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“You keep bringing up England, as if there exists there some higher ideal that we should aspire to. In England, the population is made up of subjects, not citizens. Those subjects have traditionally been denied the use and ownership of arms, all the way back to when that referred to swords and daggers. Times have changed, and the restrictions there have eased somewhat, but the underlying ethos remains. I, on the other hand, am a citizen, not a subject, and the ownership of guns is ingrained in my national heritage, and has been since we used those guns to win the right to no longer be called subjects. The ownership of those guns also carries the intrinsic promise that no one who calls himself an American will ever again be forced to be a subject. It’s just that simple. And no amount of regurgitating of gun control statistics will ever change that simple fact.” – Matt in FL’s comment underneath The Truth About the AR-15 Rifle

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  1. The UK, with a population much smaller than the USA, was um victimized with more than 60,000 knife killings in the previous year. Just more than half of the roughly 27,000 annual USA gun deaths are from suicides. It is ‘common-sense’ that few people use a knife to commit suicide. Obviously most of the UK knife killings are directed at someone other than the person holding/owning the knife. Do the numbers. England is Not a higher ideal that America should aspire too though English manufacturers do make very good orange marmalade.

    • The British Home Office says that England had only about 700 total homicides last year. 60,000 knife killings in a country the size of England would be significant, indeed. If you have to fabricate facts to feel better about your beliefs, at least keep them within an order of magnitude.

    • Oops! Looks like I got confused about the numbers of knifing attacks and the resulting deaths I read about last year. The quote below was from an article that appeared in 2007:

      “Up to 60,000 young people, mostly male, may be stabbed and injured each year, the equivalent of more than 160 victims a day, according to a worst-case estimate for knife violence in England and Wales.”

      Here is another UK 60,000 figure I had previously read about that might have caused some confusion:

      “60,000 patients put on death pathway without being told but minister still says controversial end-of-life plan is ‘fantastic'”

      Hal & Jae,

      I’m always open to admitting when my facts or understanding are wrong so I appreciate the heads-up. Yet your reactions to my post were interesting to reflect on with your assumption that I had intentionally and knowingly introduced false claims.

      • We’re so used to that being the case on the interwebz that we tend to assume it when we see it. Thanks for clearing it up, love to see people admit to their own mistakes, its such a rare quality these days.

        • Dear Not So,

          Thank you for your kind words. Your compliment and understanding means much to me. It is a sad symbol of our society and the parents who raise children when the average man is afraid or unconcerned about admitting his mistakes. Ultimately one’s integrity, wisdom gained, and good deeds done are the greatest net-worth we own in life.

      • “Yet your reactions to my post were interesting to reflect on with your assumption that I had intentionally and knowingly introduced false claims.”
        Check your numbers next time and no one will think you’re stupid or malicious.

  2. Nicely said, but a bit historically inaccurate. True gun control in the UK is a fairly recent thing with the recent draconian treatment beginning in 1920. Up to the mid 19th century, firearms ownership in the UK was supported by the government. Between about the 12th and 18th centuries, there were numerous laws in the UK that required people to own arms for the defense of both their villages but also the realm; there were, however, many restrictions on the use of arms for hunting and the like, as large game was largely the property of the king. The idea of a “citizen militia” is completely British and was thus instantiated in the colonies.

    The sad fact is that firearms ownership in the UK had declined dramatically during the 19th century (which sort of makes sense as Britain had the highest birthrate in Europe and people flocked to the cities, where the old idea of a citizen militia was replaced by metro police forces). The declining ownership enabled Parliament to pass laws in 1920 drastically restricting gun rights (interestingly enough, those laws were passed because of fears that disgruntled, angry soldiers and others would band together and fight the government – lots of that was happening in Europe at the time, grin).

    There is a great little book about this, “To Keep and Bear Arms – the Origins of an Anglo-American Right”, by Joyce Lee Malcom. Highly recommended.

    • If you like that, I highly recommend Sam Francis on the historical origins of the right to keep and bear arms and attempts to curtail it over the centuries.

      From the bad old Clinton days. Listen to him call James Brady a ‘pathetic human house plant that this his wife exploits for her own power and ambition’…

      You can hear the audience groan and applaud and hiss… Guy had a way with words.

    • I’d also add that the firearm crime rate BEFORE the British draconian laws were passed has not changed. Year to year, even decade to decade, the rate has been fairly statistically flat. Over the last 100 yeast, though, there has been a slight increase.

      Gun control in the UK has had no effect.

