Scotland and it’s obsession

Written by Ian on December 14th, 2012. Posted in Civil liberties, Firearms, Firearms licencing, Gun Crime, Gun Law, Politics

I read on the BBC today that Scotland are looking to introduce a licensing system for air guns,  I thought the tone from the Scottish government is very telling:

“We are not consulting on the principle of licensing – this will happen. While our primary concern is for public safety, we do not wish to penalise those who use air weapons responsibly and who can demonstrate a legitimate use for a gun, such as sport shooting or pest control.” Mr MacAskill.

Mr MacAskill then went on to say that there are 500,000 unlicensed firearms (air rifles) in Scotland. The BBC article reports that there were 195 offenses involving air weapons recorded in Scotland last year, that works out at 0.039%, now while do not want to see any offenses with air rifles let’s inject some realism in this discussion.

When you look at the current laws surrounding air guns (see below) I wonder if the current laws are being applied.

Also in the news today in the Perthshire advertiser that “Training helps reduce airgun crime”, so given the choice of training or unneeded control a the Scottish government is opting for control.

The current rules / laws around air guns (taken from CH Western ):

We are in good company by Banning Social media

Written by Ian on August 16th, 2011. Posted in Big Borther, Civil liberties, Social media

Ban social media
Ban social media

The prime minister in a statement in the Number 10 website has said:

Mr Speaker, everyone watching these horrific actions will be stuck by how they were organised via social media.
Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill.

And when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them.

So we are working with the Police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.

This proposal is an interesting one and one that I would not support, social media may have been used by idiots bent on destruction but it was also used by the police and emergency services to keep people up to date and that flow of information helped many people to feel safer even though in the locations where they lived there was no rioting, when there is information people feel informed and reassured that something is going on, even the rioters where feeding people information by saying the police had arrived time to move on.

Social media and it’s use did not cause the riots and the millions of people who did not abuse this medium should stand up and say that it is not right to stop people communicating when others are breaking the law.

It is nice to see that the Prime Ministers stand is supported by the wonderfully free China, while I am sure there are many things that can be learned from the last few days the suppression of communication is not the lesson to learn.

Take a look at issues not how people discuss them.

The London Riots

Written by Ian on August 9th, 2011. Posted in Civil liberties, Comment, Crime, London Riots 2011

So for the last couple of nights London has been burning and there are lots of people asking why, I doubt there will ever be an answer that is satisfactory but there are a few things worth thinking about.

The catalyst
While there is no excuse for the destruction and lawlessness of the last couple of nights the starting catalyst was the death of Mark Duggan in a police operation and that police operation & its outcome is under investigation at this time and just what happened is not public at this time. What is public is that Mark Duggan according to the Guardian was carrying a converted handgun capable of firing real ammunition.

The article reads: It is understood that ballistics experts have established that the firearm being carried in the minicab was a handgun which at one point had not been capable of firing – a replica, a starting pistol or a collector’s weapon. But the firearm had been converted – as many illegal firearms purchased on the street are – into a lethal weapon capable of carrying live ammunition.

It will be interesting to see how this progresses.

The Protest
As you would expect with the death of an individual the family and community felt the need to do something, so they went on a very peaceful march to the local police station to ask for answers but appeared to have been ignored at the doors, and after a time the protest turned into a riot. It must be said that the family has come out very strongly saying that the riot & violence is not something they wanted or want to see.

The Riot turning into riots.
After the protest turned into a riot the idea spread throughout London, and last night spread to Bristol (who where all ready having issues), Nottingham, Liverpool and Birmingham. The main City’s ate also giving way to small scale disturbances in Rainham, Dartford, Chatham and Gillingham in Kent as people take the opportunity to join in copy the bad behaviour.

Small numbers
If you go away from the main riots you read about small groups running rings around the police, they appear to be much more fluid and better organised than the police using all technology at their disposal to appear and just a quickly melt into the background. Typical gorilla army tactics that are very hard to combat.

The Police
Today all I have heard is where are the police? One very distressing story was told on the radio this morning of a young lady that was woken up at 04:00 by a few people in her room looking for her bag luckily for her once they found it they went away and she was unharmed, there are many stories about shops being looted without the police being anywhere near and people are calling for water cannons, shoot to kill and the army to be deployed on the streets.

The Police are being held up as a failure as they have been unable to hold the streets and they have no control over the mob.

The Police only have control over the masses when we the people decide that the rule of law is more important than mob rule.

While I am sure the Police have made mistakes over the last few nights this situation is not their fault. The Police only form one part of a community and it is never the police that are able to keep people in check they can only ever react to past events and sadly when second’s count the police are only minutes away.

