England, then and now

Late Great Britain is no more.

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36 Responses to England, then and now

  1. perlhaqr says:

    “It’s not Progress, it’s Progressive”.

  2. Weston says:

    It’s all a matter of trust, and frankly this just shows that the government of England, and by extension the people of England, just don’t trust each other enough. Oh, they trust each other enough to rely upon them day by day, and to pay taxes for the common good. But not enough to allow them to defend themselves.

  3. Robert says:

    I’d love to be able to link these onto Facebook, Oleg.

  4. Matthew F says:

    At the time when “Freemen” had meaning, they made up only a tiny portion of the population. Serfs could not own swords, let alone afford them.

    • Oleg Volk says:

      I understand…but today almost all of the population got closer to the serfs in that regard than to freemen. That’s hardly progress!

  5. Pingback: A Good Question. | Victoria Libertarian Book Club

  6. Progress of civilisation? yes. What plausible reason would anyone have to carry around a weapon in the 21st century? Unless you intend to hurt another human being, and then you have no place in my society.

    Look across the water to a society that freely allows its citizens to own weapons of death, and then look at the positive correlation of homicides that accompany that ‘right’.

    • Oleg Volk says:

      Self-defense is one reason, freedom of expression is another. And what does correlation of homicide rates have to do with an individual right? If even one person isn’t acting criminal, then transgressions of others should have no bearing on that person’s rights. Or do you suggest collective responsibility for misdeeds of others?

    • T.Stahl says:

      Which ‘water’ do you mean?
      The Channel? 30-40 million firearms in Germany – no mayhem. I don’t know how many guns the French own but I hear their laws are less stringent than our German ones. Well, France has problems but they got nothing to do with the number of guns in French hands.
      The North Sea? No mayhem in Norway, Sweden, Finland either.

      If you want to compare not-so-great Britain with other countries, please choose comparable ones, with an equal degree of happy-go-lucky welfare and and equally expensive social net.

  7. Lloyd says:

    I’m guessing that “freeMAN” is quite literal in its denoting gender inequality. Plenty of progress has been made.

  8. James says:

    As a Brit I feel I need to point something out to you guys.

    We don’t like things that can kill people, that’s just the way our society is. Knives, guns etc are all very heavily controlled for that reason. We don’t want people to carry them around.

    As a Brit living in America I understand that we have different cultures. There are many things that I do not agree with that are common place over here, however I accept them as a cultural difference, rather than berate the US for being backwards.

    We do not look at carrying weapons as a right. It is a privilege reserved for a few (highly trained police officers, farmers & sports enthusiasts). We have these rules because when we get our fingers burnt, we turn down the gas rather than leaving the flame running for the next person. Most of these laws have been passed in light of incidents that happen. And pressure from the people to make the laws tougher.

    If you have to carry a knife or a gun that says to me that you do not trust the people way more than a government stopping people from owning them.

    While legislation can never truly stop a determined criminal from acquiring a weapon, it serves to mitigate potentially dangerous/deadly situations.

    • Bryce says:

      Hasn’t handgun crime has gone up every year since handguns became illegal in England?

    • T.Stahl says:

      “We don’t like things that can kill people,…”
      We Germans do. Which explains why German cars are usually better than British ones. The official statistics of the Federal Criminal Police Office for the year 2009 show 2277 cases of attempted and completed homicide with 2689 victims. In 175 of these cases guns were used.
      During the same year more than 4000 people got killed in traffic.

      “highly trained police officers,…”
      Probably as highly trained as German police officers, which are lucky if they get to shoot 200 rounds per year. Highly trained, yeah, right.

      “If you have to carry a knife or a gun that says to me that you do not trust the people way more than a government stopping people from owning them.”
      Yes, I do not trust other people. That’s why my car has ABS and six airbags. That’s why I ALWAYS use my seatbelt and drive defensively.

      “While legislation can never truly stop a determined criminal from acquiring a weapon, it serves to mitigate potentially dangerous/deadly situations.”
      Thank you for admitting it. Thank you for admitting that gun and knife laws do not disarm all the bad people. But they disarm the good people and potential victims quite nicely. Thus mitigating potentially dangerous/deadly situations for the bad people. Why not ban martial arts? Or weight training?

  9. M Minar says:

    “Not being able to wear a sword as I please” is not a violation of rights or freedoms, it’s a mild inconvenience at best. Play the violin all you want, until we can figure out how to provide basic rights and freedoms to the rest of the world, this is mere hair splitting.

    • Oleg Volk says:

      In my opinion, not being able to go armed is an egregious violation of personal rights. Arguing about the types of weapon permitted is that splitting of hairs you mention. But that’s just my opinion and I moved to Tennessee on the basis of it.

  10. Kathryn says:

    I could just as easily put a picture of a cowboy with a single action revolver and drug dealer in Oakland with a semi-automatic handgun. Progress?

    Let’s not be simplistic. There are reasonable discussions to be had about the balance between individual rights and gun control laws.

    • Bryce says:

      Gun control laws don’t stop drug dealers from owning guns. They only stop me and other law-abiding citizens.

      Interestingly enough, even the most violent towns in the “wild west” had violent crime rates much, much lower than modern day DC, Newark, New Your, or Baltimore.

      • Phil says:

        Gun control laws do allow the police to arrest drug dealers for possessing guns. And they do make it significantly more difficult to get hold of a gun

        • Bryce says:

          I just don’t think that passing more gun laws solves the problem. In fact, I think it creates more problems.

          The guns may be harder to get, yes, but violent criminals still obtain (and always will obtain) guns.

