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And the beat goes on

Despite the most draconian anti-gun laws in the known universe, the British police are having to resort to enlisting the help of musicians in an attempt to curb gun crime:

The senior detective investigating the murder of Toni-Ann Byfield, the seven-year-old girl shot in the back, yesterday told Britain’s black music artists to warn their fans to stay away from guns.

At a summit with senior music industry figures, including Mercury Music Prize winner Dizzee Rascal and members of So Solid Crew, Detective Chief Superintendent John Coles, head of Operation Trident which investigates black-on-black gun crime, said it would help stop the shootings if rap musicians, DJs and producers spoke out against Britain’s escalating gun culture.

What’s all this nonsense about ‘escalating gun culture’? How can that be? Isn’t that something Americans are forced to endure but we Brits are mercifully free of?


14 comments to And the beat goes on

  • mike

    Hmm. Let me see:

    The US: 35ish states now have “shall issue” concealed carry. Firearms crime and contact crime dropping.

    The UK: The British Olympic pistol team has to train in Switzerland to “curb the dangerous gun culture” (some politician, 1997). 2003, no legal pistols left, violent crime rate higher than US (murder, rape, assault) [Dave Kopel]. (UK murder rate is lower, but violent crime higher than the US). Now, even though we couldn’t use legal pistols for self-defence before 1997, doesn’t that say something? I know you can prove _anything_ with a sample size of 2, but really…


  • S. Weasel

    Beware! Beware! Ask a gun control enthusiast why gun control isn’t working, and he’ll likely tell you it’s because the surrounding areas (or countries) don’t have adequate gun control and wicked, evil firearms are pouring in from over there.

    The only solution to that, of course, is universal gun control. Then it’ll surely work!

    Luckily, the UN Department of Disarmament Affairs (motto: “peace and security through disarmament”) is on the case.

    Huh. Zip guns, anyone?

  • R C Dean

    mike, I believe that the US murder rate is higher than the British rate still, although the gap is, sadly, closing.

  • Verity

    I would seriously ask whether there is a single other country in the world with such an inept, cackhanded bunch of people running it. (Yes, Americans will write in saying : Oh, you should see what they’ve done to our ______ [fill in the blank], but there’s no comparison), but every single thing the British government, the British schools and the British police do is absolutely stupid, stupid, stupid. We are being governed by the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. Anyone else clock in today’s papers that children/young folks are no longer going to get an F for failing a course? They’re going to get an N for Nearly. This is adults who thought of this! As someone said in The Telegraph today, the government is now treating children like an oppressed minority. Why? I would say words fail me, but as failure is being abolished in today’s cloud cuckoo Britain, I’ll have to say I nearly had the words. The government has disarmed the public and hissily told us not to expect them to protect us. The country, an island nation whose borders we have ably defended for 1,000 years, is invaded by hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who don’t get tracked down or deported. People are dying while they linger hopelessly on waiting lists for NHS treatment because Britain has the only health service in the world that has more bureaucrats than hospital beds. I don’t think even Stalin aimed that high. The guns issue is only a part of the whole Keystone Kops picture of modern Britain.

  • JorgXMcKie

    I recently was complimented as “not as bigoted as they said you are”, but I’ll post this nonetheless.
    The entire difference in murder rates is the black on black murder rate in the U.S. This is almost entirely an urban effect. It doesn’t happen to rural blacks. Check the FBI crime data. Take out the black on black murders and the murder rate in the U.S. is quite a bit lower than UK or most of the rest of the EU. Also, the black on black murder is largely committed with illegal guns. Go figure.

  • Sandy P.

    Wasn’t there just a shootout on one of your highways?

  • SDN

    Sandy P:

    Queen Anne’s dead, too. In a nation of 260 million, there’s always “just a shootout on one of our highways”. Of course (if the media would report it, which they typically won’t), there are also 4 or 5 stories that could be headlined “Criminal tries home invasion (store robbery, rape, etc.), dies of lead poisoning. Film at 11.” Oh, and the story would have to include “Police decline to prosecute; getting shot is a reasonable risk for criminals.”

    Likewise, the odds are excellent that the shootout on the highway was the result of two drug entrepeneurs adjudicating a collection issue. But that doesn’t get much press either.

  • Richard F. Cook

    Regaring SDN’s post the papers in the U.S. seriously undercover instances where a gun was used to defend against a crime. Anyone have the stats?

  • Ed Royce

    Supposedly about 2-3 million crimes/incidents are averted by the use/brandishing of firearms in the USA. This is from the Lott study, though there are now some criticisms on it’s statistical integrity so YMMV.

    When dealing with firearms statistics here in the USA you also have to do some decoding of the data. An example would be statistics that cover ‘firearms deaths’. You might think that it’s all crime related but instead it lumps anyone who died from a firearm, accidental or not. And where I gew up, New Hampshire, you were far more likely to die from stupidity associated with a loaded firearm than from a firearm related crime. I don’t know how many bloody times I have had to intervene with idiots hunting while drinking or people trying to cross obstacles with loaded firearms.

    Nothing like crawling over a fence with a loaded 12 gauge shotgun with a round chambered and the safety OFF. sigh.

    Education is personal, stupidity is universal.


  • Rob Keeney

    Even the most conservative estimates of defensive firearms use are in the half-million range in the US.

    I’ve also read a comparison of how the US calculates murder stats vs how the UK does it. In the US, if someone is charged with murder it goes into the stats as a murder, even if it’s later dismissed or plea bargained down. In the UK, it’s the other way around. You have to have a conviction that’s never overturned before it’s included. So the US stats end up way high on murder, where the UK stats end up low.

  • It is difficult to collect information on defensive uses of firearms.

    Most defensive do not involve firing a gun. The perpetrator is threaten with the weapon and then flees. Although people should report incidents like this they often do not.

    Most of the time when a weapon is fired in self defense no one is hit or there is minor injury. The perp flees after the gun is fired.

    Neither of these make good national news stories. They may get a mention in a local paper but that’s it.

    In only a tiny fraction of the cases is the perpetrator killed. These sometimes do, but often do not, make the national news. I don’t know if this is due to anti gun bias or what.

    The major state wide newspaper here in New Hampshire, the Union Leader, runs a piece from time to time called something like The Armed Citizen which describes a number of defensive firearms incidents from across the country.

    According to the FBI stats New Hampshire has the lowest violent crime rate in the US. The rate of firearms accidents has also been going down. There has been an ongoing effort to promote real gun safety through various training programs. I am involved, as an instructor, in some of these.

    While there is always an opportunity for improvement, people in NH can’t be too unsafe with firearms. The police estimate that there are, on average, 6 firearms per household in the state and people aren’t dropping like flies from gun accidents.

  • Richard Thomas

    SDN, I believe Sandy P may be American (as evidenced by the fact that (s)he assumes that we will implicitly understand that to be the case) and refering to the following story from the UK. rather than being British and referring to the U.S. (as I think you assumed). Note that your suspicions about it being drug related are supported

    High-speed shootout on the M4


  • Ishmahil

    I am currently making a documentary about murder within the Black community of Britain and would like ot speak to anyone who feels they have a valid contribution to make.

    The documentary shall be a raw real analysis of the issues which beset our community.

    If anyone has comments or believe they can assist in any way either through finding subjects who are willing to talk about their lives and experiences, please email me at: riceNpeasfilms@hotmail.com

  • John

    Sorry to hear things in the UK going so badly.