Don't think that I wouldn't defend myself or my family to the death, of course I would, we all have that protective instinct within us - for most it even extends to strangers. (snip) I just don't believe (and most Britons don't) that arming the general public is a good idea.
Well, there's something I don't quite understand. You'd defend your family, with, I assume, whatever resources you had to hand at the moment. Why would you not want the best possible tool to do this with (this isn't necessarily a gun, but why limit your options?)?
If you kill a home invader with a shovel, is he any less dead than he would be if you'd shot him? The difference is the risk to *you* and to your *family*, as far as I can tell.
People who think the general public shouldn't be armed often say that I'm placing myself at higher risk by owning and carrying a gun. I don't understand this at all. A criminal *without* a gun is more likely to completely break off the attack if you're armed. If he doesn't, you're dealing with a nutcase, probably a drugged one...I'd rather defend myself against someone like that with my handgun than my fists or a stick or something. A criminal with a gun is going to be very dangerous whether I'm armed or not.
If, when I'd been out walking my dog tonight, a man had accosted me with a knife or brass knuckles or a bat (these have all happened to women in my area recently), why am I at more risk if I have a gun?? If he had a gun, how am I at less risk if I don't have one?? If, for whatever reason, I end up in a situation where I feel it's not safe to draw my gun (bad guy has the drop on me), I always have the option of complying (at least at first) rather than drawing my weapon. With my gun I have more options. Without it, I have less. If somebody's going to try to hurt me, he's going to try to do it whether or not I'm armed. THe question is whether I have the opportunity to defend myself, and the tool that will allow me to do the best job possible of it.
Why is arming the general public a bad idea? We all know the criminals are armed.
Lots of Europeans think Americans are strange because of our laws about alcohol (illegal to drink until you're 21) and public nudity (nude beaches, etc). Europeans think restrictive laws about such things are silly or counterproductive.
Americans who were raised to have a responsible attitude about firearms don't understand what the fuss is about.