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Sethis
Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University
Member Since: 16th May 2005
Total posts: 1762
Posted:I was wondering why police ever carry lethal weaponry around. I know it's much more common in the states than it is here in the UK, and I was musing about it.

Out of curiosity, what situation do they actually think will happen where they will be required to use lethal force? Say someone is mugging someone with a gun (the mugger has the gun, rather than the other way round wink), and the police intervene. Are they going to shoot the guy? Why wouldn't tasers stop him? Hell, tasers would work in just about every situation I can think of, and rubber bullets would work in most of the rest.

I know I feel very intimidated by police carrying either pistols or automatic rifles... It would be so easy to accidently kill someone. Why take the risk? And if we've outlawed capital punishment, then surely there is no ethical justification for killing crimminals at the scene of the crime, with no trial?

The police always seem to me to be members of the community, helping to solve problems and look after residents to the best of their ability. As soon as they pick up asault rifles though, then they become these impassive killing machines that you're afraid to go near or look at. That isn't a helpful transformation to make, in my opinion.

Any opinions?


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:I hate to think that Michael Moore may be trusted by people in other countries to accurately portray American culture.

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Zauberdachs
Zauberdachs

enthusiast
Location: The village of Edinburgh
Member Since: 28th Jul 2004
Total posts: 220
Posted:Written by: Lurch


</font><blockquote><font class="small">Written by:</font><hr />

In this country, the NEED to own a gun just doesn't exist, due to the fact that only criminals have them





You honestly don't see a problem with that?





I think the point is that only a very very small minority of criminals have them. We have armed police but they are called in specifically to deal with confirmed gun/weapons crimes.



It works. Why? I think because it is to much hassel for criminals to use guns in this country. An armed criminal in the UK can expect to instigate a major police response totally disproportionate to whatever crime he is likely to have committed. Effectively bringing down far more heat on themselves than they could justify by having it.



So



1. Because the police are not armed there is no need for the criminal to be armed

2. The criminal can expect to huge response if they do take a gun.



Logically they don't. Most criminals will take steps to make their crime less likely to get them caught, i.e. wearing masks or gloves to not leave finger prints, and if not carrying a gun is more likely to make their efforts succeed then they don't.



It seems to work in this country, not all the time but then the system in the US doesn't seem to work all the time. This way though less people die, there is less paranoia and less gun crime.


The insults of your enemy are a tribute to your bravery wink

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Sethis
Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University
Member Since: 16th May 2005
Total posts: 1762
Posted:Written by: Zauberdachs

It works. Why? I think because it is to much hassel for criminals to use guns in this country. An armed criminal in the UK can expect to instigate a major police response totally disproportionate to whatever crime he is likely to have committed. Effectively bringing down far more heat on themselves than they could justify by having it.

So

1. Because the police are not armed there is no need for the criminal to be armed
2. The criminal can expect to huge response if they do take a gun.

...

This way though less people die, there is less paranoia and less gun crime.



Yes.

Yes, Yes, Yes. smile

That's another very good way of looking at it. Americans are casual about guns, so laws are more likely to be stretched. No-one is casual about guns here, so even a guy with a single revolver can expect multiple police officers with armour and automatic rifles busting down his door pretty fast. You might as well just get a knife, and then try whatever crime you're thinking of with that.

The "It's part of our lifestyle" argument is bull. Sorry Lurch, but it is. It's the same argument used to justify everything from slavery to human sacrifice to our continued reliance on fossil fuels. Don't even try and defend that, please.

For clarification:

Semi-Automatic: Any firearm that fires one bullet per squeeze of the trigger.

Automatic: Any firearm that fires bullets continuously as long as the trigger is depressed.

Normal American sidearms are semi-automatic pistols. Some police officers in the UK also use them.

The rifles that Jeff describes are automatic rifles with the option of firing in semi-automatic mode. I think they are Heckler and Koch something-or-others.

I cannot see a single scenario where those rifles would do anything that a handgun couldn't. Therefore, in my opinion they are completely unnecessary.

Written by: Lurch

999/1000 will be the good guys



There you go again (sorry). You need to work out that society isn't divided into "Good" people and "Bad" people. Anyone can commit a crime, previous record or not. I know criminals who present a very respectable outward face to everyone, and have never been arrested/cautioned. I also know people who have been arrested who are decent people that simply made bad choices. You can't view the world in such a simplistic manner (and by "Simplistic" I don't mean "Stupid", I mean "Simple". Non-derogatory).

Written by: Lurch

If he didn't have it, but there happened to be an axe in the back of his pickup, no doubt that would have come out. Maybe the officer would have had a better chance, maybe not.



C'mon, you sound like you have a reasonable knowledge of combat. Tell me that an axe is much more preferable to a gun in almost any situation (from the defending point of view). And I'll point out something else:

You say it was a hunting rifle.

Criminals (apparantly) do not use them very much, because they are inferior weapons compared to what is available.

Hunting rifles are also available legally.

We can therefore extrapolate that the offender is either:

1. A normal person, who just happened not to want a parking ticket, and had his gun to hand.

2. A criminal who went out and bought the gun legally, filling out all the paperwork.

3. A criminal who got the weapon illegally. Which seems a bit silly. If you're going to get an illegal weapon you might as well get a decent one.

Also bear in mind that: The officer was hesitant. He should have disabled the guy as soon as he disobeyed an order or reached inside the car. That's what tasers/batons/mace is for. If he had disabled the man before he had cleared the rifle then he would still be alive.

I'll reply to the question: A fully equipped officer in this country has a baton, mace and cuffs. I imagine if the assailant was out of range then the officer would immediately call in backup, call "Officer down" and try to find a way to reach the assailant. Failing that, he would take a description so he could be indentified later. (A minority of officers are equipped with tasers, I imagine if he had one then he would use it)

P.S. If you're quoting someone, can you say who it is? It makes it easier to address the points. smile (You do that by typing "quote: Name" with square brackets instead of quotation marks)


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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Lurch
Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon
Member Since: 1st Nov 2003
Total posts: 929
Posted:Written by: Sethis
P.S. If you're quoting someone, can you say who it is? It makes it easier to address the points. smile (You do that by typing "quote: Name" with square brackets instead of quotation marks)



Sorry my bad, I'll work on that beerchug

Written by: Zauberdachs
I think the point is that only a very very small minority of criminals have them. We have armed police but they are called in specifically to deal with confirmed gun/weapons crimes.



I have a feeling that the actual number of criminals with firearms in your country is far higher than you believe. Especially since as already stated one of your highest rates of gun related crimes took place after the weapons ban was in place.

I take pride in being able to own what I want, because I want to. You're telling me that a firearm is too dangerous for me to possess. I say bull. If someone is intent on doing me, or a loved one harm, and I have the ability to stop them, I will stop them. Whether that be with a handgun, or a shotgun, or a baseball bat or my bare hands. I'm sure you would do the same. It is far safer for me and whoever I am protecting to use a handgun and keep my distance. Hand to hand struggles are the most dangerous part of the job for police. Yes firearms are designed to kill. They are also designed for sport and for fun. Believe it or not going to the range is actually a lot of fun. Hell 10% of the winter olympics sports involve shooting last I knew.

