Hell just got a little chillier. Still, the fact that the Christian Science Monitor (CSM) published a piece from the ultra-left wing (just kidding) Adam Smith Institute suggesting that Brits would be better off if the Queen’s subjects were allowed to openly carry guns marks some kind something in the UK debate on an individual’s right to own firearms. Because there is no gun debate in the UK. There’s about as much chance that the UK government will allow the average Brit to carry a handgun—concealed or visible—as a Massachusetts Powerball player has of winning the jackpot whilst being struck by lightning as a white shark nibbles his leg. Just for fun, here’s Nikhil Arora’s argument for open carry in The Land of Hope and Glory.
Open-carry is very ‘visible’ – far more so than staff in neon jackets on station platforms, or standing behind ticket counters. It allows people to take charge of their own security. In addition, it empowers people to look out for one another as good neighbours, rather than relying on there always being someone official on hand to bail them out. It also means that criminals, who in our country seem to have no qualms about carrying and using knives to assault innocent citizens, would be placed at a disadvantage – far more of a disadvantage, in fact, than they are if, carrying knives, they are confronted by a station clerk, not carrying a knife.
I hope I didn’t make it seem like the reason that UK Open Carry is a non-starter because Her Majesty’s government in fundamentally non-democratic, or autocratic, or a constitutional monarchy (without a written constitution), or some such thing. As one of the comments under the CSM post indicates, the UK has a strong anti-gun culture. Even the police aren’t armed. Oh wait. They are. Heavily. Not all. But plenty. Carry on.
good point, when its an offence to carry a gun then the police can apprehend and arrest anyone that has a gun BEFORE they use it
if concealed or open carry is lawful then the police cant act until an offence has been committed… ie maybe someone is dead or dying
you gun toting people are crazy, at least primitive and uncivilised
in my book you are a criminal if you carry a gun or a dangerous knife, and should be in gaol until you learn to think more constructively about your lives
Just a quick one about the UK police and guns. It is easy to find pictures of armed UK police (and when they are armed, it tends to be heavily, as you point out, MP5s and HK G36s all over the place) but this gives something of a misleading picture. Those police are really not intended to police the general population. The average person will very likely go through life never having any contact with an armed officer, except maybe walking past one coming through an airport.
Armed coppers in this country get called out for terrorism, gang violence, and serious violent crimes in progress. They protect high value targets like transport hubs etc. They occasionally do high visibility armed patrols when there are gang shootings in the cities (there were such patrols in an area of my city this week). But, if you call the police because your car has been stolen, your house burgled, yourself assaulted, your neighbours being too noisy . . . they will almost certainly not be armed. If you are stopped for speeding, or arrested for being drunk and disorderly, the officers will almost certainly not be armed.
The point I am rather long windedly making, is that to all intents and purposes, in the interaction they have with the overwhelming majority of the population, law abiding and criminal alike, the UK police remain unarmed.
The police in Northern Ireland (which is part of the UK) are an exception to this, in NI the police are routinely armed and it is possible to own a handgun as a member of the public, both of which are a legacy of the long war there.
As for our constitution, it is uncodified, and we are pretty proud of it. A thousand years of precedent, a judiciary that can actually stand up to the government rather than just being another branch of it and the strongest free press in the world provide our democratic process with as much protection as in any other land, while maintaining the flexibility that a healthy democracy needs to flourish as the world changes over the decades and centuries.
Not having a go here, I am a shooter myself and have a great deal of respect for aspects of the relationship people in the USA have with guns. My first experiences of shooting were in America and I loved it and my time there.
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