defend ourselves.
Hence the dodgy title.
We are permitted to own weapons "...as allowed by law"*. The last four words in the statement (originally giving Protestants the right to arm themselves, like already-armed Catholics) are the most important, and successive governments have all but removed our right to own a weapon. Although, shotgun licenses may be granted, rifles too, and under some rare circumstances, pistols. My problem with that is the "licensed" part. A license may or may not be granted, and it may or may not be revoked. And of course, because the license can be taken away on a whim, we never own the weapon. Not truly. Not as long as it is in someone's gift to take that "right" away. No real freedom there.
* "Subjects’ Arms. That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law." Link here: Bill of Rights 1688 which, by the way, has never been amended or repealed in whole or part.
This is purely anecdotal, but I have learnt that those most terrified of guns are the same people that have never been taught to use one, safely and responsibly. In the military I fired many shooty bangy things, and it was almost always a pleasure. Safety is a huge thing in the armed forces, and a negligent discharge (known as an ND), on the range or anywhere else, is frowned upon and punished harshly. My brother was fined £100 for an ND and his next promotion was delayed by a year.
Among the weapons I have fired are: the 7.62MM SLR (Self Loading Rifle), 9MM Browning pistol, Sterling SMG (Sub Machine Gun), 7.62MM LMG (Light Machine Gun), GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun), Blowpipe (I missed the target), and I lobbed a few hand grenades. I was also taught how to use PE4 (Plastic Explosives) and can still clearly recall where to place charges to bring down a tree (Route Denial), a bridge (for the same reason) or a medium sized building. I also stood within a couple of feet of a tactical nuclear weapon but they wouldn't let me play with that.
My time in the daft and barmy was in the eighties and while the weapons may have changed, handling techniques have not. Basic safety is still the most important lesson to be taught, and repeated, endlessly.
My point? Weapons are only as dangerous as the people using/abusing them. I was and am comfortable around weapons. I just don't like the business end. On my travels in Africa I have had more than one AK-47 shoved in my face and I almost always gently reach out, and with a finger, move the barrel away from my face. I meet with few problems when doing this. It is usually the police, usually in Nigeria, and they usually have no magazine fitted to the weapon and only rarely do the possess any rounds. (In fact, because the government doesn't pay them very often, it is more likely that they have sold the magazine and the 30 rounds to buy food for their families). Which is why they stick the gun in my face in the first place: they want a bribe. They never get anything from me, AK-47 or no AK-47. It is not my responsibility to pay them, and I tell them so.
But, I digress.
The Newtown massacre.
Is all as it seems? I doubt it very much. I don't even need to concoct a theory for this one. (Note: this does not mean I understand what went on).
Have a look at this: Official Story Spins Out Of Control
Thanks to Harbinger, who kindly sent me the link. If you want a different, but no less messy account of the shooting, please pop over to The Tap's Place for a selection of posts on Sandy Hook.
As the author in the first link says, in the early stages of an event, the media get many facts wrong and later correct them. Nothing unusual in that: things are moving fast and as we all know, what they don't know they will make up. Like I said, adjustments can be made later.
The problem here is with the officials. Their story does not add up at all.
To add (unnecessary) fuel to a blazing inferno, British newspapers do what they can to confuse and conflate.
Look at this from the Daily Mail: Trigger Happy Families
Trigger happy families? In not one case does a family (or family member) say that they just simply love shooting weapons. None of them. They have them for sporting or utilitarian reasons. They have them so that they can defend themselves. I can just picture hordes of tutting, outraged DM readers....
I have been to the USA many times. Mostly to southern states like Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. You won't be surprised to learn that they are big fans of the bangy things. They are also (coincidentally?) more religious than the northern states. They can quote huge tracts of their Constitution verbatim, with no reference notes. They do not (all) register their weapons because that information is then held publicly. Any bad guy can simply peruse the records down at County Hall or in their local library, identify who has guns at home and who doesn't, tool up, and off they go on a burglary/killing/raping spree. Friends of mine are proud of their gun collections. I never yet saw a collection that included automatic weapons though. They mostly have a couple of pistols, a shotgun or two, and more often than not, sporting rifles.
We think that we have guns under control in the UK. After all, did we not legislate against them? Did we not, over several decades, disarm the public? Hand guns are banned. Rifles are (mostly) banned. Automatic weapons are banned. Gun crime never happens, right? Oh, yeah. Dunblane. Hungerford. Those armed robberies. The shootings in the drug-turf wars, using MAC-10's and TEC-9's. But just those.
