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Appalling crime and the historic right of British citizens to defend themselves

Underlines suddenly appeared in some of our earlier blog entries, and once again we have been rescued by the inestimable Joe Malchow, whose blog appears here, and whose technical excellence is invisibly everywhere.

Joe's blog has an item that will immediately interest readers. The first is that in Britain there was a jump in robberies and “There was also a rapid and unexplained increase in the number of times householders were confronted in their own homes by armed criminals. Robberies conducted within the home by armed criminals were up 46%.” This is very bad news. It is explained in part by the next quotation, “We have some of the toughest firearm legislation in Europe,” said Home Office minister Tony McNulty.

Fifty years ago, there was little violent crime in Britain. People have attributed this to the pacific qualities of the Brits living at that time. More realistically those who study violent crime in Britain and America attribute the low rates of crime at least in part to this fact: Many British homes had firearms and men and women were capable of using them. Criminals are unlikely to break into homes where an aroused homeowner may shoot them.

This argument is detested by those who believe that if we make the philosophically pretty law of outlawing all guns, they will disappear. They have not. Now only criminals have access to guns. Law-abiding citizens who since King Alfred's time were given the responsibility of protecting themselves and defending their families are left defenceless with police forces too far away, if I live in the country, and too overwhelmed, if I live in the city, to provide aid.

People who believe guns should be outlawed will have to face the unpleasant result of their logic which is this: If guns are gone, but violent crime with guns continues, then people, not guns, are the problem. Criminals are afoot, and they are preying on men, women and children who have been rendered defenceless by a witless government.

They may also have to face another disagreeable fact: In "violence-prone" America, where a number of states now allow concealed carry weapon permits, there is less violent crime than in Britain because criminals know they may be met by a hand gun or a shotgun. Deterrence works. We wish mortals were angels, but they are not. Measures to tackle the reasons for criminal behaviour should be put in place, but in the mean time, British citizens should insist that their fundamental right to defend themselves be restored.

Every people that has experienced genocide in the 20th and 21st century – Armenians, Ukrainians, Jews, Bosnians, Cambodians, Tutsis, Sudanese – has been unarmed. We repeat, every people, including the British, have a fundamental right to defend themselves.