[Editor’s note: This guest column from Martin Hyde – an American businessman who immigrated from England to Florida 22 years ago – was written in response to an editorial from the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Reporting Project. Mr. Hyde is primarying Congressman Vern Buchanan, R-FL16, because of Buchanan’s support for HB8.]
by Martin Hyde
The article by “Sir Max” Hastings pontificating on things in my adopted homeland that aren’t his business rather proves that some Brits haven’t learned much since the days of King George.
Specifically, I speak as someone born and raised in the UK who has proudly called The United States and Florida in particular my home for the last 22 years.
“Sir Max” rambled on for an eternity decrying America and Americans for not agreeing with his statement that “We are a better, much safer society without handguns.”
Furthermore, he opined that it’s “terrifyingly easy” to “touch a trigger and broadcast devastation and death.”
What this rather classically British “twit” doesn’t get is that is EXACTLY the point about the right and need to defend oneself.
To understand (if you care to) how such opinions are formed – it started with his hugely privileged education at Charterhouse School (over $50,000 annual tuition) followed by Oxford University and then to the home of the British media elite at the BBC.
He touts himself as someone who grew up with guns because there were some unused weapons in his home. To my mind, that’s like saying I’m a great vintner because I have a bottle or two of wine in my drinks cabinet that I’ve never opened.
In any event, “Sir Max” doesn’t restrict himself to stupid comments on guns. He’s also been quoted recently as saying that the Welsh people wanting independence from the UK couldn’t survive independently from the UK because they are “dependent on English largesse,” so his buffoonery isn’t restricted to comments about American gun rights.
He also rather outrageously suggested that a war between China and the US over Taiwan is imminent and inevitable, with China to be the victor of that conflict. These comments tell everyone that “Sir Max” is indeed a “Brit twit” of the highest level.
The thing I learned a long time ago is that the United States is NOT the United Kingdom, and that Americans fought to leave the control of Britain for good reason.
I arrived here 200 years after the Revolutionary War, but when I came here I did so BECAUSE we have a Constitution and a bill of rights.
“Sir Max” is a noted historian with many books to his name. but when it comes to the history of America and our Constitution, he’s sorely lacking in understanding.
America was established with the certain knowledge that its people were escaping a form of dictatorship and censorship, and dreamed of a life where government stayed out of our daily lives.
The writers of the Constitution knew first hand that the rights enshrined in it would be of limited value without a means of protecting those rights from a future attempt by government to take these “inalienable” rights away.
The Founding Fathers foresaw what happened a couple of weeks ago in the White House Rose Garden when President Biden tried to start America down the road to gun confiscation which his assertion that “no amendment is absolute.”
When I came here, I didn’t use the phrase, “That’s not how we do it at home” because I subscribed to the much more reasonable, “When in Rome do as the Romans do.” In the same way that Floridians use the mantra, “Don’t New York my Florida” might I suggest not “UK-ing” my Florida either?
My personal journey on the Second Amendment and gun ownership has evolved over the past 22 years to the point where I’m now the proud owner of guns for self-defense because I have learned from living here what self-reliance and independence really mean.
Like most immigrants, I’m more recently aware of how lucky we are to live in America and how important our Constitutional rights are. When I saw that our local Congressman, Vern Buchanan, had voted with just seven other House Republicans and with every House Democrat over HR 8, which is a step toward gun registration and ultimately confiscation, I was horrified, as I know exactly how slippery that slope is.
As a former Brit, I want to let people know what we’re not all anti-gun twits like “Sir Max.” I’m so concerned to protect our Constitutional rights that I’m now running to replace anti-gun Rep. Buchanan in Florida’s 16th District because I KNOW what “shall not” means when “Sir Max” and Vern apparently do not.