Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News Second Amendment

Update: Thought Police Target Free-Thinking UK Police Commissioner

Friday, July 7, 2017

Update: Thought Police Target Free-Thinking UK Police Commissioner

The city council in the United Kingdom port city of Plymouth gave their finest impression of George Orwell’s Thinkpol this week, when the council formally admonished Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez for her off-the cuff comments to a BBC Radio program following the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London. According to reports, Hernandez’s mere suggestion that an armed citizenry might be capable of providing some protection against terrorist violence proved too much for the council to tolerate.

During a June 12 interview on BBC Radio Cornwall, Hernandez was asked by a caller, and licensed gun dealer, “If there should ever be a terrorist attack, what happens if I and other people try to defend themselves using those guns? What would be the repercussions?” Hernandez responded that this type of citizen response “might be some of our solution to our issues.”

When pressed further on the topic by the BBC Radio host, Hernandez added, “I’m just saying, let’s officially have a look at that and see what would be the implications of it…. We work with businesses to keep our communities safe. I’d really be interested in exploring that with the chief constable.”

The negative official response to Hernandez’s sensible comments was immediate. The same day as the radio interview, Devon and Cornwall Deputy Chief Constable Paul Netherton issued a statement rebutting Hernandez’s comments. The response read, “Under no circumstances would we want members of the public to arm themselves with firearms, not least because officers responding would not know who the offenders were, and quite obviously they would not have the time to ask.”

However, the Devon and Cornwall Police’s rapid disavowal of Hernandez’s comments was not enough for the Plymouth City Council’s Labour Party Caucus. On July 3, Labour city council members, led by Councillor Chris Penberthy, offered a motion for a vote of no confidence in Hernandez.

The motion stated, “We endorse Deputy Chief Constable Paul Netherton’s view that it would be ‘definitely an emphatic no’ to non-police officers taking up arms,” and that, “This Council believes that a proposal to utilise domestically owned firearms is a crass and inadequate response to mounting concerns about police cuts.” Foregoing traditional parliamentary decorum, the motion called Hernandez’s comments “stupid and dangerous.” Further, the motion called on Plymouth City Council Chief Executive Tracey Lee “to contact the Home Secretary requesting she use whatever powers may be available to remove Ms Hernandez from office…”

In a sad commentary on UK firearm politics that Plymouth City’s Tory and UK Independence Party councilors failed to defend Hernandez. The motion passed 26 to 25.

Contrary to what Plymouth’s Labour Party officials might think, there is nothing “stupid” about Hernandez’s statements. As NRA-ILA previously pointed out, Hernandez’s views on armed citizens and terrorism are shared by former Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

Moreover, UK experience tacitly acknowledges that in certain circumstances individual firearm ownership can be a legitimate defense against politically-motivated violence.

The UK’s handgun ban does not apply to Northern Ireland. In this part of the UK, individuals may obtain a Personal Protection Weapon license in order to carry a firearm for self-defense. According to the Belfast Telegraph, license holders include high-ranking politicians. In 2010, the Telegraph reported that Stormont, which houses the Northern Ireland Assembly, has “a special storeroom for guns deposited by Assembly members and visitors.” A 2011 article in the Independent, titled, “More people go armed as Ulster dissident threat grows,” noted, “More than 1,100 people on paramilitary death lists in Northern Ireland are being allowed to carry guns for their own protection.”

To her credit, Hernandez has not been intimidated by the Plymouth City Council’s actions. In a statement following the vote, Hernandez said, “It will not detract me from representing the views of the public which is central to my role. As previously stated, I don’t want to see armed vigilantes roaming the streets, but a discussion about how the public responds to any immediate terror threat is completely valid.”

Hernandez went on to explain, “Freedom of speech and the ability to have open public debate about the issues raised with me will continue.” While aimed at her detractors in the UK, close-minded politicians and political activists on both sides of the Atlantic could learn a great deal from Hernandez’s staunch defense of free and open debate.

TRENDING NOW
Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

News  

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

The Biden Administration’s Department of State announced that it will soon prohibit the importation of Russian ammunition into the United States. According to a release on the Department of State’s website, “[n]ew and pending permit applications ...

The Second Amendment Now Comes with Government-Issued “Harmful Language Alert”

News  

Monday, September 13, 2021

The Second Amendment Now Comes with Government-Issued “Harmful Language Alert”

The absurdity and dysfunction of the Biden Administration have become so pervasive that it’s easy to become numb to it all. But some things it does are still so outrageous and inconceivable – touching on ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Biden Reiterates Call to Ban 9mm Handguns

News  

Monday, July 26, 2021

Biden Reiterates Call to Ban 9mm Handguns

During a July 21 CNN “presidential town hall,” Joe Biden expressed his support for a ban on commonly-owned handguns. Responding to a question about the recent increase in violent crime, the career politician stated,

Atlantic Writer Promotes Culture War on Gun Ownership

News  

Monday, September 13, 2021

Atlantic Writer Promotes Culture War on Gun Ownership

Canadian-born political commentator and George W. Bush-era speechwriter David Frum has taken a break from promoting actual wars in the Middle East to advocate for a culture war on gun ownership here at home.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

URGENT! September 8 Deadline Last Chance to Submit Comments on Proposed Rule for Stabilizing Braces

News  

Monday, September 6, 2021

URGENT! September 8 Deadline Last Chance to Submit Comments on Proposed Rule for Stabilizing Braces

In June, ATF published a new notice of proposed rulemaking on its website entitled Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached “Stabilizing Braces.” If implemented, the new rule could impact millions of law-abiding gun owners.  If you want to help stop ...

Friday, September 17, 2021

Florida Alert! Florida State Workers Pension Fund Participated in Anti-gun Program

Ashbel C. “Ash” Williams Jr., has the financial wellbeing of Florida’s public employees in his hands.  Williams serves as executive director and chief investment officer of the Florida State Board of Administration in Tallahassee, which ...

ATF Targets Pistol Stabilizing Braces in New Rulemaking

News  

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

ATF Targets Pistol Stabilizing Braces in New Rulemaking

On June 7th, ATF published a new notice of proposed rulemaking on its website...

Michigan: Committee Hearing CPL Reform Bill

Friday, September 17, 2021

Michigan: Committee Hearing CPL Reform Bill

On Tuesday, September 21st, the House Judiciary Committee is hearing House Bill 4003, to reduce the penalty for law-abiding citizens who forget to renew their Concealed Pistol License in certain instances.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.