When Massacres Force Change: Lessons from the U.K. and Australia

Separate mass shootings sixteen years ago in the U.K. and Australia prompted soul-searching, anger and a rapid political response in both London and Canberra. The resulting legislation saved lives.

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David Gray / Reuters

An Australian police official inspecting a pile of about 4,500 prohibited firearms that had been handed in over the past month under the Australian government's buyback scheme in in Sydney on July 28, 1997

Gun-control advocates in the U.S. are hoping 2012 marks a turning point in the country’s struggle with gun violence. The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary — where most of the 26 victims were killed with an assault rifle similar to the M-16 rifle issued to U.S. soldiers — might spur Washington lawmakers into action following a year of grisly, tragic mass shootings. There are now calls to reinstate a federal ban on assault weapons; the weeks ahead may see a heated debate over the long-enshrined place of guns in American society.

In other words, 2012 may be the watershed moment 1996 was for two countries that have shared histories and bonds with the United States. Separate mass shootings 16 years ago in the U.K. and Australia prompted soul-searching, anger and a rapid political response in both London and Canberra. Anti-gun legislation passed then, say many experts, has had a lasting, positive impact in both countries.

(MORE: Outside the White House, Gun-Control Activists Make a Subdued Call to Action)

In an attack not dissimilar to what took place at Sandy Hook, a shooter burst into a gymnasium of a school in the Scottish town of Dunblane on March 13, 1996, and turned his four handguns on a group of unsuspecting 5- and 6-year-olds assembled there. Sixteen children and one teacher were killed; the gunman, a deranged unemployed shopkeeper, then turned his weapon on himself. Among the dazed pupils forced to take cover during the assault was British tennis champ Andy Murray, then 8 years old. The outcry in the U.K. was immense. “We must take this as a warning that we are becoming like America and act before it is too late,” said one governing Conservative Party legislator, quoted by TIME.

What followed was a drastic overhaul of existing British gun laws by the sitting Tory government. The Christian Science Monitor sums up the changes:

a ban on handguns and automatic weapons, as well as an onerous system of ownership rules involving hours of paperwork, criminal reference checks, and mandatory references designed to reduce as far as possible the likelihood of guns falling in the wrong hands.

Despite a surge in gun-related offenses in the early 2000s, the past seven years in the U.K. have seen successive drops in gun crimes — a consequence, some argue, of the country’s tougher laws on gun ownership. Of course, such measures aren’t enough to wholly prevent mass killings. In 2010, a taxi driver with a shotgun and a rifle cruised around the idyllic Lake District of Cumbria, northern England, killing a dozen people in a shooting spree that shocked the country. The shooter had no history of mental problems and his guns were legally owned and licensed.

On the other side of the world, just a month after the 1996 Dunblane attack, a shooter in the town of Port Arthur, Tasmania, went on a rampage, killing 35 people in what is the worst single episode of such slaughter in Australian history. The then months-old old government of conservative Prime Minister John Howard — who would go on to rule for over a decade — initiated a sweeping set of reforms, even in the face of opposition from allies in Australia’s right wing. The new measures banned the sale and possession of all automatic and semiautomatic rifles and shotguns. Moreover, the government instituted a mandatory buyback scheme that compensated owners of newly illegal weapons. Between 1996 and ’98, some 700,000 guns were retrieved by the government and destroyed. The results have been tangible: A widely cited 2010 study in the American Journal of Law & Economics showed that gun-related homicides in Australia dropped 59% between 1995 and 2006. The firearm-suicide rate dropped 65%. There has been no mass shooting in Australia since the Port Arthur attack.

(MORE: Viewpoint: If We Want Gun Control, We’ll Need to Compromise)

Americans often argue that their country’s unique political culture and ubiquity of gun ownership make similar anti-gun measures unthinkable. The 700,000 firearms Howard’s government retrieved from its citizenry was a fifth of the total possessed by Australians at the time — in the U.S., that equivalent figure would mean confiscating some 40 million to 50 million guns.

Yet while the scale is vastly different, the politics ought not be. Like the U.S., Australia is a frontier society built on a rugged, pioneering individualism. It has its own mythic Wild West gunmen. The rhetoric of freedom and liberty is as often voiced by an Australian politico as it is by an American one. And Howard, a close friend of President George W. Bush and a cheerleader of the much maligned invasion of Iraq, was no socialist peacenik.

