On November 29, 5 people were stabbed, two of them fatally in London, UK. Two men, one armed with narwhal tusk the other with a fire extinguisher, stopped the attacker before he could harm anyone else. The attacker was attending a conference that was about the re-assimilation of criminals into society. One of the men that stopped the attacker was attending the conference as well and had himself once been incarcerated. The attacker had been convicted of terrorism and subsequently released in 2018. The attacker was delayed by these citizens until armed police arrived and he was shot to death.
The images of the two men went viral and gained huge notoriety, deservedly, for the bravery and patriotism they exhibited in stopping this terrorist. On most of the podcasts I listen to it was covered in a positive light, that in the end the attacker had been stopped, and the people who stopped him and fought through fear to do something positive had help save the day. But This was not the message that stood out to me.
When I saw the images of the attacker being delayed by men armed with an animal appendage and a fire safety device, I was horrified. I began to think what it would be like to live in a society where I was utterly unable to defend myself with anything but my hands and makeshift weapons, to think that my wife and son would be subjected to whatever a criminal or terrorist decided they wanted to do because I’m not even allowed to carry a knife.
In Britain it is illegal to carry a knife longer than three inches “without good reason” and self defense is not on the list of valid reasons to carry a knife. On top of that, the courts are the ones that get to decide whether or not your reason to carry a knife is valid. Last year, an article shared by the mayor of London Sadiq Khan on twitter about an uptick in violent crime bore the comment ” No Excuses: There is never a reason to carry a knife. Anyone who does will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law”.
Contrast this with the United States where not only are people allowed to own and CARRY guns for personal protection, it is solidified and guaranteed in our founding document as an inherent right. In case you do not know, the purpose of the second amendment is to allow the citizens of this country to protect themselves from threats both foreign and domestic. Whether it is an invading force from another land or to protect our own rights from our government, this right among many others are instilled in us not by the government but by the mere fact that we exist in this country and is guaranteed because of this. This right is not given by our government, it is an inalienable one instilled in us upon birth in this country.
While the level or extent of protection of the second amendment varies slightly by state, it has been solidified time and time again that the people of The United States DO have the right to bare arms. In Washington State it is legal to open carry as long as you are of age and a concealed pistol licence (CPL) can be obtained with $50 and a trip to the local sheriffs office so long as no crimes hinder you from achieving it. I have talked many times about the level of skill it takes to get these items (that is a conversation for another day) but have also expressed clearly many times and on many different occasions how important this right to bare arms is to this society.
It is events like this London Bridge attack that reaffirms those beliefs in me. Now lets be extremely clear about how this is likely to have played out in America. The attacker was a criminal, so unless he purchased a gun on the black market he would still have been relegated to using a knife to carry out this attack. The man with the fire extinguisher ALSO had a criminal history which would have disqualified him from owning a gun in our country. But of all other people (eligible to carry) in this conference where the terrorist began his attack, where the people who died were stabbed, any number of them could (and should in my opinion) have been in possession of a legally obtained fire arm that could have stopped this attack in any of its stages.
I don’t in anyway mean to insinuate that this attack WOULD have been stopped if it had happened in America, what I AM saying is that when people aren’t even afforded the capability to defend themselves from danger they don’t stand a chance to try. That’s why 5 people were stabbed. That’s why 2 people are dead. Because the people of London aren’t allowed to even carry KNIVES for self defense, the very weapon used against them, let alone a fire arm. To see things like this happen and then to regularly hear citizens of OUR country share reasons why they feel the UK or many other countries in this world are superior to the United States not only makes me sad, but angry.
It is all too common for people to say that they would love to live in Canada for health care or the Netherlands for the gender quality or UBI. Not only are these sentiments misinformed, but they show a serious lack of understanding of our founding document and the fact that so many of the rights guaranteed to us by that document are not afforded to the citizens other countries in any close relativity. The citizens of this country have the right to choose, in the UK they don’t.
We in the United States, because of these inalienable rights I keep going on about, have the right to choose to carry a weapon among many other things. We can choose to take our safety and protection into our own hands, or not. We can choose to leave that protection up to the other around us who choose to take it into their own hands. We also have the choice to take other peoples safety into our hands when we choose to protect ourselves.
Everyday when I leave my home I put my pistol in its holster and then put them both in my waistband. When I do that I am making that choice to protect myself, my family, and anyone around me that may need that protection. I believe this is a choice that every citizen of every country should be able to make, instead of having to wait for more people to get stabbed while the police are on their way to do the shooting or try and avoid being stabbed themselves while using less lethal weapons than they are being attacked with. In the end, the police arrived only 5 minutes later and shot the attacker. We know from the domestic and foreign terror attacks that have happened in America exactly how much can happen in five minutes.
The biggest difference I see between this happening in the UK and if it happened in America is numbers. 5 and 2. 2 people that didn’t need to die if the people attending that conference had the choice to protect themselves and those around them. 3 additional people that didn’t need to be stabbed because the people in the streets didn’t have the right to protect themselves or the people around them. In America we get to make that choice. We are born with the right to choose to not be victims. That in itself exemplifies why so many people want to come here, to choose to no longer be victimized. To be endowed with the same right that we have. The right to save themselves from the scourge of victimization.