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News & Politics News & Politics

Why did British bystanders watch a soldier get hacked to death?

Posted by on May. 25, 2013 at 3:55 PM
  • 46 Replies

  

1:27 PM 05/24/2013


Mike Piccione

     

The recent attack on a British soldier by assassins wielding meat cleavers while bystanders looked on raises the question: “Why didn’t anyone try to help the victim?”

Because British citizens are prohibited from carrying objects that could be used as “offensive weapons.”

While it is well known that Brits cannot carry guns, a lesser known law prohibits any subject of the Queen from carrying a knife of consequence, pepper spray or a stun gun.

According to the United Kingdom government website, the online storehouse of British government regulations, it is illegal to:

  • sell a knife of any kind (including cutlery and kitchen knives) to anyone under 18
  • carry a knife in public without good reason – unless it’s a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less, eg a Swiss Army knife
  • carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife
  • use any knife in a threatening way (even a legal knife, such as a Swiss Army knife)

Folding knives, regardless of blade size, with a locking mechanism are illegal in the U.K. for carry in public and are referred to as “lock knives.” According to British law, “The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is 4 years in prison and a fine of £5,000.”

Pepper spray is also illegal under section 5(1)(b) of the Firearms Act 1968, which prohibits “any weapon of whatever description designed or adapted for the discharge of any noxious liquid, gas or other thing.”

It is illegal to import pepper spray or a stun gun because British law expressly states that pepper spray and stun guns are classified as firearms. Blow guns are classified as “offensive weapons” and are prohibited to own, except for veterinarians or registered animal handlers.

According to the UK website, “Having an offensive weapon in a public place without lawful authority or a reasonable excuse can also lead to a fine and/or up to four years in prison.”

If you are known to have imported and possess the weapon the legal ramification is a fine and a prison sentence of up to ten years.

A reasonable excuse is defined as:

  • taking knives you use at work to and from work
  • you’re taking knives to a gallery or museum to be exhibited
  • the knife is going to be used for theatre, film, television, historical reenactment or religious purposes (eg the kirpan some Sikhs carry)

The government also states, however, “A court will decide if you’ve got a good reason to carry a knife if you’re charged with carrying it illegally.”

by on May. 25, 2013 at 3:55 PM
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Replies (1-10):
jaxTheMomm
by Gold Member on May. 25, 2013 at 4:15 PM
5 moms liked this

The vast majority of British citizens think our obsession with firearms is insane, and want no part of them.  They don't want to carry around firearms.  I've known (and am related to) many brits and Irish, and they think we are all shoot-em-up cowboys.

Which is why they have an incredibly low rate of gun violence.

gilbertgrl627
by Member on May. 25, 2013 at 4:17 PM
1 mom liked this
Interesting. I wondered that, too, but now it makes a little more sense.
SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on May. 25, 2013 at 4:34 PM
1 mom liked this

So?

The UK has an incredibly high rate of violent crime, including murder, rape, assault, robbery, etc. - four times as high as in the US, and much higher than even in many developing countries. If one can't use a legal gun, one will find another way to accomplish the same result. Such as using legal and illegal knives - such as butcher knives, pocket knives, bread knives, steak knives, and butter knives. And illegal guns. And clubs. And cricket bats. And hammers. And poison. (As well as denying medical treatment for patients deemed not worth saving due to a calculation of "useful years" to "years of longevity.")

And the UK does not report their number of gun homicides that do not yet result in a conviction - whereas the US reports all, including those by law enforcement. Apples and oranges.

As said by the statement popularized by Mark Twain, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.

Quoting jaxTheMomm:

The vast majority of British citizens think our obsession with firearms is insane, and want no part of them.  They don't want to carry around firearms.  I've known (and am related to) many brits and Irish, and they think we are all shoot-em-up cowboys.

Which is why they have an incredibly low rate of gun violence.



gludwig2000
by Gina on May. 25, 2013 at 4:46 PM

 Even if they couldn't use a knife, they could have tried to help. But I don't know why they didn't, no more than I know why here people are sometimes attacked and nobody tries to help. Maybe it was fear?

gludwig2000
by Gina on May. 25, 2013 at 4:48 PM
Haha, I imagine that shows like Sons of Anarchy doesn't help to change such a negative image of us, and they aren't cowboys. I still love the show though.
Quoting jaxTheMomm:

The vast majority of British citizens think our obsession with firearms is insane, and want no part of them.  They don't want to carry around firearms.  I've known (and am related to) many brits and Irish, and they think we are all shoot-em-up cowboys.

Which is why they have an incredibly low rate of gun violence.

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on May. 25, 2013 at 4:52 PM

But then again, in the words of Officer Jimmy Malone, never bring a knife to a gunfight. Or a scimitar, as verified by Indiana Jones. A lot of truth there.


Quoting gludwig2000:

 Even if they couldn't use a knife, they could have tried to help. But I don't know why they didn't, no more than I know why here people are sometimes attacked and nobody tries to help. Maybe it was fear?



SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on May. 25, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Most people would say it's more important to save lives than to worry about whether people like us. 

embarrassed


Quoting gludwig2000:

Haha, I imagine that shows like Sons of Anarchy doesn't help to change such a negative image of us, and they aren't cowboys. I still love the show though.
Quoting jaxTheMomm:

The vast majority of British citizens think our obsession with firearms is insane, and want no part of them.  They don't want to carry around firearms.  I've known (and am related to) many brits and Irish, and they think we are all shoot-em-up cowboys.

Which is why they have an incredibly low rate of gun violence.



gludwig2000
by Gina on May. 25, 2013 at 4:58 PM
True, very true. To be honest, I would like to think that I wouldn't have stood there and not tried to help, but really, until you are actually faced with the situation, you really don't know how you would react. As uncaring as we can sometimes seem, I would like to believe that something like that would not have happened here and nobody would try to help.
Quoting SallyMJ:

But then again, in the words of Officer Jimmy Malone, never bring a knife to a gunfight. Or a scimitar, as verified by Indiana Jones. A lot of truth there.


Quoting gludwig2000:

 Even if they couldn't use a knife, they could have tried to help. But I don't know why they didn't, no more than I know why here people are sometimes attacked and nobody tries to help. Maybe it was fear?



SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on May. 25, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Nearly everyone is fearful when confronting a murderer.

Having the right tools makes a ton of difference.


Quoting gludwig2000:

 Even if they couldn't use a knife, they could have tried to help. But I don't know why they didn't, no more than I know why here people are sometimes attacked and nobody tries to help. Maybe it was fear?



trippyhippy
by Silver Member on May. 25, 2013 at 5:37 PM
2 moms liked this


I saw a picture of a woman standing in front of the knife wielding man, trying to talk to him and a different picture of that same woman embracing the dying soldier as he lay on the ground.  So someone did risk their life to be there for that soldier and to try to stop the murderer.

Quoting gludwig2000:

True, very true. To be honest, I would like to think that I wouldn't have stood there and not tried to help, but really, until you are actually faced with the situation, you really don't know how you would react. As uncaring as we can sometimes seem, I would like to believe that something like that would not have happened here and nobody would try to help.
Quoting SallyMJ:

But then again, in the words of Officer Jimmy Malone, never bring a knife to a gunfight. Or a scimitar, as verified by Indiana Jones. A lot of truth there.


Quoting gludwig2000:

 Even if they couldn't use a knife, they could have tried to help. But I don't know why they didn't, no more than I know why here people are sometimes attacked and nobody tries to help. Maybe it was fear?





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