Another AntiGun Englishman Denounces Your 2A Rights & the Second Amendment Foundation

Max Hastings I Grew Up on Guns Fail
Max Hastings I Grew Up on Guns Fail

USA – -( Sir Max Hugh Macdonald Hastings is one of the preeminent British journalists and military historians. As a foreign correspondent for the BBC, he covered 11 wars and reported from more than 60 countries.

In 1982, Hastings was the first reporter to enter Port Stanley, after the British military kicked out the Argentinians and liberated the Falkland Islands.

Hastings was knighted in 2002 for his “services to journalism.”

He has written more than 25 books – mostly about military history. I have a couple on my bookshelf. They’re very good. I highly recommend Yoni: Hero of Entebbe: Life of Yonathan Netanyahu (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1980). It’s a great read.

That said, Hastings doesn’t know a damn thing about Americans, our gun culture or our Second Amendment rights.

Nowadays, Hastings writes two columns a month for Bloomberg Opinion. I assume you’re familiar with the political views of its owner.

Hastings’ latest column is titled: “I Grew Up on Guns. Now I’ve Learned to Love Firearm Control: Viewed from the U.K., the American love of weapons is completely understandable, and completely irresponsible.”

The column reinforces two points:

  • the British will never understand us, our gun culture, or the Second Amendment,
  • and who cares what the British think.

Like legions of anti-gun writers before him, Sir Max tries to establish his gun bona fides by telling his readers that he grew up with guns.

Evidently, Hasting’s father brought back a couple of souvenirs from the Second World War: a Luger, a Mauser, a Radom, and what he refers to in his column as a “Schmeisser submachine gun.” (It’s an MP-40, Sir Max. Hugo Schmeisser had nothing to do with this weapon except for holding a patent on the magazine.)

His father, Hastings claims, turned in all of the firearms during one of several amnesties the British government used to disarm its citizens.

“I recite this personal history before considering the latest appalling U.S. massacres in Atlanta, Colorado, Indianapolis and elsewhere. It is intended to dispel the common response of American enthusiasts to the rest of the world’s horror: ‘Foreigners don’t understand guns,’” he wrote.

I’m sorry, Sir Max, but my “common response” is pretty far from dispelled.

Growing up with a couple of bring-backs doesn’t make you a gun guy, just like growing up with my dad’s old guitar doesn’t make me Eddie Van Halen.

Hastings claimed that he first objected to mass weapons confiscations in Britain and Australia along Libertarian grounds.

“I have since changed my mind,” he wrote. “I have come to believe that widespread firearms ownership is a pollutant; that we are a better, much safer society without handguns.”

A pollutant? Really?

But it gets worse.

“My resistance to private ownership of military weapons is strengthened by close acquaintance with them. I once won a prize as a member of a British Parachute Regiment team, shooting with automatic rifle, submachine gun and light-machine gun. I know how terrifyingly easy it is for a man or woman — though it is always men — with a gun in their hands to touch a trigger and broadcast devastation and death,” he wrote.

On this side of the pond, sir, we’re well acquainted with the I’ve-been-in-the-Army-so-I-understand-guns fallacy. It falls short both here and over there.

“Everybody who studies U.S. experience knows that legally held firearms are almost never successfully used by civilians, either to prevent a crime or to frustrate a mass shooting,” Sir Max opined. “The more extreme U.S. gun lobbyists insist that the best response to gun massacres is to arm more people, including schoolteachers, to defend themselves. There is no shred of evidence, nor credible speculation, to justify such a claim.”

No shred of evidence? That, Sir Max, is an outright lie.

Just because the mainstream media chooses not to cover the thousands of defensive gun usages that occur in this country every single year doesn’t mean they don’t occur or that there isn’t any evidence.

Defensive gun uses happen all the time, but you need to look for them since the media has decided that these stories aren’t worthy of any ink or pixels.

I have saved the best for last: “Most people seem to accept the enthusiasm of rural Americans for owning sporting guns as an assertion of the frontier spirit, which is in some measure shared by foreign sportsmen like me. Yet assault rifles, such as so many self-proclaimed militiamen now boast, have no application for practicing target skills or killing deer.”

There is no better way for anyone – especially a Brit – to prove their ignorance of our gun culture and our God-given Second Amendment rights than by bringing up hunting – especially deer hunting.

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Give the Second Amendment a read, Sir Max, a thorough read. You’ll see there’s nothing about hunting. There is, however, a bit about the security of a free state. That means tyranny, sir, which we still won’t allow over here. Perhaps you’ve heard about the dustup that occurred the last time some Englishmen tried to regulate our private gun ownership.

