When seconds count, the police are only minutes away. The shooting at a Fort Worth, Texas, last Sunday resulted in two innocent people being killed, before the gunman was taken down. A deep tragedy for the victims and their families and friends.
Yet, the number of casualties could have been much greater, had there been no armed civilians attending church that day, and the congregation had been forced to run, hide and wait for the police. The fact that at least one member of the congregation could shoot back, stopping the attacker, is why this wasn’t worse.
And it’s not just the US where violent attacks happen, we’ve seen it in France, in New Zealand, in other places and here in the UK. In December 2019 the homicide rate in London had reached its highest point in a decade. And a concerning spike in murders occurred in February and March of 2018 when the per-capita murder rate was higher in London than in New York.
Only in the last two days two teenagers were badly injured in a shooting and stabbing in northeast London, a 23 year old man was stabbed in Sheffield, a 17 year old boy was stabbed in Dudley, a man in his 20s was stabbed in Birkenhead, and a woman has been stabbed in front of her young child in London. We’re not magically protected in the UK.
Where violent attacks happen here most people are forced to run, hide, be victims or improvise with makeshift weapons of defence. When it happens it is suddenly very real.
The Libertarian Party has called to re-open the discussion about self-defence in the UK. It’s clear that preventing law abiding people from having the means to defend themselves puts them in greater danger. If violent crime is to be prevented only the intended victim is present to do it, they must be allowed the means.
We call for the immediate re-classification of pepper sprays and other non-lethal aids to self defence, and then a longer term review of all firearms legislation and licensing.
Only the law abiding obey the law, while criminals do what they want to be armed and at an advantage to unarmed targets. It’s time UK law stopped making ordinary people into victims. It’s time to have this discussion. Self defence is a human right.