Written by: Zauberdachs
It works. Why? I think because it is to much hassel for criminals to use guns in this country. An armed criminal in the UK can expect to instigate a major police response totally disproportionate to whatever crime he is likely to have committed. Effectively bringing down far more heat on themselves than they could justify by having it.



You just justified the use of excessive force merely because a handgun was involved. If it takes you guys three armored cars and a SWAT team to settle what a single deputy who was armed to begin with could settle, faster, and by putting less people in danger, who is being unreasonable?

Written by: Sethis
Americans are casual about guns, so laws are more likely to be stretched. No-one is casual about guns here, so even a guy with a single revolver can expect multiple police officers with armour and automatic rifles busting down his door pretty fast. You might as well just get a knife, and then try whatever crime you're thinking of with that.



You're making assumptions again. No wonder you're afraid of your police if they will send an assault team to your house because they think you might have a weapon. Sorry but *that* I would have a problem with.

Over here at least, it takes at least 30 minutes to up to 2 hours to assemble a SWAT team for an assault. How much damage could an armed person do in 30 minutes while you sit and wait for the police to show up with the power to stop them? I'm sorry, but someone intent on hurting you isn't going to wait. Even if you call emergency, it's going to be long over by the time police get there.

You said it yourself, if a gun isn't an option, get a knife. Removing the guns won't change the crime rate, you're only removing the ability and tools law abiding citizens use to protect themselves. Maybe you honestly do think it's better to roll over and get stabbed instead of fighting back. I disagree however, and I will refuse to be a victim. I mean no offence by this, but I will not merely say 'Baa' when I'm bit, I'll bite back.

Written by: Sethis
The "It's part of our lifestyle" argument is bull. Sorry Lurch, but it is. It's the same argument used to justify everything from slavery to human sacrifice to our continued reliance on fossil fuels. Don't even try and defend that, please.



So firearms equate to slavery and human sacrifice? I fail to see how that jump is being made. Why do you need alcohol? It does nothing positive for society, but it is part of your lifestyle, might as well get rid of that, look at the lives cost due to drunk drivers, no doubt that is far higher than firearm related deaths in either of our countries. How about tobacco? At least firearms have a viable defensive and sporting use in society, you see it as a negative, I see it as an equalizer. "God made man, Mr Colt made them all equal"

Written by: Sethis
There you go again (sorry). You need to work out that society isn't divided into "Good" people and "Bad" people. Anyone can commit a crime, previous record or not. I know criminals who present a very respectable outward face to everyone, and have never been arrested/cautioned. I also know people who have been arrested who are decent people that simply made bad choices.



I'm not saying that it is all peachy and clear cut like that. But it is still saying something when the officers themselves encourage people to take the steps to ensure their own protection. The large majority of people *are* good people. Of course everyone is capable of violence, and everyone is capable of commiting horrible crimes, but it simply doesn't happen like very often. The majority of violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders.

Written by: Sethis
Tell me that an axe is much more preferable to a gun in almost any situation (from the defending point of view).



I'll agree to that. As long as I have a gun. Combat statistics show that within 20', a person with a knife, versus a person with a holstered side arm, the knife will almost always win. I would definatly not want to go up against someone with an axe if all i had was an asp or pepperspray. Taser maybe, but tasers are not always effective, and there is still a large part of the LEO community that do not carry them.

Written by: Sethis
I'll reply to the question: A fully equipped officer in this country has a baton, mace and cuffs. I imagine if the assailant was out of range then the officer would immediately call in backup, call "Officer down" and try to find a way to reach the assailant. Failing that, he would take a description so he could be indentified later. (A minority of officers are equipped with tasers, I imagine if he had one then he would use it)



So you're forced to stand there, and watch an officer be beat to death and all you can do is 'call in backup,' and 'take down a description'. redface

Over here at least, the "correct" answer would be to draw, order them to stop, and if they didn't you shoot them. Simple as that. Down officer lives, bad guy goes to the hospital or goes to the morgue. I would never want to be put in a position where I cannot save a life of an innocent person, merely because I do not have, or am not allowed to have, the tools to help them.


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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:In the UK, deaths/injurys by gun are very rare- in the USA they're common.

I like the relative absense of guns in the UK and hope they remain relativly absent.

Written by: Lurch


I take pride in being able to own what I want, because I want to. You're telling me that a firearm is too dangerous for me to possess...





Yes, IMO, a firearm is too dangerous for you to possess.

Or rather, not too dangerous for you to possess, but for people in general; because, if people in general possess firearms, there will tend to be a high number of firearm incidents.

Admittedly, you're in the US, where it's legal to possess firearms and, by the sound of your posts, you like it that way and either don't mind the gun carnage in your country, or, more likely, don't see it as being a consequence of the availability of firearms.

However, as a UK resident, I prefer our approach and believe that it is responsible for our much lower incidence of gun deaths.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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pounce
pounce

All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...
Member Since: 10th Jan 2003
Total posts: 9831
Posted:ok because i'm procrastinating but shouldn't, i didn't read this whole thread through. so forgive me at the moment if i've missed important arguments or repeat. i do intend on going back and rereading through the thread though, once my report is done.

that being said...i don't think the solution is taking guns away from police. i'm just like everyone else who as read and heard about the horrifying incidences in which excessive force was used. i know one situation in which a man was mentally retarded and couldn't respond to the police's questioning and got shot. all of these are tragic, and i agree some changes should be implemented. but do i think the police should be unarmed? an absolutely resounding no. for every incident in which police used "excessive force," i know there are hundreds and thousands of incidences in which they peacefully took down a suspect or the use of a weapon saved everyone's life involved. and for that i thank them. i for one am not someone who would put their lives on the line everyday like they do, especially with the nastiness that is in this world. i think they should be equipped to face whatever situation they are to come up against, and that includes use of a gun.

i think the larger issue is more education, more psychological and mental health reviews. i don't know the intricacies that go along with being a police officer, but i know it is a high stress job. and being that i'm a bit partial to the field of psychology, i don't think it would hurt to have a regularly instituted review to catch any red flags.

to be entirely honest, i waver on the issue of guns. i've never shot one myself, they scare the death out of me. but i want to learn in order to help overcome that fear, because i never know when i'm going to come up against one. it's the same reason i took self-defense classes, because the sad fact is there is a lot of evil in this world. part of me isn't opposed to the idea of eliminating guns ENTIRELY from the world. if that were the case, then i'm all for unarming the police too. but the reality is that it's not going to happen. guns are far too widespread and integral in the governments. i'm not saying that's a good or bad thing. it's just a fact. they don't fight wars with pots and pans (now lets see who gets that reference).

i'm sorry, but saying we need to unarm the police is a slap in their face, in the face of all the honorable men and women who lay their lives on the line every day for our safety and well-being. how about you bite the hand that feeds you while you're at it? unarming isn't the solution. there are far better ways to deal with the glitches in the system.