But, in the wake of the mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., earlier this year, Howard, a staunch conservative, voiced a criticism seemingly still too subversive for Washington. Writing in the Age, he took issue with the American devotion to the Second Amendment:

The Second Amendment, crafted in the immediate post-revolutionary years, is more than 200 years old and was designed to protect the right of local communities to raise and maintain militia for use against external threats (including the newly formed national government!). It bears no relationship at all to the circumstances of everyday life in America today. Yet there is a near religious fervour about protecting the right of Americans to have their guns — and plenty of them.

It remains to be seen what lasting change emerges out of the tears and heartbreak in Newtown, Conn., but at the very least the tragedy ought prompt a real conversation — as it did in these two other Anglophone nations — about how much carnage a society is willing to take.

MORE: In the Shadow of Sandy Hook, a Powerful Pro-Gun Organization Keeps Silent

328 comments
sfpcservice
sfpcservice

The Supreme Court of the United States held in Heller Vs. DC and McDonald Vs. Chicago that the 2nd Amendment IS an individual right.  This means the right to keep and bear arms is a Civil Liberty.  Anybody here want to stand against civil liberties?  I see the author does....

ajent_oranje
ajent_oranje

Stupid article....the UK and Australia both have higher violent crime rates than the US. Taking away guns from law abiding citizens did nothing to prevent crime. If we banned pools, yeah, we could eliminate pool drownings, but you will not stop drownings in the ocean or even tubs. Banning guns doesnt stop murder...there has been murder in this world for thousands of years before guns....and plenty of mass murder by tyrants and dictators.


Educate yourselves and learn from history, and the facts. Not anti-gun propaganda.

JacobWyrrick
JacobWyrrick

I wrote the below with an iPhone, late. Please excuse spelling and poor punctuation. Enjoy!

JacobWyrrick
JacobWyrrick

Oops Jacob here cont. told u it was my first time. (Please know this is part 2. and part 1 should be in the big box below.)Anyway I was reminding of the real mass murder committed by the all loving and never self serving gov. durring the seemingly not so amiable gun confiscation of the Ausies. Never forgetting that domacide is still the all time highest cause of unnatural death for us little people. It seems as tho they think we work for them. I'm so outraged at the writer's audacity in his slimy tactics that I'm somehow ironically convinced he believes his narrow opinion is not only drawn from his idea of education, (refer to first section I started below) but is actually the truth. Now it is declassified (not advertised) but available for reference, that the U.S. gov. is arming to the teeth, oddly at the same time it is pushing for the most restrictive gun bans ever. All of this in the midst of the longest and highest gun sales to private citizens in history. Coupled with the statistics, gathered from random poles, that the majority of people buying guns say that the reason for their purchase is: mistrust or even fear of the Nat Gov. I can only sum up my general feeling on this pathetic excuse of an intellectual, a man, and self implied "educated writer" (Ishaan Tharoor), with a Robert Deniro line, from The movie Casino, "Look... He's either in on it or he's too stupid to know about it... Either way, I can't have it." And that, my young Ishaan, is how one writes the "educated" truth. You see the truth is like "the force" (star wars) a writer draws his strength from it. It flows through us. Well not you... Not yet... But hey! I think I like this writing thing. I was always secretive or shy a out the songs I wrote. But I might just lay down the guitar and the family biz, especially if you're the competition. In the land of the blind, even the one eyed man is king. Ya see Ishy, I may not have quoted it exactly verbatim, but it's still the truth. Educate yourself and u won't have to trick people with words like "educated" and culture yourself so that you write with elequence. Then you won't have to convince people you are a "writer" with a title of writer. Writers regergitate words that convey the intention of an smployer. Reach inside. Research. Dig deep. Become the "author" of a piece. Look at me. This is my first time and I'm pretty sure it's at least closer to the chest than any of the words you've ever dared to fraud a piece of paper or screen with. Too wordy? Well keep up the shallow work. Maybe you'll be editor some day. Good luck. And God bless.

JacobWyrrick
JacobWyrrick

WOW! I never write or respond to anything online, but the use of the word educated by Ishaan Tharoor, the writer of this drivel, compels me to remind readers that: calling one's self educated in order to rally other fools and fonies, does not determine education. Only the intellectual ability to recall the applicable and undespited truth, regardless of personal feelings or opinion, reveal the truly educated. Although it is obvious that less guns will lead to statistically less "gun violence". The truth is that, in these ripe for plundering countries like the UK and Austrailia, violent crime skyrocketed to upwards of 80% within a few years of the good citizens being disarmed. Not to mention the loving government killing litterally

ep21
ep21

What psychiatric drugs was Adam Lanza on? 

