Has any country got gun laws right?

25 August 2012

Every time there is a shooting in the US there is an eruption of sanctimony from Europe about how crazy the US gun-laws are.  But there are some good reasons for those laws, and many Americans feel gun-ownership to be an important part of what keeps them American.

However, the downsides are just awful.  Gun-murder rates in the US are appalling, and though advocates of the US gun lobby always say ‘guns don’t kill people – people kill people’, the fact is that people with guns can kill more people than those without guns.  The Colorado cinema shooter being just one recent example.

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But nobody has got it right, have they?  After all, it is possible that the man who shot his former colleague outside the Empire State Building in New York on Friday was so determined to do what he did that he would have obtained a gun and shot the colleague even if he had been in Britain operating under our gun laws. The shootings committed by Raoul Moat in 2010 suggest he could have done it here.  You can’t completely stop bad people doing things.  But you can certainly limit their actions.

Which brings me on to the arming of police.  I’ve always favoured arming some police but am never sure about proportions.  For instance, the atrocity which Anders Breivik was sent to prison for in Norway on Friday could certainly have been halted far earlier if armed police were not so few and far between in that country.

But then you see a case like that in New York on Friday and you wonder if there are just too many police armed there.  After shooting his victim the New York gunman appears to have tried to wander off.  But two policemen caught up with him, he pulled out his gun, and in the process of shooting the culprit the police appear to have been the cause of the shooting – and wounding – of nine pedestrians.  That’s the problem.  If you don’t arm enough police then you are in terrible trouble in a Breivik type situation.  But if all the police are armed then two police officers can – as they appear to have done in New York – fire 16 rounds to shoot one gunman down and end up shooting pedestrians too.

It is a mess isn’t it?  Does any reader know of a country that has got this one right?

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Show comments
  • forthurst

    The case of the NYDP shooting is presented as a false dichotomy. The issue is actually about affirmative action and the consequent need to reduce entry standards into the police so that certain minorities are not ‘artificially’ excluded. The police involved in this crime were using their weaponry for the first time. Affirmative action is a dangerous and destructive policy designed by the usual suspects to exclude white people from doing the jobs they are best qualified for.

    Furthermore, in the case of the shooting at the Sikh Temple, eye witnesses inside the building stated that contrary to the lone-nut-white-supremacist-we-need-to-take-all-their-guns-away, there were four shooters, swathed in black; the surveillance cameras were turned of’. This then was clearly a psyops designed to bolster the case for overturning the 2nd Amendment.

    Most US gun crime is between low lifes. Take away law abiding peoples’ guns and that would no longer be the case.

  • RichardH

    Almost without exception, the murderers we fear (ie the stranger attack, not the wife batterer), whether they used guns or otherwise, have a previous criminal record as long as your arm.
    The problem is not banning guns or not. It’s banning the scumbags. We have untold opportunities to rid ourselves of the scumbags but we don’t do it. They laugh at us, as do their libtard promoters.

  • Malfleur

    Well, Syria almost and, before it, Libya. The principle must be for the people to have more firepower than the government.

    The USA is groping for the right balance:

  • Tigger

    How could armed Norwegian policemen, who already carry guns in their cars, have stopped Breivik earlier? Don’t let facts spoil you argument.

  • Olaf

    Teach people to use and respect firearms. Most people’s experience with a firearm is restricted to watching a Hollywood movie or playing a FPS game. I think we probably had the balance right about 10 years ago but the police could have been a bit more sensible with regard to mental illness and firearm ownership. Now the meeja has got hold of it and everything that goes ‘bang’ has been demonised. So if you want to own a gun to shoot vermin or clays, or a rifle to shoot targets or rabbit you’re obviously a nutter and probably a paedo too.

