October 29th, 2007 05:04 PM
Ministers 'covered up' gun crime.
Many advocates of gun control point to Great Britain as an example of a gun free paradise where violence and crime are rare.
Well, there may be trouble in paradise. Our friends across the Atlantic did tighten their already strict gun laws, with the Firearms Act of 1997, making self defense with a firearm completely impossible for ordinary people. Obedient British subjects generally maintained a stiff upper lip as they surrendered their guns and their rights.
How much did crime drop as a result of this sacrifice? It did not drop at all. In fact, according to the local newspapers, England is being swept by a wave of crime, including plenty of gun crimes.
Ministers 'covered up' gun crime.
THE government was accused yesterday of covering up the full extent of the gun crime epidemic sweeping Britain, after official figures showed that gun-related killings and injuries had risen more than fourfold since 1998.
The Home Office figures - which exclude crimes involving air weapons - show the number of deaths and injuries caused by gun attacks in England and Wales soared from 864 in 1998-99 to 3,821 in 2005-06. That means that more than 10 people are injured or killed in a gun attack every day.
This weekend the Tories said the figures challenged claims by Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, that gun crime was falling. David Davis, the shadow home secretary, tells her in a letter today that the “staggering findings” show her claims that gun crime has fallen are “inaccurate and misleading”.
The political row erupted as Merseyside police continued to question a 15-year-old boy about the murder last week of Rhys Jones in Croxteth, Liver-pool. The 11-year-old was returning from football training when he was shot by a hooded teenager on a bicycle.
Experts are examining a BMX bike abandoned in another area of the city. Six other teenagers, including two girls, from the Croxteth and Norris Green areas were in custody last night. Two others have been released on bail.
Senior officers believe Rhys died because he walked into the line of fire between the gunman and his intended target, who is thought to have been one of three teenagers 30-70 yards away.
Bernard Hogan-Howe, the chief constable of Merseyside, said yesterday: “We still need help in solving this crime. We need witnesses who are prepared to stand up in court.”
Hogan-Howe said he had invested “a huge amount of policing” into the gang-related problems in the Croxteth area and had had a great deal of success.
A minute’s applause was held yesterday at Goodison Park stadium where Everton, the team Rhys loved, were playing Black-burn Rovers. The 11-year-old’s murder has led to a public outcry against Britain’s gang and gun culture and a furious political debate about the government’s efforts to tackle the problem.
Smith last night proposed the setting up of neutral “drop-off zones” where illegal weapons could be handed in. “This means we can actually take that gun out of circulation and stop it from doing harm,” she said.
The Home Office has repeatedly denied gun crime is rising. Last week it pointed to the latest annual crime statistics, which appeared to show that overall gun crime was 13% down on the previous year.
But in his letter to Smith, released today, Davis said these claims were contradicted by figures “buried” in a Home Office statistical bulletin, published ear-lier this year. “[Here] we find the most revealing indication of the true gun-re-lated violence sweeping Britain. Gun-related killings and injuries (excluding air weapons) have increased over fourfold since 1998,” he wrote.
The Home Office said: "We remain fully committed to tackling gang culture and gun and knife crime through responsive policing, tough powers and funding prevention projects."
Rhys’s killing fell on the anniversary of the fatal shooting of Liam Smith, a senior figure in a local gang known as the Strand Gang. Several members of the rival Croxteth Crew were found guilty of his murder.
Locals had said they believed members of the Strand Gang were planning a reprisal shooting to mark the anniversary.
“We always deploy additional resources around these anniversaries,” said Chief Superintendent Chris Armitt. “But we are over half a mile here from Croxteth, and Norris Green is further away again. The additional resources [were] focused only where gangs predominantly operate.”
Extract from letter by David Davis, shadow home secretary, to Jacqui Smith, home secretary, August 24, 2007
Dear Jacqui, We are all concerned at the rising tide of violent crime that has manifested itself this week in a spate of shocking killings, including the tragic death of young Rhys Jones. You told GMTV this morning that “statistics aren’t a help but gun crime is down”. That is an extraordinary claim.
According to Home Office figures, gun crime (excluding air weapons) has almost doubled since Labour took office. The annual crime figures, released by the Home Office in July, suggest a 13% decrease on the previous year, which neglects the 18% increase in firearm homicides.
However, perhaps most telling is the massive increase in gun violence, disclosed on 25 January of this year (Homicides, Firearm Offences and Intimate Violence 2005-06, Home Office). Buried at page 36 . . . we find [that] . . . gun-related killings and injuries (excluding airguns) have increased by over fourfold since 1998.
In light of this information, your claim that gun crime is down is both inaccurate and misleading. One clear fact on gun-related violence is that if you don’t count it, you won’t be able to tackle it. Your predecessors opted for spin over substance. I hope that is a path you will avoid and would be grateful for an explanation of what action you plan.
Yours sincerely, David Davis
October 29th, 2007 05:11 PM
Obviously the poor lad died because of his 'BMX' bicycle.
All they need to do...is ban these so called 'BMX' bicycles from operation or even possession by all persons and thus no more children will be killed while riding 'BMX' bicycles.
Simple and plain, in England.
- Edward 'Longshanks'
"Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy
"A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing
October 29th, 2007 05:20 PM
Next you'll be trying to tell me that violent crime in Australia has risen as well. Oh, wait...
October 29th, 2007 05:32 PM
Great Post. Long read but the insight is appreciated.
Lex et Libertas — Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus, et Fidelis!
"Not only do the people who put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us deserve better, we all deserve better than to have our own security undermined by those who undermine law enforcement." -Thomas Sowell
October 29th, 2007 05:32 PM
Yeah, it's been no secret that violent crime in general has risen, but this is the first time that gun crime has been shown to be up.... WAY up. If this pans out, what a final, utterly damning nail in the coffins of the antis...
A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.
October 29th, 2007 05:35 PM
Like they'll care.
Originally Posted by OPFOR
October 29th, 2007 05:59 PM
Sorry but you can neither trust the media in britian nor the home office to be honest . To me it is sad to see the state our forefathers have come to ( at least in that all our laws are based on english common law , as is much of the world ) . Brittan has unfortunately decended into a " che fantasy " , and it will take some years to recover from , if they do . Fact is they have been and are headed socialist , and will keep banging on the " equality of all " while a certin segement of the " all " continue to prey on the good folks . Look at it from the US standpoint they have football holligans , while we have felon rioters , now there is not more caught here , but our mindset is different in that criminal acts are not just " hooligisim hijinks " but are real crimes .
Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .
Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.
October 29th, 2007 06:07 PM
Sad to say, but it won't matter, because they don't want gun control for the sake of increasing public safety. They want it for the sake of increasing govt. authority and power, and will sell it with any excuse or lie they can think of, no matter how many times it's proven wrong.
Originally Posted by OPFOR
"A well-educated electorate, being necessary to the continuance of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed."
Is this hard to understand? Then why does it get unintelligible to some people when 5 little words are changed?
October 29th, 2007 06:09 PM
Wow. One doesn't even need to put words in their mouths. People don't kill, apparently guns harm people all on their own.
“This means we can actually take that gun out of circulation and stop it from doing harm,” she said.
Funny, we have guns in the house and noone has died yet. I think I need to claim a warranty on them, they're malfunctional.
For anyone's curiosity, the Home Office is basically a combination of the FBI and the DHS. They're from the government and they're here to help. Run.
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