In dealing with personal defence the questions to be answered are such as:  ‘What are you going to do if – you have intruders in the house – a gang is damaging your property – armed intruders break into your house, cinema, shop, school?’ etc. 

The police have no legal obligation to protect individuals from violence.  You alone are responsible for dealing with such incidents in the first instance.  In addition you have a civic and moral duty to be prepared to protect yourself and others.  All laws relating to assault and the carrying of weapons must thus be amended to allow citizens to act in such situations without fear of prosecution.  

Reasonable force.  This term should be abandoned – it is a contradiction in terms. Personal violence is inherently unreasonable because it is always life-threatening and automatically invokes our ‘flight or fight’ survival response.  Our bodies change involuntarily to protect us and our minds  focus solely on what we can do to survive – we become less human.  Given that few of us experience violence, the idea that the righteousness of our actions in a few frenzied seconds of terror and panic can be determined calmly in a court of law is both ludicrous, offensive and an asset to the criminal.  

Weapons.  The current laws forbidding the carrying of weapons should be repealed and replaced by one relating to their use:  brandishing one in public would be an automatic offence (fine) and also make the brandisher a legitimate self-defence target for other citizens;  threatening with one would be an automatic jail sentence.

The law banning the carrying of knives has not prevented any killings but has had law-abiding people prosecuted for carrying multi-tools and Swiss Army knives etc.  90 years of very strict firearms ‘control’ legislation has not prevented spree killings, or a relentless increase in firearms crime.  It has however, given criminals a cast-iron. Government-backed guarantee that their victims will be defenceless. 

To claim that the availability of weapons encourages their use is not supported by evidence and, in a politician, shows a profound lack of trust in the people.  The Swiss have more firearms per head of population than the US and very little armed crime and even in the ‘infamous’ US itself, burglary and house invasions are quite rare.   

The only thing that might have stopped Michael Ryan at Hungerford, Thomas Hamilton at Dunblane, Derrick Bird in Cumbria or so-called terrorists taking to our streets as in Mumbai is the possibility that any citizen, anywhere, might be in a position to return fire. 

Incidentally, being safe with a firearm is blissfully easy – well within the intellectual compass of the average six-year old.

See also


Why is this idea important?

The present assault and 'weapons' laws protect the criminal and both demonize ordinary citizens and leave them defenceless

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.