As to Hastings’ claim that ARs “have no application for practicing target skills” – that’s so incredibly ignorant it’s difficult to respond. There are millions of Americans who practice their “target skills” with ARs every single day, myself included. In fact, if you go to the range – any range – you’ll see more people shooting ARs than anything else. It’s the most popular firearm in the country – it’s America’s Rifle. I cannot even comprehend the level of ignorance it takes to not understand this.

However, Hastings’ ignorance knows no bounds.

“The Second Amendment Foundation, a firearms lobby, recently denounced President Joe Biden’s proposal for new restrictions as signifying that he has “declared war on tens of millions of law-abiding gun owners.”

To be clear, I do not speak on behalf of the Second Amendment Foundation. That’s Mr. Gottlieb’s job. However, as a proud life member of the organization, I agree 100% that President Biden has declared war on gun owners. Why else would he have nominated an anti-gun activist to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives?

  • Why else would the President have threatened door-to-door confiscations?
  • Why else would he even consider using the National Firearms Act to regulate the most-popular rifle in the country and its standard-capacity magazines.

We are at war, Sir Max.

Instead of denigrating a country and its people who you clearly know very little about, I’d recommend you drop immediately to your knees and thank God we have a solid gun culture over here because if we didn’t, you’d likely have written your ignorant collection of lies and falsehoods in German.

The Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project wouldn’t be possible without readers like you. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation now to support pro-gun stories like this.

About Lee Williams

Lee Williams, who is also known as “The Gun Writer”, has been writing about the Second Amendment, firearms, the firearms industry, and the gun culture for more than 10 years. Click here to see all of his work. Until recently, he was also an editor for a daily newspaper in Florida. Before becoming an editor, Lee was an investigative reporter at newspapers in three states and a U.S. Territory. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a police officer. Before becoming a cop, Lee served in the Army. He’s earned more than a dozen national journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. Lee is an avid tactical shooter, and a regular contributor to Armed American Radio.

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Sir Maxi pad there is a reason you Britts don’t have a say here in America . We used our guns to throw your ignorant asses from American soil over 200 years ago . Now shut up and go away as you are now irrelevant on American soil clown .


“Now shut up and go away”………. or I shall taunt you a second time!


The difference is clear. He is a subject. We are citizens. I tell my relatives in Australia the same. As subjects, they bow and scrape, step and fetch it for their lords and ladies. As Citizens, we uphold our Constitution and our Bibles and bow to no man. Unless you are in Washington DC or Hollywood. Then you bow and scrape. But here in the real America we are free standing, open range citizens of a Constitutional Republic and we stand to defend that republic both in and out of uniform. Semper Sic Tyrannis. Semper Fidelis

Pastor Roy

“He is a subject. We are citizens.” Excellent point!!


I love it! Great point. Put Sir Windbag in his place.


Reasons not to allow the government to disarm you:

  1. Stalin
  2. Mao Zedong
  3. Hitler
  4. Pol Pot

Ruby Ridge
Urban America


You forgot:
Kamala Harris
Joe Biden

Pastor Roy

Love it!!


What business is it of some Brit or other outsider have, making comments about our constitutional freedoms. Bow to your lords and masters!!!!!


And I should care what this Brit think because… Everybody ignores the root cause and goes after the tool they use. What good did banning most guns in Britain do, it just shifted the majority of attacks to some other tool; knives, acid, blunt instruments, bombs.


Evidently, he’s forgotten the historical fact that when the last time British came to America to tell us what to do, we shot them.


And the survivors ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles, they ran through places where a rabbit couldn’t go …


Have fun with your air rifles, because that’s all your masters allow.
Just remember, you are subject to the king.
No man, only God is my master.

Last edited 1 year ago by Cruiser

Don’t forget that they cant carry knifes on the street and if they do, the point has to be filed off. Sticks and stones are next.


Actually, you need to take a second and even third look at modern air rifles!

There are a few States who have advisory committees looking at allowing hunting with air rifles for deer, because the modern versions are very much lethal at close range as many current deer level calibers.

I would point out as well, but the high-end air rifles cost as much or more than the real deal that we usually use to hunt.

