'Edwardian London was a place better-adapted to the threats we see today than today’s London is. '
I blogged exactly that after the 7/7 bombings on the London underground. My suggestion was an auxilliary Police force of a sixth of the population. We had a similar force in Rhodesia called the Police Reserve, who tended to be men above the age of the regular armed forces and police, and men who could not spare the time for full-time army or police duties.
They were trained in firearms use, carried their weapons with them, and could be called upon at a moments notice to hurry to an incident.
The disarming of the general populace has happened in the last seventy five years, a fact that few Britons seem to know. There is this ahistorical myth that we have never been armed and gunned up. Even talking to my peer group about guns evokes choruses of loathing and misunderstanding about them. Also, there is total ignorance about the fact that our policemen used to be armed. It is a constant frustration of mine that Britons seem to be completely phlegmatic that the only guns in their neighborhoods are utilised by the worst people- murderous gang kids, criminals, hoodies and drug dealers.
The air of absurd gentility which says that guns are dirty and American and vulgar and therefore must never be in the hands of your ordinary householder holds complete sway. Despite the obvious evidence from around the world that those who can defend themselves rarely have to do so, and that being your own defense force is often necessary and would save many women from rape doesn't seem to matter to the British.
The Bombay attacks are simply the latest example of what happens when you outsource your protection to people who are slow, incompetent and in the wrong place when you need them desperately.