  • Baron

    By 1997, it took nearly 40 years for crime where guns were used to reach just under 5,000 cases pa, then the Blair lot eager to do anything to get elected blamed the Dunblane schoolchildren massacre on legal ownership of hand-held guns and brought in a ban costing the taxpayer some £175mn, and you know what?, within another four years, yup, just four years not forty, the number of crimes involving guns doubled compared with 1997 to just under 10,000 pa. After this step up hike, due almost entirely to the ban, the gun crime has kept trending up as before 1997.

    Amongst the tsunami of useless legislation enacted by the Labour loonies the Firearms Act 1997 did unquestionably damage to thousands of families that would have not suffered if the Act wasn’t on the statute books, yet no party, no individual MP has had the guts to get rid of it.
    What a country, ha?

  • Nicholas

    As our country descends into sectarian violence and imported gang crime I’d be happier with a gun in my bedside drawer to defend my home and family. I’d be happier if my law abiding neighbours had guns in their bedside drawers too. Englishmen once had the right to defend hearth and home until successive Home Offices and police mandarins decided it was more important to disarm law abiding citizens than criminals.

    • Baron

      hear, hear and once more hear

  • Hugh Rupert Hoxley

    When you ban everyone in society from defending themselves with weapons what you are really doing is banning only the law abiding citizens from defending themselves because *criminals ignore laws*. That means that the only people carrying weapons are those most likely to commit violence. So we end up living in a society of defenseless good people. To a criminal, that is like a sweet shop. He knows he can do anything he wants without much resistance.

    We cannot rely on the police to prevent crime, they are always minutes away.

  • Colt 45

    Look up the FBI crime stats. and you’ll that the vast majority of murders in the USA are blacks murdering other blacks.

  • Asmodeus

    The US had pretty much the same gun laws in the 1940s and 1950s without any explosion in gun crime.Likewise the UK attitude to firearms was laxer with a good number of hand guns such as Leugers left over from the war knocking about technically illegal but unlikely to result with anything but a small fine for anyone caught with one.It is the human product that has changed in both countries not the guns.Many people have not the self discipline to cope with the freedoms that previous generations had.

  • Asmodeus

    The US had pretty much the same gun laws in the 1940s and 1950s without any explosion in gun crime.Likewise the UK attitude to firearms was laxer with a good number of hand guns such as Leugers left over from the war knocking about technically illegal but unlikely to result with anything but a small fine for anyone caught with one.It is the human product that has changed in both countries not the guns.Many people have not the self discipline to cope with the freedoms that previous generations had.

    • Nicholas

      Luger. The gun was known for its designer Georg J Luger.

      • Asmodeus

        I stand corrected.

  • Kevin

    people with guns can kill more people than those without guns

    The fact is that people with guns can kill more people if the latter are without guns. That is the lesson of Utoya Island, Derek Bird and Aurora. It is also plain common sense. No-one has the right to prevent another from taking appropriate precautions for his own defence.

  • Redneck

    I used to be proud of Great Britain’s attitude to gun-control: the police will use them rarely but criminals will do similarly.
    Nowadays, with a tsunami of immigrants from relatively lawless nations the world over, I feel that indigenous Britons will have to arm themselves. We cannot trust the State to look after our lives, they just want to rub our noses in diversity no matter the cost.

    I’d rather go down fighting than trust my family’s safety to a bunch of diversity-enforcers.

    • M. Wenzl

      Redneck indeed

      • Redneck

        M. Wenzl
        Would you be gracious enough to explain your comment?

  • Austin Barry

    Utopia. Everywhere else the dynamic is faulty to a lesser or greater degree. But the more our ruling elites become fearful and fail to address the economic and social mess they have created, the more the people will come to accept that gun ownership is warranted.

