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More Gun Control, More Crime

Great Britain, which gave birth to the great political philosophy of classic liberalism and to America, the flowering of Western civilization, is in moral decline.

Not content with holding General Augusto Pinochet hostage, Britain now holds her own citizens hostage like an authoritarian nation that distrusts its own citizens with firearms.

Since 1996 when a madman went on a rampage killing 16 children and their teacher in Dunblane, Scotland, Great Britain has tightened to strangulation her already draconian gun control laws so that only certified members of approved target shooting clubs are allowed to own guns, (which must be .22 caliber or smaller and which must be kept locked up at the club at all times). Guns have been virtually banned and the God-given right to self-defense has been virtually abrogated in England.

And yet, crime has steadily risen in Britain in the last several years. The U.S. Department of Justice says a person is nearly twice as likely to be robbed, assaulted or have a vehicle stolen in Britain as in the United States. Although the U.S. remains ahead of Britain in rates of murder and rape, the gap is rapidly narrowing.

And while robberies rose 81 percent in England and Wales, they fell 28 percent in the United States. Likewise, assaults increased 53 percent in England and Wales but declined 27 percent in the United States. Burglaries doubled in England but fell by half in the United States. And while motor vehicle theft rose 51 percent in England, it remained the same in America.

To make matters worse for England (and this is also true for Canada), day burglary is commonplace and dangerous because criminals know they will not be shot at if caught flagrante delicto. Not so in the U.S. where burglars not only prefer night burglaries but they try to make sure homeowners are not at home to avoid being shot at by the intended victims.

The rising tide of thievery and burglaries in England has dubbed Britain “a nation of thieves,” wrote The London Sunday Times which noted: “More than one in three British men has a criminal record by the age of 40. While America has cut its crime rate dramatically Britain remains the crime capital of the West. Where have we gone wrong?”

The most drastic ascendancy of crimes in Britain was found in those types of felonies where recent studies in the U.S. have shown that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens, not only save lives, but protect private property, reduce injuries to good people, and crime is generally deterred.

In the U.S., ordinary citizens shoot 3 times as many criminals in self-defense as do the police, and recent work by John R. Lott, Jr. at the University of Chicago has shown that allowing people to carry concealed weapons deters violent crime — without any apparent increase in accidental death or suicide. While neither state waiting periods nor the federal Brady Law is associated with a reduction in crime rates, adopting concealed carry gun laws cuts death rates from public, multiple shootings like those in Littleton, Colorado this year in the U.S. or Dunblane, Scotland, in 1996.

Lott found that when concealed carry laws went into effect in a given county, murders fell by 8 percent, rapes by 5 percent, and aggravated assaults by 7 percent. For each additional year concealed carry gun laws have been in effect, the murder rate declines by 3 percent, robberies by over 2 percent, and rape by 1 percent.

Women Use Guns to Prevent Rape

Moreover, studies in the U.S. have shown that guns are the great equalizer for females when accosted in the streets or assaulted in their homes. When a woman is armed with a gun, up to 83 percent of the time she will be successful at preventing rape, and only half as likely of being injured in the process. These figures should be good news in the U.S. for the 17 million American women estimated to carry guns, but not for those in Great Britain who have been proscribed from keeping guns for self-protection.

While the number of rapes in the U.S. is still higher than in Great Britain, it’s falling, whereas the rate of sex crimes and violent assaults in England and Wales is increasing rapidly due to their permissive criminal justice system and even greater tendency than the U.S. to rehabilitate rather than punish criminals — and, of course, the stringent policy of citizen disarmament. This pusillanimous policy advertises to sex criminals that they have nothing to fear not only from their criminal justice system but also from their intended victims.

Will the British require another American revolution to come to their moral senses? Or, instead, will we Americans reject our Second Amendment, the palladium of our liberties — and our legacy of freedom?

Written by Dr. Miguel Faria

Dr. Miguel A.Faria, Jr. is the Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Sentinel, the official journal of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) and author of Vandals at the Gates of Medicine: Historic Perspectives on the Battle Over Health Care Reform (1995) and Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine (1997).

This article was originally published in Human Events, July 9, 1999.

This article may be cited as: Faria MA. More Gun Control, More Crime. Human Events, July 9, 1999. Available from:

Copyright ©1999 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.

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