          The laws do make it more lucrative for really bad guys to illegally import and sell guns (as they can now charge a higher price.) Also, other crime goes up so the lesser criminals can pay for the price inflated guns. So through these gun laws, we have now given a direct boost to the pocketbooks of the worst criminals and caused more crime.

          I don’t believe the fact that gun laws allow for “police to arrest drug dealers” is a good enough reason to have them. If just arresting more drug dealers (and other bad guys) was the solution, then the US wouldn’t have much crime at all. After all, we have the highest prison population per capita of the whole world.

          And on the other side of the coin, gun control laws prevent law-abiding citizens from owning a tool that would allow them to defend themselves. These are people who would never use the weapon to commit a crime.

        • T.Stahl says:

          The German gun law of ’73 was enacted because of the rising of the Red Army Faction. Guess how many terrorists were even charged with the illegal possession of guns? They didn’t buy the G3s they used to kill Schleyer’s bodyguards, they stole them from the army.

          You really think it’s sensible to enact gun laws, “so you can arrest drug dealers for possessing guns”? Why not arrest them for dealing with drugs?

          “And they do make it significantly more difficult to get hold of a gun”
          German gun laws are among the strictest in the World. The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) still estimates that there are 20-30 million illegal guns in Germany, in addition to 10 million legal guns, all in a population of 82 million. Sorry, the correct phrasing is “And they do make it significantly more difficultfor law abiding people to get hold of a gun.” Unfortunately those or the ones who could own guns without being a danger to others.

  11. Wolfie says:

    sigh..why is it when anyone uses the word REASONABLE in regards to weapons they generally mean to leave me defenseless? The cops RARELY get there til WELL after the crime..at which point you’re property has been destroyed/stolen and/or you’ve already been beaten/stabbed/shot, raped or killed. You can be offended by what I’m about to say next and I really don’t care. I’d rather be ARMED and THEN have the cops show up eventually to collect the criminals maggot ridden corpse!

  12. William Adams says:

    Ironically, there are still laws on the books in England which mandate a certain amount of practice at archery — fathers were actually required to provide bows and at least two arrows to male children at age 7 and teach them how to shoot.

    Now one can’t even use a bow to hunt in England.

  13. swords@areawesome.com says:

    Last time I checked I could go buy a sword anytime I want. And I own a bunch of knives and somehow I’ve never been arrested… What’s this supposed to be about again?

    73,472 results for “sword”.


  14. Harlon Haveland says:

    The reason why you cant carry weapons in my country is that we believe in passive force. Not Violent. That is why hitting a child is banned in this country. To prove that violences doesnt solve disagreement. If your people think carrying a gun/weapon around in 2011 is normal and part of progression, then you truly do seal everyone’s judgement on you (U.S.A) as being ignorant and old fashioned. Thank you for posting this and inadvertently putting a big BLACK mark on your people.

    Thats good Progress!

  15. Dave says:

    Interesting mix of opinions and ignorance.
    I’d have to agree, in broad terms, with Oleg’s intent, as I perceive it.
    the main law relevant here is one that forbids the carrying of offensive weapons. It doesn’t really define what an offensive weapon is, and in fact, anything can be an offensive weapon.
    The differences in attitude are largely cultural, and historical.
    Handguns were banned in the UK (we stopped calling ourselves ‘Great Britain’ a long time ago) very quickly after a man used them to shoot and kill 16 five year old children.
    A knee jerk reaction, to be sure, but easy to understand.
    A common UK attitude to the American right to bear arms, would ask the question ‘what are you defending yourself from?’
    Highly trained police officers do shoot and kill people. Sometimes entirely innocent people. And they are usually held blameless.
    Its not difficult, or expensive, for criminals in the UK to obtain guns, Its ridiculously easy. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluded.
    The right to bear arms doesn’t really have a huge impact on the freedoms of UK citizens. Its far more about economics, politics and the media.

    Personally I don’t really feel any civilian needs to carry weapons in public. I don’t lament the passing of the Empire.

    I can’t agree more when Oleg says the english (and Scots, Welsh and Irish) have become closer to serfs than free men (and women).

    check this out:

    • Oleg Volk says:

      By the way, I am not ragging on Englishmen or Russians or Egyptians when I make such posters. Americans aren’t in much better position in many ways — and I want to bring attention to the way in which we are restricted from acting as we would (so long as we are not harming others).

  16. Joshua says:

    You make it sound as though in the USA the standard solution to any disagreement is a gunfight, and any and all violence is completely legal. Hate to break it to you but hitting people is classified as a little thing called “assault”.

    The relevant topic then is not a disagreement, but defense from someone who has decided that they mean to do you or those around you harm, no matter how politely you ask them not to. Typically this would be done by criminals breaking the law, who may be larger, stronger, and more practiced at hurting people than you, and who might have an illegal weapon because they don’t obey the law due to being criminals. Unless they have the poor judgement to attack you when a police officer is standing next to you, odds are that the police you rely on to keep you protected are at least a minute (or several) away. Until they arrive, whether or not you are injured or killed is entirely up to you, or if you do nothing, up to the criminal. Personally, I like to have options beyond “hope they don’t feel like maiming/killing me” if someone were to attack me.

    Also, for your consideration: When you call the police to deal with someone, who are you calling? Someone with training and a weapon who will defend you. Many people who are willing to carry a weapon that AREN’T criminals often have a mindset very similar to that of people who become police officers, yet despite meeting the criteria of “someone with training and a weapon who will defend you”, they are somehow different and must be disarmed.

    • Joshua says:

      Darn it, if you dislike my captcha, don’t break where the reply goes. Previous Reply intended as response to Harlon Haveland

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