Van E. Harl


I lived in the small village of Innellan, in Scotland as a child. My father the Navy, Master Chief was stationed on board a ship in a neighboring town. I learned very quickly about the Brits and their aversion to firearms. One of my American friends had what was popular in the 50’s and 60’s--an air rifle. It was basically a BB gun that did not shoot BBs. You cocked it like a BB gun but when you pulled the trigger you just got a load pop and a rush of air leaving the barrel. Now-a-days nobody would make such a toy because someone might actually shoot a blast of air at another kid and psychologically scare a child for life. We would play in the front yard with the pop-gun and it would upset the local Scots to no end. First we were accused of having a real gun. Then when we explained it was an air-rifle toy, the locals just knew we were secretly killing birds and small animals. It took the breaking of the pop-gun by accident to make the locals happy. My parents are from farming families, so gun ownership was a common thing in my life, but not with the Brits back then and most assuredly not now.

There is a new series on the BBC America channel called “Survivors.” I watched the first two episodes and I find the story very intriguing. A virus has broken out in the world and in a matter of just a few days only one percent of the world population is still alive. Now the very few who are left have to get on with surviving in a modern, urbanized country with lots of stuff still standing, but no people to control it.

A group of characters (good-guys) are introduced and only one has a gun and it is a handgun no less. In the first episode the gun owner is mugged and thrown out of a moving vehicle because of the dreaded firearm. The group of good survivors is out scavenging for food and run into bad-guy survivors who have a shotgun. This is very scary for the unarmed good-guys who have three confrontations in the second episode with the bad-guys who are armed.

Still the good-guys cannot figure out they need to find some firearms real fast. Now the average twelve year old Oklahoma kid knows enough to get his 22 rifle out, and to move offensively into harm’s way, in a real survival situation, to defend his family.

The issue is we Americans live in a nation that allows by Constitutional Law the right to first own firearms and also the right to use them to defend ourselves from crime and violence. The British conquered a large part of the world (to include North America) at the point of a gun. They were in the past, not a stranger to the ownership of firearms, but since the end of the First World War they have placed more and more restrictive gun laws on their people.

It is now to the point that after a long drawn out process you may (emphasis on may) be allowed to own a shotgun, but never tell a British official you want it for protection. Protection in that nation is provided to you by their unarmed police. So an unhappy British twelve year old with his grandfathers unauthorized 22 rifle that never got turned in, could in fact hold off an entire contingent of British cops.

I will continue to watch the series and I suspect that some of the good-guys will wise up and find some firearms in order to defend their newly formed “tribe.” Tribalism is what these unprepared, now techno-less city folks are headed for if they want to survive.

As I always say, in time of crisis the only two things of true value are food and firearms, but you cannot survive on your own. You need your “tribe,” your family or extended family to make it work. You cannot stay awake 24 hours a day in order to fend off the have-nots who want to take it all from you. Become prepared, become trained and become supplied with the correct items needed in time of crisis. Then with this assurance of your family’s survival, stay home and watch BBC America and be glad you live in the home of the Free and the home of the freely armed.