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Dan Z. for TTAG
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By Lee Williams

Sir Max Hugh Macdonald Hastings is a preeminent British journalist and military historian. As a foreign correspondent for the BBC, he covered 11 wars and reported from more than 60 countries.

In 1982, Hastings was the first reporter to enter Port Stanley, after the British military kicked out the Argentinians and liberated the Falkland Islands.

Hastings was knighted in 2002 for his “services to journalism.”

He has written more than 25 books – mostly about military history. I have a couple on my bookshelf. They’re very good. I highly recommend Yoni: Hero of Entebbe: Life of Yonathan Netanyahu. It’s a great read.

That said, Hastings doesn’t know a damn thing about Americans, our gun culture or our Second Amendment rights.

Nowadays, Hastings writes two columns a month for Bloomberg Opinion. I assume you’re familiar with the political views of its owner. Hastings’ latest column is titled: ‘I Grew Up on Guns. Now I’ve Learned to Love Firearm Control: Viewed from the U.K., the American love of weapons is completely understandable, and completely irresponsible.’

The column reinforces two points; the British will never understand us, our gun culture or the Second Amendment, and…who cares what the British think?

Like legions of anti-gun writers before him, Sir Max tries to establish his gun bona fides by telling his readers that he grew up with guns.

Evidently, Hasting’s father brought back a couple souvenirs from the Second World War including a Luger, a Mauser, a Radom and what he refers to in his column as a “Schmeisser submachine gun.” (It’s an MP-40, Sir Max. Hugo Schmeisser had nothing to do with this weapon except for holding a patent on the magazine.)

His father, Hastings claims, turned in all of the firearms during one of several amnesties the British government used to disarm its citizens.

“I recite this personal history before considering the latest appalling U.S. massacres in Atlanta, Colorado, Indianapolis and elsewhere. It is intended to dispel the common response of American enthusiasts to the rest of the world’s horror: ‘Foreigners don’t understand guns,’” he wrote.

I’m sorry, Sir Max, but my “common response” is pretty far from dispelled.

Growing up with a couple of bring-backs doesn’t make you a gun guy, just as growing up with my dad’s old guitar doesn’t make me Eddie Van Halen.

Hastings claimed that he first objected to mass weapons confiscations in Britain and Australia along Libertarian grounds. “I have since changed my mind,” he wrote. “I have come to believe that widespread firearms ownership is a pollutant; that we are a better, much safer society without handguns.”

A pollutant? Really?

But it gets worse.

“My resistance to private ownership of military weapons is strengthened by close acquaintance with them. I once won a prize as a member of a British Parachute Regiment team, shooting with automatic rifle, submachine gun and light-machine gun. I know how terrifyingly easy it is for a man or woman — though it is always men — with a gun in their hands to touch a trigger and broadcast devastation and death,” he wrote.

On this side of the pond, sir, we’re well acquainted with the I’ve-been-in-the-Army-so-I-understand-guns fallacy. It falls short both here and over there.

“Everybody who studies U.S. experience knows that legally held firearms are almost never successfully used by civilians, either to prevent a crime or to frustrate a mass shooting,” Sir Max opined. “The more extreme U.S. gun lobbyists insist that the best response to gun massacres is to arm more people, including schoolteachers, to defend themselves. There is no shred of evidence, nor credible speculation, to justify such a claim.”

No shred of evidence? That, Sir Max, is an outright lie.

Just because the mainstream media chooses not to cover the thousands of defensive gun uses that occur in this country every single year doesn’t mean they don’t occur or that there isn’t any evidence.

Defensive gun uses happen all the time, but you need to look for them since the media has decided that these stories aren’t worthy of any ink or pixels.

I have saved the best for last: “Most people seem to accept the enthusiasm of rural Americans for owning sporting guns as an assertion of the frontier spirit, which is in some measure shared by foreign sportsmen like me. Yet assault rifles, such as so many self-proclaimed militiamen now boast, have no application for practicing target skills or killing deer.”

