That’s what I think too. But civilian-run militias don’t exist and even if they do, we run into the problem of preventing them from misusing their power. The point I’m trying to get at is that arming the populace by making it easier for them to acquire firearms does very little to prevent tyranny from the government. Therefore I don’t think it is a valid point for less gun-regulation.
@Havenstone I agree with you that impulsive non-criminals need to be kept away from guns. That’s why I think that there should also be a psychological exam and a ‘cool-down’ period that prevents impulsive murders. I know Texas has a cooldown period with handguns (but not with any other type of firearm), about two days, if my memory serves well. I’m stationed in California right now (where gun laws are prettt strict). I’ve been in some pretty close situations late at night with muggers and hoodlums in San Diego (it’s about 40-60 minutes away from Camp Pendleton). I’ve never actually fired my weapon, but I have had to draw it three times. All three times the delinquents got the message and ran off. I don’t think any other weapon has that intimidation factor that a firearm has. Some parts of California have a problem with Mexican gangs and border violence spilling over, so I feel alot safer with a gun tucked in my pants. Fortunatly, these petty criminals rarely have firearms (which I applaud the state for), but the hardcore, career criminals do, which doesn’t make me feel any better. Why don’t officers in the UK carry handguns?
@hahaha01357 Bulls-eye! It isn’t a valid point at all. NRA is gonna have to find some other reason to allow civilians to own anything else besides a handgun and a rifle.
Why don’t officers in the UK carry handguns? Well, let the actual Brits chime in. But as far as I can see, historically the British public has generally been more concerned about being shot by overzealous police than being shot by criminals. Even during cycles when “crime” is a big political issue, you rarely hear a call for arming beat cops – because as I mentioned above, the crime that affects most British voters isn’t gun crime.
British police forces generally go for the ethos where they want the local constable to be a trusted presence in the community, not a frightening one. Sure, the “unarmed” beat cops will have mace, tasers, etc. and will be able to call in an armed unit if they run into a situation where it’s necessary. And of course police in anti-terror units, gun crime units, guarding politicians, etc., are well armed. But routine British police work simply doesn’t call for guns.
Why would an armed constable be frightening? I would feel much more protected and secure as a civilian if the officer assigned to my neighborhood had a firearm. I could see how that may cause some concern, but I think the benifit outweighs the possible consequences. Where do you live at, @Havenstone?
Historically, I think, because the army were the ones with guns, and Londoners didn’t want a paramilitary force patrolling their neighborhood. They wanted law enforcement that was clearly civilian – and carrying a nightstick rather than a lethal weapon was about as clear a sign of that as you can get. The British police ethos, at root, is that people will open up more to a fellow civilian than to someone perceived as a soldier.
As for “frightening,” it’d take some imagination stretching to put yourself in a very different culture… but if someone honestly doesn’t think the officer’s ever going to need a firearm, the idea that he’s ready to kill someone on the job might be a little bit unnerving. A gun is unnecessary overkill – so why does he have it? Is he trigger-happy? Is he afraid of us? Will he end up shooting some rowdy teenager?
I live on a “council estate” in southwest London – a bunch of apartment complexes with mix of government-owned and privately owned apartments. There’s petty crime (mainly in another estate across the street), teens who roam in packs and occasionally get rowdy, and there were drug dealers in an apartment around the corner for a while, but no violence in either their daily trade or the way they were eventually kicked out. There’s no gun crime, and honestly no need for a beat cop within a ten mile radius of me to carry a gun.
I wouldn’t be alarmed if I saw a cop with a gun, but then, I’m an American… my tolerances are different. I went to an urban high school with armed police on the door, and some posturing kid would fire a gun at the bus stop after school every couple years. But I wouldn’t feel any more protected or secure to see an armed cop here in London, either. I’d wonder whether they thought a terrorist was passing through or something.
Hm, interesting. I guess I’m just so used to firearms in the American and military lifestyle that it really doesn’t bother me to see one almost every day in my life. On base you have military police with holstered pistols and M4’s strapped to their chest. (The M4 is an assualt rifle.) In San Diego you have hardened cops with .45 Glocks holstered to a belt full of gear. I guess it’s a culture thing. I see armed officers as well prepared for the worst scenario, which makes me feel safer in case something crazy happened. But you don’t really see a need for armed officers due to the lack of armed violence. In San Diego, there’s a shootout in the ghettos and slums between rival gangs aost every day. You don’t see much of that in London, do you? Is terrorism a large problem in England?
Yeah, so much of this is about culture and context. I lived in San Diego for a few months in '99, including some work in the slums, and you’re right: there’s a lot less violence in London. Shootouts in particular are really, really rare, even in the more crime prone bits of the city.
Terrorism is a significant threat but hardly a day-to-day concern–not the kind of thing that would tempt people to introduce guns into their daily routine. The police who specialize in that threat carry guns, of course; but even at the height of Irish Republican terrorism (which was much more effective than al Qaeda so far), I don’t think there was much sense that gun-toting beat cops would be an effective response.
