The Gold Standard of Gun Control

Read Dave Kopel’s well documented review of Joyce Malcom’s book, Guns and Violence: The English Experience. It is an excellent summary of Malcom’s book describing how over the last century or so Great Britian has gone from a culture where all citizens took responsibility for the safety and security of their communities and society, to one where:

Coming to the aid of crime victims is strongly discouraged. British subjects are taught that, if they are attacked by a criminal, they should not yell “Help! Help!” because such cries might encourager a bystander to use physical force against the criminal. Rather, victims are supposed to yell, “Call the police.” Likewise, the government tells Britons that when they are attacked, they should not fight back, but should instead curl into a ball or take a similar defensive posture.

Through the gradual process largely outside the legislative process, Britons were disarmed and their “defend yourself and your fellow man” mentality was lost. After the Dunblane incident, where a known pedophile who should have been in prison used a handgun to murder kindergarteners, the Parliment banned non-government possession of handguns.

A July 2001 study from King’s College London’s Centre for Defence Studies found that handgun-related crime increased by nearly 40% in the two years following implementation of the handgun ban.[15] The study also found that there had been “no direct link” between lawful possession of guns by licensed citizens and misuse of guns by criminals.[16] According to the King’s College report, although the 1998 handgun ban resulted in over 160,000 licensed handguns being withdrawn from personal possession, “the UK appears not to have succeeded in creating the gun free society for which many have wished. Gun related violence continues to rise and the streets of Britain…seem no more safe.”[17]

A few weeks before the King’s College study was released, Home Office figures showed that violent crime in Great Britain was rising at the second fastest rate in the world, well above the U.S. rate, and on par with crime-ridden South Africa.[18] In February 2001, it was reported that 26 percent of persons living in England and Wales had been victims of crime in 1999.[19] Home Secretary Jack Straw admitted, “levels of victimisation are higher than in most comparable countries for most categories of crime.” On May 4, 2001, the Telegraph disclosed that the risk of a citizen being assaulted was “higher in Britain than almost anywhere else in the industrialized world, including America.”[20] The latest U.N. data show that Scotland (which has always kept separate criminal justice statistics from England and Wales) has the highest violent crime rate of any developed nation, and that England and Wales are not much better.[21]

Read the whole thing and keep it in mind when you hear that all the anti-gun countries around the world are so much safer than the United States.

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