Gun control proponents in the United States love to point to the UK with their super strict gun laws as a model for the United States to emulate. The problem with that theory is that gun control does has not done what they think it has done. The latest statistics coming out of England would seem put a bit of kink in their theory, that is if they actually cared about facts. As reported by The Guardian, the UK is seeing a large increase in the overall crime rate, but the spike in violent crime, especially crimes involving guns, dwarfs the overall rise. Sadly, The Guardian did not include a link to the original source of the statistics so we can only take their word that these numbers are accurate.
Speaking of those numbers, let’s take a look at some:
- 10% rise in overall crime rate over the last 12 month period
- 18% rise in violent crime over 12 months prior to March
- 23% increase in gun crime in 12 months (even though guns are all but banned)
- 26% rise in the homicide rate*
A 10% rise in the overall crime rate is concerning, but the rise in violent crime and especially the rise in the murder rate are downright scary. Even more perplexing is the 23% increase in gun crime, “largely driven by an increase in the use of handguns,” in a country where private gun ownership is so severely controlled that it is difficult and best for the average person to own a gun at all (only shotguns and rifles) and where handguns have been banned completely. Coincidentally, not only are handguns the type of firearm most used in crimes, here in the United States they also happen to be the type of firearm most often used in self-defense, not that that matters in the UK since using a gun in self-defense is pretty much illegal there too.
While much of the article does not talk about the different crime rates for previous years, it did include the violent crime rate increases for four consecutive 12 month periods. According to the article, in the most recent 12 month period, the violent crime rate increased 18% (previously noted), it also rose 10% in the 12 months before that, 8% in the 12 months before that, and again rose 3% in the 12 months before that. Those increases are over the previous 12 month period, not over the base year. In order to get the total increase over that time frame, you have to add each increase together to get the total increase for that entire time frame.
Thus, that is a 39% increase in the violent crime rate from just five (5) years ago! That is an insanely gigantic increase in violent crime in such a short time frame.**
Yay gun control!?!?!?
Gun control does not prevent violent crime. Gun control does not even prevent gun crime. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying or ignorant.
So, the next time someone points to England while trying to justify gun control, point them to this.
* I am somewhat confused by their wording when they discussed the rise in the homicide rate, which they indicate was over the last year, but they also mention a 1989 incident that took 96 lives. According to the article further on, it appears the UK crime statistics are based on when the crime investigation is completed, not when the crime actually occurred, hence the mention of the 1989 incident as the investigation was just completed. Who keeps statistics based on when the investigation is completed vs. when the crime was committed? That is bizarre.
**Note: I am not a mathematician or a statistician, so if my calculations are off, please tell me what I did wrong.