Thursday, 26 August 2010

Guns in our society and guns in other societies - one perspective

In the wake of the Northumbrian and Cumbrian shootings, much blog-debate took place on issues surrounding firearms in society, the general arming of police throughout the UK, the availability of firearms for lawful use by UK citizens and the enforced removal of said firearms from the ownership of certificated, gun owning, UK citizens in the wake of `Dunblane`.  For some reason, it is the United States situation that always seems to be flagged up as a comparison with the UK.

Suzanna Gratia-Hupp, whose parents were killed by an insane gunman is shown, above, in theembedded video, delivering her testimony to a committee discussing further gun control.  She is from the State of Texas. I make no further comment on what she says, other than to say that she said it with remarkably controlled conviction and that it allows us a peek into aspects of life and attitudes to gun control in America, that we might otherwise be unaware of.


CI-Roller Dude said...

I've been a cop in California for over 30 years. When I was "new" at the job, I did not always carry a pistol off duty. I felt it wasn't needed at the time.
However, over the years, I showed up at things...just minding my own business, but had not weapon. I really needed a weapon.
Since those times, I have always gone out armed off duty. On duty I carry a 14 shot .45 pistol.
I feel that all good honest, TRAINED citizens in the US should be able to carry a firearm if they choose.
It's sad that the UK is getting so the cops now have to be armed. What happened there? Too many bad people who can get guns illegally.
Remove all the guns? Impossible.
Remove all the bad guys? Impossible.
Arm decent citizens? Possible.

Hogday said...

Roller Dude: Nice choice, Sir. Were I in the same place, that would be my choice. Off duty? Well I know what a Walther PP can do, where you can tuck it (and what I could do with it), but I think I'd still choose my own interpretation of what `easily concealed` meant and plump for a big fat .45 ;)
As for the UK, its still a whole lot safer than your place because handguns ain't for sale...anywhere - legally that is. It's just the criminals who get a minute, I must run that past my logic O` meter again.

Conan the Librarian™ said...

Interesting points.
If there are lots of guns popping off in your neighbourhood, should you have one to defend yourself with?
As we all know, manmade laws that "ban" things don't actually work.
Three hundred years ago in Scotland, the Highlands were denuded of weapons(and Kilts and Tartan: Weapons of War)
The Loyalist Clan chiefs complained to the London Government that that only people with weapons were "Rebels and Banditti".

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose...

CI-Roller Dude said...

For off duty one must dress for the event. My "normal" off duty gun is a slightly smaller .45 ACP or 9mm. In some cases, where something that big just won't fit, I have a choice of .380 auto to use. Hell, sometimes, if I'm going to a really bad place, I take a few with me...and a few friends with guns.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to see us with an armed public in the UK. I would like to see more and better armed cops, but I'd like to see sever 'delayering' first to rid us of ACPO and get 80% of our warranted officers in the genuine front line and more active as a deterrent. I wouldn't trust those who have now failed for 20 years or more to make the decisions. Not all officers would need to be armed, but half this front line would be. This might be a good fit for the UK, but once guns are regularly used by criminals and nutters the situation changes. There is no definitive argument, so we should be very cautious when anyone dictates one. Even across the US there is a massive difference between Saratoga Springs and Detroit.
Never took much to pistols, but I'd feel OK with one of those 'plastic' Glock subcompacts in my jacket pocket, but much happier in cover with any assault rifle, or a sniper watching out for me. All this just to go shopping!

Hogday said...

Conan: I developed a cynical distrust of Government and the law, strangely enough it was mainly during my 30 year police career.

Roller Dude: That made me smile! Reminded me of when I was out with the boys in blue in Flint, Mi. After a day on the range they flatly refused to believe I was `unarmed` during my routine duties and insisted I had a `secret gun` up my trouser leg. I presumed they were just jealous of the fit of my pants.

ACO: The UK public are dangerous enough when licenced to drive cars after allegedly passing a test. The arming of our police is inevitable and I for one would rather see it planned for and introduced under control, rather than knee-jerked into place. It's an ACPO `osterich` situation - just like the first baton round that will eventually be fired in a major disturbance (PSNI excepted). No one in the exalted upper echelon seems to want to be the first chief officer to authorise it. Broadwater Farm was a classic opportunity that was ducked. It would have broken the seal, but they let the moment get away and should be as ashamed of themselves, as those who were there on the front line should, by contrast, be proud.

powdergirl said...

I don't need a gun(yet), I've got truly wicked aim with a sling-shot.

And I think you're right, they were just jealous of the fit of your pants : D

Hogday said...

PG: Thanks for your support (I'll be sure and always wear it) :D

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you are right Hoggie, though this comment is not made on the hang of your trousers.
I don't like our officers working with the thought they may well be exposed to unnecessary trauma because of poor equipment and 'support' more likely to come from paramedics than proper response.
Our SMTwonk are more likely to start dishing out Ambien than get proper organisation and equipment on the street.

Blue Eyes said...

This debate ties me up in knots. Instinctively I would rather that armed citizens were few and far between. I would say that in the UK it is great that almost everyone does not carry any weaponry around at all, ever.

But then why should "good" people not be in a position to defend themselves against "bad"? Why shouldn't people be able to defend their property from intruders, for example?

But then I think about people who might use their legitimately-owned guns by mistake in the heat of the moment.

But then I think about personal responsibility.

And then I think that it is quite nice that there aren't many guns knocking about.


Hogday said...

Blue: So why haven't you come up with the simple answer then??? Anyay, simple debates are for pussies and the BNP. On yer bike ;)

Maturecheese said...

It's wrong that a citizen in the UK cannot arm himself for his and his family's own protection. We get pretty much no protection from the Police. The carrying of even a knife is now illegal and as a 47 year old who has pretty much always carried a knife of some kind, I find this appalling. I am being punished for the actions of dickheads who go around knifing people. IT is not the gun or the knife that kills people, its the bloody person wielding it. The law should deal with the people who miss use weapons and harm people without good cause in a more robust manner and not just 'ban' things. Knee jerk laws by our stupid politicians are par for the course, it seems.

Blue Eyes said...

Maturecheese, as far as I know it is no more illegal to carry a knife than it was in 1953 when the current legislation was introduced.

I agree that it is not the weapon that does the harm but the person who uses it, but have you never done something in the heat of the moment that you regretted? There are lots of people out there who cannot or will not control themselves. Do you really want them packing a pistol in their tracksuit bottoms?

Hogday said...

Maturecheese: Thanks for dropping in and commenting. My first visitor from anywhere near Pontypool!