The police had over 20,000 calls last night, what did people expect them to do?

What next?
Well this is the question of the moment, what will happen tonight will the destruction continue as it was or will it become bigger with more areas consumed in the madness? As with all riots this will run its course and come to an end, it is only a matter of time. Quite what is left standing at the need is a different question.

Will we do down the route of repression? Water cannons and the army may help regain control for a short time but we need to be careful of begin too oppressive as this will cause more problems that it may solve.

What laws will be passed? Do we need new laws or do we need to enforce the ones we have? Will we become more oppressed as a result?
Looking at the catalyst it appears that Mark Duggan had an illegal functioning firearm, the laws in the United Kingdom at very tight and only the law abiding will abide by them so banning firearms again will stop such a situation from starting up again.

Looking at the police will people begin to be more realistic as to what the police are capable off and just what is expected of them? Will people call for more police or more rights to protect themselves do we have the cash for more police or is it desirable to live in a state where the police have such numbers that they can overwhelm the people they serve.

How do we rebuild the broken communities and strengthen the communities that exist ensuring that there is a backbone of Mothers, Fathers, Brothers, Sisters & friends that will not allow the individuals they love to become part of the mob.

We cannot blame the police for all of this we must look to our communities and the people who are breaking the law and ask why?
• Too many laws?
• The wrong laws?
• Too much dependency?
• Too easy to say it is someone else’s fault?
• No consequences to actions?
• No respect for the police or our leaders?

There are so many questions that need to be looked at; the next few months will be interesting.

So where is the 2011 Census data?

Written by Ian on June 21st, 2011. Posted in Civil liberties, Comment, Crime

Before the 2011 Census was completed there were a lot of questions and concerns over the security of the data in this sensitive area after all the data is sensitive.

People asked questions like Can we be sure census information will be safe? And should the Census be run by a USA based company as the US government will be able to have all of the data under the various different acts then have on the books.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-can-we-be-sure-census-information-will-be-safe-2222881.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/feb/19/census-boycott-lockheed-martin

http://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/3111

The government assured everyone that this has been taken into account and that the data would be safe: http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/index/information-and-services/government-citizens-and-rights/2011-census/keeping-census-information-safe.htm

Well it appears that today the police (Scotland Yard) in a joint operation with the FBI have arrested a 19 year old in Essex from a hacking group called LulzSec.

It appears that LulzSec posted the following on-line: “we have blissfully obtained records of every single citizen who gave up their records to the security-illiterate UK government for the 2011 census“.

Now that is no guarantee that they have it but considering some of the other successful high profile attacks in the last couple of months I can believe that they have succeeded.

The group go on to say that “We’re keeping them under lock and key though… so don’t worry about your privacy (…until we finish re-formatting them for release.)

It is nice to see LulzSec are conserned about privacy (pitty the census data team was not) but quite what that is eluding too is anyone’s guess.

So if this proves to be true what will the government do?

http://www.channel4.com/news/claims-lulzsec-hackers-have-obtained-uk-census

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/8589078/Hackers-steal-entire-2011-census.html

It's not a communist state.

Written by Ian on August 5th, 2010. Posted in Big Borther, Civil liberties

David Mellor

David Mellor

 This is a fantastic little rant titled: David Mellor’s airport rage click and enjoy.

Should we have open-carry?

Written by Ian on March 17th, 2010. Posted in Civil liberties, Gun Law, Self defence

Now that is a question.

This is a question that has been asked by the Adam Smith Institute in the last couple of days, with some interesting comments mostly for the idea of open or concealed carry.

What do you think?

Pop over and join in: http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/justice-and-civil-liberties/should-we-have-open%11carry%3f/

The text from the article:

Should we have open-carry?

Written by Nikhil Arora, Saturday, 13 March 2010

The BBC news on Thursday night featured a report on the upcoming Supreme Court decision on the Chicago gun ban; litigation launched after the successful case of DC v Heller, which overturned a similar outright prohibition on handguns in Washington DC.

Is the police or the fashion police?

Written by Ian on January 26th, 2010. Posted in Civil liberties, Comment, Police

Now apart from the fact that they look stupid is the way they are dressed with reason enough for the police to stop them under anti-terrorism laws, perhaps if it was the fashion police you could understand it.

What if it was two hairdressers with stab proof vests walking from one salon to another, after all the scissors are very sharp or is it that the police want to be the only ones dressed in a paramilitary way?

A very organised neighbourhood watch?

Written by Ian on January 25th, 2010. Posted in Civil liberties, Comment, Crime, Police

We are told that we should take an interest in our local area and the be the eyes and ears of the police, and organised groups is called the neighbourhood watch.