Now, only the bad guys have guns. And the police. But I repeat myself.
There will come a time, I reckon, when you will look wistfully into the corner of your lounge or bedroom and wish that what you were looking at was a gunsafe. We live in a nasty world. Mostly, we need protection. Not just from those thieving gits that smash a window, creep around and steal all your stuff, but from the very people who have no desire for you to be able to once again carry a weapon, lawfully.
The government needs us to be unarmed.
And that is the most powerful reason I know of that makes me want a gun.
Good post Captain. At times like this more than ever it needs to be said again and again.
I got my shotgun license around this time last year as you know, but not being as well travelled as you or done any army time, this was only the second time I've held a gun.
The first was shooting clays on a farmers field while he supervised my every move so I was quite comfortable with that.
When I got my own gun I admit I was quite frightened by holding a shotgun and ammunition.
Before getting it though, I read everything I could about gun safety, then when I had it I took a long time to familiarise my self with it.
Now I'm perfectly comfortable handling my own guns and ammo and I'm not afraid of being around other peoples like I might have been before.
I think most of the people who want guns banned have never been around them and they are just acting out their own fears.
They have no reason to be afraid though. Law abiding people handle guns as safely as any other tool and if you are going to be consumed with worry about meeting an armed criminal who intends to shoot you, you may as well not cross the road again.
And if you are worried about it, surely owning your own and becoming comfortable with it is a better way to deal with that fear than demanding everyone is disarmed.
A crossbow is fairly useful, easy to build and can be done so off-the-record. (Plans are on the interweb for those interested.)
What about a slingshot? Bit less lethal but, in the right hands, not necessarily so.
All it needs for these devices to become more common-place is for the PTB to continue to take the p1ss as they are doing. Each p1ss-take is one step closer to an outraged citizen taking it upon themselves to right the wrongs.
People can only be pushed so far - and in my experience we're close to a tipping point.
Well argued, Cap'n.
When the SHTF and I need a firearm, I'll take the first one that's pointed at me, ta very much :-)
Your last point is the most telling - HMG need the populace to be easily controlled and that is the only reason firearms are denied to them; can't have them able to defend themselves and deny their masters, can we?
It is every man's duty to do whatever is necessary to defend his family. Bugger the unjust 'law' - the politicos can go fuck themselves.
Great post Cap'n,
You may have said you digressed when talking about Nigeria, police and kalashnikovs but I found it interesting. Africans and especially Nigerians like to shout/perform gestures as loud as they can to instigate fear. It's bravado and nothing more, whereas their W.Indian cousins are the exact opposite......
Anyway, you're quite correct that removing the guns from the masses leaves the government and crooks with them. However when one considers that the Krays fraternized with the elites, then there's your answer.
Sandy Hook is one HUUUUUUUUGE conspiracy, on a par with Dunblane to smash the second amendment and you are correct that Brits were allowed to arm themselves.......once, but WW1 brought about a further 80+ years of government legislation to disarm the public and have them dependant on a state for protection seriously bad fucking move, unless you're an elite with 24/7 police protection.
People need to seriously wake up!
But they won't, that's for sure.
p.s. ROTFLMFAO@ 'shootey bangey' things. Classic!!!
call me crazy,but i believe this was another sacrifice.
think 9/11 jfk,and many more.
the date was 15/12/012
high masonic numbers.
i will leave you with something to ponder.
You and your readers might already have seen this, but it's always worth watching again.
It truly does have no sell-by date.
In fact, Captain, I think it would be a good idea to find the video and re-post it, if you can do that.
WAR NEWS: From our correspondent at the front.
POLICE STOP INVERNESS
Front line troops of Highland Council WATCH are to be issued, after xmas, with the most powerful weapon known to man.
Chocolate and cosy socks are being sent to increase moral. Though troops believe victory is within their grasp.
Long Live the TAXPAYERS.
Indeed CR, it is an oft written statement in my comments and blogs that it really doesn't matter what we think...
...Cos, the state has got the guns.
As an aside, this: "...and can still clearly recall where to place charges to bring down a tree (Route Denial)"
...Shouldn't that be "root denial? 😄
For those in the UK, I recommend a book named Guns and Violence: The English Experience by Joyce Lee Malcolm
It is a history of arms, arms legislation and outcomes from the middle ages to the present day, and, if that is what you're interested in ... most informative.
