FT's Crook Explores the Gun Owner in His Natural Habitat

In his July 31 blog entry, "Postcard from the gun show," Financial Times correspondent and loyal subject of Queen Elizabeth II Clive Crook admits that he "may get thrown out of Georgetown for this," but he applauds the rugged individualism of the American gun owner.:

Aside from other motivations-sport, self-defence-the gun-show universe is about pride, self-reliance, and resentment at being bossed around. Distinctively American traits, wouldn't you say? Best in moderation, no doubt-but still, where would the country be without those attitudes? I may get thrown out of Georgetown for this, but I say, good for them.

In the midst of describing his first-ever visit to a gun show in the Colonies, the British expat expressed agreement with the rationale for laws permitting concealed carry for law-abiding citizens:

Though a Brit, as I say, I did not bring the default attitude of many Europeans (or East Coast liberals, same thing) to the event. I am by no means an instinctive gun controller. It is not obvious to me what is wrong with the argument that says, "The criminals already have guns; gun control disarms the rest of us." I don't know how many times I have heard that view sneered at, or laughed at, or pointed to as an infallible marker of stupidity. But I haven't ever heard it seriously confronted, let alone refuted. Thought experiment: would I feel safer walking around DC at night if the district allowed concealed carry, so that some fraction of law-abiding citizens on the street would be armed, or would I feel more at risk? Answer: safer.

Crook then confessed agnosticism on gun control and added he felt that resistance to "any and all" regulation would be on its face ridiculous. Nevertheless, given how left-leaning the Financial Times is and how it can exude condescension in its coverage of American politics, it's certainly refreshing to see one of its staffers express comfort with the individual's right to keep and bear arms.

It's certainly more than one can say of Keith Olbermann. From his June 26 "Countdown" program in all its hydrophobic foaming-at-the-mouth glory.:

KEITH OLBERMANN: And our winner, Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court. You've got around 30,000 gun deaths in this country per year, another 75,000 non-fatal gun wounds, half the suicides are by gun; and this clown and his four colleagues decided that the 32-year-old ban on handguns in Washington, D.C., and the demand that firearms kept in the home be locked or disassembled was unconstitutional based on the Second Amendment. You remember the Second Amendment: "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Despite years of fog created by the NRA and right-wing organizations, that isn`t very complicated: For the purposes of forming a state militia, you're entitled to keep and bear arms. Obviously, those would have to be the kind of arms in use in 1791, when the Bill of Rights was passed -- the musket, the wheel-lock, the flint lock, the 13th century Chinese hand canon. Stuff like that. Scalia, of course, simply decided that the militia part of the Second Amendment is some sort of quaint anachronism that he could happily ignore. And there's the beautiful thing about our country -- they say anybody can grow up to be a Supreme Court justice. And in Antonin Scalia, there's your proof, and tonight's "Worst Person in the World"!

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters