Shaggy, Dan, and I were at Sam’s Club on a soda run, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was playing on several of the large screens. I only caught a moment of the film — the Death Eaters were terrorizing the Quidditch Cup crowd. I watched as the crowd of thousands scattered in panic, fleeing before a dozen spell-flinging evil wizards, and I wondered…
This is not a muggle crowd. This is a crowd of magic-using folk. Don’t most — if not ALL — of these people have wands of their own? Why are none of them counterspelling, or attacking back?
What would happen if everybody at the Superbowl over the age of 16 had been trained in the use of a handgun, and was currently carrying… then, suddenly, a group of armed men with RPG launchers attacked the stadium?
Answer? Lots of panic, lots of fleeing, but in short order it would quiet down, and there would be several dead men lying beside their RPG launchers. After all, at least a thousand of those fans would NOT panic, and would shoot back.
The Harry Potter universe is an armed society. A very, very well-armed society. Those wands are far more powerful than handguns, and the grown-ups give them to children who carry them around all day at school.
(Note: I know, I know… it’s a FANTASY, and it was originally written for CHILDREN. But just because it’s fantasy doesn’t mean it we can’t comment upon the internal inconsistencies and incongruities of the fantasy world.)