Buttle's World

1 May, 2009

On Being a Gun Nut

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 8:21

Christopher Hitchens, who not only doesn’t own a gun but doesn’t want to, gets it.

As I argue in my book ‘A Brief History of Crime’, it’s the great gulf between police and public over how the law should be enforced that lies behind two important features of modern Britain. The frequent arrests of people for defending themselves or their property are not accidents or quirks. They are the consequence of the Criminal Justice system’s abandonment of old-fashioned ideas of punishment; also of that system’s social democratic belief that crime has ‘social’ causes and the ownership of property isn’t absolute. Most law-abiding people don’t really accept this. They think criminals do bad things because they lack conscience or restraint, not because they were abused as children or their dole payments are too small. And they don’t see why they have to barricade their houses or hide their worldly goods from view on the assumption that some unrestrained low-life is otherwise bound to steal them. So they regard it as legitimate to hurt and punish those who rob them or otherwise attack them. If they were allowed to enforce the law as they see it, they would quickly show the police and courts up as useless and mistaken. One of the most important jobs of the police is to stop us looking after ourselves, in case we do a better job than PC Plod.

Guns simply take this to a higher level



  1. You misidentified the writer of the above quote. Peter Hitchens wrote this on his blog on 30 April.

    Comment by Patricia — 3 May, 2009 @ 7:23

    • I identified the writer as Peter Hitchens, and linked to his April 30 blog post. So I’m not sure which part is misidentified.

      Comment by buttle — 3 May, 2009 @ 18:56

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