Edinburgh, July 1996
"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air - however slight - lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness."
Justice William O. Douglas
I was going to write a scholarly critique of the absurd Home Office Statistical Service hatchet-job on gun ownership, but the document is so blatantly a misrepresentation of the facts it is simply not worth dignifying it with an analysis. In fact, it is so clearly a blatant attempt to mislead, by what must be expert statisticians, that it must be sinister in its intent - and it must have been written under political direction.
When I refer to `Governments' here, it is the vast bureaucracy of people with privilege and power, who owe their comfort and status to their power over others. In the modern world, they are nearly always men, and men of little worth and even less moral courage.
Governments of every stripe see it in their interest to subjugate the population to their will. In happier times, the worry was of a standing army and later a police force enabling the removal of individual liberty. Now these mechanisms are in place. However, they showed to be not enough. Although governments can line up troops to gun down protesters, commit genocide of ethnic minorities, and do regularly, dead slaves are no use. Reluctant slaves are no use - the slaves must be willing. The modern bureaucratic mind has squared that circle. Socialism has supposedly been abandoned by `New Labour', yet paradoxically we live in what can only be recognised as a socialist society. The majority of the population depend on social welfare and socialised medicine for their support. Approaching fifty percent of a working person's income is appropriated by the Government to be spent how the bureaucrats see fit. The so-called `National Insurance' scheme is not an insurance scheme at all: social spending is funded from general taxation of which National Insurance contributions are merely a part (and even lottery money makes its contribution). The moral and ethical significance of all this is entirely lost on the majority of people. Politicians engage in doublethink and doublespeak in exactly the way Orwell described: Margaret Thatcher even went so far as to correctly state that `society' does not exist except as a fiction in the minds of socialists - but the policies of Thatcherism increased the powers of government and bureaucracy over the individual, particularly central government.
Within this context, `gun control' and the abdication of the individual's right and duty to self defence is an important factor in the moral degeneration of the larger community and the subjugation of the individual. Scholars (such as the Home Office statisticians) play their part in giving spurious `truth' to the claim that `gun control' can act as a palliative to the rise in violent crime. This is not simply an evil act in the moral context, it is cynically contributing to the moral degeneration and the very crimes of violence against the person which it purports to oppose.
Where did the men of honour go that made Britain great? A great many of them gave their lives in the cause of liberty that we carelessly give away without a second thought.
"False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm those only who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicide, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. They ought to be designated as laws not preventive but fearful of crimes, produced by the tumultuous impression of a few isolated facts, and not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree."
Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishments," 1764
See also, Letters
to my MP, for further exposition.