There is no better way for anyone – especially a Brit – to prove their ignorance of our gun culture and our God-given Second Amendment rights than by bringing up hunting – especially deer hunting.

Give the Second Amendment a read, Sir Max, a thorough read. You’ll see there’s nothing int it about hunting. There is, however, a bit about the security of a free state. That means tyranny, sir, which we still won’t allow over here. Perhaps you’ve heard about the dustup that occurred the last time some Englishmen tried to regulate our private gun ownership.

As to Hastings’ claim that ARs “have no application for practicing target skills” – that’s so incredibly ignorant it’s difficult to respond. There are millions of Americans who practice their “target skills” with ARs every single day, myself included. In fact, if you go to the range – any range – you’ll see more people shooting ARs than anything else. It’s the most popular firearm in the country – it’s America’s Rifle. I cannot even comprehend the level of ignorance it takes to not understand this.

However, Hastings’ ignorance knows no bounds.

“The Second Amendment Foundation, a firearms lobby, recently denounced President Joe Biden’s proposal for new restrictions as signifying that he has “declared war on tens of millions of law-abiding gun owners.”

To be clear, I do not speak on behalf of the Second Amendment Foundation. That’s Mr. Gottlieb’s job. However, as a proud life member of the organization, I agree 100% that President Biden has declared war on gun owners. Why else would he have nominated an anti-gun activist to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives?

Why else would the President have threatened door-to-door confiscations?

Why else would he even consider using the National Firearms Act to regulate the most-popular rifle in the country and its standard-capacity magazines.

We are at war, Sir Max.

Instead of denigrating a country and its people who you clearly know very little about, I’d recommend you drop immediately to your knees and thank God we have a solid gun culture over here, because if we didn’t, you’d likely have written your ignorant collection of lies and falsehoods in German.



This article is produced by the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is printed here with permission. 

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      • When we kicked our bastard cousins out of this country, we were careful to geld our own new government. Governments are much better behaved without their testicles.

        All these generations later, it’s the voters who have been gelded.

      • “hastings’ latest column is titled: ‘I Grew Up on Guns. Now I’ve Learned to Love Firearm Control.”
        What the bloomberg lint licking old chap hastings is trying to say is he loves to use the lingering stench of nazi gun control and kkk gun control to get his jollies…pervert.

    • Well, yeah, but they’ve some darned good ideas on certain foods. Take your Southern Italian and Sicilian cooking for example, pretty fine eating!

      Of course, we have the best BBQ in the world and so much variety we argue over which regions BBQ is the best. Me, I love ’em all 🙂

      Apparently some gun folk are very into Italian shotguns. Mossberg has me well covered, but okay.

      After that, Europe runs dry on good ideas to control crime and protect the common citizen from crime. Also, they have Piers Morgan and Sascha Baron Cohen insulting Americans on a frequent basis, so they just can stay on their side of the pond.

      Oh, and Americans had to re-teach the French how to make good, traditional French bread. Seriously, they forgot how and American bread makers went over there to re-learn them.

      Yup, that happened.

      Plus, you know, Europe and two world wars and who had to go rescue them?


      • “Oh, and Americans had to re-teach the French how to make good, traditional French bread.”
        This has to be one of the craziest thing I have read in a while, did we re-teach them how to make French cheese as well? Have you ever eaten real, fresh French bread? I doubt it.
        You also mention two world wars, rightfully so, but if it weren’t for Lafayette, De Grasse and his fleet, and thousands of French troops at Yorktown, the Patriots would have been slaughtered by the Brits and independence would have had to wait or may not have even happened altogether. When the Brits had to surrender, the French commander also forced the British to acknowledge Washington as they were ignoring American troops, preferring to turn toward their old European rival.
        France gets a lot of crap nowadays but people need to learn history, and you can say the same crap if you judge us based on our politicians, media, etc. We actually have more civil unrest and illegal invaders than any European country now. We’re just lucky we are further away from Africa and the Mideast otherwise we would be invaded by the religious nutjobs just like France, Germany or the UK.

