I may become obsessed soon

I just stumbled across a web log for criminal justice in the U.K.  It has so much interesting information in it that I might find myself obsessed.  Sort of like watching the emergency crews at a accident scene.  It’s a tradegy and there’s nothing you can really do but see the mess the victim is in.  This site is filled with stuff like this:


I’ve just barely begun to read the material and I’m all the more of the opinion that the U.K. is headed for disaster and the better option for crime control is to give enable the potential victims to give the universal hand signal for “GO AWAY!”.  Of course Kim du Toit has a reasonable approach as well:

…shoot the fucking goblin in the heart, at least twice, with a .45 pistol.

That is what Greg Hamilton calls, “the universal hand signal for LIE DOWN!”.


13 thoughts on “I may become obsessed soon

  1. There will always be idiots who write the kind of garbage that you mention here – burglars rights etc. but you fail to realise what the real situation on the street is.

    The fact of the matter is, firearms are not widely available to ANYBODY, crook or home defender, and the threat of extended incarceration just for possession significantly reduces the number of criminals using weapons. Particularly petty criminals. And the end result is that in the UK, be it a home burglary, a street fight or a good old fashioned gang related rumble, people aren’t going to get shot.

    I agree, banning guns doesn’t stop criminals. The firearms and weapons controls are not intended to stop crime. They are intended to prevent crimes becomming fatal. And it works.

  2. Apparently you haven’t been reading the news:


    Some snippits:


    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.

    Much is made of the higher American rate for murder. That is true and has been for some time. But as the Office of Health Economics in London found, not weapons availability, but “particular cultural factors” are to blame.

    A study comparing New York and London over 200 years found the New York homicide rate consistently five times the London rate, although for most of that period residents of both cities had unrestricted access to firearms.

    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.


    The January 16 2000 issue of The Sunday Times of London also has an article of great interest. It’s about the rise of killings in the UK as 3 million illegal guns flood Britian. Some snippets:


    Research suggests that in some areas a third of young criminals, classed as those aged 15 to 25 with convictions, own or have access to guns ranging from Beretta sub-machineguns to Luger pistols, which can be bought from underworld dealers for as little as £200.

    “There is a move from the pistol and the shotgun to automatic weapons,” said Detective Superintendent Keith Hudson, of the national crime squad. “We are recovering weapons that are relatively new – and sometimes still in their boxes – from eastern European countries.”


  3. First off, violent crime is carried out by those who will do it anyway. I am repeatedly reminded of that by pro-gun personalities at every turn. Ergo, a perpetrator of violent crime who is not free to own a firearm must resort to other methods thus, reducing the number of fatalities. Not eliminating violent crime. Not converting him/her into a useful member of society. Just limiting the damage they can do.

    Quote “A study comparing New York and London over 200 years found the New York homicide rate consistently five times the London rate, although for most of that period residents of both cities had unrestricted access to firearms.” – A useless remark without providing details of the ‘actual’ gun ownership figures. The UK access to guns was in fact considerably restricted through availability. Not to mention the cultural differences with regard to gun ownership.

    …UK Home Office minister Hazel Blears said: “The risk of a fatal shooting in England and Wales is still one of the lowest in the world.”

    Not only that, the USA has the worst figures of the 35 richest nations.

    I admit that both sides can manipulate statistics, press coverage or academic studies to suit their own ends. So putting aside clearly biased data from both viewpoints, I fall back on personal experience of both countries.

    The threat of burglary, a street fight or a looney gone wild in the UK doesn’t carry with it the fear of being shot and killed.

  4. And you believe your personal experience is less biased than that of the researchers?

    Also, if you do the research you will find that having gun restrictions doesn’t “limit the damage”. Perps almost always have physical superiority over their victims. Even without a simple weapon such as a knife or club they have the potential for “deadly force”. In addition victims are more compliant when the perp has a gun and if the perp had no intention of hurting anyone then there is less need for a “show of force”.

    Please, please, do your research rather than just report your personal perceptions. If you think the statistics are all biased then do your own research and eliminate or reduce the bias. Otherwise you are contributing only a very small data point that, most likely, is far more biased than any of the available literature.

  5. Of course I believe my personal experience is less biased than research carried out by those with a vested interest in one outcome or another. As do you when you read literature that backs up the anti-gun position.

