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Sleepless in Fulham: Rambling and gambling by David Young
Sunday, 31 May 2009
Gun control in 1929.
Topic: Misc.

I read one of Agatha Christie's earlier novels last week. The following extracts are quite revealing. From "The Seven Dials Mystery" (1929):

Chapter 18:

He slipped his hand into the pocket of the dark blue suit into which he had just changed and held out something for Bill's inspection.

'A real, genuine blue-nosed automatic', he said with modest pride.

'No, I say,' said Bill. 'Is it really?' He was undoubtedly impressed.

'Stevens, my man, got him for me. Warranted clean and methodical in his habits. You press the button and Leopold* does the rest'.

* for some unexplained reason, he calls the gun Leopold.

Chapter 20:

Loraine rose and dressed herself in a tweed coat and skirt. Into one pocket of the coat she dropped an electric torch. Then she opened the drawer of her dressing table and took out a small ivory-handled pistol - almost a toy in appearance. She had bought it the day before at Harrods and she was very pleased with it.

So in 1929, you could buy a gun in a department store. You didn't even have to show up in person - just send your butler to buy it for you. Of course you had to be careful whom you shot.

Chapter 27:

'I'm glad you didn't shoot', said Jimmy. 'I'm a bit tired of being shot at'.

'I might easily have done so' said Mr Bateman.

'It would be dead against the law if you did', said Jimmy. 'You've got to make quite sure the beggar's house-breaking, you know, before you pot at him. You mustn't jump to conclusions. Otherwise you'd have to explain why you shot a guest on a perfectly innocent errand like mine.'

Luckily we live in more enlightened times when guns are not available to the general public and of course we enjoy far lower levels of crime than they did in 1929. /<sarcasm>

_ DY at 4:21 PM BST
Updated: Sunday, 31 May 2009 4:24 PM BST
Post Comment | View Comments (8) | Permalink

Tuesday, 2 June 2009 - 4:44 PM BST

Name: "CB"

I'm confused. Are we saying that the increase in gun ownership in this country is leading to less gun related crime?


(No sarcasm)

Wednesday, 3 June 2009 - 11:45 AM BST

Name: "David Young"

There hasn't been an increase in LEGAL gun ownership. Guns are outlawed, so outlaws have the guns. Criminals who threaten the general public have no reasonable expectation of their victims returning fire. That's the true outcome of gun control .... the person with the gun is in control.

I live not far from a club called Chateau 6. It's where a man was shot merely for asking some youths to stop smoking indoors (after the ban). One of them pulled out a gun and killed him. These boys could reasonably expect to be the only people armed in a Fulham nightclub so they had no fear of retaliation. They wouldn't have done that at an NRA convention in the USA!

It's the cities and states in the US with the tightest gun control that have the most violence. It's the 'gun free zones' like schools, post offices and universities where the massacres happen.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009 - 12:31 PM BST

Name: "CB"

Sounds like we could have a fun arms race on our hands much like with kids and knives. He may not have shot someone at the NRA convention but why not in the pub you talk of? So if they have a row and both parties have guns, you’re suggesting that means there is less chance of someone getting shot? So then other people need to get guns, soon we all have guns and this will curb gun violence? I think your original sarcasm may have slightly underplayed how complex an issue this is. I would be genuinely interested to see some figures by I would suspect that with less guns in this country we shoot proportionately less people that countries with more guns. And I think you may be forgetting all the people who have guns but don’t shoot people because they are themselves not being shot at. I may be wrong. I’d also like to see the percentage figures of how many people who have been shot owned a gun themselves.



Wednesday, 3 June 2009 - 4:44 PM BST

Name: "anonymous"

Not for the first time David, your logic is faulty. I can't be bothered to explain why, but I'm sure some kind person will do it on my behalf. 

Wednesday, 3 June 2009 - 4:55 PM BST

Name: "anonymous"

In case you're unaware, Agatha Christie wrote fictional books. 

Even before 1929 there were restrictions on gun ownership, introduced as a result of the growing gun-related crime.  Go figure. 

Monday, 15 June 2009 - 9:31 AM BST

Name: "anonymous"

Most gunshot victims are black and am happy with the current state of affairs.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009 - 8:49 PM BST

Name: "roGER"
Home Page:

It's very difficult to compare different eras and their crime figures, not least because the statue book is about 75% bigger today than it was in the early decades of the 20th century, and our reporting methods are much more exhaustive thanks to computers.

However, I'm prepared to accept that crime rates were much lower in the 1920s. Why? Because most crimes, especially the violent kind, are comitted by young men aged between 16 and 35. A certain vile event that took place between 1914-1918 removed 900,000+ young men.

It would be ASTONISHING if any society didn't show a sharp decrease in crime levels with that number of young men wiped out.   

Tuesday, 30 June 2009 - 1:37 PM BST

Name: "CB"

Hi Roger.

Couldn't leave a comment on your blog so thought I'd leave it here.



or maybe an alien? Or maybe an invisable monkey? If you ignore the logical explanation, why is "ghost" more likely than the alien or the monkey?



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