        • There Frogs had their collective balls shot off galavanting about Eurp with Napoleon 2 centuries ago. The lot of them haven’t done dick since.

        • @Respect the baguette

          Apparently you have not been paying attention to Biden’s border fiasco in south Texas. The Border Patrol is reporting that an increasing number of the persons “apprehended” are from the Middle East and from Africa. These persons are entering Mexico legally and then crossing the Rio Grande illegally, surrendering to the B.P. while claiming “asylum”. Some are fifth column elements, some are your religious nutjobs, a few are legitimate refugees and MOST are economic refugees…ie. they can make 10 – 20X per day in the U.S.A. what they would make in their native country (NOT a legitimate claim to asylum). Many have diseases we have not seen in this country for years and they are ALL getting a free pass from the Biden Administration and his USPHS, CDC and HHS. They are not being vetted. Nor, are they being given Immigration Court dates because the courts are so far behind…what they are being told is “to be sure and check back in in a few years and see if they can get a court hearing scheduled at that time”….until then – vote early and vote often…place your mark next to the big “D” on the ballot.

        • Well, I think we have amply repaid our debt to the French with our involvement in two world wars and supporting their ill-advised, disastrous effort to recolonize Vietnam.

          Europe wouldn’t have been invaded if they hadn’t been so involved with ill-thought-out political correctness. With no borders among EU members, traveling in the EU is easier than coming to Kallyforniya where one must undergo a fruit inspection upon entering the state. Despite how one may misinterpret that last sentence it is an agricultural inspection.

      • @enuf- Not only did we the Americans save them in two world wars, IIRC, the Americans had to lend-lease a lot of small arms to the Brits so that they would have something to fight with.

        Then if memory serves me correct, after the war they took all of the small arms, put them on a barge and sank them in the ocean. How about that for virtue signaling? Sir Max is full of kidney pie, among other things. Fools that forget…

      • Of the ww2 allies the Soviet Union did the heavy lifting in Europe, but America ruled the Pacific theater.

        China should be a little more grateful to us.

    • Agreed. Enjoy a nice Scotch and take into account, Americans would prefer you Sir, should STFU. With all my best regards, accordingly and sincerely.

      The Redcoats came for our powder and shot ONCE. Live in your disarmed country where migrants and immigrants stab or club you on the street.

      Signed Tom W. Gun Owning Proud American.

    • I’m fine with practices that are evidence based, respecting of human rights and logical, which gun confiscation is not.

      But saying to just automatically do the opposite sounds like when liberals say they don’t want X because it’s associated with Trump, regardless of what it is.

  1. Thank you, Sir Max, for your opinion.
    Having spent some time in England, I came away with some observations and opinions of the British.

    • Screw that! May his chains drag him down to the hell he wishes on others. Another rich elitist who has forgotten how to haul his own trash, and looks down on those who still remember.

  2. Also, when someone posts on American websites about what “we” should do, understand that they are very likely to be anyone but Americans. Don’t imagine that people pushing a narrative here, for example, are actually Americans with valid opinions to be considered. Study their use of language to see if they’re using UK English or American English. Then still be guarded.

  3. Well, if it wasn’t for Americans with guns and the guns of private citizens loaned the Brits, they would be speaking German right now. BTW, we never got our property back, the “Crown” collected and destroyed American property. ( I guess they were pissed of they lost at Concord and Lexington )

  4. I have an idea…let’s not rescue the Brits when theyre overrun with moose-lim hoards. Here’s another thought. Were we on the “wrong” side in WWI? The English were demonstrably worse than the Germans with colonialism. Then again Wilson sure enjoyed imprisoning Germans and being a fan of the Klan. Formerly the worst president now top 5…or 7.

    • There’s nothing to “rescue” from any “hordes” anyways. The UK’s problem with Islam is from their own fellow subjects of their own British Commonwealth (e.g. Pakistan), not from outside hordes like what happened to Germany.

