Wednesday, 9 June 2010

My contribution to the national debate

According to the Guardian:

"The government has promised to lead a national debate on the gun laws with MPs debating the issue before the end of July."

Webley Mark II, Dr Watson's choice of firearm (no licence required)

Let us start with what the true Law of England actually is:

"In these several articles consist the rights, or, as they are frequently termed, the liberties of Englishmen: liberties more generally talked of, than thoroughly understood; and yet highly necessary to be perfectly known and considered by every man of rank and property, lest his ignorance of the points whereon they are founded should hurry him into faction and licentiousness on the one hand, or a pusillanimous indifference and criminal submission on the other. And we have seen that these rights consist, primarily, in the free enjoyment of personal security, of personal liberty, and of private property. So long as these remain inviolate, the subject is perfectly free; for every species of compulsive tyranny and oppression must act in opposition to one or other of these rights, having no other object upon which it can possibly be employed. To preserve these from violation, it is necessary that the constitution of parliament be supported in its full vigour; and limits, certainly known, be set to the royal prerogative. And, lastly, to vindicate these rights, when actually violated or attacked, the subjects of England are entitled, in the first place, to the regular administration and free course of justice in the courts of law; next, to the right of petitioning the king and parliament for redress of grievances; and, lastly, to the right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defence."

Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England,
Chapter I - Of the Absolute Rights of Individuals

9 comments:

girl x said...

Oi... why can't that sort of speech ever be dumbed down for the masses? We deserve to know what the laws are just as much as the clever people!

Mark Wadsworth said...

Isn't that taken straight from The Bill of Rights, which is not just a commentary, it is The Law (to the extent not expressly repealed).

Trooper Thompson said...

Girl x, one of the dumbed-down masses? I don't believe it.

I guess the movie version would go:

"I'm a free man, and there ain't nobody gonna threaten me, do me harm, nor take what's rightfully mine, not even the king of England.

Now, you can take if from me that that's the Law, or you can argue with this here blue steel .44"

Trooper Thompson said...

Mark,

I don't believe that it's a quote from the English Bill of Rights. That states:

"That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law"

The last bit gives discretion, which has been abused, I'd say. The Protestant bit must be understood in the context of James II disarming the Protestants, but not the Catholics.

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/17th_century/england.asp

girl x said...

Ah, I understand it now; thank you for the translation. I didn't know the English were so Texan at heart. ;-)

Trooper Thompson said...

Well, we were once. Unfortunately 100 hundred years of socialist propaganda has sapped the righteous belief in liberty amongst my poor, gelded brethren, so much so, that most of them are even afraid of themselves!

Corrugated Soundbite said...

TT, I've reproduced this over at my place with credit attached by way of a link. Good piece.

Trooper Thompson said...

Feel free.

Magna Carta Society Blog said...

Trooper,the words "and as allowed by law" refer to the laws applying to arms for non defensive purposes. The entitlement to arms for defence is absolute and is the reasn why s.27 of the Firearms Act 1968 requires that chief officers of police shall issue firearms certificates to fit persons with a good reason for having them. People who arm themselves without certificates fo defensive purposes are covered by the defence of duress as several recent Judgments have confirmed.