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MagicSanta
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Good news! My town, which has no grocery store, now has a gun shop featuring Glocks! I'm gonna get me one.
Woland
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Welcome back to the discussion, Magnus! We've strayed far from the original topic, but here goes.

My information on British gun control laws (and their lamentable effects)is derived from the work of Joyce Lee Malcolm, Professor of Law at George Mason University. She has published two books that bear on the subject, "Guns and Violence, the English Experience," Harvard University Press, 2004, and "To Keep and Bear Arms, the Origins of an Anglo-American Right," Harvard University Press, 1996.

In 2002, Professor Malcolm published an article i......cussion:

Quote:
The illusion that the English government had protected its citizens by disarming them seemed credible because few realized the country had an astonishingly low level of armed crime even before guns were restricted. A government study for the years 1890-92, for example, found only three handgun homicides, an average of one a year, in a population of 30 million. In 1904 there were only four armed robberies in London, then the largest city in the world. A hundred years and many gun laws later, the BBC reported that England's firearms restrictions "seem to have had little impact in the criminal underworld." Guns are virtually outlawed, and, as the old slogan predicted, only outlaws have guns. Worse, they are increasingly ready to use them.

Nearly five centuries of growing civility ended in 1954. Violent crime has been climbing ever since. Last December, London's Evening Standard reported that armed crime, with banned handguns the weapon of choice, was "rocketing." In the two years following the 1997 handgun ban, the use of handguns in crime rose by 40 percent, and the upward trend has continued. From April to November 2001, the number of people robbed at gunpoint in London rose 53 percent.

Gun crime is just part of an increasingly lawless environment. From 1991 to 1995, crimes against the person in England's inner cities increased 91 percent. And in the four years from 1997 to 2001, the rate of violent crime more than doubled. Your chances of being mugged in London are now six times greater than in New York. England's rates of assault, robbery, and burglary are far higher than America's, and 53 percent of English burglaries occur while occupants are at home, compared with 13 percent in the U.S., where burglars admit to fearing armed homeowners more than the police. In a United Nations study of crime in 18 developed nations published in July, England and Wales led the Western world's crime league, with nearly 55 crimes per 100 people.

This sea change in English crime followed a sea change in government policies. Gun regulations have been part of a more general disarmament based on the proposition that people don't need to protect themselves because society will protect them. It also will protect their neighbors: Police advise those who witness a crime to "walk on by" and let the professionals handle it.

This is a reversal of centuries of common law that not only permitted but expected individuals to defend themselves, their families, and their neighbors when other help was not available. It was a legal tradition passed on to Americans. Personal security was ranked first among an individual's rights by William Blackstone, the great 18th-century exponent of the common law. It was a right, he argued, that no government could take away, since no government could protect the individual in his moment of need. A century later Blackstone's illustrious successor, A.V. Dicey, cautioned, "discourage self-help and loyal subjects become the slaves of ruffians."

But modern English governments have put public order ahead of the individual's right to personal safety. First the government clamped down on private possession of guns; then it forbade people to carry any article that might be used for self-defense; finally, the vigor of that self-defense was to be judged by what, in hindsight, seemed "reasonable in the circumstances."

The 1920 Firearms Act was the first serious British restriction on guns. Although crime was low in England in 1920, the government feared massive labor disruption and a Bolshevik revolution. In the circumstances, permitting the people to remain armed must have seemed an unnecessary risk. And so the new policy of disarming the public began. The Firearms Act required a would-be gun owner to obtain a certificate from the local chief of police, who was charged with determining whether the applicant had a good reason for possessing a weapon and was fit to do so. All very sensible. Parliament was assured that the intention was to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and other dangerous persons. Yet from the start the law's enforcement was far more restrictive, and Home Office instructions to police -- classified until 1989 -- periodically narrowed the criteria.

At first police were instructed that it would be a good reason to have a revolver if a person "lives in a solitary house, where protection against thieves and burglars is essential, or has been exposed to definite threats to life on account of his performance of some public duty." By 1937 police were to discourage applications to possess firearms for house or personal protection. In 1964 they were told "it should hardly ever be necessary to anyone to possess a firearm for the protection of his house or person" and that "this principle should hold good even in the case of banks and firms who desire to protect valuables or large quantities of money."

In 1969 police were informed "it should never be necessary for anyone to possess a firearm for the protection of his house or person." These changes were made without public knowledge or debate. Their enforcement has consumed hundreds of thousands of police hours. Finally, in 1997 handguns were banned. Proposed exemptions for handicapped shooters and the British Olympic team were rejected.

Even more sweeping was the 1953 Prevention of Crime Act, which made it illegal to carry in a public place any article "made, adapted, or intended" for an offensive purpose "without lawful authority or excuse." Carrying something to protect yourself was branded antisocial. Any item carried for possible defense automatically became an offensive weapon. Police were given extensive power to stop and search everyone. Individuals found with offensive items were guilty until proven innocent.


There's more at the link that is just as good.

Woland
acesover
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Anyway I live in the US and do not have a criminal record so I can have my guns, have a concealed carry permit and be called a gun nut by some. While it upsets some it makes me happy. And I would rather be happy than sad.