I was always scared with my mother's obsession with the good scissors. It made me wonder if there were evil scissors lurking in the house somewhere.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

**giggles**

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:The question 'should police be armed?' has a meaning which varies according to where it's being asked.

Asked in the USA, it's about whether the police should have their guns removed; asked in the UK, it's about whether police should be given guns in the first place (in the UK, guns are not routine for police, just for specialist units).

Where the USA is concerned, I'm not saying anything- centuries of easy access to guns for the population have led to a situation where there is so much routine gun violence that I suspect that police really, really do need to be armed to have any hope of maintaining order.

However, happily, the UK is nowhere near that level of routine gun violence and, IMO, the less guns are routinly available (whether to the general public or as standard police arms) the more likely this state of affairs will persist.

Yes, as a result of not being armed, a few UK police will be shot and killed, which is a terrible thing.

Obviously, if armed with guns, those officers may live, but, if a consequence of armed UK police is that there are more firearms incidents and so more than 10 officers die/year, then it is counter-productive.

Criminals aren't stupid, if they know the police they're going to come up against are routinly armed, then they'll also be routinly armed- then we get a situation like in the USA, where, although police can defend themselves against armed criminals, it's ultimately counter-productive because of the very high number of gun incidents.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:I can't say I agree with the idea that if the police are armed, then the criminals will arm themselves in response . We've had armed police for as long as I can remember. and our criminals are NOT routinely armed. Like I said in the post above, we have U.K. style gun laws, which means guns, especially pistols, are not readily available.

I'm not saying guns don't exist, but the American style carnage you expect might happen in U.K. hasn't happened here.


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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Lurch - my last post has been emotionally colored. Originating from Germany I do have sucked the umm opposition to institutional abuse of power, while getting breastfed. I neither meant to insult you, nor anyone else.

To topic:

Amadillo-case, caliber, firing rate - As far as my knowledge goes, 9mm is a pretty high caliber also in Pistols, dunno of any "practicable" handgun that holds a higher caliber. A firing rate of 15 bullets per second with a semi-automatic is - let me say - unlikely. The actual model of the H&K MP 5A2 (a machine gun that is commonly used by the German police) has a firing rate of 800 rounds per minute (=> 13.3 per second). Now you want to tell me that the officers shoot faster semi-automatic?... I want to call that: unlikely. Accuracy: The SIG Sauer 229 (widely used by FBI, CIA, DEA and many other "law enforcement authorities" within the US) "(enables the shooting officer) to keep aproximately 12 rounds within a 3 1/2'' circle in continuous firing strings that offered no pause for rest." Police officers undergo regular training and I just can't see any reason for 4 officers to shoot 41 times to "stop" someone from pulling a gun out of his jacket...

I repeat: Why would an officer die on the first hit, while a suspect seems to need at least 20?

And YES - it's not only the fact THAT they shot him dead - it is ALSO THE WAY HOW...

And no! No! No! I am NOT comfortable knowing that my neighbour is highly armed. And it's not because sometimes in the morning I am a little grumpy. It's because I just know how people are. IMHO this is just ridiculous! You want to tell me that owning a 1919A4 .30-06 is in your constitutional rights? Or maybe your want to mailorder your gun?

But this is offtopic...

I'm also not comfortable that German police is carrying guns. IMHO it should not be necessary. I'm afraid to have gained the opinion that - by following the new american century - we will fall into a more desperate and socially unfair system, where violence amongst citizens will be very common.

Again - in sad terms - the US wants to be a trend-setter...


When will we learn that the sentence: "I have the bigger gun(s) - obey my orders!" is not working! Neither inside, nor outside the US. Get over your pioneer, He-man attitude - please!


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Lurch
Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon
Member Since: 1st Nov 2003
Total posts: 929
Posted:9mm is not all that large as far as handgun rounds go. 9mm is generally considered the smallest anyone would go into combat with. You've still got .357's .38 .40 S&W 10mm .45 GAP and .45ACP

I think you misread the statement on the Amadillo case. The study showed officers could unload their handgun in 4 seconds, not one. Even untrained individuals can easily get 2 shots off extremely quickly in well under a second (thus the term 'double tap') I can even empty mine (12+1) in under 4 seconds.

I'm not arguing that 41 shots isn't excessive, however I understand some of the stresses involved in such situations, and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see someone shoot until their gun stops going bang. That comes down to training. I'm afraid that the 'regular training' you speak of is only completely coming into effect recently. There are problems with police training, I'll admit to that, but they are being worked on, and I don't see that as a reason to disarm, and endanger the officers behind the badge.

Written by: FireTom
I repeat: Why would an officer die on the first hit, while a suspect seems to need at least 20?



A 124 grain 9mm bullet going at 1200fps does considerably less damage than a similarly sized bullet fired from a rifle at well over twice the speed.

Yes, you can buy class 3 weapons (machine guns) in some states. But it is far more difficult than you make it look by linking to a website, and I have never heard of a legally obtained class 3 weapon being used in a crime.

It's never been about the guns, it is about my right to defend myself. If firearms are the most effective means to do so, why would I allow them to be removed? I own and endorse weapons for the same reason I endorse fire alarms, or airbags, or seatbelts. I hope to God I never have to use any of those, but if I do, I know I want them there.

Noone has even asked why I own a weapon.


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ducky2108
ducky2108

A little bit of a board whore
Location: Glasgow
Member Since: 18th Dec 2005
Total posts: 147
Posted:Written by: Lurch


It's never been about the guns, it is about my right to defend myself. If firearms are the most effective means to do so, why would I allow them to be removed? I own and endorse weapons for the same reason I endorse fire alarms, or airbags, or seatbelts. I hope to God I never have to use any of those, but if I do, I know I want them there.





That's an argument I've seen before. However, it's also not entirely accurate. If you own the very latest, best fire alarm, all it will do is up the chances of saving your life, if used.

If you buy the most up to date, best gun, then all that will do is up the chances of you TAKING a life, if used.

No matter what you say, a gun is designed for one thing and one thing only. It is designed to kill. You can dress it up all you like as a defense toll etc etc, but it is designed to kill. There is no getting around that fact. The fact it works in defense, is because of the fear of death.

In the UK, it's not only illegal to own firearms, but I'm pretty sure (although I may be wrong) it's illegal to carry concealed weaponry. This means, that with the majority of people you meet on the street, you can be pretty sure that they're carrying nothing more dangerous than a nail file.

I suspect that the reason people haven't asked you why you own a gun is a) they don't really care, or b) They expect a response along the lines of "it's my right as an american citizen", which is personally a reason I've heard many times before.


