Sullivan Act

Readers may be interested in commenter James’s link to and brief speculation on the Sullivan Act, which tended to disarm the populace without much affecting criminals in New York over a century ago. He’s a modest lad who doesn’t put himself forward much, so sometimes I do it for him. He will also keep you up-to-date on recent discoveries in physics if you browse there.

26 thoughts on “Sullivan Act”

  1. The Sullivan Act was always about making things safe for the organized criminal and their counterparts in government. Common folk? Not so much…

    And, that’s always the reality for these issues of civilian disarmament. The Japanese famously “gave up the gun” in order to make tyranny safe for the samurai class, who had the right to execute any commoner they liked, at any time, by the time it was done. Same thing in the European milieu–Make it safe for the nobility and the government. Note well that the only nation with real liberty were the Swiss, and that was because they didn’t disarm. Even when overrun by the French or the Austrians, the average French or Austrian official did not dare go too deeply into the cantons, lest they wind up dead and buried somewhere obscure.

  2. It was not until about 1966, that the British police carried guns. Before that, they largely did not. This created a situation where criminals did not carry guns, as they were not threatened by them, and penalties for having guns were severe. Much smarter to just do crime, without deadly force in hand.

    This is a useful way. Your fascination with firearms has created a monster that is consuming your country. The kid who shot, and got shot should be enough of a message, but no. I was horrified to see a kid with an AR, out there playing his video game, in real life. This is where your gun cult, because that is what it is, has taken you.

    Good luck. You are going to need it.

  3. Most British police still don’t carry guns. The few that do, don’t “carry” but rather mostly have access to secured lockers in cars under certain circumstances. I used to read a blog by a British cop that emigrated to Calgary and was ecstatic at the change. Canadian police have always been armed on the same basis as their southern neighbor. All the other European police forces are armed and always have been, notoriously, the Italian Carabinieri with submachine guns (carbines).

    Only a tiny minority of crooks intentionally arm themselves against the police even here, they aren’t planning on being caught. The guns are used to intimidate their prey. Shootouts with the police are rare, many police retire without ever using a gun in earnest.

    The British exception is interesting but it’s breaking down.

  4. What British exception? Last time I was in a UK airport (pre-Covid Scam), the police were patrolling the place carrying automatic rifles — much more threatening than the sidearms carried by police in US airports.

    An innocent Brazilian electrician was hunted down and shot to death in a London Underground station by armed British police. Oops! Sorry! Then the (apparently Lesbian) female officer who authorized the murder was promoted to be the head of the London Metropolitan police.

    Then there is the epidemic of knife violence in London, because knife-carrying English criminals don’t have to worry about the possibility that their intended victim might be armed.

    Whatever the Brits might have going for them, they certainly have not found the answer to criminal violence.

  5. Gavin,
    I hadn’t heard about the cops in the airport. As I said, the model has probably broken and the Home Office may take notice any decade. It still worked fairly well for a long time.

    The last of the British police bloggers that I used to read was tracked down and silenced years ago.

  6. There are a good number his age and a few younger in military cemeteries in different places. I don’t find his judgement outstanding but he’s the one that walked away. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for a Kenosha jury to find him guilty of more than littering.

  7. Quoth Penny, “A little boy, badly raised.”
    I’d beg to differ, actually – a kid who has been working a summertime job as a lifeguard has usually been pretty well raised. It’s a responsible job, and requires swimming ability, and successfully passing a Red Cross training course to be even hired in that capacity. When my daughter went through USMC basic training, she found out that those of her peers who had worked as lifeguards were usually tasked with extra responsibilities by the training cadre.
    And my daughter was also 17 when she decided to enlist in the Marines.

  8. “He was already there, responding to an emergency. Do try to keep up, Penny.”

    So you think this kid who went downtown, with his gun, responding to an ’emergency’, is a good idea. Do I have this right?

  9. “Since you’re in Cana-Duh, Cupcake, probably not.”

    Wonderful. I was asking you what you thought about a kid taking a gun downtown to deal with an emergency. You have chosen to prevaricate, rather than answer my question.

    Perhaps very few American children can hope for a reasonable upbringing at this point, which may have something to do with what is happening now. Its very sad indeed.

