will england :: politics of shooting : British gun ban may not be working

Violence Increases In Wake of British Gun Ban

January 26, 2000

I received this bit in the e-mail today from the Liberator Online, and just had to do some background checking on it -- unbelievable! Major news-agencies stating that banning guns just doesn't seem to be working. I've added my comments and a bit of additional research, as well as providing links to the original articles, where I could find them.

"A couple of years ago we reported on Britain's draconian Firearms 
Act of 1997, which tightened that country's already-severe gun laws and 
virtually disarmed the population, making armed self-defense illegal.
   
"Now the mainstream British media is reporting a massive new wave of 
crime, including gun crimes.

"On January 18, BBC News Online reported "a huge surge in 
muggings": "The figures for recorded offences, a blow to the 
government's anti-crime crusade, show the first rise in England and 
Wales for six years. The number of robberies - most of them muggings -
increased by 19% in the year to September 1999 compared with a fall of
nearly 6% over the previous 12 months."

Unfortunately, the sorce article has been removed from the BBC web site, so I am unable to provide links to it. My apologies.

Editors Note:

"The figures suggest that crime - which was falling for six years - has gone up slightly, by 2.2% - but it's not clear why. In some areas - 24 police forces - crime fell; two areas - the West Midlands and London - accounted for most of the increase - if it hadn't been for those two areas crime would have fallen. "
(from Q&A: Crime Figures

Isn't that also the same time frame that nearly all personally owned guns were confiscated? Sure does seem like it. Draw your own conclusions. Anyway, back to the article from the Liberator:

"The headline for a January 16 London Times article was: "Killings Rise 
As 3 Million Illegal Guns Flood Britain." Total crime in London rose by 22% 
for the year September 1998-1999, and armed crime rose 10%. Gun prohibition 
has also created a massive new black market smuggling in powerful guns for 
criminals.

From the UK Sunday Times

Editor here again: More clips from the article. Liberator Online missed the best bits! Continuting on fron the article in the Sunday Times, we see:

Anti-gun campaigners hoped the handgun ban after Dunblane - where 
Thomas Hamilton shot dead 16 children and a teacher - would reduce 
firearm crime. The latest figures, however, show crime involving 
weapons is on the increase. Home Office figures reveal that, over-
all, armed crime rose 10% in 1998.

Kate Broadhurst, a researcher at the Scarman Centre, said: "Controls 
on legally held firearms are clearly unlikely to have much of an 
impact."

Editors Note (me again!): And, now the truth comes out! Further down the page in the Sunday times you see:

Home Office officials insist (...) the handgun ban was never intended to combat 
firearms-related crime, but was a direct response to Dunblane, which involved 
legally held handguns.

Or in otherwords, they just wanted to disarm law-abiding citizens, er, subjects. Continuing with the article from the Liberator:

"The January 14th Manchester Guardian reported that city is now being 
called "Gunchester." Police -- who are usually unarmed -- report some gangs 
are now armed with fully automatic weapons and that guns are "almost a fashion 
accessory" among young street criminals.

Quotes from The Guardian

"The June 20, 1999 Sunday Express reported: "In recent months there have 
been a frightening number of shootings in Britain's major cities, despite new 
laws banning gun ownership. Our investigation established that guns are available 
through means open to any criminally-minded individual." The government's response? 

Plans being discussed include: further increasing penalties for gun possession; 
cracking down on drugs; creating a national DNA database of both innocent and 
convicted citizens; and restricting knives and air guns.


"(Sources: papers as named; BBC News Online; op-ed by Michael S. Brown)"

So, it seems to be real. Wow. Perhaps politicians in your part of the world should see this -- Feel free to reprint this page and mail to your local and national representatives.

Will England


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Updated Tuesday, February 28 2006 @ 01:29pm