Are there any gang or organized crime problems in London that are major? There are several Mexican gangs and drug cartels that pose a threat in California. Violence is often a byproduct that spills over to ordinary citizens too. Officers truthfully have to be prepared for anything. I know my house has been broken into before, once while I was still in it. Probably drug addicts…though the one I caught was a teen looking for some easy money. Fortunatly, nothing major has been stolen and no one has been hurt, although I did scare the karp out of the kid when I caught him jimmying the window. I made a citizen’s arrest and the police picked him up. I don’t live in a seedy part of town, but I live next to a part notorious for gang problems and shootouts. If some punk breaks in the middle of the night with my wife and kid there, I’m putting him down with my firearm. Although I can handle myself unarmed as well, I’d rather have a handgun to protect me.
I would say that in the UK (I’m British) you just don’t see guns. I don’t think I saw someone with a gun until I was in my mid teens and it was an armed policeman at an airport.
This is the reason why seeing a PC (police constable) with a gun might be unnerving for Brits, guns simply aren’t a part of life here.
The levels of gun crime are so low because there are not weapons on the streets as a rule, sure some gangs might have them but there are very high sentences for gun possession, I’ve heard (and it might not be true) that you get a year in prison for every round of ammunition you are caught with.
The issue that people have been mentioning about preventing tyranny, that is on odd one from this side of the Atlantic. Surely having armed police would be much more likely to bring about tyranny than not?
I would say the fall of Weimar Republic and rise of Hitler had very little to do with gun ownership. The paramilitary Nazi and Communist organisations generally didn’t have or at least didn’t use guns, usually they’d beat people to death rather than shoot them. And the communists and social democrats certainly did have some arms stockpiled but didn’t use them when Hitler came to power and took control of the state machinery.
An example of how guns didn’t help stop tyranny is the Spanish Civil War. The Army rebelled against the government and tried to seize power. In response, the government armed the workers but for the most part untrained militias were no match for veteran army units and it wasn’t until the Republic began to form a proper organised army that they were able to fight the rebels on equal terms and even then it wasn’t enough.
Party: Libertarian Socialist/ Anarcho-Communist
So I haven’t really visited this page that much, but after listening to the discussion of what’s happening in Iraq I felt the need to bring it to the forefront. So here’s a few pieces I found that discuss it. Also for a clearer view on US foreign policy watch or read “Dirty Wars” by Jeremy Scahill.
Maybe I’m too naïve but the problem I see with the self-defense argument for gun-possession is that: if the government makes it easier for all citizens to obtain firearms, it also makes it easier for criminals to obtain firearms. What if you run into a criminal similarly armed with a firearm and is unwilling to back down when he sees your gun? One of you is likely to die. Are you willing to take that chance defending whatever cash you have in your wallet or whatever valuable you have in your house? What’s more, I feel that giving people access to such weapons embolden them to take that chance, ultimately resulting in many casualties.
I also don’t think that a government that’s serious about controlling firearms will have much trouble doing so. Modern firearms require precision parts that are not just something you can make in your backyard. They require specialized machines (for precision parts) and ammunition, both of which can be easily tracked and controlled.
I think 10 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq has shown that ubiquitous gun ownership does little against determined counterinsurgents. The most deadly tool in both insurgent arsenals were homemade bombs made out of fertilizer. If for some completely inconceivable reason the majority of the US military was used against its own populace by a tyrannical government, and it didn’t revolt itself, it would most likely crush any resistance as it has from the Whiskey Rebellion through Waco despite the second amendment. The only instance of armed resistance that came close to success was the Civil War, and this was largely due to mass defections from the standing military to the rebels.
This is why I miss you my friend where have you been. Because this is valuable insight!!
I’m a raging leftie but that quote brought tears to my eyes.
I only found out about that a year ago that’s a controversial no one brings up.
I do live in New Jersey and during the 2016 election I did vote for Jill.
Party: Moderate Republican
My grandparents picked the wrong side during the Chinese Civil War and managed to reestablish ourselves in America despite having no college educated members in our family.
As a result I’ve always been suspicious of demagogues who claim that the reason people are suffering is because some small group of elites have abused them which makes me uncomfortable with people like Jill Stein. It’s my staunch belief that in the United States if you work hard and choose your major intelligently you may not be rich but you’ll certainly be able to make a solidly middle class existence as an accountant or computer programmer. I consider Calvin Coolidge to be the ideal president even though no one besides me knows about him.
Alignment: Libertarian Socialist who supports Soc Dems like Corbyn and Bernie Sanders.
Well I have never really cared about politics am just a soldier I just don’t really think about anything much I do my job I get paid and that’s about it for me I stopped caring about anything like that long ago.
Socrates abd Plato we’re both citizen soldiers. Trust me when you are the execution or the enforcement of political will you want to know why you’re fighting.
And I really want to piss on your patriotism if you’re American read Smedley Butler war is a racket.
What does signify that a person is “left” or “right” ??