The Sorry Case of a Gunless Great Britain

by David E. Petzal
_
One of the reasons I enjoy going through old copies of _Field & Stream
is that they bring back to life little bits of history that would otherwise be forgotten. One of these is the fact that in 1939-1940, Great Britain begged American shooters and hunters for rifles--any kind of rifles. Until England won the Battle of Britain in the fall of 1940, it looked very likely that Adolf was going to send his merry men in feldgrau across the Channel, and His Majesty's Home Guard--a sad joke in and of itself--was practically gunless, the British having already gone a long way down the road to self-disarmament.

That trend has continued over the past 70 years, and in the past week we have been treated to nightly tapes of widespread rioting, looting and, even in gunless England, killing. The mobs could break into any store they choose, serene in the knowledge that the police couldn't stop them and that the odds they would be shot by an irate store owner were virtually nil. And the laws in Great Britain being what they are, any merchant who did treat a looter to a dose of shot would almost surely go to prison.

Will the British learn from this? Not likely. Any more than the dimmer-witted Americans who insist that if only we didn't have so many guns around, blah, blah, blah…