Ancient wiseman say "It is very strange person, who, when left alone in room with teacosy, does not try it on"

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Nephtys
Nephtys

resident fridge magnet
Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands
Member Since: 3rd Oct 2002
Total posts: 835
Posted:Written by: Lurch

Written by: Nephtys
USA: civilians allowed to own firearms
total population: about 281,500,000 (based on 2000 census)
gun deaths: 29,573 --> approx. 0,01% of total population

Netherlands: civilian gun ownership not allowed
total population about 16,000,000
gun deaths: 89 --> approx. 0,0006% of total population [/quote



I don't have the information to look it up, but again that is unfair. Of course there is going to be a higher percentage of gun deaths in a country where guns are more prolific. The use of guns isn't the issue, the violence of the civilians is. You also cannot look at the death rates, as no doubt there are many many many more cases in which someone survived. Aggravate assault is a much more accurate statistic to look at. Examining those, and removing any notion of firearms, and I'm guessing those statistics will start to become very close. As in, the aggravated assault rates per capita (regardless of weapon choice) are probably fairly close.



Hm, i can't get it to look right, only the bit with the numbers is mine, the rest is Lurch's.


Lurch, I'm not sure what aggravate violence is in Dutch, if I find out I might go a-hunting (or not, depending on how strong the ugre to procrastinate is... I'm supposed to be studying smile)

My problem with gun possession though is that it's a lot easier to kill someone on impulse with a gun than it is with anything else. The classic example of walking in on your partner in bed with another person: if there is a gun in the room (say, in the drawer of the bedside table) you're a lot more likely to do them serious -even fatal- damage than when you punch him/her/them in the face.

Same goes for burglary: burglars here don't tend to carry guns, because getting caught burgling with possession of an illegal firearm is going to get you into a lot more trouble than just burglary. If I were to wake up in the middle of the night and realise there's a burglar in the house, I'd probably scream and he'd probably hop right back out the window - whereas if either of us had a gun there might be a whole lot more damage.

Finally, if I'm out for the night, it's nice to know that the worst that can happen if someone gets annoyed with me is that they pull a knife (though switchblades etc. aren't allowed either here) - it's a lot more effective to run away from a knife than it is from a bullet!


everyone's unique except me

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Zauberdachs
Zauberdachs

enthusiast
Location: The village of Edinburgh
Member Since: 28th Jul 2004
Total posts: 220
Posted:Written by: Lurch

I have a feeling that the actual number of criminals with firearms in your country is far higher than you believe.




That would probably be the same feeling that leads you to arm yourself against your neighbour? wink

Written by: Lurch

I take pride in being able to own what I want, because I want to.




So to does the criminal I imagine eek

Written by: Lutch

You just justified the use of excessive force merely because a handgun was involved. If it takes you guys three armored cars and a SWAT team to settle what a single deputy who was armed to begin with could settle, faster, and by putting less people in danger, who is being unreasonable?




excessive force? interesting interpretation. What I said was disproportionate force to anything the criminal could reasonably expect to handle. For example: A single criminal with a gun is met by a couple of highly trained specialised gun experts.

I would much prefer this to one or a couple of nervious/gungho stressed out deputies or even to a room full of nervious untrained stressed out fellow citizens all with the right to arm and defend themselves smile

Written by: lutch

Over here at least, it takes at least 30 minutes to up to 2 hours to assemble a SWAT team for an assault. How much damage could an armed person do in 30 minutes while you sit and wait for the police to show up with the power to stop them? I'm sorry, but someone intent on hurting you isn't going to wait. Even if you call emergency, it's going to be long over by the time police get there.




and somehow this doesn't happen everyday, or even every month or in fact more than once a century in this country, wierd huh? wink

Written by: lutch

You said it yourself, if a gun isn't an option, get a knife. Removing the guns won't change the crime rate




like you admit above you can do a lot more damage with a gun than you can do with a knife. I'd also rather run from a guy with a knife than from a guy with a gun.

Written by: lutch

So you're forced to stand there, and watch an officer be beat to death and all you can do is 'call in backup,' and 'take down a description'. redface




Does this happen often in the States? Can you expect to find yourself in a situation where someone is being beaten to death and you cannot intervene without a gun? confused


The insults of your enemy are a tribute to your bravery wink

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nearly_all_gone
nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2004
Total posts: 1626
Posted:Written by: Lurch


It's never been about the guns, it is about my right to defend myself. If firearms are the most effective means to do so, why would I allow them to be removed? I own and endorse weapons for the same reason I endorse fire alarms, or airbags, or seatbelts. I hope to God I never have to use any of those, but if I do, I know I want them there.



Noone has even asked why I own a weapon.



Oh come on, surely you can see the difference that it'd be fairly hard to kill someone with a fire alarm, or accidentally kill someone with a seatbelt or airbag.. a gun is designed to injure or kill things, people or animals. Surely you can understand how ridiculous that paragraph looks when you put it next to fire alarms - how many fire alarm related deaths were there in the US last year?



Written by: Lurch
I would never want to be put in a position where I cannot save a life of an innocent person, merely because I do not have, or am not allowed to have, the tools to help them.



By that logic you're not doing your duty as an American citizen if you don't own a crash cart, know CPR, can perform open heart surgery... surely it's better that a few die accidentally than everyone has a go at being a doctor, probably making the situation worse. Correct? Then why not leave the dealing with criminals to the cops, who are trained, experienced and paid to do so? Yes, if you stop trying to be your own doctor you will get ill, and you may die, but at least you won't run around murdering people in the belief that you're helping society in some way.



I deleted the rest of my post because I must admit it made some sweeping generalisations. Suffice to say I don't think cultural history is a good reason to give people the implements to go around killing each other with the 1cm motion of a finger, regardless of whether it's equipment which is also used in a passtime. That's a bit like saying you can get a driving licence by having a background check and waiting 3 days. It wouldn't be safe, and the amount of road deaths each year would increase enormously - like the US figure of gun-related deaths, and other crimes resulting in gun ownership, like I mentioned before - armed robbery, car-jacking etc.



I spent the first 20 years of my life in a rural community and whilst people owned shotguns, no-one ever got shot. Sport shooting is a big passtime in rural parts of the UK too, but we don't have anything like the gun-crime you have because we have a good system of gun control which doesn't mean that you can buy a gun in 3 days.



And I don't believe any of this is OT, like I said before, because I think the main reason police carry guns is to be effective against gun-posessing assailants. Obviously the amount of weapons floating around in a particular country is going to affect the need for the police to arm themselves.


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Sethis
Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University
Member Since: 16th May 2005
Total posts: 1762
Posted:Written by: Lurch

They are also designed for sport and for fun. Believe it or not going to the range is actually a lot of fun. Hell 10% of the winter olympics sports involve shooting last I knew.



