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Old August 10, 2012, 11:00 PM   #1
Tom Servo
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Sobering Article on European Crime

We hear it all the time. "Europe has stricter gun controls and lower firearms ownership, and they have lower crime, right?"

Wrong.



Look at the UK, just pulling right ahead in 1997. Lest we forget, that was the year of the Firearms (Amendment) Act, which banned almost all handguns, and then was amended to ban all handguns.

This is taken from a recent Italian study [pdf], which opens with this little chestnut:

Quote:
Contrary to common perceptions, today both property and violent crimes (with the exception of homicides) are more widespread in Europe than in the United States, while the opposite was true thirty years ago. We label this fact as the ‘reversal of misfortunes’.
Now, there are lots of factors that contribute to crime, so we have to be careful what we infer here. Even the authors are somewhat at a loss, which is unsurprising.

However, if there's truth to the idea that European gun controls reduce crime, I'm just not seeing it.

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Old August 10, 2012, 11:17 PM   #2
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What do the per-capita murder numbers look like?
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Old August 10, 2012, 11:58 PM   #3
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It's well known that the amount of violent crime per capita in many Western Eurpoean countries is far greater than that of the US. Britain, despite the marketing by the various tourism agencies, is a cesspool of crime. They have massive social welfare dependency and huge cultural and social problems that have been self-perpetuating for years. You won't see this on the Olympics, but it's the cool/hip thing in Britain to be an unemployed loser and commit petty crime to support your drug habit.
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Old August 11, 2012, 12:15 PM   #4
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.....You won't see this on the Olympics, but it's the cool/hip thing in Britain to be an unemployed loser and commit petty crime to support your drug habit.


Kubrick was a smart fellow. A lot of foresight, unfortunately.
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Old August 11, 2012, 12:54 PM   #5
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Here's an article about crime per capita in the UK. It kinda makes you want to shout "Hey, Brits, How's gun control workin' for ya?"

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...of-Europe.html

Flash
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Old August 11, 2012, 04:09 PM   #6
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I read this article and used it in an online discussion of gun control. One of the persons involved brought up Europe as the gun control utopia, and tried to say that England and France were safer because of gun control. Turns out they both have more violent crime per capita than the US. I have even heard that it is against the law to defend yourself at all in England. Anyone else know if this is true?
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Old August 11, 2012, 06:05 PM   #7
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Kubrick was a smart fellow. A lot of foresight, unfortunately.


Indeed. Shades of a little of the old ultra-violence, eh?

Rather than allowing ownership of arms in the UK again, maybe they plan some use of the Ludovico Technique as a means to recucing crime:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludovico_Technique


One can only hope.



Willie


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Old August 11, 2012, 07:36 PM   #8
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I have even heard that it is against the law to defend yourself at all in England. Anyone else know if this is true?

I've read and heard things about using appropriate levels of force. For instance if the thug has a knife and breaks into your house you can't use a gun. Don't know anything for certain though.
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Old August 12, 2012, 03:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
It kinda makes you want to shout "Hey, Brits, How's gun control workin' for ya?"
Will fight the urge to respond... will fight the urge to respond....
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Old August 12, 2012, 03:52 AM   #10
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I have even heard that it is against the law to defend yourself at all in England. Anyone else know if this is true?
Not so. Although, sometimes the reality of the situation can feel like the same thing!!

The law actually says that self defence should be proportional to the threat. The law was drawn up to try and limit excessive force such as stabbing someone because they kicked you in the shin...

However this, to my mind puts other victims at a disadvantage that they don't deserve: criminals rarely pick on someone because they think "aha!! There is a quarry worthy of my skills: let honourable trial by combat begin!!"

So why should the majority of victims have to follow this principle of fair play if the criminal won't?
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Old August 12, 2012, 09:17 AM   #11
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It does occur in the UK that self-defense acts resulting in the death of the attacker lead to murder charges and conviction. While not against the law, use of deadly force in self-defense is dodgy in the UK.

As during the recent riots, many judges and police officials would prefer citizens "stand aside and let the professionals handle things", whatever the circumstances and unreasonability of that notion are.
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Old August 12, 2012, 09:45 AM   #12
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It does occur in the UK that self-defense acts resulting in the death of the attacker lead to murder charges and conviction. While not against the law, use of deadly force in self-defense is dodgy in the UK.
That would be more of a generalisation and stereotype.

It is true that certain publications like to highlight such cases and they do occur, to say that they always end up as the victom going down for life is not true.

Just recently, there was a case of a man that stabbed and killed one of two burglars and he was acquitted. I would say that there is a pretty immediate bias against firearms, and so if you were to use one in self defence, then already the odds are against you: so much for the objectivity of the law.... So in that respect your assertion could be seen as correct.

