London, England

Gun control fails again in London, England; armed defense succeeds

We were told that criminals would obey the law. If they didn’t obey the first law, then criminals were sure to obey the next thousand. Here are recent examples that show how gun-control laws failed, and also what works.

I’ve been told that the U.S. should have gun-control laws like England and the rest of Europe. The first thing that tells us is that the speaker hasn’t traveled throughout Europe. Not all European countries are the same. Not all cities or parts of cities are the same. It also says that they’ve closed their eyes to the violence in many European cities. This news story talks about four people who were shot in a drive-by shooting while sitting in a London café. The attacker was on a motorcycle. One of the wounded victims was a 9-year-old girl who was sitting inside the restaurant. She is now fighting for her life and listed in serious condition. That is an example of gun-control laws failing to stop criminals. Unfortunately, there are many more examples.

Note the level of violence in London, England. With a population of almost 9 million people, there were 43 stabbings reported each day. Violent crime struck 27 out of 1,000 people in 2022. That is too many.

Those are only numbers. For comparison, the United States has the failed city of Chicago and U.S. citizens hear about the violence in Chicago every night. Though Chicago is less than half the size of London, the crime rate in Chicago was almost a third that of London at 10 out of 1,000 in 2019. That certainly undercounts the rate of violence in Chicago. Citizens stop calling the cops when the police take four hours to respond to a home invasion robbery.

Taken as a whole, the violent crime rate in the U.S. is 3.8 per 1,000. Note that the U.S. date is from 2022 so the U.S. rates have not completely recovered from their spike during COVID. Again, that statistic leaves something hidden. London is several times more violent than a failed U.S. city. In contrast, San Diego, California, is the safest U.S. city with a population over a million (1.3 million). The rate of violent crime in San Diego was 4.4 per 1,000 in 2023. London is over five times more dangerous for violent crime than San Diego.

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My point is not to bash Europe. We have knife attacks (and here) in New York City, as well. Some are in the so called “sensitive places” like Times Square where the victims are disarmed from carrying most knives and firearms by law. My point is that cities are different, and we need to look closer before we reach a conclusion.

The corporate media seldom covers stories where armed citizens stop violent crimes. Last week an armed bystander in a small Pennsylvania town assisted a police officer when a criminal started shooting at the officer. I mention that particular story because it happened last week, not because it is “news.” Those events are so common that they happen millions of times a year in the U.S., some 7,600 times a day. Some rural counties in Pennsylvania have a concealed carry rate that is 50% of the eligible adults.

Details matter. Read deeply. We are different.

Rob Morse writes about gun rights at his SlowFacts blog and hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast.

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