Skip to comments.An armed society is a civil society; a knifed and booted society is a dangerous one
Posted on 12/06/2012 5:00:33 AM PST by servo1969
I grew up deathly afraid of guns. This wasn’t like my fear of snakes and spiders, which seems to be pretty atavistic. Instead, this was a learned fear: Guns kill people. Guns also kill innocent animals that should, instead, die nice clean deaths in factory farms, before being sliced up and packaged in cellophane. I knew the truth: guns are bad, very, very bad.
Then I went to England and learned that guns aren’t the only bad things. My sojourn in England coincided with the explosive rise of soccer hooligans, louts who traveled the length and breadth of England, and periodically spilled over into the rest of Europe, bringing jack-booted violence with them wherever they went. (Among the Thugs is a horrifying account of these louts and the carnage in which they delighted.) Up in the north of England, where I lived, I could always tell when the local soccer team was having a home game because all the businesses near the soccer stadium boarded up their windows. England may not have had mass shootings, but it had death by a thousands cuts and boot stomps.
When I returned to America, I still hated guns (I had, after all, been carefully taught to do so), but I began to wonder — Are guns really the only bad thing out there? Will doing away with guns turn America into an Eden that sees that loutish lion and the helpless lamb lie down together? England, which was a less armed country than America, wasn’t necessarily a safer one. People still got victimized; it was just that guns weren’t the weapons doing the victimizing.
Upon my return to the states, Second Amendment supporters to whom I spoke told me that, while bullets have the advantage of distance, in the close quarters of a bar fight, knives or broken bottles are much more dangerous. They made the logical argument, then, that no one ever suggests outlawing knives or bottles. Likewise, the fact that more people die from car accidents than gunshot wounds doesn’t mean we’re about to outlaw cars. (Although, I must say, the climate change people are making a good stab at outlawing cars.)
When I was still in my liberal phase, I always had the right answer at hand when I heard these logical arguments: knives and bottles and cars all have a primary utility separate from their secondary, dangerous uses. Guns, however, exist only to kill.
With age, thankfully, I’ve gained wisdom. I’ve figured out that guns are extremely useful: you can get your own food if you’re nowhere near a market with tidy cellophane packages; you can have the sheer pleasure of target practice; you can discourage looters in the wake of a disaster; if you’re a woman and a large man is threatening you, guns are the great equalizer; if you’re alone and a crazy man is at your door, you don’t have to die like the screaming teen in a slasher movie; and guns are the only defense against the single largest and most deadly entity known to man — a totalitarian government that has turned on its citizens.
As I know from my gun hating years, even though all of the above are good reasons to cheer the Second Amendment, these facts make no headway with the anti-gun crowd. Instead, they just keep pulling out this tired old poster:
Well, I think we’ve finally got a new poster in our Second Amendment arsenal:
Here’s an interesting point about those numbers. In 1997, Britain’s Labour government worked overtime to remove guns from the hands of law-abiding citizens:
After Hungerford [a massacre in 1987], the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 criminalised most semi-automatic long-barrelled weapons; it was generally supported by the Labour opposition although some Labour backbenchers thought it inadequate.After the second incident, the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 criminalised private possession of most handguns having a calibre over .22; the Snowdrop Campaign continued to press for a wider ban, and in 1997 the incoming Labour government introduced the Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act, which extended this to most handguns with a calibre of .22 (there are exceptions for some antique handguns and black-powder revolvers.)
And not coincidentally, since 1997, the year law-abiding Brits were denied arms, violent crime in England has skyrocketed:
The Tories said Labour had presided over a decade of spiralling violence.
In the decade following the party’s election in 1997, the number of recorded violent attacks soared by 77 per cent to 1.158million – or more than two every minute.
The figures, compiled from reports released by the European Commission and United Nations, also show:
- The UK has the second highest overall crime rate in the EU.
- It has a higher homicide rate than most of our western European neighbours, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
- The UK has the fifth highest robbery rate in the EU.
- It has the fourth highest burglary rate and the highest absolute number of burglaries in the EU, with double the number of offences than recorded in Germany and France.
But it is the naming of Britain as the most violent country in the EU that is most shocking. The analysis is based on the number of crimes per 100,000 residents.
In the UK, there are 2,034 offences per 100,000 people, way ahead of second-placed Austria with a rate of 1,677.
The U.S. has a violence rate of 466 crimes per 100,000 residents, Canada 935, Australia 92 and South Africa 1,609.
