Saturday, March 03, 2007

Disarmed UK sees bigger rise in violent crime: "Regarding Tom Teepen's rant last month against the National Rifle Association: ... Yes, as Teepen says, the NRA has lobbyists with a lot of political clout. And yes, it is concerned about the Democratic majority because Democrats have historically been anti-Second Amendment. But rather than describing the NRA reaction as 'hysteria,' why don't we show a little honesty and let statistics speak for themselves: ... between 1997-2001, violent crime in the United Kingdom increased by 26 percent (no doubt one of Teepen's 'putatively civilized' countries with 'common-sense gun control'), while the gun-mad U.S. saw a 12 percent increase. The increase for 2000-2001 was 11 percent in the U.K. and 1 percent here."

Guns in Britain: "Illegally held guns are flooding Britain’s inner cities and a spate of fatal shootings in London has highlighted gun culture’s allure to disaffected youth. This comes despite the best efforts of the law and its enforcers to restrict the supply of guns. Yet, any man, woman or street urchin could own a gun in Victorian Britain — at least until 1870 when a licence fee was charged if they wanted to carry the weapon outside their home. And, surprisingly, there was very little gun crime. The right to own firearms was enshrined in the 1689 Bill of Rights (the Americans had to get their ideas from somewhere) and as late as 1900 the Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury, was happy to declare how much he would “laud the day when there was a rifle in every cottage in England”. There were a quarter of a million registered firearms in private hands before the First World War and the true figure was almost certainly far higher. In those years the average number of crimes involving firearms in London was 45. In 2006 it was 3,350."

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