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Old 06-03-2013, 03:27 PM
Status: "King of the World" (set 13 days ago)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
Tell you what Gungnir, post the 'essay' in the UK forum and see what the Brits think of it.
Unfortunately that option is not available to me while I'm the moderator of that forum... I can't exactly post a thread then moderate it now can I?

However, I've presented some historical, and literary, evidence to at least establish a position that the UK was a gun owning culture towards the end of the 19th and start of the 20th centuries.

You have argued that it has never been (never is a long time).

Other than personal anecdote on what grounds do you hold that position? What facts, figures do you have that supports your belief that gun ownership was not common prior to UK Gun Legislation?
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:13 PM
Status: "King of the World" (set 13 days ago)
 
Location: Itinerant
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Here's an article from "The Field"

British gunmakers | The Field

Ok if what you are saying is factually true, that the UK never had a gun culture, then could you explain how it is that from that article, the number of gunsmiths exploded from 1800 onwards (including Holland and Holland), AND, they were making sufficient income to be able to innovate to the levels we're at today? Boxer primers are a great example Patented at the Royal Armories Woolwich 1866, and W.W. Greener who invented the first practical shotgun choke.

Webley and Scott, are known to have been forced to transition to air guns because of the passage of the 1920 Firearm act, it wiped out their revolver sales. Does this not imply to you that much of Webley and Scott's income was created by sales to private citizens (since the Firearm act had no bearing on Military sales).

What about the Gun Quarter of Birmingham? At one time the largest firearms manufacturing area in the world, yes it supplied militaries, but Military contracts are fickle even today, so what supported them between contracts? It's difficult to have an economy supplying thousands of firearms to the Military one day, and then coasting through to the next contract without many companies going bankrupt.

If these people were not selling to the UK population, then who were they selling to, and why such (for instance) as Webley did they need to transition to other manufacturing items after the passage of the 1920 Firearms Act?

So once again I ask...
Other than personal anecdote what evidence can you provide that supports your belief that gun ownership was not common prior to UK Gun Legislation?
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gungnir View Post
Unfortunately that option is not available to me while I'm the moderator of that forum... I can't exactly post a thread then moderate it now can I?

However, I've presented some historical, and literary, evidence to at least establish a position that the UK was a gun owning culture towards the end of the 19th and start of the 20th centuries.

You have argued that it has never been (never is a long time).

Other than personal anecdote on what grounds do you hold that position? What facts, figures do you have that supports your belief that gun ownership was not common prior to UK Gun Legislation?
Bit of a cop-out don't you think? I am sure you have the personal integrity to start a thread and moderate it fairly. By putting the thread in this forum you are merely playing to the pre-conceived ideas of Americans.

Now, Brits have always had guns but not all Brits had guns. Specifically, there was a concentration of guns in rural areas where they were used by farmers and hunters but there were never guns to the same extent in urban areas. This remains true today. Overall, gun ownership is at 6.2 per 100 Brits.

Guns in England & Wales: Facts, Figures and Firearm Law

Thus, rural Cumbria has far more guns per 100 people than heavily populated Merseyside.

Gun ownership in England and Wales: get the figures in your police force | News | guardian.co.uk

Historically, while sport, hunting and target shooting was always popular, outside of the countryside, Brits did not keep weapons at home. This was largely due to the expense and the lack of range facilities. Where urban Brits did come into contact with guns was through the army ... either Territorials or cadets. The 'essay' that you cited in your OP makes that point better than I can .... "in 1940, Britain found itself short of arms for island defense". In fact, while the 'essay' charts the course of gun control in the UK, it never actually quantifies how many people had guns. I am sure that if gun ownership had been widespread and owners forced to surrender their arms, the 'essay' would have been all over it.

My school had cadets (CCF) and an indoor range. We were taught to shoot at age 15. But we didn't get to take the guns home. And growing up in Glasgow, historically one of the toughest cities in Britain, the weapon of choice was a knife or razor. Guns were almost unheard of.

I am not against guns or for unilateral gun control. As a dual US/UK citizen, I own a gun here and enjoy shooting it. But, I don't think your 'essay' established a position that the UK was a gun owning culture towards the end of the 19th and start of the 20th centuries.