Britain used to be famed as a polite society. It is no longer. It is also a society that full lives up to the saying that “when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”
People will kill. They always have, and they always will. Culture matters, in that cultural norms can encourage or discourage violent crime. But only guns will be there when you’re small and alone, and that’s true whether you’re facing a home invader, a street thug, or a modern-day Hitler, Pol Pot, or Stalin.
Oh don't worry, the UK also have some of the strictest knife laws in the world as well. No locking blade folding knives are allowed.
Generally good article, but this is just nonsense.
One can make a case, though not a particularly good one, that a knife or broken bottle might be just as dangerous under such circumstances, but not that it is more dangerous. Even less much more dangerous.
This is of course why we don't have a saying about the foolishness of bringing a gun to a knife fight.
The quote should be attributed properly:
“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” — Robert A. Heinlein.
You are incorrect sir, knife wounds are more often fatal than bullet wounds with today’s medical care. The reason is knife wounds tend to bleed much more,being generally much wider,causing the victim to bleed out before they can be treated. Check out the most recent reseach.
The most important step is to maintain distance from an attacker so you can fire before he closes and strikes, and a handgun in the well-trained hands of an alert defender is certainly the best tool for that job. But proper distance is vital to defend against being knifed or disarmed by a skilled attacker.
One thing is suggested is extremely important: at close range, a knife is superb as a weapon.
It complements a gun well, as it is at its best “within the minimum range” of a gun. And if you have a gun, and your opponent has a knife, this minimum range is quite large, as they can “close the gap” very quickly.
World War I trench warfare is the best illustration of optimal mid and short range combat, and is cleanly extrapolated to indoor combat as well.
Men in trenches had as their primary weapon a rifle, for mid to long distance shooting. But when one side or the other advanced to enter the enemies’ trenches, a rifle had much less value, as because of the zig-zag nature of the trench, fighting distances were limited to mid and short range.
So the best combination for trenches was a pistol in one hand, and a trench knife in the other, optimized with brass knuckles for very close combat.
It is very easy to imagine how dark and narrow corridors in a building are much like this, especially if your opponent is desensitized with alcohol or drugs. And unfamiliar with the layout, as this is “your” trench, not theirs.
The downside to knives is that they do take a degree of skill and experience for optimal use. But, as with a gun, this training provides a strong advantage, so is well worth it.
Well, here's one study showing a 22% mortality for bullet wounds, and 4% for knife wounds.
If you have alternate data, I'd like to see it.
If the shooter even manages a wound.
The pistol is a difficult weapon if you never train.
Just put the thing away, and you might as well throw it at the target.
For whatever reason there will always be those who think that removing weapons from the hands of the citizenry will make for a less violent society. Archie Bunker would ask if it made his daughter feel better if they were pushed out windows instead.
I one individual wants one or more people dead and is serious enough to act on that thought....then they will find the means to make that happen.
Ask a cop which he is more afraid of, gun or knife.
You would be surprised.
That is why cops do not give one inch to a guy with a knife.
The purpose of our Founding Fathers stipulating that Americans have the absolute RIGHT to Bear Arms was to keep any oppressive Government in check.
It was true then with the British, and it is becoming even more true today as we are slowly being taken over by Obamas Communist Administration.
Seen from that perspective, Bob Costas is just another Liberal Enabler for Obamas creeping Communism.
And using a knife to kill effectively comes naturally? I don't buy it.
Lol. Buy whatever you want. It’s your funeral.
I’m curious about something. If a knife is so much more deadly than a pistol, why do Freepers concerned about self-defense spend so much time talking about guns and so little talking about knives?
A pistol is an incredibly easy weapon to use. Handguns were designed to be easy to use. Even with minimal instruction at 10-15 ft its pretty much point and click. Especially a revolver. Try shooting one sometime.
Never bring a knife to a gunfight.
One disruptive aspect of knives, boots, and broken bottles versus guns, is that a group with knives can overcome a single knife-armed victim with fairly low risk of any of the attackers being seriously harmed. A victim with a gun is likely to seriously injure at least one of his attackers, even if they have guns too. Thus, cowardly predators are more likely deterred in an environment where many potential targets may be armed.
I don’t know about anyone else but on that Brady Campaign poster where it says “God Bless America” I always imagine the speaker spitting on the ground after saying it. It seems to convey such deep disdain as to be disrespectful. I mean it literally might as well say “F*** You America.” I wonder if that’s the message they were going for? ‘Cause it’s the one I get.
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