I know going to the range is fun, I quite enjoy shooting air pistols and .22 air rifles. I question why it is necessary to use a real gun for these purposes when air rifles are just as effective. Why own something like a Mag .357 to go to the range? Why not an air pistol? Unless it's the whole "My balls are bigger than yours because I've got a bigger gun" thing...

Written by: Lurch

You just justified the use of excessive force merely because a handgun was involved. If it takes you guys three armored cars and a SWAT team to settle what a single deputy who was armed to begin with could settle, faster, and by putting less people in danger, who is being unreasonable?




You've missed the point, gun crime is NOT common here BECAUSE criminals know that's the response they'll get. Therefore it is cost effective to respond in such a manner here, whereas if every incident in America involving a gun was responded to in the same way, then it wouldn't be cost effective.

Written by: Lurch

No wonder you're afraid of your police if they will send an assault team to your house because they think you might have a weapon. Sorry but *that* I would have a problem with.



Again, I'm not afraid of assault teams. I've said that I accept they are sometimes necessary. I'm not personally afraid of them because I don't own any weapons. shrug

Written by: Lurch

Even if you call emergency, it's going to be long over by the time police get there.



That's applicable to any crime, regardless of the weaponry involved.

Written by: Lurch

You said it yourself, if a gun isn't an option, get a knife. Removing the guns won't change the crime rate, you're only removing the ability and tools law abiding citizens use to protect themselves.



It won't reduce crime. It will reduce the numbers of GUN crimes, which IMO are more serious than most others. Also, I'm not removing anything from people, because very very few civilians here possess firearms in the first place.

Written by: Lurch

Maybe you honestly do think it's better to roll over and get stabbed instead of fighting back. I disagree however, and I will refuse to be a victim. I mean no offence by this, but I will not merely say 'Baa' when I'm bit, I'll bite back.



Point out anywhere where I said I wouldn't defend myself please? In the UK I fight back with my knowledge of hand to hand combat, because that's how I'm most likely to be assaulted. In America you fight back with a gun, because that's what YOU'RE more likely to be facing. I know which I'd prefer.

Written by: Lurch

So firearms equate to slavery and human sacrifice? I fail to see how that jump is being made. Why do you need alcohol? It does nothing positive for society, but it is part of your lifestyle, might as well get rid of that, look at the lives cost due to drunk drivers, no doubt that is far higher than firearm related deaths in either of our countries. How about tobacco? At least firearms have a viable defensive and sporting use in society, you see it as a negative, I see it as an equalizer. "God made man, Mr Colt made them all equal"



I didn't say alcohol or tobacco was good for society. I'd happily support a total ban and illegalisation of both substances. smile I wasn't comparing guns to human sacrifices, I was comparing your defence of guns to the defence used for human sacrifices. Same goes for slavery.

I've mentioned the sporting thing already. About the equaliser, I rather think I would prefer men not to be equal. Y'know, like the criminals aren't equally armed as the police. Like a pumped up 16 year old kid with a gun isn't equal to me when he decides I'm looking at him in the wrong way.

Written by: Lurch

I'm not saying that it is all peachy and clear cut like that. But it is still saying something when the officers themselves encourage people to take the steps to ensure their own protection.



Our officers encourage us to protect ourselves. They say "run away and call the police" or failing that "Give the attacker what he wants, your wallet is not worth your life" smile

Written by: Lurch

Written by: Sethis
Tell me that an axe is much more preferable to a gun in almost any situation (from the defending point of view).



I'll agree to that. As long as I have a gun. Combat statistics show that within 20', a person with a knife, versus a person with a holstered side arm, the knife will almost always win. I would definatly not want to go up against someone with an axe if all i had was an asp or pepperspray. Taser maybe, but tasers are not always effective, and there is still a large part of the LEO community that do not carry them.



Well it was more following on from the scenario of a policeman stopping a driver than anything else. It would be preferable for the man to have pulled out an axe than for him to have pulled out a rifle. I know at close range melee weapons will win, which is why officers wear stab jackets smile

(On a side note: Very very very few people can fight effectively with an axe, I'd be happy to try my luck against a member of the public with an axe if I had a police issue baton and spray)

Written by: Lurch

So you're forced to stand there, and watch an officer be beat to death and all you can do is 'call in backup,' and 'take down a description'.



You didn't say beaten to death, you said "on the ground getting kicked".

Written by: Lurch

Over here at least, the "correct" answer would be to draw, order them to stop, and if they didn't you shoot them. Simple as that. Down officer lives, bad guy goes to the hospital or goes to the morgue.



That's my problem. Assaulting an officer, or manslaughter AS CRIMES do not justify the death penalty. At all. Why is it alright to shoot someone dead for it?

Written by: Lurch

I would never want to be put in a position where I cannot save a life of an innocent person, merely because I do not have, or am not allowed to have, the tools to help them.



In the same way I would never want to be in the position where owning a gun was common. smile


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Lurch
Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon
Member Since: 1st Nov 2003
Total posts: 929
Posted:Written by: ducky2108
That's an argument I've seen before. However, it's also not entirely accurate. If you own the very latest, best fire alarm, all it will do is up the chances of saving your life, if used.

If you buy the most up to date, best gun, then all that will do is up the chances of you TAKING a life, if used.



That most up to date gun will very well likely up my chances of SAVING my life, or the life of my family. If it's life or death, no choices left, the badguy or me. I'll be the one breathing at the end of it thank you very much. Whether it be by gun, or any other means, the gun gives me the greatest chance of saving my own life, and not being harmed in the process.

I'm sorry, but if someone is trying to kill me, and I can't get away, I'm going to try and kill them right back.

Written by: Nephtys
Lurch, I'm not sure what aggravate violence is in Dutch, if I find out I might go a-hunting



Aggravated assault would be any attack, that could result in great bodily harm or death. Any attack with weapons for example, although weapons do not need to be involved. Google "Define: aggravated assault" and you'll get a good idea of what it entails.

Written by: Zauberdachs
For example: A single criminal with a gun is met by a couple of highly trained specialised gun experts.

I would much prefer this to one or a couple of nervious/gungho stressed out deputies or even to a room full of nervious untrained stressed out fellow citizens all with the right to arm and defend themselves



No need to trivialize the training and experience the deputies have. You have taken a situation that could have been resolved in a couple minutes by a properly trained and armed deputy, and turned it into a full scale assault. There is no need for that. It doesn't matter if it happens once a month, or once a year, or once a decade. Once is enough is it not? Personally I'd rather the good guys live, and the bad guys get injured than the other way around.

Written by: Zauberdachs
Does this happen often in the States? Can you expect to find yourself in a situation where someone is being beaten to death and you cannot intervene without a gun?



No this doesn't happen often... But yes there are situations where I could not, or would not intervene without a weapon. If it were one on one? maybe, 4 people attacking one, I'm sorry but I'm not going to jump in there and start throwing punches, I will lose, and probably end up just as bad if not worse than whoever they were attacking in the first place.

You guys need to undestand these are worst case scenarios, it's not like this stuff happens constantly everywhere in the US.

