The missing right?
Jun 13, 2007
Bishop Hill in Firearms

Harry Haddock has piece today about the firearms ban, which includes a wonderful quote from George Orwell

The totalitarian states can do great things, but there is one thing they cannot do: they cannot give the factory-worker a rifle and tell him to take it home and keep it in his bedroom. That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer’s cottage, is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.

Coincidentally, 18 Doughty Street had a studio discussion featuring Chris Atkins, the director of the new documentary "Taking Liberties" and Peter Whittle of the New Culture Forum. Atkins was given a pretty hard time by Whittle who seemed to think that Atkins should have made another film altogether - he would have preferred something about the fear of artists that any output seen as being critical of certain eastern religions would "have consequences".

While this did seem a bit unfair to criticise Atkins for making "the wrong film", Whittle's concerns are certainly ones that I share. Unfortunately the two of them were at complete loggerheads, with Whittle believing the threat to society was from extremists, and Atkins believing it came from the state. Poor old Iain Dale was left trying to prevent an outbreak of fisticuffs - he seems to be suffering a lot from this kind of thing recently now that Yazzer is appearing regularly.

Now, you may be wondering what the connection is between a studio dust-up and the Haddock piece on guns with which I started this posting. It's this: if we were to enforce the right to bear arms guaranteed by the Bill of RIghts, both Whittle's artists and Atkins citizens would be much, much harder to oppress. People are only forced to choose betwen liberty and security because they cannot defend themselves.

One of our rights is missing. 


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