It’s kind of hard to wrap your mind around the fact that the UK has gun groups, mostly because it’s such a notoriously anti-firearm nation.
Literally any excuse they can find to pass gun control laws will be used to pass new regulations.
Not that long ago, there was a mass shooting in the UK. Plymouth, to be exact. I know, that wasn’t supposed to happen because of all their gun control, but it happened anyway, and so they passed still more regulations.
Now, some pro-gun groups in the UK are catching flak because they’re helping members deal with those regulations.
The powerful UK gun lobby has been accused of mobilising tens of thousands of shooting enthusiasts to “skew” a government consultation on tightening firearms laws launched after the Plymouth mass killings in 2021.
Gun control campaigners, victims of crime involving weapons and families of people killed in shootings have expressed concern that the government will use the results of the consultation as an excuse to not make extensive changes to firearms laws despite widespread calls for fundamental reform after the Plymouth tragedy.
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and the Countryside Alliance have made it easy for members and supporters to access the consultation from its websites – and advised them on how to reply to each of the 20 yes/no questions posed.
BASC told the Guardian there had been almost 80,000 click-throughs from its site to the consultation, which ends next week, while the Countryside Alliance said “many” of its 100,000 members and supporters had taken part.
The groups are encouraging members to reject many of the proposals that anti-gun campaigners want, such as giving police extra powers to seize firearms and setting up a hotline for people with concerns about gun owners.
Gun control groups there are upset that these pro-firearm groups aren’t tripping over themselves to take the opposite position of what they stand for, too.
That’s also true of some lawmakers.
Luke Pollard, the MP for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport, said: “The gun lobby are arguing for no changes to Britain’s broken gun laws, meaning they are deliberately failing to learn the lessons from the Plymouth shooting.
“We need ordinary people who want changes to gun laws to make a stand and send in their views to the Home Office consultation. If we don’t learn the lessons of the tragedy in Keyham, we will be doomed to repeat them.”
Except for the fact that the real lesson from Plymouth is that all the gun control in the world won’t stop mass shootings. Why would gun rights groups in the UK suddenly abandon their positions that regulations won’t stop murders simply because regulations failed to stop murders?
Further, why would there be any real shock that these groups would help people navigate the onerous restrictions on a basic human right?
I know the UK doesn’t believe that gun rights are actual rights, but that doesn’t change reality.
The current restrictions are beyond anything anyone should consider reasonable. Moreover, UK criminals keep getting guns despite all the laws on the books, and this is an island with far more control over its borders than any US state does, meaning they should be able to keep firearms from being smuggled in.
Yet, it doesn’t. It can’t, apparently.
So these groups helping people navigate how to answer questions doesn’t bother me. Especially if you want to even pretend to have any respect for freedom of speech.
I mean, I get that they don’t believe in the right to keep and bear arms, but the UK still pays some kind of lip service to free speech–it’s just lip service, mind you, but still…
As such, they need to get over themselves if this group is providing people with the answers to idiotic questions.