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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Monday July 07 2008

Maybe this is, as many commenters said, wishful thinking.  But I do indeed wish that more people in Britain thought the way Rob thinks:

The BBC has a report about a Texas man who shot burglars and was let off without charges. I’m not sure why the BBC reports this particular case when this sort of thing happens all the time without the BBC mentioning it. After all, Texas is a civilised place where one does not expect to break into another’s house unchallenged. Perhaps it is because the burglars were black, and there were protestors who claimed the shooting was race related. The reporter says this is an example of America’s “difficult” relationship with guns. Seems like a perfectly healthy relationship to me.

And, to repeat the argument in the Samizdata piece, I think there is at least reason to hope that people in Britain soon might start thinking this way in quite large numbers.  Including, once more them start being robbed and pillaged, people who matter.

Commenters on that Samizdata piece pointed out the interesting truth that gun control in Britain was introduced as an anti-left wing measure.  It was imposed not to stop gun crime, but armed revolution.  True.  But if the ruling class decides in sufficient numbers and with sufficient conviction that gun control, that is, them being disarmed against armed attackers, is not in their interests, then they will at least consider dumping it.  And having considered dumping it, they might actually dump it.

In about 1980, our rulers realised that an ever increasing rate of taxation, which had been a fixture of British government policy for well over a century until that amazing moment, was no longer serving their purposes.  The British economy was becoming so enfeebled by this policy that there was a serious risk that it would no longer be able to keep them in the manner to which they had long been accustomed.  So, they dumped the policy, and replaced it with something nearer to a flat-line percentage.  From then on, the country would pay only as much tax as it could afford to pay.  No less, but no more.

Until the above policy switch, it was confidently asserted that the percentage tax take would go up and up, for ever.  That was its nature.  Nothing and nobody could prevent this.  Disaster would ensue, but no matter.  The voters would not tolerate the consequences, in umemployment and general disruption, of switching off this policy, and would hurl themselves over the cliff into economic perdition.  Yet, the switch occurred.  The voters pulled back from the brink, aided by a few leaders who told them that they should.  Recently, the Labour government has departed from this policy, in the upwards direction.  That is the biggest single reason why this government will presently cease to be the government.  And this reassertion of the new policy will be imposed by the very same voters who were earlier said to be unable to imagine such a decision let alone to support it and vote for it.

Now, it is said that gun control is an ineradicable feature of British life.  The Samizdata commentariat told me I was deluding myself.  Some wondered what drugs I have been taking.  “They” are wedded to gun control, regardless of its consequences, they said.  Mere logic counts for nothing, they said.  No mere idea, to the effect that gun control is bad rather than good, could possibly make any difference or have any consequences in the form of changed minds, they said.  It constantly amazes me how often people who seem to spend all day long proclaiming their opinions include among their opinions the opinion that mere opinions cannot ever make any difference.

Maybe those commenters are right, in the particular matter of gun control.  Maybe gun control in Britain is here to stay.  But maybe they are wrong, and maybe it isn’t.

Note this long overdue addition to the blogroll.