Fascinatingly enough, Ms Malcolm estimates that even with hundreds of amnesties and many draconian arms laws, the UK is still home to tens of thousands of illicit firearms, and, literally, millions of rounds of illicit ammunition ... but the real killer is that America's homicide rate with all them guns, is plummeting ... and the UK's (where guns are to all intents and purposes banned) is rocketing.
Even Australia's virtual gun ban has resulted in astronomical homicidal violence figures while NZ's far saner (for the shooter, that is) laws, have seen all (violent) crime figures plummet.
The Ozzie pols are having great difficulty in explaining that away.
Captain, if the formatting of my comment has gone wonky ... my apologies. It looked a bit odd in the preview window
This is purely anecdotal, but I have learnt that those most terrified of guns are the same people that have never been taught to use one, safely and responsibly.
And Merry Christmas to you too.
I was in the CCF at school. I learned to shoot using a Lee Enfield mk4. Very accurate rifle. We also had brens and stens. only allowed thunderflashes though, no real grenades (dammit!). I was in the rifle and pistol club at uni, shooting 0.22 pistol. Some people are hysterical about gun ownership. Including successive governments. This license bollox needs to be scrapped.
Guns are a fantastic response to your average obnoxious bastard, but as Brits no one should dare forget the value of a large dog that loves its home. From personal experience, this comes highly recommended and just watch the response when politicos try to take dogs away from the British public. I'm sure they'd love to try, but the attempt might actually tear people away from the TV...
Soon you will not only be forbidden from owning guns but pointy kitchen knives as well!:
Yes, they are too dangerous for (British) people to own!
I'm sooo glad I'm emigrating, because the truth is that brits are so utterly spineless that they will do exactly as Nanny tells them.
You can see it when they are stopped in front of a red traffic light in the middle of the night with not a soul around.
When I was a kid I used to make little cannons from metal tube, a bit of powder from bangers, thin wire and a little 9V battery. Instead of a primer and complicated percussive mechanism I simply used the fine wire connected to the battery and a switch as the trigger. The melting wire would ignite the powder. You could dispose of the whole complicated cocking mechanism and simplify the ammo no end.
Lets face it, anybody who really wants to could very easily make their own rudimentary electrically fired guns and ammo. The only tricky bit is making them accurate with rifling.
Electric firing would not only make everything much simpler but it would be the most accurate firing mechanism as there are no significant moving parts or delay at the crucial moment of firing.
You might be interested in a comment by someone with extensive weapon knowledge and experience:
As sensible a summary as I've ever read.
As to the fear of guns, the late great Colonel Jeff Cooper coined the phrase 'hoplophobia' to illustrate the simple illogical, irrational fear of a tool. My own experience, past and recent, is that people do not, as such, fear the gun, but who holds it. I've asked uncounted friends, acquaintances and colleagues a simple set of questions, and judged them by their answers. The questions:
1) If I had a loaded, full-bore semi-automatic pistol in my pocket and gave it to you would you then consider using it to shoot somebody in an arguement or disagreement? In other words do you feel that you are trustworthy if given such a weapon?
Most answered that they all felt themselves rational and trustworthy although some (the more 'left wing' surprisingly) seemed unsure whether it was safe listing circumstances where they feared they 'may' use it incorrectly.
2) Would you be happy/comfortable with me giving the pistol to your neighbour/friend/colleague? In other words d you feel that they are trustworthy?
The almost universal answer was no, they did not trust anyone else (even family). The very rare exceptions were usually followed with 'as long as I was armed too'.
That there is the crux of the matter. Everyone judges themselves as being able to safely handle a weapon but almost none trust anyone else (see .gov). The most vehemently against anyone being armed were those who seemed to fear that they themselves would use the weapon in a crime so nobody should have one - the term 'projection' springs to mind.
Try it yourself. I, and my closest friends, believe everyone should be trusted (with the usual exclusion of criminals and the mentally ill) with the caveat that you (everyone) are capable (ie. armed) of dealing with them if they do act 'to the wrong' rather than the current situation where only the criminals, mentally ill and the police are able to defend themselves (impose their wishes).
Oh, and I avoid those who hypocritically do not trust me with a weapon, that goes doubly for those who apparently don't even trust themselves.
Thank you for a great comment. I like it a lot.
I will check out your link too.
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