When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have beer glasses

Union JackSo Britain banned handguns almost 20 years ago, and violence and criminality vanished forthwith from the scepter’d isle, bringing forth a new age of enlightment made possible by the lights of perverted science.

Just kidding. A weapon is where you find it, and the belligerent drunks of Old Blighty have one right at hand (emphasis ours):

Nearly 87,000 injuries are caused by glass attacks each year in England and Wales, according to the Home Office. Many more are hurt as a result of accidents.

The worrying figures have prompted a redesign of the classic pint glass, with police, facial surgeons, pubs and brewers all voicing concern about the high number of glassings.

The government hopes introducing safer pint glasses, still made of glass, will help reduce injuries. As well as the human cost, it also hopes it will reduce the financial burden of alcohol-related crime, which currently costs the NHS £2.7bn a year.

The two competing yob-proof glass designs. Naturally, we can’t let the market decide whether to adopt one or t’other, or stick with a regular glass. Nope, this is a task for trained professionals.

Note that the injuries aren’t caused by people attacking with glasses, but by, “glass attacks.” This kind of primitive animism, ascribing agency and motive to inanimate objects, often holds primitive societies back. Like, for instance, Britain, 2,000 years of history now preserved in an environment purged of the oxidizing agent of imagination.

We don’t know whether to be more appalled by the idea that business-as-usual over the pond means 90,000 people a year eating a pint glass at arm velocity, or by the fact that this is so common as to provoke a neologism into being (“glassing, n.”), or by the fact that everyone over yonder thinks it’s normal, routine, and altogether tickety-boo that the Government is redesigning the nation’s apparent single design for a beer glass. 

God Almighty, can you imagine the beer glass that, say, Harry Reid and John Boehner got together to design? It would cost a billion, be sole-sourced from companies their sons and nephews are lobbyists for, and have the open end at the bottom. (See “compact fluorescent light bulb mandate”).

Centrally planned beer glasses. We don’t think even the USSR did that, but then, they didn’t really need to; the USSR was marked by a 70-year shortage of quality beer. As Heinlein would say, bad luck.

But our Britons wander off the many paths of capitalism down the One True Path of Central Planning. And this is where it takes them:

Now, two new prototypes for beer glasses have been unveiled, as part of a programme involving the Design Council. Launched by the Home Office’s Design and Technology Alliance, the aim is to use design to tackle crime.

Designers say the new glasses will appeal to drinkers and have the potential to really reduce the number of glass-related injuries.

“The British love their pints of beer,” says David Kester, of the Design Council. “We wouldn’t want to take someone’s enjoyment and pleasure away.”

My dear Kester, you do understand that the essence of the problem is not the lethality of the propulsive object, but the attitides of that subset of Britons (we believe the term is “yobs”) whose “enjoyment and pleasure” come from bashing-in, say, the faces of supporters of a different football club? The mind is the ultimate weapon; the beer glass is merely the instantiation of an impulse formed in the amygdala, without intermediation or restraint from the cerebral cortex.

Take away the beer glass, or the injury-causing potential of the beer glass, and your basic yob picks up the ashtray or barstool, and “glassing, n.” fades into historical obscurity while leading articles tut-tut about “ashtrayings,” “stoolings” or “chairings.”

“This is not a silver bullet. It is one idea that can make a significant difference. We hope to save lives and reduce suffering.”

via BBC News – Last orders for pint glass as we know it?.

Look, you can try to make the bar environment yob-proof (recognizing that the oxygen and fuel needed to set a yob afire are both ever-present, potential yobs & Judgment Juice; and that yobs are sentient and adaptive creatures), or you can do something about the yobs.

And there’s the fact that even Britons ought to know by now that when a bunch of Government boffins emerge from a lab with a new version of something like a beer glass that they pinky-swear is “just as good” as the old one, but meets some imagined social need, wariness is next to godliness.

After all, nobody needs a beer glass. Why, pour a sippy cup for the yobs, and violence will be over! Around the time the Green Energy Initiative powers our world with unicorn flatulence.

Hey, has anybody ever tried just banning booze? Wouldn’t that be the gateway to Utopia?