  10. OK. Penny – let me put this in small letters and simple, words of one-syllable.
    Yes, I totally approve of a kid with a weapon taking it downtown to deal with an emergency in his community, in answer to a plea from his scratch organization of local business owners. Small downs/cities tend not to come back from destructive riots spurred by violently-inclined and careless outsiders. His judgement might be a little lacking when it comes to situational awareness – but a kid.
    I, personally, love the place that I live in. I will not take well to asshole outsiders coming in to burn it it all down to make a political point for the media.

  11. It was not until about 1966, that the British police carried guns. Before that, they largely did not. .

    Guns were easily available in Britain until after the first world war. There was at least one case around the turn of the 20th Century in which unarmed police borrowed weapons from passersby to deal with barricaded criminals. Early-20th Century British violent crime rates were low by late-20th Century/early-21st Century standards, despite very substantial restrictions on firearms ownership implemented during the later 20th Century and recently. Perhaps there were other things going on that accounted for the increases in crime? As usual with complex phenomena that are politically controversial, partisans tend to latch onto isolated variables to support the positions they already hold. Eh, Pengun?

    Speaking of which, note that in the USA violent crime rates fell continuously from the early 1990s until recently, during a period when gun restrictions were reduced in many US states and private citizens bought vast numbers of new firearms. Perhaps rather than generalize about American gun culture or the good old days of unarmed British bobbies, it would make more sense to look at actual data about gun possession and crime rates in specific areas over time? Nah.

  12. “Yes, I totally approve of a kid with a weapon taking it downtown to deal with an emergency in his community,”

    OK. Its your country, fill yer boots. From my point of view you have failed as a nation, if this is what you recommend. The effects on your country are obvious.

  13. He’s a kid. A little boy, badly raised,

    He worked that day as a life guard. When he finished the shift, he stayed in town to help clean up the debris and scrub the graffiti off of buildings. He then decided to stay on as a medic to treat *any* wounded be they rioter or victim of rioter. Some folks, sensing him being in danger, handed him a long gun to defend himself. Try to keep up. I know your narrative sounds appealing to you but it’s not true.

  14. Thank you for the kind words, AVI.

    I read, and need to locate the source after all these decades, that the famous tight British gun control was enacted during a period of record _low_ violent crime rates, and that they have slowly climbed ever since. This matches Jonathon’s observations.

  15. The video of Kyle shooting his attackers was appalling and unsettling and I didn’t know quite how I felt about it. Now it’s clarified some for me. He was from out of town, but 15 miles out of town, and that’s certainly “local” these days and that matters. He didn’t seem intent on causing violence but protected himself. The kid was on the ground – clearly defensive. An individual isn’t required to be beat-up, maimed, or hospitalized. I get a wiff of young idealism and bravery and not self-interested wisdom. No matter; he had a right to be where he was and not be injured, wise or not. His motivations for being where he was seems to rhyme with the frame of mind of the folks that turned out at Lexington and Concord in 1775.

  16. Kyle Rittenhouse is not a kid. A 17 year old can and should be a fully functioning member of adult society. It is a sign of how broken our society is that we don’t let them, and it leads to all sorts of pathologies in those we deny what they know they are capable of.

    Has anyone seen a single piece of journalism talking to those he was with that night, the owner of the property, etc? I don’t think I’ve seen anything like that anywhere.

  17. Brian, you are right about zero coverage of the incident background. Nothing about why he was there and who was with him. The little bit I have found suggests that he was trying to render first aid, maybe to the first shooting victim. Then the cops would not let him through their barrier to rejoin his friends.

  18. it’s worse than that, facebook is actually censoring those who point out the contextual footage, shades of running man,
    kyle rittenhouse emerged from his schooling, with a desire not to hate america, we can’t let that be encouraged,

  19. “Nothing about why he was there and who was with him”
    I have seen pics and claims about what he was doing earlier in the day, but nothing really in depth. My guess is that the property owner and those Kyle was with don’t want to talk because they’re afraid of getting a) harassed by the loons out there who attacked Kyle, and b) prosecuted by the loons who insanely charged Kyle with murder.

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