      • Absolutely true, which is the saddest thing of all. The residents of the UK (can’t really call them citizens, per Matt’s excellent point) mostly willingly let themselves be disarmed because of fear that proved unfounded. Hard to imagine that the descendants of those who won at Agincourt and Crecy would allow it to happen. A good object lesson, but a sad one.

    • What 505markf said.

      Although there is a grain of truth to Matt’s sentiment, it is flat out historically wrong. The defense of Englishmen’s rights of arms was well documented from the Magna Carta to the Glorious Revolution. It was an essential right for the Englishman as it gave power and meaning to Parliament which could not be easily rooted out by the King, and thus created significant power balance compared to the absolute Monarchies of the continent.

  3. Another problem with stats is that this miss the central crime in gun control:

    In a country of 10,000,000, if all 10,000,000 are deprived of their right to bear arms by the very government created to protect their rights, the victim rate is 100%, even if no one is murdered with a gun.

    If freedom is restored, and even if 1,000 people are murdered with guns, then the victim rate actually drops by an astonishing 99.99%.

    infringement of the right to keep and bear arms IS gun crime.

    • Huh?

      “In a country of 10,000,000, if all 10,000,000 are deprived of their right to bear arms by the very government created to protect their rights, the victim rate is 100%, even if no one is murdered with a gun.”

      That… doesn’t work. That is analogous to saying that 317 million people in this country are “victims” of car crashes due to the fact that people are killed in car crashes.

      If we are going to play the stat’s game lets keep it in the realm of reality.

        • Thank you CarlosT, you obviously made my point more clearly than I did.

          Here in MN we hear pouty libs say “we legalized concealed carry and there’s no statistically significant difference in the crime rate.” If you take this bait and start engaging them in cost/benefit analysis you’ve let them frame the argument.

          The real point to begin is this: Prior to CC, the violent, coercive power of the State was being used to deprive the People of their Human Rights. What the State was doing was a crime; a crime against the Constitution and a crime against Natural Law and a crime against every person in the state. Stopping the State from doing that is benefit #1. If individual on individual crime decreases, that would be a secondary benefit.

      • Andrew,
        I’ll try to use your analogy to better illustrate my point: If the State took away all cars from 317 million people, and forbade them from ever driving again, (using coercion and violence, the sine qua non of the State). Then all 317 million would be victims of this oppression.
        If this “common sense car control” were relaxed, and next year, 1,000 people were injured in car crashes, one could say “Oh horrible, of horribles, 1,000 people were injured due to de-regulation. The cost is 1,000 lives.” However, this would ignore the benefit of the 317 million who got their freedom back, and the 317 million who are now no longer complicit in the oppression because their “representative” government is no longer committing the oppression.
        Of course when we’re talking about arms, something the government was specifically forbad to infringe upon, then this takes on a much larger and obvious moral component.
        What say you?

        • Duke,

          I hate to be a devils advocate here but I think this argument really illustrates how easily the “stats-warefare” has holes poked in it.

          First off, be careful mixing a potential benefit with an actual deficit.

          The “actual deficit” in this case is as follows:

          Evil goverment takes away ALL cars = zero deaths.
          Hooray – evil government gets the boot, cars for all = 1000 deaths.

          In this case, looking exclusively at the deficit, we lose 1000 people. This is the crux of anti’s arguments. Not very strong – see also “Britain”…

          Now lets look at the “potential benefit” (i.e. rights):
          Evil government yada-yada-yada: zero rights (for anybody)
          Government overthrown, woohoo: rights for everyone.

          ^–Our camp’s cornerstone. But we do have stats on our sides in the concealed carry argument – I think the strongest argument for gun rights is the ever-present increase in CC licenses issued with no corresponding rise in the murder rate.

        • Andrew,
          No apologies necessary. I think this back and forth within the community is what this forum is all about.
          I think we need to be prepared to make both your argument and mine.
          I would not call cessation of government infringement a “potential” good at all (if that’s what you meant.) My whole point is that that is a real and immediate good. murders and bad guys will always be with us and sometimes they will do harm. But when the very institution which was created to defend our rights is actually doing the opposite, that is an even greater harm and greater evil.
          To put it in its most extreme: I would prefer more freedom and more murder (meaning individual on individual murder), to less freedom and less murder. I don’ think that’s the choice before us, but both murder and oppression harm humanity; a bad individual commits murder on an individual scale; a bad government commits oppression on an industrial scale.