26 thoughts on “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have beer glasses

    1. Bill K

      The Brits could just forgo the expense and serve their beer in Dixie cups. It would be rather hard I would think to die by papering. But then I suppose some Scot would accuse them of being Southerners, and the rubber chair fight would be on. With some NHS fobbit as chairman, I suppose.

  1. Stefan van der Borght

    The Kiwis fixed their field improv armed barfight problem by installing steel furniture, bolted to the floor. Now it’s hunky dory. Instead of having a sozzled Maori giant smash a chair on your head, he simply uses your head as the weapon to attack the chair. Being stainless, at least it’s easier to swab up the remains.

    1. Y.

      You’re joking.

      NZ gov’t made all bars install steel furniture bolted to the floor?

      That has to be a joke.

  2. gbob

    Awesome, best thing Ive seen today. Of course, i prefer the double glass design, less worry about resin in my warm beer. Wankers.

  3. Bill K

    Now if they outlawed beer glasses altogether, someone should open a bar that serves beer from the ceiling with sprinklers. Might not do for Baptists, but I bet the Lutherans would attend.

  4. Expat

    As a veteran of many a bar fight (or at least a veteran of getting out of the way) in Mother England and her far sprung offspring, I can tell you you’ve got the concept slightly wrong.
    Yabos is the full name and refers to our cousins who are somewhat disadvantaged in life. Think Redneck assholes but without the education.
    Glassing is the verb you want to use. It doesn’t mean throwing anything as these guys (and girls) all throw like girls and can’t hit a thing. Baseball isn’t their game and a straight arm cricket hurl mostly leads to bouncing it off the floor. What they do instead is break the glass on the bar and grind it into the closest face. All very charming and seems to be why there are towels prelaid along the bar top.

      1. Hognose Post author

        Heh. “Maßkrugschlagerei” usually ends in bloodshed. Yeah. And amusing that the doer in one case was a Mexican. That’s usually our problem.

  5. TRX

    “Hey, at least we will still be able to get real glass instead of paper or a soft plastic cup! ”

    Sometimes it’s more insidious. A friend spent several months in [a European country], soaking up ambiance and beer. When he returned, he was startled to realize that American beer cans, bottles, and glasses came in different sizes, from stubby to giant. Where he’d been, though there were possibly hundreds of brands of beer available, all beer bottles, cans, and glasses were the same size; one bottle always correctly filled one glass. No more, no less. So you could have a hundred different brands of beer, but only in precisely defined “units of beer,” one (1) each.

  6. Think Defence

    You proposal that people will resort to using ashtrays is somewhat flawed as smoking is not allowed in pubs (or indeed any public building or workplace). No smoking, no ashtrays!

    There are about 48,000 pubs in the UK and although the stats on glass related injuries is for England and Wales only even with that taken into consideration you can see that equates to only a very small handful per pub per year. Also, nightclubs and other drinking venues would add to the venue total and therefore reduce the injuries per venue.

    Which, is a reasonable trade off when the alternative is shooting people with handguns

    The beer glass has to conform to regulations because draft beer is sold by the pint although there are a number of variations on the theme and I don’t expect this would be mandatory or anything like that.

    All in all, sounds like a dose of common sense to me

    Oh, and football related violence pails into insignificance when compared to others, if you really want a good laugh, have a look at accident and injury statistics that are non violence related.

    1. Hognose Post author

      While that’s only a couple “glassings” per pub per year, one suspects that many pubs never see one, and some pubs are “well known to the police.”

      Most people in the US who get shot with handguns are either career criminals getting whacked by competitors (or irritated suppliers), or justifiable homicides. It’s very rare to have road rage or bar fights turn into a shooting. It is a little more common in the “hip-hop culture,” but it’s still pretty rare. 99-point-many9s percent of bar or club goers never witness a shooting, let along participate in one as shooter or victim.

      One reason crime stats seem high in the USA is that we are pretty thorough about reporting violent crimes. I imagine the UK is also practices intensive reporting.

      When I was last drinking in the UK, the smoking in the pubs or dance halls (showing my age, eh?) was thick enough to be physically irritating. Is the smoking ban relatively recent?

      1. Think Defence (@thinkdefence)

        I can honestly say in all the pubs I have ever been have never once seen a glassing, not once. I must only go to the nice places!

