Tuesday, 17 April 2007


Search for information on this topic in Conservapedia—“the conservative encyclopedia you can trust”—and you will learn that “Theoretically, if a person has the power to take the life of another, other people will not perpetrate criminal offenses against them….”, though “countries with high rates of gun ownership, such as present-day Iraq or many countries in sub-Sharana[sic] Africa, are not guaranteed to have a low crime rate”.

No, indeed. But apparently having lots of guns around works really well provided they are in the right hands: “…Law-abiding citizens carrying guns are statistically an effective deterrent and defense against lawless or criminal individuals”.

So far, so dotty. But the point is hardly confirmed by: “...This has certainly been shown in the USA, which had 11,350 murders by shooting in 2005, compared with 50 in 2005/06 in the UK, which restricts the possession of handguns. However, it should be noted, that the USA has a population approximately 5 times greater than the UK, the number of murders by shooting is approximately 200 times higher".

How’s that again?

According to a true story recounted in Thank God I Had a Gun
"Ron Honeycutt had been delivering pizzas in Indianapolis for 20 years. When a robber tried to hold him up with a gun, Honeycutt shot his attacker 10 to 15 times, killing him. He was not prosecuted, but was fired by Pizza Hut."
So make sure you've got plenty of ammunition.

I wrote the above and was about to post it when the appalling news came from Virginia Tech.
There have been the predictable comments that this will re-open the debate in America on their lax gun laws, but that seems unlikely. There has never been much of a debate on that: some think it might be a good idea to tighten them, others see the answer as Guns For Everybody.
Typical of the latter is the demented blogger whose comment on yesterday's events was: "When my daughters go to college they will go armed".
A spokeswoman for George Bush says that the president believes in the right to bear arms, but "...Walking into a school hall and shooting people is clearly against the law". That's really laying it on the line, that is.


outeast said...

The 11,350 gun deaths in America represent a triumph of lawfulness. Undoubtedly, the vast majority of those killed were criminals, so America now has that many fewer outlaws than the year before. Britain, by contrast, is rapidly being overrun by lawlessness due to the failure to set up an appropriate culling system.

Tony said...


I do have a few irony-immune readers so for their benefit I should explain that Outeast is not being entirely serious.

eric said...

Here in the irony-impaired U.S., the horrendous incident at Viginia Tech is indeed prompting the predictable calls for more guns. I'm far more "pro-gun" than most on the left in this country (no doubt reflecting my overly-romantic association with gun-toting leftists like the Spanish Republicans, the Warsaw Ghetto rebels, and the Yugoslav partisans). But the notion that roving bands of armed civilians -- never mind roving bands of armed binge-drinking college students -- would make us safer from either ordinary criminals or deranged mass-killers is too ludicrous for words.