Editor’s note: The following is in response to last week’s letter by Karl Witter titled “Recent Shootings A Terrible Trend.”
I am constantly amazed at the naiveté some people display, especially when one writes, “In England they strongly believe ‘the pen is mightier than the sword.’ Our trigger-happy cops could learn a lot from British cops.”
I lived in Surrey, England for three years, so I am well aware that British bobbies do not carry firearms as a general rule. There’s a reason for that; it’s called strict gun control. When England was settled, there were no firearms. You had to use a sword or a spear against your enemies, and they have never allowed the general population to own guns. English criminals do not carry guns.
Here in the USA, our ancestors came into a hostile land. Native Americans were not all that pleased to have us illegal immigrants arriving by the boatload, but they didn’t have laws or a coast guard to keep us out. Guns became as American as we all became. My brother is buying me a 14-gauge double-barreled shotgun as a housewarming gift. “Here you go, Sis!”
This American attitude toward firearms is well expressed by the old saying, “God made big people, and God made little people. Colt made the 45 and evened things out.”
The English don’t think that way. They also think you should bake steak. Gone to many great English restaurants over here? There are things, both recipes and laws, that you cannot and should not import.
Let’s suppose the American police forces are taken up by the idea that if they didn’t carry guns, they’d never shoot an innocent person. No officer would have to worry that he/she might someday kill an innocent individual. What a wonderful solution — that is, right up until they came up against our criminals who are not English subjects and who do carry AK47s. Try pulling out a pen on those guys and see who wins.
Catherine St. Clair