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From The Editor | Gangs Bring Hired Guns To UK

From The Editor | Gangs Bring Hired Guns To UK

Recent reports out of the United Kingdom show that being a “gun-free utopia” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be—especially when it comes to being victimized by criminal gangs.

According to a report last week in The Telegraph, the head of Europol—the EU’s crime fighting agency—says gangs of criminals across Europe are buying low-cost airline tickets to fly members into Britain for pickpocketing, breaking and entering, and car thefts before helping them return home to avoid arrest. Naturally, law-abiding citizens are left to pick up the pieces in a society that won’t permit them to fend for themselves.

“We have seen this phenomenon of mobile organized crime groups who are nationals of one country but operate across multiple countries,” Europol head Brian Donald told the newspaper. “They just do volume crime—they steal wallets, cars, break into houses, you name it, and then they are plucked out of the area they’re in and sent home before they are shipped out to another country. There is a whole infrastructure behind them that takes the stolen property and moves it on so they are free to fly in and out and just do the crime.”

Of course, since gun ownership—as well as self-defense rights, incidentally—are tightly restricted in the UK, these criminals are unarmed, leaving victims in little danger. Right?Of course, since gun ownership—as well as self-defense rights, incidentally—are tightly restricted in the UK, these criminals are unarmed, leaving victims in little danger. Right?

The answer, unfortunately, is “no.” It seems that UK criminals, like criminals elsewhere, just don’t follow gun-control laws. In fact, the issue of illegal firearms has dominated Donald’s time at Europol.

“It is a recurring theme in the conversations I have with police chiefs across Europe—that organized crime gangs, and terrorists, have access to military-grade hardware,” he said. “Charlie Hebdo, Tunisia, the foiled plot in Verviers in Belgium—there have been so many recent examples of military-grade hardware, automatic weapons, assault weapons being used. 

“I would highlight Charlie Hebdo in particular because all the evidence suggests, and I have not seen anything from a Europol perspective that contradicts this, the weapons were bought on the illicit market.” 

With criminals armed to the teeth and citizens mostly disarmed by government decree, criminal gangs have little reason to fear breaking into a house in broad daylight and stealing whatever they want. How’s that for your “gun-free utopia”?

Is it likely that restoring the right of citizens in the UK to own firearms for self-defense might lead to criminals being less willing to pick pockets, steal cars and break into houses? I believe the answer to that question is a resounding “yes.” 

Unfortunately, we’ll probably never know, since much of Europe has completely abandoned not only private firearm ownership, but the concept of self-defense, period.

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