  5. Pretty sure we killed a lot of Redcoats so we wouldn’t have to listen to this slave preach about his love of slavery.

  6. British opinions on Americans 2A RIGHTS are about as ignorant as the Canadian’s opinion’s on Americans, I said AMERICANS Rights.
    Nobody in AMERICA cares what you think except for maybe a few Karen’s that we don’t pay any attention to either.

  7. You are trying to comprehend the logic of someone from a country where someone can be considered a Lord and be your better because his father stuck his penis in his mother. I think I will stick with the logic that all men are created equal, no matter what the libs are trying to change our country to be.

  8. Thank you Mr. L. Williams for exposing this paid buffoon for the charlatan he is.

    Sir Mucks-About’s ignorance is not a bug, it is a feature seeing as how he “opines” for Bloomie and Co.

    Yes, the U.K. would be speaking German as would all of Europe without the half-million U.S. casualties (104,000 U.S. KIA’s) in the European theatre and the billions of dollars we fronted the free countries in their fight against the fascism of Germany and Italy.

    Interesting note: It is my understanding that under the original Lend-Lease Act of 1941 that the countries we helped were to pay us back (eventually) for the materials and materiel we supplied them. To the best of my searching, only France under Charles DeGaulle paid the U.S. back (it is quoted that DeGaulle did not want to be indebted to the U.S.A.). the U.K. has not paid us back and, incidentally, they unilaterally destroyed most of the firearms and small arms we loaned them without asking if we wanted them returned.

    There are many good reasons that we declared our independence from England hundreds of years ago and this poltroon’s attitude and reasons are just the tip of that iceberg.

    • The Philippines also fulfilled their return terms as well, it just took a while, and this was from the Vietnam War-era Military Assistance Program (MAP) not Lend-Lease. When President Duterte authorized the return of 86,000 M1 Garands in 2018 to the CMP, that fulfilled their obligation since the actual number of arms the Philippines were required to return was 11,597.

      • Agreed. The Philippines and S. Korea have honored their loans. As you pointed out those countries were not recipients of the WWII Lend-Lease. I stand by my assertion that a number of countries still owe U.S. billions under a contractual agreement.

  9. Mr. Max forgets that the people of the United States are FREE citizens, not controlled subjects as in England. We got rid of a tyrannical government before – it can happen again.

  10. Why is his anecdotal experience more valuable than my anecdotal experience?

    Because his supports the statist agenda of course.

    • Yeah but, he gets paid for it so ….
      …okay, guess that doesn’t really help his position any.

  11. There are some people from across the waters who are never worth listening to.

    Liam Neeson. Who, after using PARA 1911’s in his movies talked in an interview about hating guns and wanting them all to be gone. PARA promptly announced they would no longer supply guns for Neeson’s movies.

    Piers Morgan. Ever hear that loud mouth go off about Americans and guns?

    Sascha Baron Cohen, again, far into anti-gun, anti-American territory.

    US State Department should add those names to the “Persona Non Grata” list. They show up at US Customs, flying in for some gig, it’s stuck in the airport until the next plane to the UK!

    And now we can add Sir Max to that list 🙂

  12. There’s nothing like a pompous blowhard, who isn’t even a fellow citizen, delivering an irrelevant lecture to cause me to completely change my long held beliefs.

    Very effective, Sir Max! Now, buzz off.

  13. In Britain, a Christian can be arrested, jailed, and fined for criticizing Islam. But Muslims can criticize Christianity with no censure.

    That is the type of thinking going on in those comfortable lunatic asylums known as the great houses Britain (as well as the House of Lords and House of Commons).

  14. With the rise of violence in the UK since the disarming of the subjects, I do believe the Brit has drunk too much Koolade, rather than Darjeeling Tea! In the British Isles it is illegal to harm a burglar in your house. There are more than one Brit in jail for killing one in their home! They’ve gone so far as to criminalize the carrying of knives and sturdy walking sticks to make sure the victims are more compliant. Thus the crime rates have skyrocketed!