Written by: _kevlarsoul_
Oh come on, surely you can see the difference that it'd be fairly hard to kill someone with a fire alarm, or accidentally kill someone with a seatbelt or airbag.. a gun is designed to injure or kill things, people or animals. Surely you can understand how ridiculous that paragraph looks when you put it next to fire alarms - how many fire alarm related deaths were there in the US last year?



I'm afraid you completely missed the point of that. If there is something that will result in better odds for me, my family, or my loved ones to come out of a violent attack alive, is it unreasonable for me to want that?

People with CCW's do not go around killing people. The same way people who carry pocket knives don't go around stabbing people when they get upset. If you cannot control yourself, or don't have any faith in anyone else to control themselves then no wonder you fear guns. Firearms require discipline, plain and simple.

Written by: Sethis
I know going to the range is fun, I quite enjoy shooting air pistols and .22 air rifles. I question why it is necessary to use a real gun for these purposes when air rifles are just as effective. Why own something like a Mag .357 to go to the range? Why not an air pistol? Unless it's the whole "My balls are bigger than yours because I've got a bigger gun" thing...



Bigger booms are more fun. Handguns are a completely different breed and different experience to shoot than rifles, shotguns, or air guns.

Written by: Sethis

That's applicable to any crime, regardless of the weaponry involved.



Exactly. Do not rely on the police to protect you. "Running away" is not always an option.

Written by: Sethis
Point out anywhere where I said I wouldn't defend myself please? In the UK I fight back with my knowledge of hand to hand combat, because that's how I'm most likely to be assaulted. In America you fight back with a gun, because that's what YOU'RE more likely to be facing. I know which I'd prefer.



I have no problem with that. In fact, I could not morally, nor legally shoot someone over a fist fight, that should be obvious. But if I am cornered in my house, and they A: outnumber me, B: grossly outsize me, C: have some sort of weapon, be it a screwdriver, knife, baseball bat, crowbar, or gun, and they make aggressive moves towards me or my family. I will put them down.

Would not your same logic determine that (assuming the criminals are not stupid) they would be more likely to break into a house who's occupants were NOT armed, than breaking into a house who's occupants were?


Written by: Sethis
Our officers encourage us to protect ourselves. They say "run away and call the police" or failing that "Give the attacker what he wants, your wallet is not worth your life"



And if running away is not an option? and if "what he wants" is to hurt you?

Written by: Sethis


You didn't say beaten to death, you said "on the ground getting kicked".



I said being repeatedly kicked in the head. There is only so much of that the human body can withstand.

If it is good guy, or bad guy, the good guy should be the one to come out of it alive. I can't believe you wouldn't agree with that. Would you honestly say you woudn't take someones life to save another or your own? Or that the officers life isn't worth killing the bad guy over if there are no other options?


Sorry if I missed some comments, there is a lot to keep up with tongue I know I've walked into the lions den over this entire thread but I'm doing my best to keep up.


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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:You and your family are more at risk if you own a gun. The danger of a murderous intruder is far less than that of a fatal gun accident. I'm also a little uneasy about your 'good guy - bad guy' mentality.

I don't know what the situation is in the states but in Britain there aren't any heavily armed gangs of crimals roving the streets with impunity. The practice of using heavily armed policemen for a street patrol isn't appropriate here.


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spiralx
spiralx

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Location: London, UK
Member Since: 1st May 2002
Total posts: 1376
Posted:Written by: Lurch
People with CCW's do not go around killing people. The same way people who carry pocket knives don't go around stabbing people when they get upset. If you cannot control yourself, or don't have any faith in anyone else to control themselves then no wonder you fear guns. Firearms require discipline, plain and simple.


Indeed. But in the US are you required to be a disciplined person to purchase a firearm? Will a background check spot that you're the sort of person who will shoot their wife when you find out she's been having an affair ten years in the future? Because this is what happens regularly when people have guns in the house - there's no way of ensuring that you're selling only to people who will use them responsibly.

And of course at gun fairs, you don't even get any kind of checks.


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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Lurch, I think the reason that noone has asked why you own a gun is that the reason is obvious....you're in law enforcement.

Speaking as a Canadian,I can see why the British feel intimidated by police carrying those cool looking guns that you see in the movies, I would too. I see this as quite a bit different than a pistol on a hip.

I'm not going to get into this whole citizens right to bear arms discussion, that's an American thing, and I fully understand your arguments in favour. Suffice to say I'm happy I don't live in a heavily armed society


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Lurch
Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon
Member Since: 1st Nov 2003
Total posts: 929
Posted:I'm not in law enforcement, I work *with* law enforcement, and am heavily involved with the people, but I am not a police officer myself.

Written by: jeff(fake)
You and your family are more at risk if you own a gun.


Sorry but that's more standard anti-gun rhetoric.

Written by: jeff(fake)
The danger of a murderous intruder is far less than that of a fatal gun accident. I'm also a little uneasy about your 'good guy - bad guy' mentality.

I don't know what the situation is in the states but in Britain there aren't any heavily armed gangs of crimals roving the streets with impunity. The practice of using heavily armed policemen for a street patrol isn't appropriate here.



The chances of a "murderous intruder" breaking into your home depends where you live. No doubt there is very little chance of that where I currently live. But weapons require discipline. If you are not ready and willing to handle them the correctly and follow the safety rules, than yes (innocent) people can get hurt. There is a reason the firearms community says there is no such thing as an AD (accidental discharge) only Negligent Discharges. There is no such thing as an accident in regards to firearms.

We don't exactly have "heavily armed gangs" roaming the streets here either, but that doesn't change the fact that group beatings have, and will continue to occur (albeit rarely) everywhere in the world. Group mentality makes such grievous assaults on another person easier.

No doubt that armed policemen are not as needed there, however I do not consider a sidearm on the officers hip "heavily armed."

Written by: spiralx
Will a background check spot that you're the sort of person who will shoot their wife when you find out she's been having an affair ten years in the future? Because this is what happens regularly when people have guns in the house



I'm sorry but it appears you've been taking too much from the media or some such post. I fail to see any culture (save some possible middle eastern areas) where murder is actually considered a "regular and common" response to infidelity, it certainly isn't here. In such cases if someone is going be attacked, surely a gun in the house is not the determining factor.

Of course there is no way of determining that owners will always use their gun responsibly. Just as there is no way in ensuring that you will never drive you car drunk. I'm sorry but "You might hurt someone someday eventually." is a poor excuse.

(most gun shows require the same background checks that FFL dealers require, however rarely the waiting period. And no vendor is going to sell a weapon to an obviously distraught or insane individual.)

