Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The British Guide To Self-Defence

1. State forcefully, “Here now, none of that”.
2. Grasp your umbrella firmly and shake it at them.
3. Remark what you would have done “in your day” but don’t finish the sentence.
4. Tell them, “If you don’t stop, I shall taunt you again.”
5. If all else fails, call them a “Skallywag” as you hand over your valuables and “Harumph” loudly.

I would add, "What's all this, then?"

There's a dust-up going on at Rachel Lucas's blog about guns, violence, America, Britain, safety, and self-defense. (See, I can spell it right, in context.)

One of my favorite essays by a Brit on the issue of Guns and Violence in America is by the BBC's Justin Webb. He called it "America's Safety Catch", and you can find it here.

Some excerpts:

Despite the fact there are more than 200 million guns in circulation, there is a certain tranquility and civility about American life.


To many foreigners - and to some Americans - the tolerance of guns in everyday American life is simply inexplicable.


Why is it then that so many Americans - and foreigners who come here - feel that the place is so, well, safe?

A British man I met in Colorado recently told me he used to live in Kent but he moved to the American state of New Jersey and will not go home because it is, as he put it, "a gentler environment for bringing the kids up."

This is New Jersey. Home of the Sopranos.

Brits arriving in New York, hoping to avoid being slaughtered on day one of their shopping mission to Manhattan are, by day two, beginning to wonder what all the fuss was about. By day three they have had had the scales lifted from their eyes.

I have met incredulous British tourists who have been shocked to the core by the peacefulness of the place, the lack of the violent undercurrent so ubiquitous in British cities, even British market towns.

"It seems so nice here," they quaver.

Well, it is!


It is a paradox. Along with the guns there is a tranquillity and civility about American life of which most British people can only dream.

Worth a read.

h/t Roberta X.

1 comment:

drjim said...

""Folks will have guns in all of these places and if you break into their homes they will probably kill you.""
Gee...real easy to avoid being killed by somebody's home you invade....DON'T DO IT!
Wonder if this would work with border control???
Let's try it and see!