Also if there is a death involved clearly there needs to be an investigation. However, it still enrages me that if someone defends their property, self or family and the criminal is wounded in the process, that the victim then gets in trouble. Stay the f*** off my property, don't try to hurt me or my family, then you won't get yourself killed.... It's not rocket science.

If something befalls a criminal when they are committing a crime, well tough... don't commit the crime, genius!!

As has been the case in recent years/decades, it is often one well publicised event that then gets an express law pushed through parliament to appease te public and claim action being taken.

The classic case that I remember last starting this debate is the Tony Martin case where a young lad was shot with a shotgun when in the Martin property. Martin was charged and ultimately convicted, but IIRR, it came to light that the lad was leaping from a window to escape the home, and so there was not threat to Martin's well-being. I guess his blood was up and he fired. It was the fact that the shot was no longer perceived as self defence, but as revenge , if you will, that got him in deep do-do.

There must be more to the case, but when I read summaries, I still feel that he got a heck of a raw deal...

What the law does not seem to take into account is the kind of emotions a victim of crime will be subjected to: darkness, confusion, fear, anger, uncertainty of the assailant's intent and weaponry...

Unfortunately, all those tumultuous and powerful feelings that can so influence a person's actions under duresss are next to impossible to reproduce in a courtroom for the jury to experience...
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Old August 12, 2012, 10:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
and he was acquitted
\And herein lies a big problem/difference...
Unless you chose the wrong word... you imply that the poor feller was on trial and acquitted... If so... than that says he would have been convicted with a different outcome so the poster who said it is illegal to defend is right!!!

I can sell a kilo of Columbia's Premium "BAM-BAM" to a cop and with the right lawyer and jury, I could also be acquitted but not because I didn't break the law, mind you!

Brent
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Old August 12, 2012, 11:17 AM   #14
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IDK about the UK, but Italy...

A Navy officer friend was assigned to Naples a few years ago. He and his wife were out one day, when three Neapolitanos decided to snatch her purse.

Couple flaws in their plan:

1. Strong shoulder strap did not break.
2. Friend's wife is of Swedish descent, not fat but 5'10" and strong.

So his wife got into a tug of war, and my friend, instead of charging the guys, helped her tug. They ended up on the ground. She lost her purse and gained some road rash.

They went to the base police, who contacted the local police.

I asked my friend why he didn't go right at the guys, as I would have done. He said it hadn't occurred to him at the time, BUT-

- the base police and the local cops said that to defend property, he could only have used open handed slaps and shoves. Use of a closed fist would have resulted in his arrest for assault.

That, to me, defines a completely broken legal system. It also explains the prevalence of purse snatching, smash and grabs in traffic jams, and home burglaries in Naples.
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Old August 12, 2012, 11:25 AM   #15
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....
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Old August 12, 2012, 02:20 PM   #16
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It sounds like I was risking life and limb by being in London last summer. I'm probably lucky to be alive, especially after having to learn to drive a totally unfamiliar vehicle and to drive it on the wrong side of the road, and completely without any professional training whatsoever, which is just as well, because I'm a slow learner.
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Old August 12, 2012, 02:27 PM   #17
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BT, I never found right hand driving to be a problem. RH parallel parking, OTOH... Similarly, busy traffic was never an issue, but I occasionally would turn into the right (wrong) lane at empty intersections, before catching myself.

Doing something sufficiently well enough doesn't necessarily mean doing it perfectly; it often just means not having a major screw-up at a critical point.

But I am not sure what driving has to do with the effectiveness of gun control in reducing crime...
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Old August 12, 2012, 05:36 PM   #18
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Concerning the Italian study Tom pointed out, it fascinates me that firearms policies were not mentioned even once. While the statistical methods they discussed are quite beyond me, the maxim of GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) seems pertinent. At least one of the variables they looked at, abortion, just floored me, it seems so ridiculous (granted that there can be some very complex, and non-obvious relationships among variables in these types of studies, this seemed on the surface to be quite an extraordinary stretch). That they considered abortion, and not firearms policies, especially given that there is at least some prima facie plausibility to apparent correlations between such well known firearms policy changes as the 1968 GCA (and subsequent rise in crime) , the advent of the “Shall Carry” phenomenon (and subsequent fall in crime), and the introduction of the draconian British gun-bans (and the rise in crime), really makes me wonder.

It’s like examining how the color of a ball influences how quickly it will roll down a hill, and not discussing how the physics of gravity will act upon it.
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Old August 12, 2012, 05:50 PM   #19
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Will fight the urge to respond... will fight the urge to respond.

I am open to honest discussion of the crime statistics and it does NOT bring me pleasure to know that your citizens are enduring violent crimes without the means to protect themselves.

