23 February 1998
It's Not Just Guns
The following is the text of a leaflet used by LM sellers on a anti-gun
control demonstration through central London today - 23 February 1997
The right to bear arms used to be the hallmark of a civilised country.
There was a time when freedom was the watchword. Today things are very
different. Then we had declarations of independence. Now we have snooper's
charters, like the Police Bill. Then we had constitutions to keep the state
out of our lives. Now the state is creeping in everywhere.
Today virtually every aspect of our lives is subject to regulation. More
and more areas of our existence are constantly coming under scrutiny from
the powers that be. This ludicrous new gun ban and bizarre knife
legislation beggar belief. Where is the debate? These authoritarian
measures have not been introduced after a rational consideration of facts
or merit. Far from it. These laws are nothing but knee-jerk reactions to a
climate of hysteria and panic. Recently, one of Britain's biggest
supermarket chains banned the sale of kitchen implements, particularly
corkscrews, to minors, and issued guidelines for the rest of us. What next?
- Look up now. Odds are that a CCTV camera is in sight. And you are in
sight of it. The days when you had to be a criminal to be under
surveillance are long gone. Now we are all under suspicion.
- Think that your home is your castle? Think again. The Police Bill will
give police more powers to break into your home or tap your phone. A
controversial measure? The "opposition" supported it, barring a few
- Grown ups used to bring up children. Not now. Today you need a
professional to help. Once being a mum or a dad just came naturally. That
was before "parenting". Now there is a politically correct army on hand to
tell you how to do everything from changing a nappy to babytalk.
- Even before the birth, experts are on hand to tell you what vitamins to
take. Remember the Yorkshire couple who wanted to adopt but were not
allowed? They smoked.
- Politicians aren't slow to get in there too. Jack Straw is keen on
curfews for 10 year olds. Proposed pupil-parent contracts will make sure
that the kids behave by making you behave.
- When it comes to children you do not have any rights. Social services
have them all. Forget about justice when Cleveland-style child protection
is involved. The social worker is right. And you, when you're accused of
abuse, have no rights.
- Politicians fell over themselves to back the Firearms Bill. Except the
ones who wanted to make it even more draconian. They all supported its ugly
sister the Offensive Weapons Act too. Now it is an offence for under 16
year olds to buy a sewing or manicure kit.
These are only a few examples. The list of controls, restrictions and
intrusions seems to get longer every day. The idea that we should be
responsible for running our own lives has never been so out of fashion. And
as for politics, never mind left and right. Today's politicians are only
concerned with right and wrong. Telling the rest of us how to live is the
only agenda they have.
If you think people can run their own lives, as parents or whatever else;
if you prefer freedom to state control, you should read LM magazine.
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