While I have great admiration and affection for the English people, most of them are downright daft on the issues of guns. And the politicians are the worst of the lot, having imposed draconian gun bans.
But they’ve gone way beyond run-of-the-mill gun control.
This is the nation, for instance, that arrested a man for the “crime” of turning in a gun found on his property. Yes, you read correctly. I’m not making that up.
The government is so bloody clueless on this issue that we’ve seen mind-boggling examples of anti-gun political correctness.
- Disciplining children for making gun shapes with their hands.
- Banning starting pistols at races.
- Proposing to bar children from Olympic shooting events.
- A bookstore putting shooting magazines in the porn section.
- Arresting a woman for brandishing a knife to scare away thugs.
Okay, I cheated. The last example was about a knife rather than a gun, but I think it underscores the central point that the UK government believes in a helpless and passive citizenry.
But perhaps, in a small way, we’re seeing a bit of progress. It seems that a few people realize that this culture of surrender and appeasement isn’t always a good idea.
At least when it comes to thwarting pirates. Here is an excerpt from The Economist about a big decline in attacks off the Horn of Africa.
…the fall in the number of successful hijackings since the peak of 2009-11 has been dramatic. The International Maritime Bureau, a body that fights shipping crime, counted 219 cases of pirates trying to board a vessel in 2010 and 236 in 2011. This year’s total is just 71, against 199 for the same period last year. Successful seizures are down from 49 in 2010 to 28 in 2011 and only 13 this year.
Want to take a wild guess about the reason?
Yup, you’re right. Guns.
…the biggest game changer of all is…that more than a quarter of vessels now carry armed security guards. The shipping industry used to oppose this, fearing that armed guards would escalate violence. But not a single vessel with guards has been boarded. Usually a warning shot is enough to deter the pirates. Lieut-Commander Sherrif says: “The pirates go to sea to make money, not die in a firefight.” BIMCO, the biggest international shipping organisation, has recently produced a standard contract for the industry, known as GUARDCON. Most of the security firms supplying guards are British. Admiral Rix says that his company hires mostly former Royal Marines.
Let’s emphasize part of that passage. It says that “not a single vessel with guards has been boarded.”
That’s a perfect batting average. As John Lott might say, this is an example of “more guns, less crime.” What a novel idea.
Now for the bad news. I doubt that the writers at The Economist or the politicians at Westminster will draw the right lesson from any of this.
So we still have a long way to go before we liberate the British people from the anti-gun superstitions of the political elite. Maybe we should share these very clever pro-gun images (here, here, here, here, here, and here) with our friends on the other side of the Atlantic.