          Happy Holidays!

  4. Yep, it was King George trying to restrict a traditional British right, the right to KABA, on top of everything else; that helped push the British/American colonies over the edge to full out war.

  5. It seems to me the biggest prick on TV is the Brit on the couch. And yes, my kids are just as important as Obama’s. Matt–well said, Brother!

  6. I got to say, I don’t need no stinkin’ stats either. I finished arguing this many years ago. I am an American, not the property of the State by any name it wishes to be known. Period. Full stop.

  7. Well, I didn’t think I’d end up on the front page with this. Thanks for the kind words.

    Also thanks for the history lesson, 505markf.

    I was having a little fun with a guy who performed a little necromancy on a post from almost exactly a year ago. It started because he responded to a comment that said, “The police are not there to protect you so you have to do it yourself.”

    His response was only seven words: “The police are there to protect you…”

    I responded with Castle Rock v. Gonzales and Warren v. District of Columbia, and we were off to the races. It went on for about a full day before we both called it quits, largely after he accused me (incorrectly and illogically) of racism.

    He did point out that post-1983, it’s incorrect to call them subjects. They are citizens, like us, and they elect their government, like us. I responded with the following, and it’s also the comment that led to the charge of racism. See if you can spot it.

    I stand corrected on that point, but my underlying point, and the British peoples’ underlying mindset remains true. They still have a nobility, they still are a nation comprised of more equal and less equal pigs. They are a dramatically different society than we are, and a thousand years of psychology doesn’t disappear overnight.

    If you’re really interested (and I don’t think it was all that interesting, tbh), you can read the whole exchange starting here. Note that the comments as you read them are somewhat out of chronological order. There’s stuff below the comment where I said I was done that happened prior to that comment.

    • I ran through that thread earlier and I wanted to respond to someone else entirely. Luigi hit me as a contrary-ian, simply throwing things out for arguments sake.

      My eye was caught by a reference to SLA Marshall concerning full-auto/semi-auto for issue to infantrymen. He was not pushing for full-auto for all troops. His primary point in Men Against Fire was for a, at the time, radical change in training doctrine in the US military. His research found that in any given engagement 1/2 or more of troops involved failed to even fire their weapons, and in the 1/2 that did fire 1/2 again did not aim their fire. The 1/4 or less who did engage did so aggressively and used their training, and often simple native talent(Audy Murphy, anyone) to take the fight to the enemy, not just huddle in place and pray for salvation from On High. It was this ethos which Marshall wanted nurtured and spread to the entire fighting force, not any particular weapon system or type. And to that end he pushed for major changes in US Army training doctrine.

      Well, there ya go. Totally and completely off topic, but hey, thats what AlGore:TheGoreacle’s intratubes thingy is for!

      • Luigi Tzimopoulos was a big time troll. Completely logical arguments presented to him were twisted, run through the fallacy machine and regurgitated out with every response regardless of content. You can’t reason with him – you can only argue with him.

        • Yea, I only read its first 2 comments and then ignored anything else from it.

          Oh, and to be clear! I am not an AR fan. .30 man and I happily hump the weight penalty intrinsic in that position. Also not big on full-auto for the average rifleman. I was raised in a hard school where every round is aimed.

    • And MattinFL? When you going to learn!?!? Never bring up Orwell in any conversation with a leftist, they don’t see 1984 as a cautionary tale, they see it as a superior Operating System and spend all their time trying to “make it so”.

    • I understand they think of themselves as citizens, yet here’s an interesting tidbit. First, let me say that I love England. The wealth of history everywhere you go just has to experienced. And I like most of the English people (the Scots and Welsh, especially). I LOVE London – it is a fabulous place to visit.

      Several years ago my family got free tickets to a daily event at the Tower of London called the “Ceremony of the Keys”. The guards of the Tower have been performing this even daily, without a single miss, since about the 15th century. It is a solemn and sort of magical thing to see. Once the ceremony begins you are not allowed to speak, to take photographs, etc. Before had, the Chief Warden gives the guests – maybe 40 people – a brief history of the ceremony and the Tower guards and then answers questions, etc.

      Turns out the Beefeaters are all retired regimental sergeant majors or higher from the Royal Army or Royal Marines (just last year they added the first woman to this group, I heard). One person questioned why not the Royal Navy. The Chief Warden was quite disparaging of the Navy. Seems that only the Army and Marines swear fealty to the Queen and are thus worthy of being her guards (the Tower being technically one of the Queen’s residences). The Navy, on the other hand, swears loyalty not to the Queen but to the Admiralty.