    You seem to be saying that an armed perp is less likely to use deadly force as his victims will be compliant? But what happens when his victims are also [potentially] armed?

    My views are not just my personal experience. I have done research so my ‘perceptions’ are also supported in fact. E.g. Using UK Home Office and CDC figures for analysis:

    The US/UK population ration is approximately 5:1, whilst homicide rates are 20:1 and firearm homicide rates 160:1

    How about accidental shootings. I don’t have figures for comparison but I am sure they don’t paint a better picture.

  6. It’s a shame that for a while you were willing to offer reasoned responses and then suddenly decided that there is only one question to be answered and anybody who doesn’t agree with you is a bigot!

    Unless you come to terms with the fact that you will always be able to find statistics that support the arguement you want, you are going to be led around like a sheep with no need to think for yourself.

    I have given you statistical data above that supports the arguement that UK gun controls improve the quality of life for the average citizen. What’s more, I have given you testimony from my personal experiance, that living in the UK does not carry with it the rational fear that exists in the USA, that a conflict could result in being shot.

    That you choose to base your beliefs on statistics presented by people who share your beliefs and have a vested financial interest in maintaining the status quo on gun control, rather than experiences of people who have lived on both sides of the arguement and statistics that clearly show a disproportionate number of gun deaths in the US, shows a level of bigotry far beyond that of people who fear guns but can’t provide you with a statistical study to support their fear.

    Well it works both ways. Prove that gun control in the USA would increase homicides or acknowledge your own bigotry.

  7. The CDC has a reputation of being VERY anti-gun. They are not “presented by people who share my beliefs and have a vested financial interest”. They couldn’t find any studies or data that supported the claim that gun control made people safer.

    There is virtually no point in comparing the UK to the US because of the differences in culture and criminal law. Doing the timeline analysis is far more revealing in the case of the UK. Are people safer before or after nearly all guns were banned? If you really want to compare the UK to the US then remove all the data from cities and states in the US where the carrying of firearms for personal protection is prohibited (which is where, surprise, surprise, the highest crime rates are).

    If you want to compare things on the basis of political boundaries do it for someplace like Virginia/Washington D.C. where in Virginia firearms can be legally carried in the open without a license (or concealed with a license) and literally just across the river you have guns banned. Violent crime rate is much lower where guns can be used for self-defense than across the political boundary where they have repressive firearms laws. Proof enough for you?

    Your personal testimony is almost worthless in this debate unless you are an expert in the field of criminology. And I presume you are not. Which reminds me, there have been numerous criminologist that were anti-gun prior to doing the research (Kleck, Wright, and Rossi for example and even Lott had tendencies that way) but come out of the research with a pro-freedom position. Can you show just one criminologist that went the other way?

    You don’t have to agree with me to get off of my list of bigots, you just have to show the world convincing data that gun control makes the average person safer. The CDC couldn’t do it. So far you haven’t done it. And I doubt that you or anyone else CAN do it. As of this point it’s very clear you have earned your title of bigot.

  8. You ignore the data given to you and went on with more meaningless ‘oppinion’ of your own.


    Beig given a title of bigot by somebody like you is actually a compliment.


  9. I did not ignore the data. I have followed the research on gun laws and crime for over a decade. I am VERY familiar with the data. I didn’t think I needed to “spell it out” in such detail but I guess I do. If you want to compare the murder rates between countries then you can’t just choice two countries and claim that proves your point. If I were doing that I would choice Mexico and the U.S. Gun laws in Mexico are draconian. Even possession of a single cartridge will yield a felony conviction in a “medieval” prison. The murder rate in Mexico is about 17.6 per 100,000. In the US is about 5.7 per 100,000. Furthermore anytime you include the U.S. in your data set you have to remove the states and cities that have strict gun control laws. And when you do that you remove the areas with the highest murder rates.

    Take a look at the table here: http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvinco.html

    Also, just today the National Academies (http://www.nap.edu/books/0309091241/html/) came out with a report that says there is no evidence that gun control makes people safer. What makes you think YOU have done better research than they have? Are you a research scientist with unpublished work? I am a research scientist by the way. If you STILL insist on claiming gun control makes the average person safer does then not only are you a bigot but you are an arrogant bigot.