Between 1977 and 1992, 10 states in the US adopted 'right to carry' laws. During that time in said states there were:

-- No change in suicide rates
-- A 0.5% rise in accidental firearm deaths (true thats bad, but to be expected)
-- A 5% decline in rapes
-- A 7% decline in aggrivated assault
-- A 8% decline in murder.

if you want that in numbers, that means annually there was

1 more accidental gun death
316 less murders
939 less rapes
and 14,702 less aggrivated assaults


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Zauberdachs
Zauberdachs

enthusiast
Location: The village of Edinburgh
Member Since: 28th Jul 2004
Total posts: 220
Posted:Out of interest lurch, would you be happy living in the UK where you would not be allowed to own a gun for self defence but where there is also next to zero gun crime?



Assuming that you could continue to shoot at gun clubs or join the territorial army.



This is not a trick question, but genuine interest.


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Lurch
Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon
Member Since: 1st Nov 2003
Total posts: 929
Posted:Guns are not such a determining factor in my life that I MUST HAVE THEM. They are more sport to me, defense is not my primary reasoning for owning guns, it is however an important one, and the main one to come up when I have to defend my choice of having one. If I lived in a culture where there was virtually no violence, then no, I don't think I would have (as much of) a problem giving up weapons.

Like I said before, I'll gladly give you mine if you take them away from the criminals first.

I've never been in a situation where I would need a weapon, I've never been in a serious life or death fight or brawl, I've never been robbed, nor have I ever had a weapon pulled on me. I hope I never have to use one. But on the rare circumstance I may have to, I hope I have it with me.


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Sethis
Sethis

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Location: York University
Member Since: 16th May 2005
Total posts: 1762
Posted:Sorry for making you post so many replies, I was composing mine while Zauberdachs and Kevlarsoul were posting, and consequently didn't notice them. smile

Well basically, over here we HAVE taken them away from the criminals and normal people. Of course it's not 100% but it never will be. But seriously, the level of gun crime here is *low*.

But the question was never whether you'd give them up, it was whether our police should be armed with pistols or (worse) automatic rifles. I maintain that they shouldn't.

You have offered several good reasons why officers need them in America. I:

1. Agree, because I know your criminals are more heavily armed than ours are (in general)
2. Don't have enough experience of America to make a valid judgement. However I trust your opinion as someone who works closely with the law.

In this country (to go by your "defending yourself" argument) if you used a firearm to defend yourself against anything other than another gun, you would be arrested and jailed. Even if they *did* have a gun then it would be a hit and miss court case.


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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Sethis: I think we do not need (heavily) armed police (in Europe) but fast responding special squads.

In Europe we're currently also working upon cutting back our military and setting up a professional squad that will be much more effective and cost efficient than the forces we have today.

For the US... sorry guys, you're doomed shrug wink


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Lurch
Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon
Member Since: 1st Nov 2003
Total posts: 929
Posted:No worries, this little debate is keeping my mind of other things so it's all good. I know I'm not going to change anyones mind. But I'm glad that you agree that disarming police (at least in the US) is a bad idea.... Although I'm still a bit disappointed that you think we're all a band of armed gun toting pirates wink

I've had a bit of a chance to look up some stats and various comments/articles.. I know they're just numbers, but I found them interesting and wondered if you might comment on them.

Note: This was written in March 2004, a couple years old but I think it probably still holds merit.
Written by:
The murder rate in London has doubled in 12 months to reach one of its highest levels ever, according to the most recent Home Office statistics, which have been leaked to the Telegraph.

In the final three months of last year there were 61 murders in the capital, compared with just 31 in the same quarter, the previous year. The figure is the highest total for the last three months of any year, according to the Metropolitan Police's published figures. In the final three months of 2000, for example, there were only 40 murders, while in the same period of 2001 and 2002 there were 43 and 31 respectively.



There are also references to other countries, that have been mentioned here and I think are worth noting..

Written by:
In England and Wales:

Both Conservative and Labour governments have introduced restrictive firearms laws over the past 20 years; all handguns were banned in 1997.

Yet in the 1990s alone, the homicide rate jumped 50 percent, going from 10 per million in 1990 to 15 per million in 2000. While not yet as high as the US, in 2002 gun crime in England and Wales increased by 35 percent. This is the fourth consecutive year that gun crime has increased.

In Australia:

While violent crime is decreasing in the United States, it is increasing in Australia. Over the past six years, the overall rate of violent crime in Australia has been on the rise -- for example, armed robberies have jumped 166 percent nationwide.

The confiscation and destruction of legally owned firearms has cost Australian taxpayers at least $500 million. The cost of the police services bureaucracy, including the costly infrastructure of the gun registration system, has increased by $200 million since 1997.

In Canada:

Over the past decade, the rate of violent crime in Canada has increased while in the United States the violent crime rate has plummeted. The homicide rate is dropping faster in the US than in Canada.



Now for the pretty pictures biggrin

Violent Crime rates (essentially the aggravated assault rates that I discussed earlier) In Canada vs. the US

Non-Https Image Link


I'll admit that one surprised me, I didn't know that the Canadian violent crime rate was higher than the United States, and it makes me question the validity of these a little bit, but I'll have to do more research on that later.

UK vs US


Non-Https Image Link


Now if these really are true, which as far as I can tell are fairly accurate, than please note the massive spike of violent crime in the UK. And also note the date when it starts the rather impressive upswing. I don't think it's merely coincidence that matches with the handgun ban in 1997.


The following quotations are pulled from a BBC article, and I'll link the full thing at the end if you want to go through it.

Written by:
The failure of this general disarmament to stem, or even slow, armed and violent crime could not be more blatant. According to a recent UN study, England and Wales have the highest crime rate and worst record for "very serious" offences of the 18 industrial countries surveyed.



Written by:
...It is true that in contrast to Britain's tight gun restrictions, half of American households have firearms, and 33 states now permit law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons.

But despite, or because, of this, violent crime in America has been plummeting for 10 consecutive years, even as British violence has been rising. By 1995 English rates of violent crime were already far higher than America's for every major violent crime except murder and rape.

You are now six times more likely to be mugged in London than New York. Why? Because as common law appreciated, not only does an armed individual have the ability to protect himself or herself but criminals are less likely to attack them. They help keep the peace. A study found American burglars fear armed home-owners more than the police. As a result burglaries are much rarer and only 13% occur when people are at home, in contrast to 53% in England.



Written by:
When guns were available in England they were seldom used in crime. A government study for 1890-1892 found an average of one handgun homicide a year in a population of 30 million. But murder rates for both countries are now changing. In 1981 the American rate was 8.7 times the English rate, in 1995 it was 5.7 times the English rate, and by last year it was 3.5 times. With American rates described as "in startling free-fall" and British rates as of October 2002 the highest for 100 years the two are on a path to converge.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2656875.stm
br>
And a few other articles of interest:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/ar...in_page_id=1770
br>http://www.megastar.co.uk/meganews/news/2006/02/23/sMEG01MTE0MDY5MTQ0MDU.html

It seems gun related crime is far from gone over there...


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spiralx
spiralx

veteran
Location: London, UK
Member Since: 1st May 2002
Total posts: 1376
Posted:Written by: Lurch
Note: This was written in March 2004, a couple years old but I think it probably still holds merit.