Name one school shooting where psychiatric drugs were not involved. 

Why are we arguing about guns when the people who are supposedly committing these mass murders are completely drugged out? Why would we even consider destroying the very document that gave us our country BEFORE addressing the problems that have lead us to violent crime to begin with. (Be it poverty, social inequality, mental instability, etc.) I mean, our entire criminal justice system is founded on Emile Durkheim's social theory, structural functionalism. When dealing with crime, we are supposed to see crime as a good thing because it highlights where the real problems exist, the problems that disrupt social cohesion, the problems that lead the individual into committing the crime to begin with. When we see those problems, then we have an opportunity to work at correcting what was wrong. A lot of times it is poverty, but in this instance, the answer is right in our face and yet we refuse to address it. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE KIDS HAD BEEN PRESCRIBED PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS. Look into it for yourselves, you will find either medical histories that will not be released to the public or a list of the drugs each individual was on. 

Or you could just take a look at the list John Noveske compiled. But of course, he is dead now. http://www.naturalnews.com/038616_john_noveske_mysterious_death_car_crash.html#ixzz2hbdllaal

We have got to WAKE UP and address the real problems rather than create more laws that serve as blinders to the underlying purpose of those crimes. 

I challenge any of you, no matter what country you live in, to prove to me that a sober human without serious mental illness or past war experience, has committed a school shooting at ANY given point in the history of the United States of America. 

And then maybe the dialogue of removing the right to bear arms will truly begin. Until then, no educated patriotic American is ever going to consider allowing our government or any other government to break a constitutional amendment. 

AndreaVanWie
AndreaVanWie

Whether or not the AR-15 was used is irrelevant...it doesn't shoot any differently than a handgun would. Just because it looks like a machine gun does not make it a machine gun...we're more afraid of it because it has a collapsible butt-stock and a flash guard?? Really...

ReverendRef
ReverendRef

"The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary — where most of the 26 victims were killed with an assault rifle similar to the M-16 rifle issued to U.S. soldiers" This is a lie. The assault rifle was found in the car after the shooting! Why can't the media tell the truth? Because it would ruin their plan to disarm the citizens of the USA.

livefreeordieradio
livefreeordieradio

The UK has not see a drop in gun crime as a result of any gun bans or gun control... This is simply a lie. 

AntonyTye
AntonyTye

Also mentioned was the fact that we are going through massive changes in britain, the anglo-saxon / celt demographic is changing, whole towns filling up with immigrants, we are not historically accustomed to an ethnic population, there was hardly any 50 years ago, now there are about 15 million, 5 major cities whites are a minority, european human rights undermining already pathetically liberal judges, hotels for prisons, no death sentences, 10 years in real terms for killing, silly kids copying american gangs and rappers thinking its cool, apparently its really easy to get a cheap gun in the UK(Not), we have western hating muslims spitting at british soldiers in the street, burning poppies on remebrance day, refusing to serve soldiers or even whites in their shops, and despite all this crap and the ease of getting weapons and we being so violent and evil - we still only have a pitance of gun related deaths, most of these facts are not in any stats.  But in America, you have the death sentence, harsh judges, massive sentences, chain gangs, tough prisons, armed police, better border controls, richer nation, more christian beliefs and everything fine and hunky dorey according to most on here, yet the gun death figures are shocking, why the massive proportional difference, all the bad things in the UK and all the good things in the US, should make the stats even closer, but they are not, not even remotely, go figure

AntonyTye
AntonyTye

had a well written and statistically supported reply, but my laptop blipped and i lost it, and frankly i cant be bothered writing it all again.  the basis of it was your stats are refuted, death by guns in the UK are so rare that if some one killed 26 people, our gun death stats would be about 50% worse in one fell swoop, and thrown out of kilter. We dont even have enough gun deaths to form a really reliable statistic, you on the other hand do. I have found some stats, as your keen on them, deaths from guns 25,000 to 30,00 most years - Meanwhile back in evil violent britain, its about 50 or 60 a year, go figure

jimparks305
jimparks305

OK, Antony, I guess "insanely high" is subjective, and if its OK with you that burglars come into your house as long as they don't have guns, that's up to you and the rest of your people in your country to decide for yourselves.  

You seem to simultaneously hold two opposing viewpoints.  Do you realize that?  You seem to be against the "nanny state", yet you disparage our system as uncivilized because isn't quite nannied-up enough.


