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The guns of Sherlock Holmes

Peter Hitchens (Christopher’s brother) recalls some interesting facts about guns and Sherlock Holmes in the Mail,

Here's a strange fact. If you read the Sherlock Holmes stories, you will notice just how frequently Holmes and Watson take guns out on various missions (Watson’s is usually his trusty old service revolver, retained from his brush with war in Afghanistan). On one occasion, Holmes amuses himself by picking out the Royal monogram 'VR' in bullet-pocks above the fireplace, a remarkable tribute to his shooting ability with a handgun. His skills may have been exceptional, but gun ownership was, at the time the stories were written, entirely legal and normal, and nobody thought it odd.

Until 1920, Britain's gun laws made Texas look effeminate. There was no effective restriction at all on owning a firearm. Yet there was virtually no gun crime. Now we have some of the most restrictive anti-gun laws in the world, and gun crime is a serious and growing problem. Interestingly, the laws came first, the problem afterwards. . .

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