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Monday, December 24, 2012

We Shouldn't Emulate Britain

British media has been particularly critical of the United States gun ownership--notwithstanding that it was only 1 1/2 years ago that Britain was rocked by massive rioting and looting that left the English bemoaning their lack of any means of defending themselves--and the overall impression I get is that they (the British) would like to see the U.S. adopt gun control laws similar to those in the U.K. or Australia (not that it is any of their business ... just saying).

How has that worked out? The Daily Mail (one of the most vocal voices calling for greater gun control in America) has in the past reported that gun crime has consistently been increasing in the U.K. since its gun ban. For instance, this article from 2003 noted that crimes where firearms were used had increased overall in the U.K. by 35% in just the preceding 12 months, and that it had doubled since the post-Dunblane massacre gun ban had gone into effect. This article from October 2009 noted that gun crime (not including air guns) had increased 89% during the prior decade. More significantly, this article from July 2009 notes that Britain is the most violent nation in Europe, and has rates of violent crimes much greater than the United States. It noted that the U.K. had 2,034 violent crimes per 100,000 residents; whereas, the United States only had 466--that is 4.4 times the crime rate of the U.S. When you look at that article, also note that the violent crime rate in the U.S. is well below any of the European countries listed, and even less than Canada. Even Britain's vaunted Big Brother camera system has had, at best, only a negligible impact on crime. So, the British model is obviously a failure.

The Australian model does not appear to be much better. As I noted in a post from earlier this summer, Australia's crime rate also exploded after it enacted its gun ban. The Truth About Guns blog recently took a look at Australia's homicide and suicide statistics and found that while murders and suicides due to firearms had declined, the overall murder and suicide rates had not changed one wit. Apparently people wanting to kill others or themselves simply found other tools to do it with. So, the Australian model is also a failure.

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