Cheers from the oil patch in Central Wyoming


Another socialist foreigner that thinks we care about his lies


“Yet assault rifles, such as so many self-proclaimed militiamen now boast, have no application for practicing target skills or killing deer.” One would think that if he “grew up on guns” (obviously using that claim to imply that he is knowledgeable about firearms), and is supposedly a good journalist, that he would get his terminology correct and have some accuracy in reporting. The AR-15 is not an assault rifle and anyone expecting readers to accept them as a reputable source should be accurate. I know a decent number of people who have AR-15s (or similar type firearms) and can’t think… Read more »


What hardly any of these Brits admit or remember is that it was the American individual gun ownership that helped save their royals a$$ during WWI. It was the individual Americans that sent their privately owned guns to England prior to industry ramping up manufacturing. You did not see any of their hind sighted subjects refusing this murderious tools during that period of their history.

oh well they have always been pretty short sighted.


Sorry WWII


The fact that you know the history about how we helped them out is so impressive, I could care less which war you tied it to. Everyone seems to think they know about WW1 and WW2 but the part of history you pointed out, few know. Especially today I am sure.


Pip pip Talley Ho… and all that rot !
(Someone really needs to GOBSMACK this tea bag…)


And if I remember correctly we didn’t get those guns back.


Nope. The British government after the war dumped them into the ocean, literally.

No compensation to the Americans who gave the rifles, no thank you to those Americans, not even a ‘go to hell’: they just gave them to the Sea.

Cheers from the oil patch in Central Wyoming

Happy Everafter

Regarding the pompous dullard Sir Max Hugh Macdonald Hastings, in the words of the great Bugs Bunny, “What a maroon!”


The long-eared Sage had it correct on many counts!

Sadly, we learned, that is the children of my generation, more about math, physics, and real-world consequences from the Warner Brothers cast of characters than children in public schools learn today!

I do believe we are fast approaching a Neo Lexington and a Neo Concord: how many take up arms to defend what little freedom is left is really the only open question.

Cheers from the oil patch in Central Wyoming


Against whom?


Sounds like this “Sir” Max Hugh Macdonald Hastings is a real arrogant SOB. I’m sure he’d get along famously with obama’s brain-dead puppet squatting in our White House. It will be fine if I never hear of him again.


If I had any of his books I would burn them right along with records and movies I have destroyed of these arrogant hollyweirdos when they went anti gun.


Hey, you don’t like it that Americans, by hundreds of millions, are gun owners? Good, stay out of here. We don’t like it that innocent people should be deprived rights on account of atrocities committed by a handful of maniacs. Collective punishment is an Old World concept. We separated ourselves politically from England almost two hundred and fifty years ago.


I will state this as short as I can. If it’s so dam great over there, then why do so many English move here? Heck it wasn’t even a year ago when your own people chose Kommiefornia over England.

Don’t use high taxes as a reason, I seem to remember something in history about taxes, guns, England and the forming of the United States but that was long ago and doesn’t matter any more. Right!!!!!

You keep bowing to your freedom and I will keep mine like our people made it. Thank you!!!!

Pastor Roy

Well said!


Applying old world answer to the deep thinking of a limey puff. . .
Yahm Nogivvachit.


i would like to personally challenge the venerable Sir Max Hugh Macdonald Hastings to a debate on the Second Amendment. he may choose which side he would like to defend and i will take the other.
he obviously doesn’t understand America or the freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights.
this should be fun.




Perhaps USA should pull all our troops along with our guns and nuclear arsenal out of UK, even Europe while we are at it.


This is what happens when you are ruled by the Crown.

Mike the Limey

Nonsense, because we’re not.


Perhaps his sirness needs to be reminded that Brittan was unable to provide for it’s own defense in both WWl and 2, and depended on their gun toting former colony to arm their Home Guard. Just look it up. Here’s a couple:

Mike the Limey

The column reinforces two points:the British will never understand us, our gun culture, or the Second Amendment,and who cares what the British think. It does no such thing & sweeping generalisations are at best, poor journalism. Max Hastings is one man & most certainly NOT representative of Britain as a nation. There are a large number of Brits like myself who not only understand the US, your gun culture & the Second Amendment but wholeheartedly support & applaud it. We also know that the origins of said Amendment are in the English Bill of Rights of 1689. As for your… Read more »

Ryben Flynn

At least the Brits that the Government ALLOWS to own a rifle (no semi-auto) can buy a suppressor (muffler in Brit speack) just by walking into the gunstore and show their firearm license with no legal mumbo-jumbo paperwork like in the U.S. And it is the same in many European Countries.


