(From the latest issues of VCDL newsletter)
18. British publication describes the real-world results of gun control
A member sent this:
New Statesman is a very left wing British publication. In their
September 3 edition they have a cover story on guns that should be
required reading for those who advocate gun control in this country
and point to Great Britain as the model we should follow. The story
was in response to the shooting of 11 year old Rhys Jones in
Liverpool. I recommend the whole article to you but look at some of
"But on one matter, everyone appears to be in agreement. Guns are so
readily available in this country that certain parts of inner city
Britain have become de factor no-go areas for the the police." "In
all the coverage of the Rhys Jones murder, the prevalence of guns in
the city is taken for granted. Every reporter who has visited
Liverpool says certain areas have become so steeped in violence that
carrying guns is now a fact of life even for children." Regarding
how guns get in to the country, the article goes on to say, "they are
eminently transportable. They arrive in Britain in bits, not as
recognizable weapons." The article quotes one expert who says that
guns are meant to be taken to pieces and that it takes a very good
customs officer to say "that's a trigger mechanism."
A companion article in the same magazine asks "Why our children carry
guns." He quotes home office figures showing a six percent rise in
gun offences between 2004 and 2005 and says the trend has been upward
ever since. Many kids, concerned about rising knife crime in the
country, carry guns for self defense and seemingly have no problem
getting them. He says "Guns and knives are becoming part of growing
up for children in our country."
I want Sarah Brady, and all the other gun controllers to read this
magazine, as left wing as it is, and tell us how successful gun
control in Great Britain really is. Please Mayor Fenty, you base
part of your appeal for continuing the DC gun ban on Great Britain.
When children carrying guns is taken for granted then the mayor needs
to explain why he cites them as a great success. If this is
"SUCCESS" we shudder at what failure looks like. Justice Kennedy
likes to look abroad. Well READ THIS SIR!
Anyway, if you had not seen this, I thought you would enjoy the
articles. They are truly eye opening and basically consistent with
what we have been saying for so many years.
Why our children carry guns
Published 30 August 2007
Guns and knives are becoming a part of growing up for children in our country
Just after August Bank holiday, every parent's thoughts turn to the
new school year. Having to fork out another small fortune on clothes;
then the battle at the shop to convince the children that the naff
trainers (which just happen to be the cheapest) are the best ones . .
But this year, preparing for the new term feels different. It's not
because of the depressingly awful weather, which has made it more
difficult to keep the kids entertained. It's been a summer dominated
by stories of children affected by casual violence. Shootings, gang
warfare in districts throughout cities in the UK where rivals
pre-arrange battles for supremacy. And, of course, knife attacks.
Indeed, the latter are now so commonplace they barely get a mention.
Three years ago, I made a documentary about knife crime among
teenagers in the UK. It was meant to be a report about rising gun
crime. But as we researched the issue with A&E units throughout the
country, what soon emerged was a huge and largely unreported trend of
knife crime among teenagers. A considerable number of the young
people carrying, using and becoming victims of knives were not even
teenagers, but anything from age eight upwards. Many of those injured
or killed were attacked at school.
The day after my documentary was broadcast, knife crime came to my
neighbourhood. It became headline news in a way I could never have
imagined. A local schoolteacher was fatally stabbed on the doorstep
of his house in a street close to mine.
Three years ago, knife crime stood out as a bigger issue than guns.
Home Office's figures show there was a 6 per cent rise in gun
offences between 2004 and 2005 and it has been an upward trend ever
since. I feel now about gun crime and young people exactly as I felt
about knife crime in 2004; this is a rising trend not being given the
consistent attention and thought it deserves.
Many chief police officers say guns are more easily available for
less money each year. The fact is young people may not be buying them
with the intention of using them.
A huge number of young people carry knives because they feel they
have to as a deterrent. It's common for kids to be "jacked" (meaning
held-up with a knife) for their iPods or trainers or phones. And
don't just think that it happens in rough areas. It happens all the
time in comfortable middle-class areas. The children of two close
friends, nationally known newsreaders, have been "jacked" at a local
school popular with middle-class families.
Fear forces young people to carry a knife in the belief they will be
protected from attack. They think that if they carry knives and are
threatened, all they will have to do is show their knife for the
attacker to back off.
The reality is completely different. Carrying a knife only increases
the chances of being attacked. But it doesn't feel that way to a
teenager. Many I interviewed seemed to have been quite unrealistic
about carrying knives and guns, believing everything would turn out
as it does in films and music videos. Guns and knives were carried
for protection and respect, if you have to use one, well it's just a
jab in the thigh, it doesn't go very deep, it's not very serious.
Almost all stopped carrying knives when one of their friends was
killed or seriously wounded. They spoke of how naive they had been
about the injuries that a small blade could cause.
The same naivety is now at play with guns. They are carried or kept
for similar reasons and there is the same belief that using a gun
will be just as it appears on television or music videos;
cartoon-like violence where you can duck behind a car door during a
drive-by like Snoop Doggy Dogg or 50 Cent.
Guns and knives are becoming a part of growing up for children in our
country. They are already a reality for school heads and teachers.
And they are an issue for many parents, even well-off middle-class
Front pages this summer were dominated by stories of children
affected by violence. But, as a new school year starts, all of us -
parents, teachers, children and police - should not only ask why
things are getting worse but also when this will become a national
issue for long-term serious debate and political discussion.