Marc-H
Marc-H

It seems like a small child   America knows his rights but not his responsibilitys .... and why because they listen to the NRA who is not the voice of the American public but the paid voice of the arms manufacturers and dealers whose mantra " guns dont kill people " is so the little conscience they have can be appeased . the arms dealers want every American scared of there government and there neighbours they want as many Americans to die because it sells guns  , it does not want a safe America because there is no money in that . keep listening to your arm dealers and they will turn America into the wild west for profit .  

laughingtarget
laughingtarget

There's some major falsities in this article. The UK gun murder rate increased dramatically after the gun ban, up nearly 50% by 2003, and have dropped to a rate today to...exactly the same as it was before the ban. It effectively accomplished nothing. Sure, the rate dropped, but it failed to drop to a lower level than the pre-ban period. All the while, the UK has become the single most dangerous advanced nation in the world with a little over 2,000 violent crimes per 100,000 citizens (the US is 492 per 100,000).

Nicholas22521
Nicholas22521

Ok I am an American citizen that lived in the UK for 5 years. First off I can tell you I was more on edge when walking down the streets of Bracknell (a small city about 15 min away from reading) than I am on the streets of Louisville. Secondly all banning guns did was increase the amount of people buying guns from the black market. If I wanted to I could have bought an AK with 275 rounds and three mags for 270 quid, NO BACKGROUND CHECK, NO REGISTRATION, AND MOST LIKELY SOLD TO A CRIMINAL. 

tmbrwolf40
tmbrwolf40

the Australian gun ban doesn't work. for one they say gun suicide dropped 65%. they don't tell you the over all suicide rate went up with hanging the main way of going about it. also watch this video on how well it worked.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyS3CEIbpJo

jojo1231
jojo1231

The government has been hijacked; look at all the invasions abroad--this is not my government! Obama and the Globalists should all be lynched--hell all of the IMF, Federal Reserve, Council on Foreign Relations shoot be tried and shot. Obama bombs kids everyday abroad via drone strikes, he brags he picks the locations, don't tell me he cried for the children at Sandy Hook, that was an act Oprah would be proud of--false flag anyone? Americans need guns today more than ever before! The unarmed Australians and British can bow to their queen!

cjkersh
cjkersh

"The Second Amendment, crafted in the immediate post-revolutionary years, is more than 200 years old and was designed to protect the right of local communities to raise and maintain militia for use against external threats (including the newly formed national government!). It bears no relationship at all to the circumstances of everyday life in America today. Yet there is a near religious fervor about protecting the right of Americans to have their guns — and plenty of them."

I really don't see any less need to protect ourselves from our Government today, and the recent Government administration has boosted gun sales to an all time high. Every time a ban is discussed it drives gun sales by those who wish to buy while they still can. Research  it this is very easily verified. 


JustinB
JustinB

So i was watching a video related to this article and it made me want to go back and read the claims made in this article again. Upon further scrutiny this article is incredibly misleading. Specifically this quote:
"The results have been tangible: A widely cited 2010 study in the American Journal of Law & Economics showed that gun-related homicides in Australia dropped 59% between 1995 and 2006. The firearm-suicide rate dropped 65%."
So i went to check out that "widely cited study" here: http://andrewleigh.org/pdf/GunBuyback_Panel.pdf If you scroll down to page 517, you'll find a graph of data. It shows that both Suicide rates, and Homicides rates, continue at the average rate. It shows that people will always commit murder and suicide at an average rate with or without guns.
And what either this study or the article forget to take into consideration is the grave violation of property rights that comes along with taking away a person's right to defend their property (as illustrated in the following video)
http://youtu.be/OyS3CEIbpJo
This is what happens when we let English Majors "educate" us about science. It is in my humble opinion that Ishaan Tharoor should go back to college and study the science of Economics and Engineering, because his math just doesn't add up (but then he might not have a job writing for what appears to be a biased news outlet).

scoop731
scoop731

@ReverendRef You have your facts wrong. The killer used a Bushmaster AR-15 to mow down the children and teachers. The AR-15 is a semi-automatic form of the M16 used by the military. He also brought inside with him a Glock 10mm and a Sig Sauer 9mm. He left some kind of rifle in the trunk of his car. The media isn't lying. You, sir, are misinformed.