I don't understand how the British continually bash the US for following our Constitution, Bill of Rights and laws of our nation. We are not barbarians. Your country tried disarming the population and so far, it has earned the UK TOP spot in per capita violent crimes. The US isn't even close in per capita crime! As I recall the UK is #1 and the US is #10 on that list.

I used to be a proficient fighter but I'm old now. I have a Texas issued Concealed Handgun License (CHL) after training, being finger printed, a full background investigation and ongoing clean record. At any time, I could lose the CHL if my behavior is not 100% law abiding. I carry a concealed gun every day not because I'm a drunken cowboy going to town but because I am tired of being afraid. Because my gun is concealed/hidden, the bad guys don't know who is carrying. Consequently, my CHL protects everyone. There are about 500,000 other Texans also carrying concealed handguns. I'm sorry that your citizens don't have that protection.

Incidentally, conviction rates for Texas CHL holders who also commit crimes is so small that it is expressed as a tiny decimal.

Talk is cheap but the statistics in the OP and in my previous post (#5) tell the truth. When you disarm the population, criminals have freedom to do as they wish!

I wish you safety and happiness but wishing doesn't make it so.

Flash

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Old August 12, 2012, 06:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
I don't understand how the British continually bash the US for following our Constitution, Bill of Rights and laws of our nation.
This is particularly troubling, considering that the inspiration for our Bill of Rights, including the right to keep and bear arms, came from Blackstone.

Quote:
What do the per-capita murder numbers look like?
Actual per-capita homicides tend to be higher in the United States than western Europe. Guns, of course, are used more often in crimes here.

Something to note is that the drop in crimes in the US began between 1991 and 1993, before the big wave of gun controls. Though supporters of the Brady Bill and AWB tried to take credit for the decline, most social science I saw at the time attributed it to other factors, such as more aggressive policing and the lessened prevalence of crack cocaine.

Notice that the downward trend continued after the 2004 sunset.
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Old August 12, 2012, 06:59 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo
Something to note is that the drop in crimes in the US began between 1991 and 1993, before the big wave of gun controls. Though supporters of the Brady Bill and AWB tried to take credit for the decline, most social science I saw at the time attributed it to other factors, such as more aggressive policing and the lessened prevalence of crack cocaine.
I'm still waiting to see statistics on whether or not the AWB resulted in a decline in drive-bay bayonettings ...
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Old August 12, 2012, 07:46 PM   #22
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This is particularly troubling, considering that the inspiration for our Bill of Rights, including the right to keep and bear arms, came from Blackstone.

This is an excellent point and is worth expanding.

Sir William Blackstone took the English Common Law and Feudal law that it was based upon and condensed it into 4 volumes that were easily understood and readable. The works were initially published from 1765 to 1769 and covered 4 main topics:
Rights of Persons
Rights of Things
Private Wrongs
Public Wrongs

Of course the volumes were pounced upon by the Gentry but ultimately found acceptance and also found their way to the Colonies (that's us). Although it was not intended, Blackstone's work became the basis for the laws of the infant nation we now call call the United States.

Blackstone's words found their way into the Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights and the US Constitution even though he was not universally accepted. Blackstone was a royalist and believed the "King could do no wrong." That didn't go well in the colonies.

Regardless, the men who prepared and signed those historic documents put their lives, their families and everything that they owned on the block to say "This is how were are going to live."

Flash

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Old August 13, 2012, 12:08 AM   #23
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than that says he would have been convicted with a different outcome so the poster who said it is illegal to defend is right!!!
No.

It simply says that in the case of the man who stabbed the intruder the jury did not find him guilty of excessive force, which is the part that is illegal.

Not that self defence in general is prohibited.
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Old August 13, 2012, 12:18 AM   #24
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But here in America I can use a gun with a .74+ bore firing a one ounce gob of lead at a man armed only with bare hands and ill intent and not face such prosecution...

Your continued arguments against the American laws and way of life are as effective and entertaining as watching this puppy run himself ragged trying to catch his tail that is only one inch too short to catch...

Our violent crime rate is lower than GB's and that will not change unless we lose our right to full fledged self defense...

But if they ever need our help fending off invasion... I hope they lift the bans as our fighting men need their guns to protect the weaker nations...

Brent
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Old August 13, 2012, 12:41 AM   #25
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Our violent crime rate is lower than GB's and that will not change unless we lose our right to full fledged self defense.
We don't really know that, though. There could be any number of factors causing the disparity. Is alcoholism more prevalent? Drug use? Mental illness? Unemployment?

The point can be made that increased gun controls do not lower crime rates, but it's very difficult to prove the inverse.

...and let's be civil to each other, shall we?
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