Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Don't hold your breath, folks

The long nightmare of Britain's disastrous experiment with gun control may be coming to an end. (link via NRA)

The Tories (British "Conservatives", who are roughly as conservative as the average American Democrat) have found their courage and introduced a bill to allow homeowners to protect themselves against intruders without fear of prosecution.

This extremely small step in the right direction is not a sure thing, however. As Prime Minister Tony Blair seeks to triangulate himself on this issue, members of his own cabinet are still protecting the rights of burglars. I'm afraid that after some strongly-worded, non-binding resolution supporting homeowners passes Parliament, things will remain at status quo for our friends across the pond.

I've always advocated the incremental approach to such issues. Given the current political climate, it would be virtually impossible to institute American-style gun laws in Britain. But it's hard to get excited about a law that gives homeowners to the right to protect themselves yet prohibits them from using the most effective tools to do so. Do the Tories really think that an 80 year-old Granny from the Midlands can wield a cricket bat as effectively as a 20 year-old Yob?

The truth is, as revolutionary as this bill is for Britain, it will make little practical difference to Her Majesty's Subjects until they are allowed to exercise their rights to bear arms. Once Granny can go out and buy a handgun at the corner gun store with a minimum of hassle, that's when you'll see a drop in crime rates. Until then, don't hold your breath.


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