There are some laws I do not like but I have to live by them if I choose to live in the US. And I choose to live here. If I do not like said laws I see two other options. Break them and suffer the consquences or leave and find some other place that I think is better. I do not think there is a better place to live than the US. That's my story and I am sticking to it.
If I were to agree with you. Then we would both be wrong. As of Apr 5, 2015 10:26 pm I have 880 posts. Used to have over 1,000
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Quote:
On 2011-01-22 19:40, Woland wrote:

Right up through the Edwardian era, that is right up to the First World War, there were no "gun control" laws in Great Britain, and (as any reader of Arthur Conan Doyle can attest) many the physician, barrister, or gentleman went about his daily business armed with his trusty revolver.

Actually, there were gun control laws in Great Britain long before WW1. E.g., the Vagrancy Act of 1824, the Pistols Act of 1903.

Quote:
On 2011-01-22 19:40, Woland wrote:

Incidentally, the more severe British gun control has become, the more common gun crime has become.

Well ...

First, correlation is not necessarily causation.

Second, lots of things have changed in the last 80 years, let alone the last 20, not just gun control legislation. Some of the increase in gun crime has been attributed to a change in gun crime reporting practices that went into effect circa 2001. They say the rise of gun crime in the U.K. has more to do with a rise in U.S. style gang culture in Britain than anything else. Most of the rise in gun crime comes from two or more gang member types facing off with guns, not from a person with a gun assaulting an innocent victim.

Third, the firearm-related death rate in Britain today is at something like a 10+ year low following the 1997 Firearms Act.

Some headlines will tell you that violent crime in Britain is on the rise or that it is higher there than in other countries. But, again, you have to keep in mind the different reporting practices. In Britain an affray (public fight) is considered a violent crime, while in most other countries it only counts and gets logged if a person is physically injured.
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Destiny
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"Incidentally, the more severe British gun control has become, the more common gun crime has become.

As in other countries, preventing law-abiding citizens from arming themselves chiefly serves the purpose of ensuring that an armed criminal can threaten the use of a firearm, or use it, with impunity, and no fear of being opposed by fire."

I know nothing about British gun laws but here in Australia, where private gun ownership was never that common anyway - usually farmers had a light calibre rifle for snakes - we had very strict gun laws introduced after a terrible massacre in Tasmania.

Hand Guns are only carried by the police and some strictly monitored security personnel. Individuals can only possess them for sporting purposes and they must be secured in gun safes when not being used for that purpose. I'm not sure but I think only the military and police can have semi automatic or automatic weapons while normal rifles can be owned by anyone of sound mind, good character and no criminal record. I think anyone wishing to own one needs to state why they need it and it must be secured in a gun safe when not in use.

The laws were introduced with bipartisan support - there was a little bit of noise at the time - mainly from gunshop owners with NRA support, but it is no longer an issue and the gunshop owners lost public support by letting the NRA get involved - it was an Australian issue - not American and it was generally assumed the NRA was just protecting a market for the gun manufacturers who support them. Our gun laws do not get a mention during election campaigns and I do not remember the last time I even read a news article about them - they simply excite no public debate.

We have a very low murder rate and while some crime gangs do manage to get hold of guns, they usually use them against each other. Those inclined to murder their loved ones during domestic disputes have to use slower methods and are therefore frequently interrupted before achieving their goal.

How we have handled it works very well for us and we are, as a country, very happy with it. Anyone who suggests there is something idiotic, communist or in any other way wrong with our laws is far too full of their own BS to see the world from any but their own perspective. We are not a pacifist country. It is often forgotten that we have fought with the US in every conflict since World War 2 - Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan to name the main ones - and we have also taken the lead in regional conflicts. Different things work in different places.

We look at US gun culture in amazement but I am very careful when commenting about it because of your different circumstances. Our government (and I will remind gdw that here in Australia we regard the government as ourselves - not the enemy) was able to control gun ownership by an easily afforded buyback and amnesty - in the States there are so many guns in circulation that would be unlikely to be the case. It seems obvious to an outsider though that, as a country, it would help immensely if you could get more guns out of the hands of criminals and the insane - unfortunately it seems nothing is done because any mention of gun control is swamped by argument about the rights of ordinary citizens - to the point where some seem to think if everyone in the crowd was armed - nothing bad would happen - yeah, right! I may be assuming, but it is almost as though some think 'carrying' should be compulsory. I personally think a nation wide campaign to get guns out of the hands of criminals and the insane would have to be of some value.

Edit: just noticed while I was typing acesover said basically what I think in fewer words.
Magnus Eisengrim
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Quote:
On 2011-01-22 20:23, Woland wrote:
Welcome back to the discussion, Magnus! We've strayed far from the original topic, but here goes.

My information on British gun control laws (and their lamentable effects)is derived from the work of Joyce Lee Malcolm, Professor of Law at George Mason University. She has published two books that bear on the subject, "Guns and Violence, the English Experience," Harvard University Press, 2004, and "To Keep and Bear Arms, the Origins of an Anglo-American Right," Harvard University Press, 1996.




