Britain's Gun Ban Breeding Crime and Violence
by James W. Harris

In 1997 Britain imposed a ban on ownership of handguns.

Officials hoped the ban would lower gun-related crimes.

Instead -- exactly as gun rights advocates predicted --
gun-related crime and violence has skyrocketed. Honest
citizens have been disarmed and rendered helpless before
criminals, while the criminals themselves have greater access
to black-market guns than ever before.

Gun crime has almost *tripled* in London during the past year
alone, according to the London Daily Telegraph. And other
cities are reporting similar numbers.

Gun-wielding gangs -- a phenomenon almost unknown outside a
few London boroughs before the ban -- are now spreading
across the country. Frequently the violence is related to the
illegal drug trade, another predictable occurrence.

Overall, handgun crime is now at its highest since 1993.

Increasing numbers of citizens are fed up and are demanding
change. In a fiery column entitled "If the state fails us, we
must defend ourselves," British journalist Simon Heffer said:

"Now we have reached a situation in which few can feel safe
even in their homes, and this could be the breaking point...

"The Government absolutely lacks the political will to deal
with the violation of one of the most fundamental liberties
of the people it governs: their right to feel safe in their
own homes.

"Given this scandalous situation, it is time for the
Government to confer a new right on the people: the right to
bear arms. Gun control in this country is in any case a joke.
There is far more gun crime now than there was before the
idiotic law passed by the Major government to ban handguns...

"The police obsessively regulate shotguns and rifles held by
sportsmen who have no intention of killing anyone with them,
while failing utterly to control illegal weapons. In America,
the two states with the highest level of gun ownership -- New
Hampshire and Vermont -- have the lowest levels of crime.

"One of the most murderous places in the United States,
Washington DC, has the most rigorous gun control in the
Union. For a householder to shoot a burglar in most states in
the US is regarded not so much as permissible as part of his
civic responsibilities. "