    • Not exactly. Rather the rule is that one cannot confront a burglar with more force than he that with which he confronts you. How British of them. You have to give the BG a “sporting chance” to kill you. It is of course preferred that you merely leave and let him take what he wants, the police will deal with him later. It is a surveillance state after all and no one can escape their ever watchful eyes.

        • New Jersey is as bad as Great Britain. Try carrying ANYTHING for the purpose of self-defense here in New Jersey — and see how many years you get in prison.

  15. Only a blind man could claim that there is “not a shred of evidence” to support huge numbers of defensive gun uses. Not only is there the detailed study, periodically updated, by John “More Guns Less Crime” Lott of 1.5 to 2.5 million DGUs per year, there is the CDC and its similar conclusion, and the Bloomberg bought and paid for study by that idiot from Harvard who grudgingly admitted that there were at least 50 to 80,000 DGUs per year.

  16. It’s funny how he ignores the 5700+ lawful, daily defensive guns uses in the USA and thinks we would be more safe without them

  17. The founders have been proven correct again. We really needed a war to force a separation from the English slaves. And their masters.

  18. “I have come to believe that widespread firearms ownership is a pollutant; that we are a better, much safer society without handguns.”

    How, exactly? Currently, approximately 99.99% of the U.S. population is NOT killed with a firearm each year. How much safer does he think we can get?

  19. Not everyone in England has a bad attitude in regards to firearms. I watch a TV show out of England called Farming the Wild. They use high power rifles 308 and 6.5 Creedmoor equipped with moderators as they call them to take numerous deer species. Some of which are designated harmful species. Suppressors are even easier to obtain in England than in the U.S. Although you still have to jump through hoops. So as much as the MSM likes to tout England’s Firearms laws. They have it better than we do in some respects.

  20. Perhaps someone should remind the British “historian” that after the Nazis kicked the English off the continent and had to prepare for a potential invasion that the English people, having previously surrendered their firearms were desperate for them. They wanted their population to be armed and turned to the United States begging for us to donate firearms with which the British populace could then be armed in an effort to hold off the Huns!!! Of course the Us responded. It should be noted that the NRA actually ran ads requesting the general public and its members donate what firearms they could to help the war effort.

    That IS historically accurate. An unarmed populace was unable to contribute to the defense of the homeland from its enemies (both foreign and domestic)!

    • Nothing wrong with (lending?) them a few guns… What sucks is that the assholes running the country rounded them all up and “destroyed” them when it was all over… Lesson learned?

  21. He wasn’t there to report on the abuses of British governors and Red coats in colonial America.

    Nonetheless, he has tons of resources including documentation of the hundreds of millions of disarmed civilians being killed through that last century or so.

    This man is an advocate for genocide.

  22. If I was the president of the U.S. I’d be damned proud that I had an army of citizens that armed themselves with no government help.

    More ammunition please.

    • ps.
      I pledge alligenge to “My” country. The United States of America.
      Love her to my death.
      No other.

  23. Far be it from me to suggest that British disapproval of our American freedoms and armament is limited to non-military men. In fact I’m fairly certain their resentment started among those Englishmen trained for war.

  24. Having never known true freedom its easy for one to think they have a great life without it or that the standard of living is just fine this way.
    Once experienced however, it is hard to go back.

  25. Do you think if we needed their help to fend off an invasion, that it would be forthcoming. I doubt it.

  26. I have always taken the advice of people we have had to bail out continuously for the last 100 years….a Nation whose ONLY unassisted military victory was a few days in the South Atlantic in a war that was fought essentially over sheep.

    The British people are a great people, their privileged leadership is out of touch and has been since the 1700s. They have managed to take a nation that literally ruled the world where the sun never sets to a collapsing empire with what two time zones?

  27. His Lordship seems to forget that America’s “Country Boy Gun Culture” bailed his country out twice in the last century. The UK wouldn’t even be what it is today without America’s support. I mean, for crying out loud-they can’t even put their single mini-carrier to sea with borrowing our jets. Like many of the countries in Europe, they wouldn’t be free today without American support and money.