Thanks I see the claims in the article, but I don't see any evidence. (Although fear of a Bolshevik-type uprising would probably have been sensible in 1920). I'll have to dig deeper into the sources when I get the time.

Like Destiny, I am wary of arguments that try to transport one land's culture into another land's context. Some countries just seem to have more gunplay than others, and it usually isn't clear why.

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Woland
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Magnus,

I welcome your interest, and invite you to dive into Professor Malcolm's thoughtful books. She shows that the "gun culture" began in England, in the XVIth and XVIIth centuries, when non-noble, non-aristocratic subjects realized that it was necessary for them to be armed. From that origin, the practice of commoners being armed followed different paths in the different countries that developed from Britain and its colonies.

Woland
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We love the Australians! In fact during WW2 there was a major problem w/ Australian troops being tied up fighting elsewhere and not being available against the Japanese CUZ of England.

Perhaps if Canada ever fought for independence rather than being begged to go it alone they would have different views. They sure are not afraid to use clubs if ya know what I mean.
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Quote:
On 2011-01-22 20:28, acesover wrote:
Anyway I live in the US and do not have a criminal record so I can have my guns, have a concealed carry permit and be called a gun nut by some. While it upsets some it makes me happy. And I would rather be happy than sad.

There are some laws I do not like but I have to live by them if I choose to live in the US. And I choose to live here. If I do not like said laws I see two other options. Break them and suffer the consquences or leave and find some other place that I think is better. I do not think there is a better place to live than the US. That's my story and I am sticking to it.


And there are some laws that, even if you did find somewhere else to live, you would still be help to them.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
Magnus Eisengrim
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On 2011-01-22 21:53, MagicSanta wrote:
We love the Australians! In fact during WW2 there was a major problem w/ Australian troops being tied up fighting elsewhere and not being available against the Japanese CUZ of England.

Perhaps if Canada ever fought for independence rather than being begged to go it alone they would have different views. They sure are not afraid to use clubs if ya know what I mean.


We did defeat the American invaders in 1812, but that's about it.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
MagicSanta
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No, we changed our mind and since there was no Canada then, just a colony of the UK, there was no 'WE' for you. Deal w/ it. Oh, we are not giving back our fort that caused a blip in the map either....and an Aussie shot down the red baron!
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Quote:
On 2011-01-22 21:53, MagicSanta wrote:
We love the Australians! In fact during WW2 there was a major problem w/ Australian troops being tied up fighting elsewhere and not being available against the Japanese CUZ of England.

Perhaps if Canada ever fought for independence rather than being begged to go it alone they would have different views. They sure are not afraid to use clubs if ya know what I mean.


Santa, are you making broad sweeping judgments of people based on the conditions (re:location) of their birth?
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
Magnus Eisengrim
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On 2011-01-22 22:12, MagicSanta wrote:
No, we changed our mind and since there was no Canada then, just a colony of the UK, there was no 'WE' for you. Deal w/ it. Oh, we are not giving back our fort that caused a blip in the map either....and an Aussie shot down the red baron!


Which is a bit like saying George Washington led British troops because there was no America at the time.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
MagicSanta
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That is correct. He led colonial forces against those loyal to the crown w/in the 13 colonies seeking independence. It ended up w/ many countries fighting so in a sense it was close to being a world war as far as major powers go. We are talking real countries not other colonies in the tundra. Of course since the colonies established themselves as a united group the term American can be used. What is interesting is that some native tribes and their loyalist buddies were chased into Canada where they are now refered to as first nations though they would really be third nations. Life is neat huh?
Magnus Eisengrim
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Indeed. But they couldn't have been chased into Canada because it didn't exist. Maybe they went to Upper Canada. Or Lower Canada. Or maybe Rupert's Land.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
MagicSanta
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Canada existed, just not as an independent nation.
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Ha! You call that living?
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Magnus,

Although whether "Canada" defeated American troops during the Napoleonic Wars is debatable, I will concede that Canada defeated a series of Fenian Raids that followed the American Civil War. In the largest invasion, more than 1,000 armed men invaded Canada with the aim of seizing the country and trading it back to Great Britain in exchange for Ireland's freedom.

Woland
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Woland, there are two well-known Wars of 1812. The one in which America declared war on the British territories that are now Canada was quite independent of the Napoleonic wars.

The Fenian raids of 1866-1871 were a completely different matter, as you note. The Fenians were American-based terrorists.

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Woland
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Magnus,

You may be right, but in my opinion, what we call "The War of 1812" in the United States was a sideshow of the Napoleonic Wars. The major casus belli for the United States was the British practice of detaining American ships and impressing Britons who had become naturalized American citizens -- and some native born Americans -- among their crews into the British Navy. This practice was directly related to the wartime needs of the British Navy in the Napoleonic Wars on the Continent. The United States also reacted against British harassment of trade with France, again part and parcel of Britain's war against France, and against British support of the remnants of the Shawnee armies who were making continual raids on American settlements.

Woland
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