Joyce Lee Malcolm’s inadequate understanding of the ancient and indubitable right to bear arms finds expression in her treatment of firearms law in the UK. She provides a fairly detailed account of early 19th and early 20th century moves to undermine this right but her commentary on them errs, as do those of other American second amendment advocates when dealing with Britain, on the side of tyranny, not that of the security of a free state. Having made clear the secretive manner in which the 1920 UK firearms act was prepared, suddenly introduced just before the house adjourned, subjected to minimal debate, and endorsed by parliament, Malcolm complains that the Act was ‘not really necessary to prevent revolution’ but notes that ‘violent crime has not skyrocketed’ and ‘things have remained in their settled course.’ Citing Delolme’s approval of the ancient and indubitable right on the grounds that ‘the power of the people is not when they can strike, but when they keep in awe: it is when they can overthrow everything, that they never need to move’ Malcolm hopes that the ‘decision taken in 1920 is never put to the test.’ She is wrong on all four points. The Act may or may not have been necessary to prevent revolution: the point however is that revolution was necessary. The fact that radicalism had by then adopted the wild ideas of Marxism is a secondary consideration. Just as the mayhem which accompanied the French revolution cannot be used to discredit the American revolution then so also the fact that the Left in the UK were drawn to the extremist orientation of the Russian revolution although an aggravating factor nevertheless cannot be used to discredit an even more legally justified resort to arms than the American revolution itself: the Irish war of independence, along with the civil war which rapidly followed the 1922 treaty leading to partition.

The Irish war began because the British Government refused to grant recognition to a 70% vote for Sinn Fein in favour of independence in the general election of 1918. The 1920 UK Firearms Act was aimed first and foremost at disarming a people in righteous rebellion. No other rebellion in history other than slave uprisings can claim as much legitimacy because reason shows that there is no more legitimate means to secede from a larger power than by an over two thirds majority at elections conducted by the oldest parliament in the world. The refusal to grant recognition to such secession is a refusal to agree upon differences by peaceful means and tantamount to declaring no small nation may acquire its independence against the wishes of a larger state other than by violence. The 1920 legislation was, in that context, already put to the test in 1920 and has been demonstrating to the world ever since that it was an Act of Tyranny by virtue of the thousands of lives that continue to be lost most especially by means of the conspiratorial and unlawful use of political violence by the British state and its plausibly deniable terrorist allies.

Such plots are intended to ensure things remain on the settled course of successive British governments in refusing to obey the verdict of their own electorate. Instead of respecting the indelible and self evident 1918 election result British governments have since repeatedly attempted to bury, all too often quite literally, its existence chiefly by means of various subsequent electoral gerrymandering gimmicks, beginning with partition and including more recently, the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (GFA). To turn a blind eye to such injustice is a foolish and unnecessary concession to British conservative bigotry and Marxist quackery alike, since the GFA was in any case a product of both. Befuddled and bewildered by the whole subject of democracy, and all too easily willing to dismiss the 1918 election result as a bourgeois democratic relic of a bygone era, Marxism has been peddling its Europhile friendly Northern Ireland Bill of Rights for decades as part and parcel of its big continental integration idea, or as Gorbachev put it, ‘common European home from the Atlantic to the Urals.’ Naturally such ‘human rights’ acts and bills do not include the ancient and indubitable right but are instead packed with various parchment barriers which leftist lawyers can put to powerful effect in constructing the ever more complex autocratic procedures that will make up the proto-dictatorship of European socialism. Of course, it may be that while the GFA Irish career faction pursues, as David Trimble (who opposes the use of postal ballots on demand) has suggested, its Gramscian ‘long march’ through the institutions of bourgeois democracy, the Irish republican movement itself is continuing the armed struggle under the watchful Nechaevist eye of world communism, which as ever will have it both ways. It is difficult to state in advance of more in depth research and analysis whether Irish patriotism is capable of changing course to pursue a more far sighted, fully democratic strategy. Certainly evidence of a cosy relationship with the Socialist International does not bode well in that regard, nor either any record of trifling with Leninist principle.

One final point in regard to Malcolm’s claims: while in her own book she points out that in London before and after the First World War there were on average less than 50 crimes committed each year involving firearms today there are many thousands of such incidents reported each year to the Metropolitan Police. To me this looks suspiciously like skyrocketing crime rates. Nevertheless as pointed out, crime control is not the primary function of the right to bear arms.

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