    • Easy, now, that “twice in the last century” has expired, I believe. That would be 1921-2021. Rephrase “twice last century” would be 1901-2000.

  28. Sounds like Sir Max drank most of the koolaid– He doesn’t mind seeing victims raped, robbed & murdered by criminals with their own guns

  29. The “weapons of war” claim is the one I find perplexing, because every weapon out there from a Flintlock to an AR 15, is a descendant of a weapon of war.
    The Limeys, like most Europeans, have no concept of individual Freedom, Liberty and the right to fight for, and defend those Freedoms and Liberties. That’s why they’re so quickly overrun by dictators, and we, their backwards yokel cousins have to bail them out, time after time. As for Sir Hasty-Pudding, he’s an Idiot.

    Tell you what, when all the wealthy anti’s walk around WITHOUT bodyguards, and when the illegal guns are removed from all the criminals/gangs, then come talk to me again.
    You know, when I lived in Baltimore City [quietly spit to the side], my home was broken into by my drug-dealing neighbor across the street. Months later, I got a letter from the Baltimore City Police to come pick up a couple of my guns they recovered. —- When I got there, they claimed to know nothing about the letter. —– I am convinced that the police recovered my guns and then stole them themselves; after all, the guns they SUPPOSEDLY recovered were collectors items.
    Just another example of why we need the Second Amendment.

  31. If it wasn’t for our guns, the whole world would be a communist socialist hell hole !! Your nothing but a puppet closet socialist wanting more power! 🖕🖕🖕🖕U !

  32. Dear TTAG,
    Please don’t tar all of us from England with the same brush.
    I agree with everything you’ve written, and love reading the articles posted on this site.
    IMHO, the First Amendment is the most precious thing you have; backed-up by the Second Amendment should the first not work out (I can’t remember who said this, but they’re right!)
    As to the defensive use of firearms, I watched this video (again) just the other day.
    Seamus gives quite a few interesting facts and figures in it, all of which are worth remembering (the third comment down is an interesting one, too 😉
    Please keep up the good work.

  33. With that kind of an attitude, it is too bad we (the U.S.) cannot go back in time, and tell the Brits to pound sand when Hitler was invading them. If it were not for us, they would all be speaking German right now. And yeah, who gives a fig about what the Brits think about our rights, especially given that they only have “privileges” that can be taken away at a whim.

    • With our recent fiasco of the coronavirus lockdowns if feels like we don’t have rights either. The government has irreversibly damaged my life.

  34. King George III agreed with Hastings, and after he received the Declaration of Independence from the American colonists, he immediately sent armies to the Americas with specific orders to first disarm the American colonists, but King George’s words got to the Americas before the British armies did. So then the American colonists hid all their weapons, but whenever the British army could find any of their guns, they would confiscate them. But because the American colonists were able to hide their guns to stop the confiscation and disarmament, the American colonists won the Revolutionary War, and created the USA, and King George’s disarmament order is the reason why we have our 2nd Amendment.

    The British tried it again in the War of 1812, but again because the American citizens were armed with their own guns, and they defeated the British again, making it look bad for the most powerful nation on Earth, losing two wars, and only to the American people who were given the right to bears arms, which saved the country.

    After the Japanese destroyed our Pacific Fleet with their sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese General in charge of Japans military was criticized for not taking advantage of their Pearl Harbor victory when he did not invade the mainland of the USA. That Japanese General answered the criticism by stating that if they had invaded the US mainland that would have had to fight every single American who would have guns behind every tree and every blade of grass, and the Japanese could stand the loses from that many armed people.

    The Russians have said the same, but the Chinese, thinking they can accept the heavy loses that they know they would sustain from all the armed citizens of the US, believe that they could still win the war because of their population advantage that their army would still outnumber all the Americans with guns, and are planning to do so as soon as their leaders find the fortitude in their souls and their hearts to do so. But if the Democrats ban our guns and take away our 2nd Amendment, the Chinese will be here within a month.

  35. “According to the United Nations, Americans own 46% of all the world’s guns in private hands.”



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