      Quite interesting for a history dork like myself. Sorry for the off-topic, folks.

      • “Quite interesting for a history dork like myself. Sorry for the off-topic, folks.” Oh no! This is the other thing AlGore:TheGoreacle’s intratubes thingy is for, the spreading of interesting historical tidbits. And lets us not forget troll/leftard kicking, one of my favorite activities.

      • Actually, it’s because we don’t swear oaths to anyone: as officers of the Royal Navy, our honour and our loyalty need no attestation 🙂

        For the same reason, supposedly the naval salute is palm-down because “I shade my eyes from your radiant glory, sir!” rather than the Army’s open-palm “See, sir? Not holding a knife, can’t stab you today!” version. (Though more practically it’s because tarred rope made your hands dirty)

  8. Anyone touting America should be like England really owes it to themselves spend sometime there.

    It’s was one of the few places in Europe that I never want to see again, once was enough.

  9. I remember as a young man in the 1960s our relatives from Britain visiting and always wanting to go out shooting. They just loved that America had guns and worshipped our Constitutional protections. I never could fathom how such a proud country could fall into the sad state of pure limp-wristedness.

  10. When the guy said that the president’s kids were more important that mine – that said it all for me. The average English mentality in a nutshell. God save the queen right?

    • When the guy said that the president’s kids were more important that mine – that said it all for me.

      And to think George Orwell was British.

        • Orwell saw what was happening during the period between the wars, and what was happening in the direct aftermath of WWII, in England and on the Continent when most people were just not caring what was happening even as they watched it rolling over them like a wave on the beach. I’m still not sure people care even now. Oh, they always see it once it is crushing them into the mud, a bit late then, though.

  11. In school, they teach us that there are three branches of government: Legislative, Judicial and Executive.

    I’ll go one further than Matt in FL:

    There are FOUR branches of American government: Legislative, Judicial, Executive and the Second Amendment.

    When you see it in those terms, attempts at gun control are no longer attempts at regulation and social policy. They are attempts to subvert the very essence of this country.

    • Excellent observation, Doctor!

      The Constitution outlines the separation of powers between the three branches of government but does fail to explicitly point out that the PEOPLE who elect that government are the Fourth branch. The Declaration of Independence implies this, of course, and as you say, the Second Amendment very clearly gives the ultimate authority, ultimate Check and Balance, via the Right of the people to keep and bear arms.

      I love this blog.

  12. Not all Brits are bad, I have met some nice ones in my day. As for the “Crown” . . .

    It gave arms to loyalist militias during the troubles in Northern Ireland. There are guns on the streets in the UK (in part) because the government of greater Britannia put them there. Just give it a few years and it will all be Britanistan anyway.

  13. I have thought fit to issue this Proclamation, to require of those who have yet Fire-Arms in their possession immediately to surrender them at the Court-House to such persons as shall be authorized to receive them; and hereby to declare that all persons in whose possession any Fire-Arms may hereafter be found, will be deemed enemies to His Majesty’ s Government.
    Given at Boston, the nineteenth day of June, 1775, in the fifteenth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord, George the Third, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c.
    By his Excellency’ s command:
    THOMAS FLUCKER, Secretary.

    Excerpt: Proclamation by General Gage, requiring all the Inhabitants of Boston to deliver up their Fire-Arms, and declaring all who omit to do so enemies to His Majesty’s Government. [1775-06-19]

  14. The Declaration of Rights of 1689 sheds a great deal of light on how Britons traditionally conceptualize the right to keep and bear arms:

    That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defense suitable to their condition and as allowed by law.

    Note: Subjects which are Protestants may have arms, but only those “suitable to their condition”, by which they mean social class. The keeping and bearing of arms was distinctly understood to be a prerogative of the ruling class and its purpose was to keep other classes in their place. This is the place from which Piers Morgan’s crusade for gun control comes from. It has nothing to do with murder rates or violent crime, and everything to do with “elites” like him telling “rabble” like us to mind our place.

  15. Isn’t it quaint the way this serf refers to Americas problem with our “gun addiction” as though we were suffering from an addiction to drugs? What a douche.

  16. What I find interesting is what Charlie left out of his presentation. If you look at the PSA he’s talking about ( at the 0:58 mark you can clearly see the murderer walked right past the building’s 30.06 sign barring concealed carriers. For some reason Charlie chose to leave that bit on the cutting room floor.


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