In a speech in late 2015, then-President Barack Obama touted gun control in the UK as the shining example the United States should aspire to. But new data from Britain’s Met Police, as reported by the BBC, reveal exactly how well gun control laws in the UK were working out at that time—and contrary to the former president’s exhortations, the numbers suggest that the country’s policies should perhaps instead be viewed as a terrible warning.
According to the data, “gun crime offences” increased a staggering 42 percent from 2015 to 2016. (While some U.S. cities were seeing modest rises during this time, a 42 percent rise is unprecedented on this side of the pond, likely because criminals here know there’s a good chance their victim will be armed.) If this isn’t enough proof that England’s disarmament policies are emboldening criminals, the report shows that knife crime rose 24 percent during the same period.
Martin Hewitt, assistant commissioner for territorial policing, attempted to deflect by saying his staff would continue to focus on “taking weapons and dangerous offenders off the streets” using “prevention and diversion.” Given how well that’s worked out so far, perhaps they ought to instead take a page from our books, and simply allow their citizens the right to self-defense?