Not much time to blog, so just a quick heads-up. The Telegraph is running an op ed piece entitled “Only a totalitarian state disarms law-abiding citizens: we want no more oppressive gun laws.” It’s the only piece of post-Lake District spree-killing punditry I can find that says that the UK’s gun laws are too strict. That its citizens have the right to bear arms, abridged by their elected representatives. I highly recommend clicking over. If not, here are the highlights . . .
You could not look for a better encapsulation of the mentality of the state-worshipping ruling elite than the claim by Sir Ian Blair, former disastrous Metropolitan Police Commissioner and newly-appointed peer (nothing succeeds like failure), writing in The Guardian on the topic of gun control: “The possession of a firearm is a privilege, not, except in a few cases, a necessity.”
Have you got that? The possession of a firearm is a “privilege”. In fact it is nothing of the sort: it is a right, guaranteed to all British subjects by the Bill of Rights of 1689. This assertion by Blair, whose police officers notoriously abused their firearms privileges by shooting dead Jean-Charles de Menezes, affords an instructive insight into the leftist/liberal belief that the state is the all-powerful authority controlling human existence. It may deign to extend privileges, such as firearm ownership, to a minority of its helots, but it does so as an act of grace, not in deference to any rights they might claim.
The state, in reality, is supposed to be the servant of the public. Its role should be rigidly limited and every power it exercises jealously scrutinised for overreach. For centuries, the entire basis of English Common Law was the assumption that everything that was not forbidden was legal. Today, the British subject is presumed to have virtually no rights (unless he belongs to a politically correct minority) and only by the most laboured exertion on his part may he make his case to the state, his master, that a privilege such as gun ownership should graciously be extended to him . . .
The mania to restrict firearms ownership among law-abiding people has led to a situation in which only outlaws have guns, as the American bumper sticker warns US citizens. In heavily armed America, only 13 per cent of burglaries take place while householders are on the premises, because intruders fear being shot. The gun control lobby in Britain aims, by turning the ratchet every time there is a high-profile shooting, to eliminate private firearms completely. The doctrine is that only the state should bear arms (with results we saw in Stockwell Tube Station). Only such a state monopoly can assert its absolute power over society.
The reality is that only a totalitarian state disarms its citizens. Any further measures in that direction must be resisted. Instead, we should be reviewing the Draconian laws we already have.