I wish we were like them, then, able to buy a suppressor (while showing a license) but barely able to own a gun. Not sure of your real point, except that, yes, suppressors (patented under the name “silencers”) ought to be legal here. “At least” is something that a lot of Americans say when things are terrible, and it doesn’t seem to help us out of the mire, even a bit. Not wishing to dispute with you, but only to mention the rest of the problem, both here and there.


come from a long line of not followers , had ancestors at Lexington and breeds hill even some that helped take the cannons from fort Ticonderoga,twice any idiot can claim to know anything , slaves will say whatever their masters tell them to so no surprise, the Irish are still mostly armed and may yet get their freedom, bobbies go out to close bar during covid patrons beet the shit out of them ,sent more armed police half the town showed police left there are more civil wars coming people are tired of others making “BAD” choises for them and… Read more »


Before you pass judgement on Max Hastings read this article: Max Hastings, the Repentant Europhile – Standpoint (

At least then you will be on firmer ground when you pass judgement.

Last edited 1 year ago by RoyD

I enjoyed the read, but missed the part where he recanted his dismissal of the reality that guns win wars and, yes, guns can help to keep a nation (and the world) free. It’s these little back-steps that make sure that tyrants sit securely on their thrones, and the one who says that the populace should be disarmed should never be given a free pass, any more than the person who foolishly tapes up a “No weapons permitted” sign, thinking that their business is then safe not only from people who are willing to deal honorably with their wishes, but… Read more »


My intention was to more fully inform concerning Hastings. If you are going to praise or damn someone then at least have a good reason for doing so. Hastings is worthy of his damnation and the article helps to understand why.


STILL: CRICKETS from the Freedom-Loving Pro-2A Supporter wannabe’s:

Is it any wonder we are not already disarmed and enslaved?


Whilst I agree broadly with the criticism of Hastings, the US doesn’t have a ‘solid gun culture’ (though it’s still currently better than ours), but a culture of ever increasing gun regulation, like the National Firearms Act of 1934, Federal Firearms Act of 1938, Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, Gun Control Act of 1968, Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988, Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990, Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act of 1993, Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994. Also, why would Hastings be writing in German? The attack on Pearl… Read more »


The Progressive attack on natural rights that you enumerate does have everything to do with the Second Amendment. We have a separate and distinct set of cultures here in America and they are mutually exclusive. You have people like me who grow up with tools and guns in hand and work at real things and worship our Lord and Savior and then you have Progressive culture of mostly urbanites who mostly work at nontangible tasks, worship false gods and depend upon others for basic services, defense and the guidance of their false gods in everything important. that is the difference.… Read more »


Chris, first great history on our politicians signing our 2A rights away in all of the mentioned Acts that did more harm than good. The American people were, for the most part asleep, allowing them to erode our 2A rights. They aren’t asleep any longer and more are waking all of the time. People are finally starting to see our own government using its power against the people instead of working for the people. Most have drawn a line in the sand and will no longer comply with any unconstitutional law they attempt to invoke. Their words and actions no… Read more »

Heed the Call-up

Neither did the attack on Pearl Harbor have anything to do with the Germans, but our president at the time, FDR, decided to declare war on Germany after that attack. The speak German reference is that if the USA had not provided massive aid to the UK and eventually fought the Germans, the war in Europe would have been lost after France fell and the Germans began attacking the UK. Yes, there are bad laws that are infringing on a right that “shall not be infringed.” It has been an ongoing battle since our federal Constitution guaranteed our RKBA, with… Read more »


Komniefornia has concealed carry for anyone that would be legal to have one? Not when I lived there. MAY, not Must issue and the only people that MAY get one is not your average run of the mill person. They are held out for lawyers, doctors, judges, legislators movie stars and their family and friends etc. They are for the elite, unless you have enough money to buy off the person responsible for issuing them and you live in the right county.


> Neither did the attack on Pearl Harbor have anything to do with the Germans, but our president at the time, FDR, decided to declare war on Germany after that attack.

Actually, your grasp of the history is little off. Hitler declared war on the U.S. shortly after the U.S. declared war on his Asian ally – because of Pearl Harbor. Some time after that, the U.S. also declared war on Germany.

Pastor Roy

I think the author means that if not for the U.S. entering WWII and saving Britain from Hitler, the citizens of the U.K. would have been conquered by Germany.


Wow, it is rare to see such a disjointed serious of thought in a single paragraph. In the U.S., as with most other places, the cities exercise disproportionate influence. All those acts you mentioned were driven by city dwellers who were scared of firearms (Jeff Cooper referred to the phenomenum as “hoplophobia”). > Also, why would Hastings be writing in German? Had the Brits lost the war, Hitler intended to mandate German in English schools. By now, English might well be as obscure, or moreso, than Welsh or Gaelic. > The attack on Pearl Harbour has nothing to do with… Read more »