Gun myths - Part two

Following on from last weeks post, here is Graham Showells, Gun myths part two.



Imposing harsh minimum sentences for gun possession is the best solution.
No amount of legislation will stop criminals arming themselves with illegal weapons and using them to kill and injure innocent, law-abiding people. The reason for this is because criminals don't obey laws, that's what makes them criminals in the first place.
How can we possibly use laws to protect us from people that don't obey laws? The problems we face here in Britain are nothing to do with inanimate objects such as knifes and guns. The problem is dangerous and violent people attacking others. 
Just because someone has a knife or gun it does not mean that they will murder or even harm another person. Most people can and should be trusted to behave responsibly.
Increasing minimum sentences for simple gun possession has created lots of problems and solved none.
Imagine someone that finds an old pistol during a clearout of his attic or a scared old man trying protect himself and his business from young, able-bodied criminals. 
Would sending any of these people to jail do anything to reduce violent crime ?
Of course not, but if minimum sentences are in place there would be no choice BUT to jail them, regardless of whether there was any criminal intent.
It's important to remember that not everyone in possession of a firearm intends to commit a crime, and it should be for a judge to decide what sentence a person gets, based on the circumstances under which the gun was found.
(Source  -  BBC News - March 2011)
(Source  -  BBC News - March 2009)


We should arm the police to deal with gun violence and gun massacres.
Imagine someone working alone in a shop. A robber enters the shop, pulls out a gun, points it in the shopkeepers face and demands the days takings. There is no armed police officer in the shop and there is no armed officer anywhere NEAR the shop either.
How would arming the police help this defenceless robbery victim ?
You need to realise the police cannot protect you from criminals. When police attend a 999 call, in 99% of cases the crime is over and all the police can do is take a statement, call an ambulance or take a photo of the dead victim's body.
Another important consideration is that when police arrest someone for carrying a defensive weapon they disarm them, leaving them unable to protect themselves against violence. By doing this the cops make it easier for criminals to operate, making them more likely to commit violent crime and making their own jobs even harder.
Guns in the hands of the people are tools of liberty and freedom. When only the government and police have guns, a country can very easily become a police state. The section called "Guns and Tyranny" explains this in more detail.


We've always had tough gun laws in Britain.
You may be surprised to learn that before 1920, Britain had no laws concerning the carrying or ownership of guns.
A quote from firearms expert and former police officer Superintendent Colin Greenwood -
"England entered the twentieth century with no controls over the purchasing or keeping of any type of firearm, and the only measure which related to the carrying of guns was the Gun Licence Act, requiring the purchase of a ten shilling gun licence from a Post Office. Anyone, be he convicted criminal, lunatic, drunkard or child could legally acquire any type of firearm and the presence of pistols and revolvers in households all over the country was fairly widespread.
England at that time was a country where guns of every type were familiar instruments and where anyone who felt the need or desire to own a gun could obtain one. The cheaper guns were very cheap and well within the reach of all but the very poor. The right of the Englishman to keep arms for his own defence was still completely accepted and all attempts at placing this under restraint had failed."  
The UK had very little armed violence during this time.
Legal access to firearms has been restricted progressively since 1920, right up to the strict and grossly unfair gun laws that we have today. It's also noticeable that violent crime rates have risen each time the country's gun laws have been tightened. 
(Source - BBC News November 2007 ) (PDF File)
(Source - The Right To Armed Self-Defence by David Botsford) (PDF File)


Britain has only a fraction of the violent crime of the United States.
Each year, the United Kingdom experiences more violent crimes than all 50 US states put together. According to the British Crime Survey, the UK had more than 2.5 million violent crimes in 2008. This works out to be a violent crime rate of 2,000 offences per 100,000 residents.
The United States, with a population 5 times that of the UK, had only 1.4 million violent crimes during the same period. This works out to be a violent crime rate of 466 offences per 100,000 residents
This means that Britain has a crime rate that is actually more than 4 times that of the United States. The true violent crime rate of the UK is probably far higher as many people simply don't bother reporting crimes as they feel that nothing will be done.
The reason is for this difference in crime rates is that in the U.S. concealed handguns appear to deter criminals from committing crimes.
In the UK, there is nothing to deter criminals at all.
(Source -  Federal Bureau Of Investigation 1990 - 2009 Crime Statistics )
(Source - Telegraph Newspaper  -  July 2009) (PDF File)

1 Comments:

Bill said...