As one of your US readers, I must take exception to one of your statements:
".. some of our US readers may doubt that any Limey journo wiener could know anything of guns, weaponry, tactics etc."
While there *might* be _some_, I think that the majority of us Yanks are of the same opinion as myself:
I view anyone with a Brit accent as a viable hero in any sticky situation, - a potential James Bond, as it were - all being trained in 007-spy-like techniques and masters of any possible weapon - not being limited to firearms, but to include missile systems, broom sticks, bottle caps, string, silly putty, any number of pointy objects, cafeteria trays, and plates filled with food.
Even tho' your political system doesn't allow for silly things like free men (and women) with bear arms, castle homes, the right to self-defense, and what not, I believe that - in a pinch - any one of you could buckle down, grimace, and pick up a pop-bottle and proceed to mop the floor with evil doers, if necessity called for such.
Of course, one of the reasons you have to resort to newspapers and shoe laces is that you're much too civilized to want to freely own firearms for self-defense. And of course, you hardly NEED to use The Great Equalizer, what with the easy availability of bumbershoots and razor-rimmed bowler hats.
However, in the event that Germany does ever launch Operation Sea Lion, I'm afraid that we won't be able to send you shipments of personally owned firearms as was our habit in the past... it's not just the melt 'em down and dump 'em off shore attitude that occurred after the last unpleasantness on the continent, it's that -- well, we don't know how long WE'LL be "allowed" to keep our arms bare without all of us being chipped, tracked, and what not. We'll have to be a little more circumspect in our lending habits when it comes to long range percussive precision paper punches and other tools of self-determination. I'm sure you all understand, and anyway, you've got bicycle sprockets and pens and pencils to defend yourselves with.
One of the lost, in the colonies.
P.S. I'm not disparaging other UK accents... They certainly can fight and defend also. Scots - the original Bonds, with their dirks and sgian-dubhs, the Irish, with their shillelaghs and size 11's, the Welsh, with their - eh... pixies..., oh, and delightful melodic words... and... CANES. Yes. Distracting pixies, speaking so beautifully, and then WHACK in the shins or aside the melon. Did I miss anybody? Oh, um, yes.. the.. uh, West Country...-ites. With their... cows. And tractors. OK, I am evidently out of my element here. I'm going to go have a cider and consider my sins. Ta.