Great Britain’s “disparity of force” problem: Criminals love it

I’ve been watching this whole “knife control” fiasco going on in Great Britain, and two thoughts come to mind.

First, remember when “knife control” was just a slippery-slope fallacy that lived solely in the minds of extremist gun lovers? Good times, good times.

Second, the upswing of knife violence in the UK is an excellent example of the value of parity of force. This phrase often shows up at the level of the nation state, but that’s not what I’m talking about. It also shows up in a legal context as Proportionality (whether someone’s defensive reaction to violence is excessive or just right), but I’m not talking about that either.

No, I’m talking about parity of force from the criminal’s perspective. Since he’s a not a nation state, he couldn’t care less about that high a level of force, and since he’s a criminal, he’s only mildly interested in the legal aspects.

What the criminal wants is a disparity of force between himself and his target that falls in his favor. Let me repeat that. THE CRIMINAL WANTS A  DISPARITY OF FORCE THAT FALLS IN HIS FAVOR. Though the criminal would prefer that the disparity be heavily in his favor, he only needs to ensure a force superior enough to overwhelm his target.

In Great Britain, the criminal is practically assured of this favorable situation. He chooses time and place, the inherent advantage of the Bad Guy. Odds are hugely in his favor that he won’t face a gun (or any distance weapon, for that matter) because law-abiding subjects won’t keep illegal weapons. That means women and children, a clear majority of the population, are easy game. Weak men, too.

But GB doesn’t stop there. British subjects are strongly dissuaded from using knives or other tools to protect themselves.  The laws even require the arrest of a 78-year-old man for stabbing his attacker with the attacker’s own weapon (a screwdriver). Fortunately, the investigation determined that the victim—er, man arrested “on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and further arrested on suspicion of murder”—did indeed act in self defense, but he’s been arrested and had to post bond and get a lawyer and had his name publicized by the media and received threats from the dead criminal’s friends (because they know his name and where he lives) and who knows what else. Who wants to go through that?

And so the law abiding who fear jail and/or retaliation have an incentive to roll over, show belly, and hope that their attackers are feeling nice that day.

In fact, it’s not too extreme to say that Great Britain’s weapons laws are a dream come true for Bad Guys. This is the logical end result of limiting weapons in the hands of law-abiding citizens.

I want the criminal to fear the potential disparity of force, not revel in it. This means I want laws that protect my use of distance weapons. Since guns are the best and easiest individual distance weapons out there, the laws must protect my use of guns.

Laws that protect parity of force are a Bad Guy’s nightmare. And that’s one sign of a good law.


  1. EclectiHusband

    A sparrow will attack another sparrow to get a mate or the best nesting area.
    A person, being a more advanced life form, uses tools to attack another person.
    Unlike a sparrow, a person, being a more advanced life form, will attack another person simply for the pleasure of it.
    A person, being a more advanced life form, will do violence to create fear in another or take what is not theirs.
    Take away the rifles, pistols, knives and a person will make a shiv out of a toothbrush or piece of plastic. A person may use a box cutter too kill a pilot and fly a plane into a tower.
    A person, being a more advanced life form, stripped naked and with no tools would use hands, feet, elbows, knees and teeth to attack another.
    Guns are not the root cause of gun violence. People are the root cause of gun violence. Remove the guns and it becomes knife violence. Remove the knife and enter the spear or bow and arrow or feet and hands.
    I made a choice to not do violence. Most people make the same choice. I have chosen to become proficient in the use of sticks, feet, hands and guns to protect me and mine from those that choose to do violence no matter what.
    In a day and age where a gun can be 3d printed, gun control would prevent me from protecting me and mine but do little to stop the person determined to do violence from doing so.

  2. pohjalainen

    And then there is the choice for the mostly law abiding citizen who is willing to break laws sometimes rather than take certain risks – like the risk of having to pay to his attacker for harming said attacker, or ending up in jail for defending himself and/or his loved ones, or his property.

    That choice being: kill the attacker so he can not raise charges against you, get rid of the body if possible to do that in a way that nobody will ever find out what happened to him.

    I wonder how often that may happen now? Especially in the countryside where there may not have been any witnesses to the attempted burglary or robbery, and a lot easier to destroy all the evidence that something happened. I am dead certain that it happens at least sometimes, even if it probably is not common.


    This current situation is putting hell of a lot of pressure on the law abiding. Things will start to unravel sooner or later, and more and more people will start to lose their respect for the laws.

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