  • rosie

    Switzerland seems to have got it right. There it is compulsory for every Swiss male over 18 to own a gun. To uphold the armed neutrality. You may see them being carried about on the trains.
    The trick is in how the young men are brought up.
    As in Japan, where karate means you don’t need a weapon to kill someone – it was invented when weapons of all kinds were banned by the Chinese mainland – the young men know how to restrain themselves. The guns are not the problem.
    I expect some people will say in Switzerland that it is a terrible problem because when depressed men kill themselves, and occasionally their families, it is with a gun. But here it is often done with a car. No-one says cars should be outlawed – despite 3,000 accidental deaths as well as the intentional ones, and 40,000 maimings a year. A lot worse in percentage terms than 9/11.

    • AY

      9/11 wasn’t “accidental” – as well as not accidental is your attempt to trivialize murder and humiliate victims by playing with this fog of relativist distortion.

      in present days Britain, either legal or illegal weapons in hands of homegrown jihadis will fast transform country into pakistani or somali type wasteland.
      responsible government must ensure it never happens.
      some “communities” just can not be trusted, – this is the reality of this balkanized country.
      Switzerland is irrelevant. they don’t have muslim citizen so they still can afford gun laws based on trust.

      • Ron Todd

        In the case of Jihadis it is explosives not guns I worry about. An armed police or even an armed citizenship is of little use is stopping sucide bombers unless we know about them in advance if we know about them in advance the police usually can deal with them without shooting before they get to the strapping on the explosives stage. How many of us would shoot somebody without the 100% certainty that they were about to blow themselves up?

        Guns would not stop the petty harasment. The trying to intimidate white people out of ‘their part of town’ (I experienced that in Southampton) or make their treatment oif their own women any better or postal voting fraud.

      • OldSlaughter

        Really, so how many of our shootings are done by Muslims?

        Or are you just the sort that will pin anything on them?

        • AY

          no interest in “pinning” anything to muslims.
          it’s enough to hear what they say and see what they do, in order to decide if they are trustworthy.

          • OldSlaughter

            Yeah? How mature of you. So explain then, how big a problem is Muslim gun crime in the UK.

            • AY

              muslim problem is big in the UK and worldwide.
              FYI – since 9/11 muslims had turned half planet to bloody mash.
              do you reckon it is time to hand them firearms here?

              • WTF?

                ??? It’s us who have gone over there to blow up their countries, and presently threatening more! I doubt you are british, you sound more like another Hasbara activist.

                • AY

                  West is fighting terrorists not “countries”.
                  there is no choice – we didn’t start this war.

                  “their countries” – muslims destroy themselves.

                  what do you mean by “british”?
                  were the 7/7 bombers (muslims born in the UK) – “British”?
                  was Rosalind Franklin (a Jew born in the UK) – “British”?

                • WTF?

                  You really don’t have a clue. You can start to get one by looking at the other point of view. Not easy with a biased media.

                • AY

                  i am fully aware of “the other point of view”:

                  1) root cause of isalmic terror – Western arrogance and imperialism
                  2) joos are evil trolls eating palestinian children
                  3) islam is religion of peace, 100% indigenous in Britain
                  4) 7/7 was the retaliation for UK support of America and Israel
                  5) “islamophobia” jeopardizes “community cohesion”
                  6) British army kills innocent people in afghanistan
                  7) “if one replaces Japanese people by pakistanis in Japan, it will still be the same Japan – nothing to worry about, all people are essentially the same”

                  i don’t agree with all that.

      • rosie

        “they don’t have muslim citizen so they still can afford gun laws based on trust.”
        I am glad you have grasped this detail of the broader point, even if you didn’t get the rest of my gist!
        This was that a monocultural nation can both defend itself and trust its subjects if it brings up its young men to fit in with and perpetuate that strength. Liberty, prosperity, national independence, and peace will result.
        I never suggested 9/11 was accidental: just that the shocking number of deaths that day in the USA is reached here annually on the roads, accidentally, and the proportion of annual deaths here is greater than that day’s tally there. This was as a rider to the point about cars being used for suicide and murder here rather than guns, but not being outlawed on account of it. Not a trivial point, and not humiliating to anyone – bereaved, dead, alive, or maimed.

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