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
More Proof That Being a “Celebrity” Does Not Make You Smart

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

More Proof That Being a “Celebrity” Does Not Make You Smart

In a November 30 tweet, Tom Arnold, famous for being married to Roseanne Barr and making a few really bad movies, has proven that he knows nothing about guns, gun owners or firearm misuse.

Washington: Anti-Gun Group Announces 2019 Agenda

Friday, December 7, 2018

Washington: Anti-Gun Group Announces 2019 Agenda

On December 5th, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a group backed by out-of-state elites, announced it will pursue its most extreme anti-gun legislative agenda to date during the upcoming 2019 Washington Legislative Session.

Guns and Taxes

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Guns and Taxes

David Hogg wants a federal tax on firearms and ammunition. He has repeatedly broached the idea, including multiple times on Twitter, and only sometimes suggests a use for the tax revenue. Hogg’s tweets on a ...

Checks and Balances? Massachusetts Executive Branch Flouts Court Orders on Firearms Licenses

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Checks and Balances? Massachusetts Executive Branch Flouts Court Orders on Firearms Licenses

The U.S.’s republican form of governance is predicated on co-equal branches of government that check and balance each other in order to preserve individual liberty. The system does not work when one branch simply ignores ...

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

News  

Friday, September 7, 2018

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

Levi Strauss & Co. established its brand in the mid-19th century by selling durable clothing to working-class Americans. As Levi’s signature jeans gained popularity amongst a wider set in the middle of the last century, ...

Surprise: Study Finds No Rise in Violent Crime Attributable to Adopting Right-to-Carry Laws

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Surprise: Study Finds No Rise in Violent Crime Attributable to Adopting Right-to-Carry Laws

As we’ve noted recently, much research purporting to demonstrate connections between access to guns or right-to-carry laws and increases in crime is seriously flawed.  Often it's an attempt to curtail or eliminate Americans’ rights under the Second ...

Warning to New Mexico Gun Owners: Expect Unprecedented Attacks On Your Second Amendment Rights During The 2019 Legislative Session

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Warning to New Mexico Gun Owners: Expect Unprecedented Attacks On Your Second Amendment Rights During The 2019 Legislative Session

While the New Mexico Legislature will not convene for its 60-day Regular Session until January 15, lawmakers can start prefiling bills on December 17. 

Engineering Professor Shares Thoughts on Constitutional Law, Calls for Handgun Ban

News  

Friday, November 30, 2018

Engineering Professor Shares Thoughts on Constitutional Law, Calls for Handgun Ban

In a recent piece for the Bangor Daily News ironically titled, “Why banning handguns makes sense,” Associate University of Maine Electrical Engineering Professor George Elliott struggled to argue why the tools of self-defense have no ...

House Democrats Outline Gun Control Agenda for 116th Congress

News  

Friday, November 16, 2018

House Democrats Outline Gun Control Agenda for 116th Congress

With anti-gun Democrats back in control of the House of Representatives come January, now is the time to prepare for a new onslaught on the Second Amendment. Emboldened by the mere thought of controlling the ...

Anti-Gun Researchers Undermine the Anti-Gun Narrative

News  

Friday, November 30, 2018

Anti-Gun Researchers Undermine the Anti-Gun Narrative

We have good news from a joint effort between the Violence Prevention Research Program at the UC Davis School of Medicine and the Center for Gun Policy and Research at the Johns Hopkins University.  

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.