        The smoking ban came in in 2007, a shame in many ways because combined with the rise of cheap supermarket alcohol and longer supermarket opening times pubs have been closing at a rapid rate.

        Smoking in pubs and bars is no done outside in ‘smoking shelters’

        1. Hognose Post author

          Next, you’ll be telling us there’s someplace outside London to get lunch at 2:30PM. First, Blair takes down the House of Lords, now this! Is nothing sacred?

  7. Stefan van der Borght

    Y:
    No, the Kiwis didn’t go full retard/fascist on the whole population, just the worst bits where the Maoris watched “Once were Warriors” and conflated that to mean courage in a bottle, rather than from the heart. It’s rare to read in history where stone age savages beat the British Empire to a treaty, but the Maoris did. If you’ve seen a Maori, you’d understand a little; and if you look at the NZ landscape and the tribal organisation of the time, and consider the likely condition of the redcoat and his weapons at the time of the Crimean War, you’d understand a lot more. Nowadays the entitlement victim mindset has been promulgated by the usual suspects, with the usual effects. It keeps them disorganised and discordant, and off the backs of those that really would look good on the wrong end of an angry Maori. Ever seen the Haka? Imagine that performed by real warriors and not just footballers.

    When I was Oz mil. we recognised Kiwi mil; big, white and ugly, or big, black and ugly. Nice to have on your side.

    1. Hognose Post author

      I recall a rugby game against a Kiwi team. I got a view of a rather large Maori from the cleats of his shoes on up. Kiwis (white, Maori or whatever-the-hell) are damned good guys to have on your side. And very difficult to beat at rugby. (Actually, I’m not sure what it’s like to beat them, but can testify that it can be painful to lose. Not just from the hangover).

    2. Y.

      Ever seen the Haka? Imagine that performed by real warriors and not just footballers.

      I suspect the reasons for the treaty had more to do with logistics of kicking Maori ass at the other end of the world than with Maori martial skills or organisation. And perhaps the fact that at that point Maori had been fighting each other with muskets for close to forty years, ever since a tribal leader got the bright idea of buying some muskets in order to take captives who could be made to grow cash crops which could be traded for more muskets…Thirty years of tribal warfare followed until the muskets were equitably divided and no tribe had a clear technological superiority.

  8. J. Wilde

    What happened to the good old days when “glassing” meant “nuclear/orbital deathray bombardment such as to render the surface of the world unto glass”?

  9. Expat

    One of the reasons the UK murder rate is less than the States is in the UK it’s not classified a murder unless there’s a homicide conviction attached to the dead body. So if they find some dude in the street with knife (or beer glass) in his back it’s not listed as a homicide unless they manage to convict a guy of homicide and not some lesser crime or never find the guy in the first place – or he went back to Pakistan.

  10. Paul Robinson

    As a “Wild Goose” who has flown from Northern Ireland (the little far flung Brit corner) to Frogland, i have more memories of poor sods being bottled more often than glassed. Naturally in my former corner of the Emerald Isle we have many creative ways of disabling, disfiguring, and killing each other. 9 times out of 10 any bar fights i’ve seen majority of participants too plastered to break a glass or bottle, and resulting kerfuffle, is more like a slow drunken dance than a fight. Of course having that Ulster/Scots mix in the blood, we are loathe to waste alcohol and seen several so called fights where participants fight with one hand, and both feet, with other hand desperately trying to save the glass and it’s contents. Here in France beer glasses 99% of time too fancy and like wine glasses or brandy snifters, and when broken smash into pieces too tiny for offensive weapons – close in pushing and shoving while muttering Gallic insults, more common, until one participant passes out from exposure to opponent’s halitosis. Vive la difference biloute.

  11. Tricia

    Of course, the Big G uses the same rhetoric as with guns: the glasses cause the accident….people are absolved of the consequences of their actions, as they are if they don’t study in school and the only job they can obtain is to flip burgers or get paid to demonstrate. ….as they are when they don’t want to work but want to get paid, and many other foolish decisions, and then bigger, better govt steps in and saves them, at a price…..soon, the Big G will insist on babyproofing pubs: what if a drunk citizen hits his head on the bar and hurts himself, and stops drinking from the new-shatterproof-govt-designed glass?

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