The United Kingdom’s gun laws could be the first major public policy test since the near-miss bid for Scottish Independence last fall. The policy question: Should the Law Lords in London dictate Britannic-wide medical surveillance on lawful gun owners?
The Wall Street Journal concluded last September that Prime Minister Cameron’s pledge to “hand substantial new powers to Scotland” and presumably England, Whales, and Northern Ireland amounted to “a new constitutional settlement based upon a new federalism.” The Washington Post seemed to agree, noting that the pledge amounts to “a radical re-thinking of power in the Union, bringing it closer to the local and regional levels.”
Though admitting that surveillance of gun owners though medical records could deter gun owners from coming to doctors with concerns about their health and amounts to “a breach of patient confidentiality, the British Medical Association’s ethics committee has said that ‘public safety’ comes first.”
Moving forward quickly, Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Whiting, the lead officer for firearms licensing, said that
An agreement to share information has been agreed in principle and the technical details are now being decided upon. To discuss it further now would therefore be premature and this work, together with any other proposals for change, would no doubt be considered in any future discussions on the UK firearms licensing system.”
But why is there a UK firearms licensing system in the first place? Did not the recent vote on Scottish Independence force to the front the fact that England, Scotland, Whales and Northern Ireland are independent nations who are sufficiently sovereign to enact their own public policies or even withdraw from the United Kingdom entirely?
“That’s pretty much what I thought,” said John Pierce, a Virginia attorney and co-founder of OpenCarry.org, a pro-gun Internet community consisting of over 30,000 registered members and hosting Internet discussion forums on gun rights in all 50 US states , as well as the UK , Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. “Gun policy in the UK was hijacked by London after the 1996 Dunblane school murders,” says Pierce, and those Law Lords in London think that they can just keep going making gun policy for all four nations.”
Mr. Pierce contends that this latest gun control power grab in London is an opportunity for the people and nations of the UK to take control of their rights, “After all,” asked Pierce, “would Scotland’s William Wallace have stood for a scheme of medical surveillance of Scotts by the Crown?”
In any event, English Common Law forms the basis of many American civil rights, including the right guaranteed by the Second Amendment “to keep and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” Perhaps too, someday, “The Rights of Englishmen” will mean something again.