However when the neighbourhood watch have training, put on a uniform, patrol their neighbourhood keeping in radio contact with a central command to be very organised the police do not like it and say that the members are endangering themselves.

This is what the Shomrim (Hebrew for security) Stamford Hill Safety and Rescue Patrol (SHSRP) are doing 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.

So is this a proactive neighbourhood watch or the beginnings of a vigil anti group, should they be applauded for their proactive stance, or should they be stopped as a group promoting terror in their area of North London or is the real question why is there a need for the SHSRP group, is the opposition from the police out of genuine concern or embarrassment  that the local residents feel the need for such a group.

It will be interesting to see if this is first group of many or just a one off.

But surely everyone has the right to self-defence in their own home…

Written by Ian on January 11th, 2010. Posted in Civil liberties, Police, Self defence

I know I am a little behind the curve on this one but I have had a very nice weekend doing very little :)

As most of you will know Myleene Klass has been warned for waving a knife at a couple of people when she spotted them peering into her window just after midnight on Friday.

This is a quote from the article on Sky News  “Hertfordshire Police officers warned Klass she should not have used a knife to scare off the teens because carrying an “offensive weapon” – even in her own home – was illegal.”

If it is illegal to carry an offensive weapon in you own home then the police had better pop around and have a quick word. I have a collection of samurai swords that could be classed as offensive weapons, enough non kitchen knives to stock a small bush craft shop and other things.

I hope that the police officers that spoke with her have had the law pointed out to them and that the government take note, they tell everyone that there is no confusion about the law of self defence but this case and many others show that not only is there confusion over the law in the police service but that the confusion spreads out to everyone else.

Quotes from the article:

“However, I was left shocked and surprised to be told that a private individual in the privacy of their own home runs the risk of committing a criminal offence if, out of fear for their own safety and their loved ones, they grab something with which they could defend themselves if an intruder enters their home.”

“Myleene was aghast when she was told that the law did not allow her to defend herself at home.”

But having said all of this, Well done to Myleene Klass for standing up when she was in fear.

How should you feel about this one?

Written by Ian on January 4th, 2010. Posted in Civil liberties, Comment, Law & Order, Scorched Earth, Self defence

I must say I do not know how to feel about this one.

Firstly take a look at this link on Libertarian Party UK Blog read it and then have a think.

On first reading you think this is well out of order but then you think about things and think well he has been convicted of it in 2006 he should have learned his lesson and not broken the law but then a few moments later you go back to thinking this is out of order, one of the few stories that makes me go from one end of the spectrum to the other.

I would sum up the story but you will miss quite a bit if you do not read it.

When you read Graham’s account you begin to see the fear in his words, the thought of being in prison is something fills him with dread, not just because of the time he could spend inside but the impact that it will have on his life.

Both his fear is palpable as is his personal disappointment at his “lack of courage” in not standing up.

I guess some questions come out of this story:

  • Graham has been let down by the police in the past after being a victim of a serious violent assault, is it wrong for him to decide to carry items to defend himself, if he is attacked?
  • If it is right for him to defend himself what tools should he have, lethal or non lethal?
  • Considering the lethal or non lethal link that can be drawn should both lethal and non lethal objects of defense be in the same class (remember firearms are Section 5 as is pepper spray)?
  • Should we be able to have non lethal items to protect ourselves?
  • Is what is happening to Graham correct?

While I feel for Graham, I would like to know where all of the organizations who defend peoples rights are, where the people who have studied the right to self defense are when someone who is trying to defend them selves by carrying the items of defense is up a creak.

Or is Graham’s website something to do with the outcome of the story?

As I have said, I am not too sure how to feel about this, the rights or wrongs of the story. There is the clear violation of the Section 5 law (even if it was only peeper spray) to consider,  Graham is a repeat offender as far as pepper spray is concerned see the reference to 2006.

BUT

And this is a big but, there is something in the story that does not feel right, if he has been carrying this stuff for at least the last 4 years and has not needed to use it then he is not being aggressive with it and only wants it for defense (considering he has experience of the police’s inability to be everywhere at the same time I do not think his actions are over the top). The story has a feel of someone being hung out to dry. Is the law right, after all we have political parties of all colors falling over them selves saying that self defense is a good idea.

I feel a real struggle with this story, perhaps the biggest thing is would I act any different, I have quite a nice life, job, home etc etc. If I thought I could have it all taken away would I have the courage to stand up or like Graham would I be posting an entry with the ending “Sorry guys, I feel really ashamed at my lack of courage !!!”.

If the link to Graham’s story is down just click the “More” link.

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