texaswc
texaswc

@livefreeordieradioActually, a drop in gun crime, yes, a drop in violent crime, definitely not, in fact violent crime increased since criminals know they don't have to worry about being shot...Australia, according to many sources, actually has a rise also in violent crime, even with the drop in gun crime...But, one of the biggest differences between both those nations and the U.S. is that they are islands, making it harder to smuggle weapons into those nations, thereby making it harder for criminals, though not impossible, from getting guns for use in crime...the U.S. is bordered on the north by Canada and in the south by Mexico, making it much easier to smuggle guns in...This greater risk of smuggling will grow and increase the profits by illegal gun sales by cartels and other gun runners if the U.S. bans guns to law-abiding people, similar to alcohol and prohibition...If we can't stop people from crossing the border, we already have about 11 million illegal immigrants in the states, and we can't stop the drugs from being smuggled, then we will also not be able to stop guns...this whole article is anti-gun anyway, read it and believe little of what you read...

buckjackson01
buckjackson01

@AntonyTye The large majority of murders committed in the US are ni66er criminals shooting each other and white home owners shooting ni66ers invading their homes,more dead ni66ers = safer society not to mention that gun ownership in the US is a civil right.

texaswc
texaswc

@AntonyTye In the states, criminals tends to get out of jail early, paroled, without real reason, since they usually go back to their life of crime, so, the sentences are a joke these days...and many judges are soft on crime these days...Also, a side note, If you figure in population and crimes per capita, per 100,000 population, the UK ranks considerably higher than the states...

ajent_oranje
ajent_oranje

@AntonyTyeYou dont count suicides in the gun deaths statistics for the US and not for Britain..thats outright dishonesty. Japan and South Korea have double our suicide rate and they have ZERO guns. Suicides are not homicides, so stop inflating the numbers.

Latest homicide figures in the US had about 8,500 gun deaths. Out of a population of 320 million, thats a rate of 3.7 per 100,000.


Another thing to consider is what the violent crime rate was in the UK and Australia before the gun bans. Its apples and oranges to compare to different countries and different cultures....and its cherry picking to only pick those 2 countries. Why ignore Brazil and Russia and Mexico? Those countries have strict gun laws and yet their murder rates are way higher than the US.

texaswc
texaswc

@AntonyTye .... Some stats for you, your numbers are either quite old or your source is just plain wrong...

All homicides (firearms and non-firearms combined)

  • Number of deaths: 16,259
  • Deaths per 100,000 population: 5.3
Firearm homicides
  • Number of deaths: 11,078
  • Deaths per 100,000 population: 3.6

ajent_oranje
ajent_oranje

@Spacedog1973One blogger's opinion, and false statistics. There is no difference between forcible rape by the FBI and sexual assault in the UK. If you actually look at the definition of forcible rape on the FBI website, this is what it says....


Forcible rape, as defined in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, is the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Attempts or assaults to commit rape by force or threat of force are also included; however, statutory rape (without force) and other sex offenses are excluded.

The Skeptic fails to do any real research, and is under the false impression that sexual assaults are not forcible rapes.

Marc-H
Marc-H

@laughingtarget the us has twice as many murders per cap  , id rather be beaten up than shot dead

AntonyTye
AntonyTye

@laughingtarget Those statistics are only numeral, and do not take into consideration the nanny state that Britain has now become, Shouting at someone is considered violent crime, throwing an unwelcome snowball is even in these figures, as is hundreds of football fans scrapping with another hundred will mean 200 crimes minimum, , there hurt nobody but themselves and having a laugh, getting a warning off the police and going home via the pub, domestic arguments count, looting, public disorder or riots mean 1000s in one night and all go in, threatening behaviour without physical contact you name it, it goes in our statistics - please dont make this generally quiet and peaceful place out to be some sort of stabbers paradise, never seen a gun, dont know anyone that has one, never seen a knife outside of my home a shop or restaurant, never been assaulted of even seen one in decades.  Seems that people that dont know this place seem to make statements about it that are misleading and insulting just as an excuse and to fit their adgenda.  The UK doesn`t care about your weapons ownership issues, most bloggers are only sticking up for their country in the face of anti UK insults based on misleading figures by people justifying their desire for weapons, we dont care, we are happy as we are, keep your weapons, in fact buy more.  But while you are using these dodgy violent crime figures, as some have said, i`d rather have a snowball thrown at me, or bee shouted at, than be in one of the 80 or so school mass shootings that have happened in your country, since Dunblane.