The real purpose of this 'essay' is to defend gun ownership in the USA. It isn't about the UK at all. And I am not surprised that you do not wish to test it on the UK forum. I think we both know what kind of response it will get.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:36 PM
 
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I think there are two separate issues at play:

1) Were guns legally available to Britons in the past?

2) If yes to #1, was there a widespread gun culture when guns were legally available?

Gungnir's postings prove that the answer to #1 is yes. What makes the UK different from the US is that while gun laws in the two countries were similar in the past, the gun culture has always been different. From what I have read, the British gun culture was primarily aristocratic in nature. There are a lot of reasons for this, including ancient laws that banned commoners from hunting in certain areas. So while anyone could have owned a gun in the past in Britain, a smaller proportion of people had a reason to do so.

The US has always been a completely different story when it comes to guns. The countries of the UK were established long before firearms existed. On the other hand, the USA was born from the barrel of a gun. Guns continued to play a vital role in American society and culture as Americans migrated west. This migration didn't stop completely until the twentieth century, so Americans had spent a long time using guns as both a weapon and as a functional tool for survival on the frontier.

It's also worth noting that gun ownership usually seems to be lower in urban areas. The UK has been heavily urbanized for a much longer period of time than has the US. If you combine these various cultural differences, its not surprising that the UK has always had a relatively weak civilian gun culture - even when guns were entirely legal.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:55 PM
Status: "King of the World" (set 13 days ago)
 
Location: Itinerant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
Bit of a cop-out don't you think? I am sure you have the personal integrity to start a thread and moderate it fairly. By putting the thread in this forum you are merely playing to the pre-conceived ideas of Americans.
Not at all, firstly the thread was in response to the vilification of the NRA and gun owners in the US in the wake of Sandy Hook. Which paralleled the same kind of thing occurring in the UK subsequent to Hungerford and Dunblane.

This isn't a discussion about the UK, to the UK it's a discussion about guns with respect to how gun control was achieved in the UK. This is the correct forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
Now, Brits have always had guns but not all Brits had guns. Specifically, there was a concentration of guns in rural areas where they were used by farmers and hunters but there were never guns to the same extent in urban areas. This remains true today. Overall, gun ownership is at 6.2 per 100 Brits.

Guns in England & Wales: Facts, Figures and Firearm Law
Thats truly marvellous and all, but do you have the figures for 1920, or 1910, 1900, and earlier because that was when I'm referring to when I'm discussing gun ownership culture. Moreover what is gun culture if not "Brits have always had guns, but not all Brits had guns"? If you apply that Britain never had a gun culture because NOT everyone owned a gun, then by inference the US does not have a gun culture either.

If the US does have a gun culture, yet everyone does not own one then by definition so did the UK, which of course makes your claim of "the UK has never had a gun culture" highly tenuous if not actually false.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
Thus, rural Cumbria has far more guns per 100 people than heavily populated Merseyside.

Gun ownership in England and Wales: get the figures in your police force | News | guardian.co.uk

Historically, while sport, hunting and target shooting was always popular, outside of the countryside, Brits did not keep weapons at home.
Except in Derbyshire in 1817 where there was an expectation that there was a man and a gun in every home. Why would some common men who were violently protesting not know that there was not a gun in every home? Because that's what you're saying. Who is more likely to be correct, you, or the men who stated that they would collect men and weapons on their way to Newbury?

I like your absolutes because they're easy to debunk, my grandfather certainly had firearms at home, there were three a 22LR rifle, a SMLE and a Webley revolver. The revolver was a PITA because of course when he died we had to turn it in, we'd have had to anyway the following year (1987). He lived in the East end of Newcastle, which isn't known for it's rural setting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
This was largely due to the expense and the lack of range facilities. Where urban Brits did come into contact with guns was through the army ... either Territorials or cadets. The 'essay' that you cited in your OP makes that point better than I can .... "in 1940, Britain found itself short of arms for island defense". In fact, while the 'essay' charts the course of gun control in the UK, it never actually quantifies how many people had guns. I am sure that if gun ownership had been widespread and owners forced to surrender their arms, the 'essay' would have been all over it.
Indeed, however you need to remember what I'm referring to. Prior to 1903 there was no gun law whatsoever, in 1920 the Firearms act was passed that restricted sale of firearms to those who possessed a firearms certificate (passed due to civil unrest concerns, which is odd if what you say is true). In 1933 the Firearms and Imitation Firearms (Criminal Use) Bill was passed that criminalized rifled firearms without a certificate. In 1937 another act was passed that restricted machine gun ownership, required certificates for shotguns with shorter than 20" barrels, and removed self defense as a purpose of obtaining a certificate.

