Re: Safe Gun-Free Britain (was Re: Guns [was Re: property Rights])

Charlie Stross (
Fri, 28 May 1999 16:19:31 +0100

On Fri, May 28, 1999 at 04:47:09AM -0700, wrote:
> Typical anti-gunner nonsense. The reality is, there are very few legal guns
> in Britain, and millions (police figures) of illegal guns.

The police have a vested interest in exaggerating the problem of illegal firearms, just as they have an interest in exaggerating the value of seized drug hauls. Last figures I heard suggested 250,000 illegal guns at most, and probably a lot less, in the UK.

> Very few people
> get shot, but lots of people get their brains bashed out of their skulls
> with blunt objects.

Please quantify. IIRC, the murder rate per capita in the UK is about a tenth of the murder rate in the USA, although for lesser crimes the rates are generally similar.

If widespread gun ownership deters crime, then one would expect the USA to be a crime-free zone compared to the UK -- or expect the UK to have much higher crime levels than Switzerland.

Note that I am _not_ trying to make a case for banning guns; I deplore the UK's gun control regime. However, I believe that the issues surrounding violence in American society are orthogonal to the widespread ownership of guns; there are cultural influences at work here that bear investigation.