the G-man wrote:
Merry Farrell wrote:
well in the uk we dont have easy or legal access to firearms. same as a lot of countries. the whole 'only criminals would have guns boo hoo i gotta protect myself against them' arguement just doesnt wash with me. sure theres a lot of crime. very little involves guns.
- After the 1997 shooting of 16 kids in Dunblane, England, the United Kingdom passed one of the strictest gun-control laws in the world, banning its citizens from owning almost all types of handguns....
But this didn't decrease the amount of gun-related crime in the U.K. In fact, gun-related crime has nearly doubled in the U.K. since the ban was enacted.
- In reality, the English approach has not re-duced violent crime. Instead it has left law-abiding citizens at the mercy of criminals who are confident that their victims have neither the means nor the legal right to resist them. Imitating this model would be a public safety disaster for the United States.
The illusion that the English government had protected its citizens by disarming them seemed credible because few realized the country had an astonishingly low level of armed crime even before guns were restricted....
From 1991 to 1995, crimes against the person in England's inner cities increased 91 percent. And in the four years from 1997 to 2001, the rate of violent crime more than doubled. Your chances of being mugged in London are now six times greater than in New York. England's rates of assault, robbery, and burglary are far higher than America's, and 53 percent of English burglaries occur while occupants are at home, compared with 13 percent in the U.S., where burglars admit to fearing armed homeowners more than the police. In a United Nations study of crime in 18 developed nations published in July, England and Wales led the Western world's crime league, with nearly 55 crimes per 100 people.
Thatís a bit spurious really given that the banning of guns in the UK is unlikely to have had much of an impact on crime rates. We werenít like the Wild West beforehand, it isnít like every granny had a Saturday night special in her handbag and every homeowner had an M-16 under the bed, and for the majority of the population the post Dunblane legislation would have had very little impact on their daily lives.
I could quote stats from this year that shows crime rates in the UK continuing to fall as they have since í95 (though any stats are open to interpretation, one the one hand thereís the question of whether people are reporting all crimes, but on the other itís worth noting that something daft like 38% of reported gun crime in Scotland relates to air rifles!)
Still if weíre throwing articles aroundÖ
Overall, Branas's study found that people who carried guns were 4.5 times as likely to be shot and 4.2 times as likely to get killed compared with unarmed citizens. When the team looked at shootings in which victims had a chance to defend themselves, their odds of getting shot were even higher.
This dovetails neatly with the view in the UK that carrying a knife makes you more likely to be stabbed.
This isn't gonna change your views, any more than your stats will change mine. All I know is that I live in the UK and have never felt unsafe because I didn't have a gun. I haven't grown up around guns so I have a hard time understanding the viewpoint of many Americans regarding guns, in the same way I imagine many Americans wouldn't understand my viewpoint.
And yes, nutters will always find a way (a month or so ago somebody went nuts with a transit van in Wales) but a gun does make it easier, and whilst cars kill people all the time that isn't their designed purpose, they're a mode of transport primarily, whereas a gun's primary function is to kill (whether it's people or animals).
One final point, I get the idea that owning a gun gives you a perceived security against criminals, but I find the notion that somehow gun ownership keeps the government in check rather silly. At the end of the day if a totalitarian regieme took over guns in private hands wouldn't make a huge difference. the army/police force are always going to outnumber you, and are always going to be better armed and better trained.
I realise there'll be a Red Dawn response to this but just wanted my tuppence worth