The Libertarian Party UK is very upfront regarding our position on firearms, legislation and the individual’s rights to self-defence. The publication of our manifesto in 2019 laid it all out, however, as we frequently have people probing our stance it’s worth taking the opportunity to explore further.
It seems terrorism is an increasingly common part of life in the UK these days. A knife attack on London Bridge was one of the more recent such instances wherein an Islamic terrorist, wearing a bomb and carrying knives, was subdued by members of the public.
It’s the details of how these civic minded individuals stopped the attack that has started a few conversations current government would rather not discuss. The heroes’ means of defence included a shop display Narwhal tusk and a fire extinguisher. These makeshift weapons, found by sheer luck, were the only reasons more life wasn’t taken.
In an interview posted by Breitbart news in 2017, President of the Crime Prevention Research Centre and author of “More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws”, Dr John Lott, openly advocated the public carrying of concealed handguns as a means to stop and deter terrorism.
Dr Lott said, “With a permit to conceal handguns, the terrorists don’t know who to worry about. They don’t know whether, when they attack, if somebody there can shoot them. It changes how they hit targets and attack.”
And it’s true! Currently, in acts of terrorism the perpetrators target people they know can’t fight back, as they are disarmed. The lack of means for defence makes us all easier targets for those with a mind to commit mass murder.
In reference to the Charlie Hebdo attack, Dr Lott said, “look at the policy responses after the London terror attack or after Paris, the normal reaction is to put police on the street.”
“In Paris… the response was to put 10,000 police and troops on the street.”
Noting that there were eight off-duty police officers at the Bataclan, he said, “At the time, it was illegal for off-duty police officers in France to carry [a firearm]. One can only imagine how that situation might have turned out differently if even a couple of the officers had been armed. As of June, last year, France has changed its policy to be able to allow off-duty police officers to carry.”