Garzhad
Garzhad

@laughingtarget 

Let's not forget that these countries do not have a nation like Mexico along it's southern border. Nothing againstthe mexicans themselves, but the cartels that operate there would continue to supply guns, drugs, and sex slaves in and out of the us, arming the criminals that roam our streets while the gov't takes guns from law-abiding citizens. The gang and criminal culture is much more powerful and influential here then in either UK or Australia, and these groups have the means, the money, and the will to work around and ignore any laws or bans placed into effect, to continue to rob and murder innocent people with illegally obtained weapons.

Marc-H
Marc-H

@Nicholas22521 try living in Detroit , then say England's bad . we have rough areas you have the murder capital of the world . congrats .  

AntonyTye
AntonyTye

@Nicholas22521 Of course it increased, criminals want guns, and they get them somewhere, if they are not legal they will get illegal ones, in principle you are right. But, these people doing these mass murders, although committing an offence, were often not considered criminals before the event, only after their crime, they are usually nerdy young men with no crime connection.  Bracknell is a dodgy area, mainly gone downhill due to mass immigration, i dont even need to ask who generally you were on edge because of, very much doubt they were anglo-saxon.  The price on your weapon is way off, not a chance of actually getting a weapon and ammo at that price in the UK, a pistol and 10 rounds cost more than that, just about anywhere, and it would not be for some teenager to go round his school killing dozens because he having a bad spot day, it would generally be for Gangs(vast majority of gun ownership and crime, and usually on themselves). Just muddying the waters there i`m afraid, do you intend on doing nothing about these incidents?are you happy for them to continue?what would you do about it?

cjkersh
cjkersh

@Nicholas22521'm 48 and have traveled in most of the US states and lived in several places. I have seen a gun displayed by a woman who felt threatened in a down town area once in my life. I enjoy shooting and do so in country settings in a safe manner and do know many people with guns and who conceal carry.  The US is very safe and all of the opportunists who want to seize an opportunity to pounce on the issue won't change that. 

The greatest killer of kids in schools was in the 1930's and was done by a farmer with explosives. I take home defense   seriously. I love my big dogs and will keep my fire arms. I do not want of need a nanny state. Our current Government seems to want to impose there will on so many areas of our lives it seems to be effecting the countries happiness. The media is our own worst enemy. We have for the first time since being tracked fallen from the top ten happiest countries and big government and our over taxation are clearly stated as top reasons. 



Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/12/17/when-massacres-force-change-lessons-from-the-u-k-and-australia/#ixzz2IlXVEI74

Garzhad
Garzhad

@cjkersh 

Ugh, it ain't just about the government, man. It's self-defense in general, that's what it guarantees. You answer a gun with a gun; anything less, and you'll likely be pushing up daisies before the sunrise. As long as criminals can obtain illegal firearms, citizens need to be able to defend themselves with the same, and it doesn't look like thugs and crooks are going to give up Their guns anytime soon.

AmyMelnyk
AmyMelnyk

@texaswc @livefreeordieradio  

I keep hearing that violent crime has gone up in both Australia and the UK since gun control measures were put into place, but can't seem to find any source for this. Instead I just see "multiple sources" cited - would you mind sharing these sources fore reference? I'm interested in getting the story straight. Thank you.

AntonyTye
AntonyTye

@texaswc @AntonyTye Depending upon where you get your stats from that is, petty crimes are in our stats that dont show in yours, violent crimes in the US include only 4 offences, in the UK they are almost countless (As mentioned earlier, someone went in ours for throwing a snowball, because someone made a complaint to the police).  Our country is about the worst out there for pathetic judges, easy jails and soft sentences, many of our jails have games rooms, libraries and TV rooms (some with satelitte TV).  Same as the US our criminals can pretty much assume half of what they were awarded, many get less than that, but still a low gun death rate.  

Our crime stats cant really be compared one-on-one, gun deaths is the main one we are talking about here, and guns are much better at killing than anything else, it requires less nerve (i wont use the word courage), most of these mass murderers tend to be lonely losers, pathetic dweebs, the fact that they can get their hands on powerful automatic weapons so easily is a large factor in these events, any guns really, they wouldnt dare take someone on in a semi-fair fight where they might be in physical danger or the danger of not being remembered through killing many, because he got knocked out or stabbed with his own knife by the first semi-tough bloke he came across.

