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London's Gun Control Isn't Stopping Terrorism

London's Gun Control Isn't Stopping Terrorism

London has had some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the world since the 1990s—and since then it has also experienced a litany of terror attacks that have not been hindered in the slightest by controls on firearms.

In fact, it could be argued that the controls only make law-abiding citizens an easier target for terrorists who use rudimentary weapons like knives or cleavers, and particularly easy targets for attackers who are willing to weaponize an automobile, using it to run down and literally run over as many innocent Londoners as possible.

Consider the strict gun controls in place in the United Kingdom, where efforts to limit private gun ownership began shortly after World War I and grew more stringent over time, ultimately becoming among the strictest in 1997. Newsweek did an overview of United Kingdom gun laws and pointed out that “gun ownership in the U.K. is a privilege, not a right.” Because it is a privilege, one cannot own a gun without the state’s permission. This means would-be gun owners must acquire a license, the acquisition of which entails police interviews with the would-be gun owner, “visits to the [would-be gun owner’s] property, criminal records checks and references from friends.”But none of these regulations save a single Londoner when a terrorist drives directly at unarmed innocents with the intent to kill as many as he can.

Those who want to own guns must also possess and demonstrate a legitimate cause for owning a firearm. And for those who do obtain a license, the gun they acquire must be registered. The University of Sydney’s GunPolicy.org plainly states, “In England & Wales, the law requires that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register.”

There are also gun storage laws that must be followed.

Think about it: Would-be gun owners in the U.K. face background checks, police interviews, personal reference requirements, licensing requirements, and firearm registration requirements. And once they acquire a firearm—if they acquire a firearm—they face laws on how firearms must be stored. But none of these regulations save a single Londoner when a terrorist drives directly at unarmed innocents with the intent to kill as many as he can.

The world just witnessed this afresh last Wednesday when 52-year-old Khalid Masood drove his car into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge, then mortally wounded a police officer with a knife. The Guardian reported five deaths—including the officer who was stabbed—and another 50 persons wounded. The wounds of 31 were serious enough to require “hospital treatment.”

The Associated Press lists other attacks, showing that the March 22 massacre was only the latest of numerous attacks Londoners have endured at that hands of people not hindered by gun control.

For example, “An Islamic State-inspired taxi driver tried to behead a passenger in the east London Underground station of Leytonstone” on December 5, 2015. And just two-and-a-half years earlier—on May 22, 2013—two terrorists attacked off-duty soldier Lee Rigby on a south London street in broad daylight. The terrorists first ran Rigby down with their car, then hacked him to death with a cleaver. In June 2007, attackers tied to a failed car bombing in London’s West End drove a Jeep Cherokee into Glasgow airport, then set the vehicle on fire. And on July 7, 2005, “four Al-Qaida-inspired bombers blew themselves up on three subway trains and a bus in London, killing 52.Gun control did not hinder these attacks—and, especially in the attack where knives and automobiles were used, may have cost lives by rendering the innocent defenseless.

Gun control did not hinder these attacks—and, especially in the attack where knives and automobiles were used, may have cost lives by rendering the innocent defenseless.

The world has seen this same pattern in other parts of Europe where equally restrictive gun controls exist. On July 14, 2016, a terrorist drove a delivery truck into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France. Strict gun control did not prevent the terrorist from killing 84 people with the truck before being shot dead by a police officer.

Adding insult to injury, and despite all the gun controls, UK’s Mirror reported that a post-attack search of the truck’s cab found the terrorist had “guns and grenades” with him.

Fact is, gun control will never stop determined attackers. But it will deny innocents the tools they need to defend their lives.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter at @AWRHawkins, or reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.

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