Written by:
The murder rate in London has doubled in 12 months to reach one of its highest levels ever, according to the most recent Home Office statistics, which have been leaked to the Telegraph.

In the final three months of last year there were 61 murders in the capital, compared with just 31 in the same quarter, the previous year. The figure is the highest total for the last three months of any year, according to the Metropolitan Police's published figures. In the final three months of 2000, for example, there were only 40 murders, while in the same period of 2001 and 2002 there were 43 and 31 respectively.




Now that has to be taken in context. While the numbers are obviously true the majority of these murders were due to Jamaican Yardies moving into the crack trade over here causing plenty of gun fights and killings over business, and knock-on effects on black youth culture. The 2004 period you quoted actually had a decrease in murders involving a gun.


Written by:
In England and Wales:

Both Conservative and Labour governments have introduced restrictive firearms laws over the past 20 years; all handguns were banned in 1997.

Yet in the 1990s alone, the homicide rate jumped 50 percent, going from 10 per million in 1990 to 15 per million in 2000. While not yet as high as the US, in 2002 gun crime in England and Wales increased by 35 percent. This is the fourth consecutive year that gun crime has increased.


Again, as I said above there are other causes other than the ban on firearms. A significant number of the killers weren't British nationals and wouldn't have been able to purchase a firearm anyway (let alone some of the larger weapons that have been used).

Written by:
In Australia:

While violent crime is decreasing in the United States, it is increasing in Australia. Over the past six years, the overall rate of violent crime in Australia has been on the rise -- for example, armed robberies have jumped 166 percent nationwide.

The confiscation and destruction of legally owned firearms has cost Australian taxpayers at least $500 million. The cost of the police services bureaucracy, including the costly infrastructure of the gun registration system, has increased by $200 million since 1997.


Not entirely true, and the situation in Australia isn't quite as black and white as all that. Snopes has a very good page on it

http://www.snopes.com/crime/statistics/ausguns.asp
br>
I've heard this bit misquoted plenty of times

Written by: Snopes
Then we have the claim that "In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent." This is another example of how misleading statistics can be when the underlying numbers are not provided: Victoria, a state with a population of over four-and-a-half million people in 1997, experienced 7 firearm-related homicides in 1996 and 19 firearm-related homicides in 1997 (an increase of 171%, not 300%). An additional twelve homicides amongst a population of 4.5 million is not statistically significant, nor does this single-year statistic adequately reflect long-term trends.



Written by: lurch
In Canada:

Over the past decade, the rate of violent crime in Canada has increased while in the United States the violent crime rate has plummeted. The homicide rate is dropping faster in the US than in Canada.


In return

Written by:
Despite the widely publicized number of 52 shooting deaths in Toronto last year, figures from Statistics Canada show that in 2004 the crime rate was 12 percent lower than a decade ago. Other figures show that Canadas homicide rate did rise 12 percent in 2004, but only after hitting a 36-year low in 2003.


The general trend over the last 15 years has been a decrease in firearm-related deaths - certainly individual years may see a rise, but that doesn't constitute a pattern.

Written by:
Violent Crime rates (essentially the aggravated assault rates that I discussed earlier) In Canada vs. the US

Non-Https Image Link


I'll admit that one surprised me, I didn't know that the Canadian violent crime rate was higher than the United States, and it makes me question the validity of these a little bit, but I'll have to do more research on that later.


Indeed. Here's a pretty graph for you smile

http://www.sfu.ca/~mauser/papers/LondonTower2003/Fig12CDNcrimes.xls.pdf
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Written by:
UK vs US


Non-Https Image Link


Now if these really are true, which as far as I can tell are fairly accurate, than please note the massive spike of violent crime in the UK. And also note the date when it starts the rather impressive upswing. I don't think it's merely coincidence that matches with the handgun ban in 1997.


Not really - as I said there's been a huge increase in gang violence over the last decade, and I'm not sure why you think that a significant number of the population ever owned a firearm? When the ban came into force 162,000 guns were handed in, which assuming 1 per person that's 0.3% of the population no longer owning a gun. So how is that going to make such a difference to crime figures?

Written by:
...It is true that in contrast to Britain's tight gun restrictions, half of American households have firearms, and 33 states now permit law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons.

But despite, or because, of this, violent crime in America has been plummeting for 10 consecutive years, even as British violence has been rising. By 1995 English rates of violent crime were already far higher than America's for every major violent crime except murder and rape.

You are now six times more likely to be mugged in London than New York. Why? Because as common law appreciated, not only does an armed individual have the ability to protect himself or herself but criminals are less likely to attack them. They help keep the peace. A study found American burglars fear armed home-owners more than the police. As a result burglaries are much rarer and only 13% occur when people are at home, in contrast to 53% in England.


Lots of unsubstiantiated assertions there! And besides, you're 33 times more likely to be murdered in Washington than London, or 8 times more likely in New York.

My final point is that crime rates are a funny thing, and don't seem to correlate well with any obvious causes. As far as I know most studies show that gun ownership doesn't have a long-term effect on crime levels either way *shrug*


"Moo," said the happy cow.

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nearly_all_gone
nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2004
Total posts: 1626
Posted:Nice points SpiralX, particularly the figure for how many guns were handed in after the ban. I'd imagine it was fairly EDIT - UNlikely the average was 1 per person, probably above 2 considering how specialist the ownership of handguns has always been in the UK.

What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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spiralx
spiralx

veteran
Location: London, UK
Member Since: 1st May 2002
Total posts: 1376
Posted:That's probably true, in which that put gun ownership at even less than 0.3% of the population wink

As an aside there are currently about 110,000 people with firearms licenses in the UK - 0.2% of the population.


"Moo," said the happy cow.

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Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:Written by:


While the numbers are obviously true the majority of these murders were due to Jamaican Yardies moving into the crack trade over here causing plenty of gun fights and killings over business, and knock-on effects on black youth culture.





"Guns don't kill people, racial minorities do..."

Ok, ok, I know that totally wasn't what you meant... ubbrollsmile Look! I didn't even put your name as the one being quoted wink

I think your point is valid, correlation doesn't always mean causation. However, I know personally that I would never attempt to go into someone else's house to try to steal something... I would run the risk of getting my head blown off by the owner of the home. Instead, I am much more likely to go to a public place and mug someone in a jurisdiction that doesn't allow people to carry guns.


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spiralx
spiralx

veteran
Location: London, UK
Member Since: 1st May 2002
Total posts: 1376
Posted:That's undoubtedly true for you. But social deprevation might make you desparate enough to risk it anyway...

And yeah I didn't mean that. There are plenty of different gangs operating in the UK, some made up a particular minority group (the Albanians and Turks have had some vicious battles around where I live over the years) and some not. The Yardies were different in the gun culture they bought over from Jamaica.


"Moo," said the happy cow.

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