Will someone out there please admit that this is a FACTOR, its obvious to just about everyone appart from gun fans in the USA, Gun deaths in the UK are less than 100 again this year, in a 70 mill pop, thats 1/5th of the US pop, the US would need to have about 450 gun deaths per year for the stats to work, and even the lowest cherry picked stats come nowhere near that low.

laughingtarget
laughingtarget

@AntonyTye

I believe you missed the thesis of the comment and attacked a minor quibble. Heres an unambiguous fact: in 1996, the year of the Dunblane Massacre, there were 614 firearm homicides, a 20 year low. By 2003, the annual firearm deaths were over 900 per year. Why did the gun legislation fail this spectacularly? This has nothing to do with foreign cultures and everything to do with the total apparent failure of legislation to stop gun violence and the appearance that the legislation made it worse. Last year the rates returned to exactly the same level as in the 1990s with a slight upward trend going into this year. After 15 years, the implementation of the law has shown no improvement in UK gun homicide rates. This is the crux of the thesis, that firearm homicide rates have no correlation with firearm homicide rates. Some other factor is at play and continuing to blame guns will accomplish nothing but generating a false sense that the problem is solved, as evidenced by your attitude on the subject, and wasting energy best suited to findinga legitimate solution. The UK can repeal the ban and I can guarantee you that you won't notice the difference.

Garzhad
Garzhad

@laughingtarget  

Also, this is more directed at anyone who would blame the cartels firearms on the US Citizens then yourself, laughingtarget, but the firearms used by the cartels are typically full-auto Kalashnikov-type weapons, bought from other 3rd world countries, china, and russia(ak's are not manufactured in the US) or full-auto NATO-style weapons(which are completely illegal to own, trade, or sell to civilians in the US, By anyone in the US) that were either appropriated by the short-sighted and idiotic Operation Fast and Furious or stolen from poor-guarded(or corruptly guarded) US national guard armories.

ajent_oranje
ajent_oranje

@Marc-H@Nicholas22521Detroit banned guns there Sparky. Thanks for proving our argument. Its not the guns....why not look at ethnicity and who commits these murders. In Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, DC, NY and LA...90% of murders are done by minorities.

ajent_oranje
ajent_oranje

@AntonyTyeAnd again, wrong. You're an idiot. Its not tens of thousands, its 8,500. Stop comparing homicides AND suicide by gun to just homicides in the UK. You deceitful prick.

AntonyTye
AntonyTye

refute these figures and cant be bothered showing the reems of stats that you will refute as well, FACT, deaths by guns is falling in UK, statistics released today confirm it(even alowing for police fudging), its so small its hardy a statistic worth calculation, almost always less than 100 in a 70 mil population crammed on a small island, and every other crime falling appart from pick pocketing, but professional gangs from eastern europe behind that - tens of thousands of deaths in the USA from guns, usually 20,000 or more every year, if gun control isnt the answer, what are you going to do about it, what other options are there?

laughingtarget
laughingtarget

@AntonyTye

 There's clearly a communication problem here, you've missed the point again. The article above by  Ishaan Tharoor is attempting to equate the UK experience as an argument in support for similar legislation in the United States. Mass or otherwise is irrelevant. 900 people dying over the course of a year vs the same 900 dying on the same day and not the rest of the year is equal - 900 are dead. Or are you attempting to say that the 18 that died on 13 March 1996 are somehow more valuable than those that died in the years since? Besides, mass killings haven't stopped in the UK, or is Cumbria just a lie perpetrated by foreign media outlets? Whether or not your fellow countrymen agree on the legislation is irrelevant when discussing the effectiveness, which has demonstrated to be non-existent. Opinions are inferior to fact at all times.

I use the UK not out of some means to attack the nation, it does provide valuable statistical information as to whether or not gun control is actually the cause of the UK's low firearm homicide rate. Here are some charts to show the results of the gun ban:

 http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_2SW2_lbrxgY/TKNH37S9oHI/AAAAAAAABLg/S8td_kagLrM/s1600/Screen+shot+2010-09-29+at++Wednesday,+September+29,+10.05+AM.png

Other shocking facts are that the number of firearms in circulation in the United Kingdom is higher today than before the ban and are easier and less expensive to acquire. This is primarily due to the fact that firearms are no longer subject to VAT or import duties, which allows Eastern European smugglers to easily supply the market. The street price is as little as 100 pounds for a pistol.

 http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/manchester-police-shootings-death-for-sale-1333566

I can buy a grenade from one of those gun librarians in Manchester for a quarter of the price it would take me to buy one here in the States from similar illegal sources. The pistols are half the price as the ones I can freely and openly buy at large warehouse style gun shows in my city right now.Your Parliament promised that this would not be possible after passing legislation, and the end result is that, at best, nothing changed with the least favorable outcome showing your gun problems have only gotten worse over the past 15 years.

