Gun grabbers' British legacy: ''More carrying firearms as fashion accessories''

Despite the fact that handguns were banned in that country in 1997, the (UK) Independent is reporting on record levels of gun crime in Great Britain, and says Scotland Yard blames the rise on the fact that teen-aged criminals, who increasingly believe that illegally carrying firearms is "fashionable", are now more willing than ever to settle "trivial disputes" with a gun.

From the story:

Record levels of gun crime are being blamed on the fact that more people than ever are carrying firearms as fashion accessories.

Figures published this week by the Home Office are expected to show that offences involving guns have soared by as much as 50 per cent in some parts of the country.

The greatest rises have been in the number of people found in possession of firearms and in the number of attempted murders.

Nearly half of police forces surveyed by The Independent on Sunday report a rise in gun-related offences. Those questioned include the Metropolitan, Hampshire and Bedfordshire forces.

In London, a major area of concern is still black-on-black gun crime, despite huge efforts by the Met to combat such violence. According to Operation Trident, the Met's unit combating black gun crime, offences in the capital rose by more than 50 per cent during 2005, with 164 offences recorded between April and October. This is compared with only 108 the previous year.

Operation Trafalgar, which focuses on gun crime in other communities, saw a total of 536 people arrested last year, as well as 74 firearms, 354 rounds of ammunition and 5.5 kilos of class A drugs seized.

The newspaper goes on to report that outside London, the figures also show a disturbing rise in the use of guns.

In Bedfordshire, gun-related offences have risen by 20 per cent over the past two years, from 173 in 2004 to 207 in 2005. The number of cases where people were found carrying a gun more than doubled from 19 to 43 in the same period. There was also a rise in the number of stolen firearms seized - 18 compared with one the year before.

Gun violence has more than doubled in Durham over the past year and in Dorset the number of people found in possession of a gun has increased by 150 per cent, though the force's overall gun crime figures have fallen.

As author James Swan puts it, "The rate of violent crime in England and Wales is more than double the United States. It is now more dangerous to walk the streets of London than New York."

The failed foreign social experiment of gun bans must never be allowed to meet our shores. It is up to all of us. It is up to you.

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