- If a total, nationwide ban on the possession of firearms
is supposed to curb gun crime, then why is it that the English are increasingly
the victims of gun-wielding criminals? According to a study released about
a month ago and which formed the basis of a recent article in USA Today,
the criminal use of firearms in the United Kingdom has increased by "almost
40 percent in three years, to 3,685 incidents from 2,648."
- Now, what makes this fact especially interesting is that
three years ago was precisely when England passed a comprehensive ban on
the private possession of handguns.
- According to the logic of gun control advocates, there
should have been less, not more (let alone much more) gun crime.
- Residents of the District are equally familiar with this
curious relationship. A total, nationwide ban on the possession of firearms
has not kept guns out of the hands of criminals.
- As the study by the Centre for Defence Studies at King's
College reveals, all that has been accomplished by the British gun ban
is the disarming of people who obey laws. "It is crystal clear,"
the study's authors concluded, "that legally held firearms are not
the problem, and that the existing gun laws do not lead to crime reduction..."
A British gun-control group, the Gun Control Network, emotionally responded
with the predictable mantra that "It is clear to the vast majority
of British citizens that any relaxation of gun controls, or the routine
arming of the police, would lead to an increase in the use of guns in crime."
- But the time has come to insist on more than emotional,
gratuitous assertions. It is, for example, historically incontrovertible
that gun violence in this country only became a problem relatively recently,
irrespective of the fact that firearms have been common items in American
households since the colonial era. It was not so very long ago that most
high schools had shooting clubs - yet school shootings were unknown. Teen-age
Boy Scouts practiced marksmanship - on targets, and without harming themselves
or anyone else.
- How do gun control groups account for all of this? They
don't. Facts and evidence that contradict their sloganeering are simply
ignored, dismissed, or swept under the rug. As, in all likelihood, will
happen to the King's College study. The same has already happened repeatedly
to the multiple, excellent and thoroughly researched works of Yale professor
- Meanwhile, gun control groups both here and abroad will
continue to push for the disarming of law-abiding citizens - with the practical
effect that they are at the mercy of well-armed criminals. This is disgraceful
and unconscionable - and can no longer go unchallenged