A Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report–expounded upon by the NRA-ILA–shows the tactic of arming good guys is increasingly viewed as part of the solution to the terror threat in gun-controlled Britain.
The expansion of armed good guys would still not expand carry opportunities for British subjects. Rather, it would mean arming all police with guns. But even this move, limited to police officers, demonstrates a changing mindset toward the need for self-defense.
The NRA-ILA summarizes the anti-self-defense mindset that has, until recently, placed a stranglehold on the idea of good guys with guns in Britain:
The UK’s fear of firearms, and potential weapons of all kinds, is well-documented. Subjects are urged not to carry any item, such as pepper spray, that might be adapted for self-defense. Officers take to social media to boast of “weapons sweeps” that turn up old kitchen knives, baseball bats, and sharpened sticks. In 2009, the Home Office even contemplated replacing traditional glass pint glasses out of fears about their use in barroom brawls.
Consider this pertinent information as well:
Since the Metropolitan Police Service was founded in 1829, most officers have conducted their duties unarmed. In order to carry a firearm on duty, an officer must volunteer and be trained as an Authorised Firearms Officer (AFOs). According to the WSJ, today a mere five percent of officers in England and Wales carry firearms. A March 2017 report by NBC News indicated that even in London, less than 10 percent of officers carry a gun. Data from the Home Office shows that from 2009 to 2016, the number of AFOs in England and Wales dropped 18 percent, part of an overall reduction in the police force. Further, citing this data, the Independent pointed out that the number of AFOs as a percentage of the overall police force fell from 2010 to 2016.
The WSJ reports that the idea of unarmed policing has come under heavy scrutiny in the wake of increased crimes and terrorist attacks in Britain. The BBC provided a partial list of the terror attacks, including the June 3 London Bridge attack in which seven were killed and 48 injured and the March 22 Westminster Bridge attack in which five were killed and 50 injured. These attacks have been complimented by attacks directly aimed at police officers throughout other parts of Europe.
And London’s Metropolitan Police admits Britain’s strict gun controls are not keeping terrorists from arming up. In fact, the Metropolitan Police worry over the number of guns being smuggled into the country.
Even prior to the onslaught of terrorism, Breitbart News pointed to a Daily Mail column that described Britain as “the most violent country in Europe.” The Daily Mail column ran in 2009–12 years after the passage of Britain’s most draconian gun controls–yet the paper stressed that “the UK [had] a worse rate for all types of violence than the U.S. and South Africa.”
Ultimately, a good guy with a gun is the only solution to bad people with guns. And amid the reality that gun control does not prevent bad people from getting guns the only logical conclusion is broader gun ownership for the good guys.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.