Zimmy wrote:Bows and quarterstaffs come to mind when I think of the U.K.
As someone who has trained in both... while effective, they aren't what I'd pick over a firearm, and they have many of the same legal issues. We are only allowed to use reasonable force in self defence.
Yes, we have tight controls on firearms, but a more important control was when it was decided that "reasonable force" did not include shooting them (I think this can be dated to the 50's), then did not include preparing a tool to use, then began to include a duty to retreat, which has since faded somewhat. None of these decisions were made by our legislature, but by the police and judiciary in their precedents set on different legal cases. It's also why folding knives can't have locks without being an offensive weapon.
So, if I were to grab my bow from off the wall, string it at the top of my stairs and knock and release an arrow at the burly figure breaking through my landladys door... well, I wouldn't fancy my chances in court, because of the amount of prior planning and thought I have clearly put into putting down someone potentially "only" burgling the place.
Much better to forget to put away your cricket bat, or your grandfathers steel golf clubs. To grab in your fear and instinct at your antique bayonet display and administer first aid after the robber ran upon your steel in his haste to assault you.
If you are threatened, and someone in your house mentions using your firearms, the police can and have taken them away to stop you. If you stab an armed robber with their knife, you will be brought to trial (fortunately he was found innocent. Trial by Jury is an important right). The tide is changing, slowly and my own experiences (chasing down a burglar and holding him by force) are pretty positive, but this is climate we have to think in.
thesmurf wrote:I've never seen a gun in real life, or even picked up a gun, let alone fired one - think I would be more hazardous to myself than a zombie attacking!
Plenty of clubs have open days if you are interested in becoming a shooter, and it's a fun and rewarding hobby. Experience and having to clean the dam things thoroughly demystified firearms for me.
woodsghost wrote:Also Brits have access to firearms, as I understand. Folks will have to correct me if I"m wrong, but I believe Brits can have shotguns which hold a maximum of 3 rounds and can only buy birdshot.
Additional licencing and a lot of headache will, as I understand, let you own some other firearms.
AFAIK, Slugs are the only shotgun ammunition you can't have on a Shotgun Certificate.