Craig Dibble [email@example.com] wrote:
>> If so are guns banned there? I am curious as to the
>> statistics because it is my understanding guns are at least severely limited
>> in England, and that gun deaths are extremely small. If this is true, the
>> death from crime statistic in such an environment would be dispositive of the
>> debate as to whether gun ownership increases death rates.
Typical anti-gunner nonsense. The reality is, there are very few legal guns in Britain, and millions (police figures) of illegal guns. Very few people get shot, but lots of people get their brains bashed out of their skulls with blunt objects. Very few people got murdered a century ago, back when anyone with $2.50 to spare could get a license to carry a gun, and a gentleman's suit came with a 'pistol pocket' for precisely that reason; at the time -- prior to the growth of organized crime and corrupt government during Prohibition -- the American murder rate was roughly the same. And back then there were only a few dozen armed robberies with guns in London each year, whereas today there are many thousands.
So yes, the number of shooting deaths has probably gone down since the first anti-gun laws... but the number of murders has gone up, and the number of armed crimes has gone up massively. This whole 'banning guns reduces shooting deaths and we don't care about brains-beaten-out-of-the -skull deaths' is typical anti-gun spin; I'm concerned about being killed, I don't care whether I'm killed in the 'uncivilized' American fashion with a bullet or the 'civilized' British fashion by having my brains bashed out with a blunt object. Actually, thinking about it, I'd rather be shot.
Also worth noting is that there are a couple of states in America with similar murder rates to Britain despite -- or most likely because of -- comparatively lax gun laws; the US murder rate figures are massively inflated because of shootouts between inner-city drug dealers. Since Britain doesn't have the same kind of 'War on Drugs' such shootouts are rare, though the cigarette smugglers have been shooting each other fairly regularly in the last couple of years, including a couple of drive-bys; with massive cigarette taxes in Britain and little or none some places on the Continent, smuggling is a multi-billion-dollar industry today.
Interestingly, about eighteen months ago the British press was full of stories about 'getting guns off the streets' by banning legal handguns. As of a week or two ago after a TV presenter was shot dead on her doorstep, the press was full of stories bemoaning the ease with which criminals could buy or rent illegal handguns for use in crimes. Uh guys, we told you that back when you were pushing to ban them, I notice you didn't mention it then...
>If the population of the UK was scaled up to match the population of the USA
>would we find that the levels of violence or crime in general would be
>similar despite our different systems of laws,
No. Per-capita, many crime rates are much higher in Britain than America, for example assaults are more than twice as common; see the DoJ report at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/cjusew96.htm.
But hey, you're less likely to be shot, just more likely to be beaten to a pulp in the street by some drunken asshole... Gotta be a win.