The overall point is that the UK's low firearm homicide rate exists for some reason other than the availability of guns or whether or not there are strict gun controls in place. Your experience in attempting to solve gun crime using the political process is a perfect microcosm as we can gauge the effect in the United States of similar attempts. We already have our own examples of the total failure of UK-style gun control laws in places like Washington DC and Chicago, where the laws have done absolutely nothing to curb the violence until they were struck down by our Supreme Court, and the lessened restrictions did not translate into higher crime.

If the United States follows the United Kingdom's example and implements a gun ban, we can expect a similar result. But instead of going from 600 annual deaths to 900 before returning back to the same level as before the ban, ours is projected to jump from 18,000 to 27,000.

Also, to point out I am not picking on the United Kingdom, Australia passed an even stricter gun ban in the same year as the UK and their results are identical to the UK experience. Homicides are up, including with guns, and their crime has gotten worse to the point that the Australian Parliament had to develop news laws on what to do with a brand new kind of crime in the country - the home invasion. Before the gun ban in Australia, no one broke into the homes of people. But now it's a far more common occurrence.

That's the point of this response to the above journalist that failed to perform even the most rudimentary research on the subject. No nation has ever successfully passed a gun control bill that resulted in lower crime rates or fewer gun murders. Continuing to attempt it here would be foolish, especially if we somehow think this time it will be different and some kind of American exceptionalism will cause gun control to succeed when it has failed everywhere else.

AntonyTye
AntonyTye

@laughingtargetAdmittedly weapons never kill anyone, its mixed up people, but some would say, don`t let these people get their hands on weapons, somehow, but how, I don`t know, if it was easy it would have been done. You must see that something needs doing, i don`t know what, though, either way, its up to your citizens to decide, nobody else, we in the UK are happy with the rules we have, you will hardly find a disagreeing voice on that statement. We don`t usually put ourselves up for comparison, half the time is American anti-gun people doing it, and it ends up with an anti-british insult fest we had nothing to do with, I`m just bored of Foreigners slagging off the country I love, with false and misleading statistics, cherry picking quotes from known scandal sheets, if you lived in the UK you would know that "Daily Mail journalism" is a analogy or phrase which refers to scandalised and exaggerated scaremongering. The European court of human rights, the loss of crown immunity, enquires into everything (millions spent and dozens sacked and a criminal investigation over whether an MP called a policeman a "Pleb", FFS), this country has its problems, i can admit that, some from your country should contemplate admitting there is one in the US, unless you are perfectly happy with the frequency of these school attacks and these deaths are worth it, so you can have weapons in country with no national threat to your borders .

AntonyTye
AntonyTye

@laughingtarget i am talking about mass murder events not general gun crime or violence, I understand what you are implying even if your figures do not comply with the ones i have seen (hence comments on comparison of violent crimes often blogged on these sites, which cannot be compared), they show a decrease in the UK.  Many would mention the simple fact that a nerdy over phsyco-analysed usually young male is usually committing these crimes(unsupported generalisation), they are usually socially inadequate jerks (almost a guarantee if you even contemplate these crimes), and those types wouldn`t usually have the nerve to go out and physically take on another adult, never mind 20 or 30 in one go, if he didn`t have easy access to a weapon.  He gets the weapon, half the time from his mums cupboard, and off he goes taking out his troubles on dozens of innocent men, women and children.  Its like he picks up this mighty sword of He-man and thinks to himself " I HAAAAVE THE POWEEER" having a weapon is extremely empowering, i know i have been a soldier for 24 years and served 6 years in operational danger zones, you know that slight feeling deep down, but have the discipline to easily dismiss it and get on with my job, these people don`t.  Its a crap thing to happen, but an event like this is many times more likely to happen in the US than the UK even when adjusting for population, nobody can deny that, if you do, your not worth talking too, your wasting peoples time, side tracking with irrelevant statistics.  When a sad lonely jerk of a boy is angry in the UK he doesnt have access to a firearm, he does something else (and no, it`s not stabbing, he hasn`t the guts, its nothing to do with increased stabbings in ethnic minority areas, that is another problem, with 5 million immigrants swamping UK cites in 10 years, and silly little boys trying to copy American crime gang "Colours", yes spelt with a U).


laughingtarget
laughingtarget

Edit, gun homicide rates have no correlation to the presence or strength of gun control efforts.