So since the 1920's act was passed because of concerns of civil unrest, then this is logically inconsistent with your position. If there were enough firearms in England to be of concern to pass laws, then it stands to reason that either gun possession was more pervasive than you claim, or the government chose to pass this law for frivolous reasons. Which do you think is more likely, in particular considering that surpluses from WWI were entering the UK Firearms markets. If the fear was indeed real, and that the fear was cheap surpluses would expand ownership then it logically leads us to believe that people didn't own guns not because they didn't want them, but because they couldn't obtain one (either by supply restriction or cost), which again implies that the UK had a gun culture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
My school had cadets (CCF) and an indoor range. We were taught to shoot at age 15. But we didn't get to take the guns home. And growing up in Glasgow, historically one of the toughest cities in Britain, the weapon of choice was a knife or razor. Guns were almost unheard of.
And this was at the turn of the century? That would make you 113 years old at minimum. Even if it was at the time of the 1937 Firearms act you would be 76 if you were an adult at that time you'd be 94. However I'd suspect you're around middle aged or younger from your language use so that would put you at birthdate of at earliest 1960. This is way beyond the time of UK gun culture other than criminal use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
I am not against guns or for unilateral gun control. As a dual US/UK citizen, I own a gun here and enjoy shooting it. But, I don't think your 'essay' established a position that the UK was a gun owning culture towards the end of the 19th and start of the 20th centuries.
However you've still provided no evidence of any kind that supports your belief. All the anecdotal evidence you supply is firstly anecdotal and secondly from a time past the fall of UK gun ownership culture. You haven't examined evidence that shows that there was a gun culture (it may not have been identical to US gun culture, but it clearly was a gun culture), and re-evaluated, which is strange don't you think.

So here's a question for you, would you support the UK legalizing firearms possession in effect taking US regulations? I'm not asking feasibility, I'm asking for your opinion on whether you would support it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
The real purpose of this 'essay' is to defend gun ownership in the USA. It isn't about the UK at all. And I am not surprised that you do not wish to test it on the UK forum. I think we both know what kind of response it will get.
No that is your assumption. not mine. You're assuming that it's about the UK, and it's more a view into how a country that had less restrictive laws than the US at the time went from that place to where it is now in a mere 94 years (that's only a long lifetime). It's an illustration of devolution, that may be seen and avoided, and a discussion thereof. Why would I want to discuss something that clearly happened in the UK forum, with most people on there of the opinion that guns are the spawn of the devil? Not that they hold that opinion through personal knowledge and experience, but because that's what they've been told that they are.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:26 PM
Status: "King of the World" (set 13 days ago)
 
Location: Itinerant
5,188 posts, read 3,745,742 times
Reputation: 4060
Quote:
Originally Posted by War Beagle View Post
I think there are two separate issues at play:

1) Were guns legally available to Britons in the past?

2) If yes to #1, was there a widespread gun culture when guns were legally available?

Gungnir's postings prove that the answer to #1 is yes. What makes the UK different from the US is that while gun laws in the two countries were similar in the past, the gun culture has always been different. From what I have read, the British gun culture was primarily aristocratic in nature. There are a lot of reasons for this, including ancient laws that banned commoners from hunting in certain areas. So while anyone could have owned a gun in the past in Britain, a smaller proportion of people had a reason to do so.

The US has always been a completely different story when it comes to guns. The countries of the UK were established long before firearms existed. On the other hand, the USA was born from the barrel of a gun. Guns continued to play a vital role in American society and culture as Americans migrated west. This migration didn't stop completely until the twentieth century, so Americans had spent a long time using guns as both a weapon and as a functional tool for survival on the frontier.