  10. When I look up the word bigot, I don’t find “A person who forms an oppinion based upon experience and research.”

    You mention Mexico as a more suitable country for comparison? Well how about if I compared the UK to Nigeria? That would strengthen my arguement!

    I’ve said all along that this isn’t about statistics, it’s about experience. I drew the comparison between the USA and the UK for several reasons – cultural, economic and personal experience. Have you ever lived in the UK? Can you tell me from experience that the threat of becomming a victim of firearms related crime or accident is no different in the US than the USA? As a “Research Scientist” you should be more than aware that statistics can be easily manipulated. I don’t expect you to change your view based on my experience but when you call me a bigot because I have formed an oppinion based on experience while yours is based on what you yourself refer to as inconclusive research, I realise there’s little point hoping for a reasoned discussion. Have fun and I hope you don’t ever find out the hard way that allowing every muppet to own a gun isn’t a smart thing to do!

  11. I said you can’t just chose two country and claim you have proved your point. If I were to take that approach, which I wouldn’t because it give misleading results at best, I would choose Mexico and the U.S. because it would give me an answer that agreed with my bias. If you want to do cross country comparisons you will need to take as many countries as you can and NOT ‘cherry pick’ your sources.

    Experience is only good for some things. Generating an hypothesis for example, or figuring out how to get unbiased data. The experience you have contributed to this debate is meaningless.

    I have been in the U.K. but I have never lived there.

    And you keep trying bring the topic back to “firearms related crime or accident”. That, in the big picture, is irrelevant. The total number of deaths and/or injury from violent crime is the issue that matters. The accidental deaths in the U.S. due to bullet wounds (somewhere in the 500 to 700/year range and dropping fast) are so few they hardly matter.

    Yes, statistics can be manipulated. That is why we have peer review of papers with the data available for other researchers to look at.

    I call you a bigot because you are obstinately or intolerantly devoted to your own opinions and prejudices. Your “experience” is so narrow that it cannot be used to generate a general policy for the population at large. Only factual data can general the conclusions necessary to make good policy. At the present a committee formed from previously very anti-gun organizations claim the research isn’t conclusive one way or the other. Okay, I’ll accept that for now. That doesn’t mean that I am advocating new laws based on that. But it appears that you are. If I am mistaken on this point then please correct me.

    Just what is it that you think my opinion is that I have based it on inconclusive research? I’m not advocating that the government require every person to be armed and trained at government expense and required to carry their firearms with them at all times–which would be opposite of “ban firearm”. My opinion is that there is no justifiable reason for governments to restrict or register handheld weapons. And all that data I have, including the most recent studies from suspect sources, is consistent with that opinion.

    And I hope you don’t ever have to find out the hard way that restricting the effective means of self-defense isn’t a smart thing to do! If you do, and you survive the encounter, I’ll be glad to recommend someone in your area to remedy your lack of training in the art of combat pistol craft. Or if you visit my area I’ll be glad to give you the training for free–I’m a NRA Certified Instructor.

  12. All of the comparisons in the world between the US and the UK are meaningless beside the irrefutable fact that gun control in Britain has been ineffective. Since the imposition of the handgun ban in Britain, violent crime has increased and gun crime has increased. So the ban didn’t even have the effect of reducing gun crimes, let alone overall violent crime. The fact that people like MAD(what an apt nick) are still advocating failed policies like gun control is laughable. If one puts some thought to the issue, how could it ever have been different? How can a ban on the ownership of firearms by law abiding individuals ever have any effect on criminals who by definition have little regard for the law?

    This kind of argumentation doesn’t even get at the principle that free people should have the right to own firearms to protect their persons and property. As far as I’m concerned, this right is fundamental and I will die before I surrender it.

  13. Just because crime increased after a gun ban was implemented is not conclusive proof that the ban made thing worse. It could be that there are other factors such as an increase in drug turf wars, or the influence of organized crime, or unemployment or some other independent variable. It’s tough to get the research right when you can’t run the same experiment over again with the same initial conditions. That is the reason you need to have data from a lot of different sources and do both time and geographical comparisons.

    And Yosemite Sam, I don’t think you have quite the right attitude. Rather than “die before I surrender it” you should rather kill before you surrender it. The cliché about cold dead fingers should be, “They can have my guns when they reanimate their cold dead fingers.”

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