It's also worth noting that gun ownership usually seems to be lower in urban areas. The UK has been heavily urbanized for a much longer period of time than has the US. If you combine these various cultural differences, its not surprising that the UK has always had a relatively weak civilian gun culture - even when guns were entirely legal.
Well clearly the UK Aristocracy was gun owning of that it's not even debatable, it still is.

However most of the aristocracy were hunting/fishing/horse riding types, and a revolver isn't really much use in those pursuits except as a coupe de gras. That doesn't explain why Webley & Scott in 1920 began transitioning from revolver manufacture to air gun manufacturer to stay afloat, if they were doing just fine prior to 1920.

Now personally my belief is that much of the UK gun history is ignored, if not suppressed. There's a lot of evidence from authors of the time (Dickens, Stevenson, Stoker, Shelley, Doyle, and others) that include characters who are armed, and there's nothing that leads one to believe that it was unusual. As I said earlier art imitates life, so that being true then it implies gun ownership was more pervasive than being claimed.

Then of course there are specific historical notes, the Marquess of Salisbury quote (who happened to the the Prime Minister at the time) would likely be astonishing to the Gen X and later Brits, just in and of itself, for instance I could see most of the board of the NRA collapsing from various stress related problems if David Cameron (who is the modern day equivalent) said the same. The huge number of gun manufacturers in England (including Samuel Colt who ran a factory in London for four years from 1853), the Derbyshire riots where the rioters were expecting to collect a man and a gun from each house they passed. However that said, it's difficult to pin down just how many people owned guns in the UK in the years 1840-1920 for the same reasons it's difficult to pin down how many people own guns in the US today.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:03 AM
 
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This pseudo-academic effort is bollox. You know it and I know it. And that is the real reason you are hiding it away in this forum and not placing it in the UK forum.

You want to defend the status quo in the USA when it comes to guns, fair enough. But do it on the basis of US history and US tradition and not on the basis of some imagined Paradise Lost in the UK.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:00 AM
 
Location: Norway
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I'm not sure what's more pseudo-academic, an essay which says "this chain of events happened in Britain over the course of 100 years and could be used to further understanding similar processes in other countries" or "this is *******s because I say so"

The British are sheep and the firearms laws that they've allowed to be imposed on themselves are ridiculous. Partly because of this, whether the essay would get a good reception in the UK forum or not is irrelevant. It would be like posting an essay discussing the negative effects of Sharia law on civil liberties on Inspire Magazine's web forum.

Anyway - if there were never a "gun culture" in Britain, why did the government find it necessary to enact sweeping laws confiscating every handgun and outlawing semiautomatic firearms?
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:52 AM
 
Location: Farnworth, Lancashire, England
110 posts, read 131,164 times
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I am not a sheep - I am 58 years old and have never seen a gun in my life, nor have the vast majority of English people, and I have no wish to see one. The only reason anyone would own a gun is if they wanted to kill people - end of story. Gun crime is very low in this country - it makes headline news. Our crime rates are significantly lower than those in the US, and continue to drop year on year. Our streets are generally safe to walk at any hour of the day or night, even in most urban areas - there are few, if any, no-go areas in my Country - can you say the same? Our system works for us, and it works very well - not long ago Baltimore police came to South Manchester to learn best practice, how our local force had sucessfully counteracted the gang culture whch had built up in that neighbourhood. It's probably true that our system would not transpose itself well to your nation, any more than yours would work in ours -the big difference is that ours works well enough that it is not even in debate, on the political agenda or in the media - we're happy as we are. The fact that you have this on-going debate shows that there are issues in your country which need addressing -it is your debate and argument, not ours.
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:16 AM
 
Location: Earth
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Quote:
The only reason anyone would own a gun is if they wanted to kill people - end of story.
This projection as fact has to be one of the most immature and ignorant things I've ever read!

You might as well say that the only reason to own a car and also consume alcohol is because you intend to drive intoxicated!
The only reason to own pen and paper is because you intend to write a novel.
...the list is endless...


You need to keep your projections to yourself...


Quote:
I am 58 years old and have never seen a gun in my life, nor have the vast majority of English people, and I have no wish to see one.
...And there it is....you admit total ignorance yet proclaim to know what gun owners intentions are!
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