Should We Adopt Britain's Gun Control Laws?

The United Kingdom has stricter gun laws and less fatalities of residents, including police officers, even though "bobbies" do not carry guns.

The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut is very close to home. I used to commute to work in Newtown. It is a commutable distance from Berlin for work, about 40 miles away.

We have been witnessing a number of mass shootings recently. 

February 22, 2012 — Five people were killed in at a Korean health spa in Norcross, Georgia, when a man got into an argument and opened fire inside the facility.

February 26, 2012 — Multiple gunmen began firing into a nightclub crown in Jackson, Tennessee, killing one person and injuring 20 others.

February 27, 2012 — Three students at Chardon High School in rural Ohio were killed when a classmate opened fire.

March 8, 2012 — Two people were killed and seven wounded at a psychiatric hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when a gunman entered the hospital with two semiautomatic handguns and began firing.

March 31, 2012 — A gunman opened fire on a crowd of mourners at a North Miami, Florida, funeral home, killing two people and injuring 12 others.

April 2, 2012 — A 43-year-old former student at Oikos University in Oakland, California, walked into his former school and killed seven people, “execution-style.” Three people were wounded.

April 6, 2012 — Two men went on a deadly shooting spree in Tulsa, Oklahoma, shooting black men at random in an apparently racially motivated attack. Three men died and two were wounded.

May 29, 2012 — A man in Seattle, Washington, opened fire in a coffee shop and killed five people and then himself.

July 9, 2012 — At a soccer tournament in Wilmington, Delaware, three people were killed, including a 16-year-old player and the event organizer, when multiple gunmen began firing shots, apparently targeting the organizer.

July 20, 2012 — James Holmes enters a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises and opens fire with a semi-automatic weapon; twelve people are killed and fifty-eight are wounded.

August 5, 2012 — A white supremacist and former Army veteran shot six people to death inside a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin, before killing himself.

August 14, 2012 — Three people were killed at Texas A&M University when a 35-year-old man went on a shooting rampage; one of the dead was a police officer.

September 27, 2012 — A 36-year-old man who had just been laid off from Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis, Minnesota, entered his former workplace and shot five people to death, and wounded three others before killing himself.

October 21, 2012 — 45-year-old Radcliffe Frankin Haughton shot three women to death, including his wife, Zina Haughton, and injured four others at a spa in Brookfield, Wisconsin, before killing himself.

December 11, 2012 — A 22-year-old began shooting at random at a mall near Portland, Oregon, killing two people and then himself.

December 14, 2012 — One man, and possibly more, murders a reported twenty-six people at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, including twenty children, before killing himself.

In the United Kingdom firearms are tightly controlled by laws which have commanded widespread public support. The United Kingdom has one of the lowest rates of gun homicides in the world. With the exception of Northern Ireland, most police officers in the United Kingdom do not routinely carry firearms. Despite being unarmed, fatalities of police officers are extremely rare.

Except for Northern Ireland, fully automatic and semi-automatic weapons of calibre larger than .22 rimfire are totally banned, pistols are limited to .22 calibre in short barrel, while calibres up to .357 magnum are allowed in long barrel pistols. All other rifles and their ammunition are permitted with good reason, which may include target shooting, hunting, and historic and black powder weapons, but not self-defence. Shotgun ownership and use is controlled. A firearms certificate issued by the police is required for all weapons and ammunition except air weapons of modest power. 
Possession of a live firearms round can lead to severe penalties. Shotgun cartridges can be possessed by anybody over the age of 17 but a Shotgun Licence is required for purchase.

Do the British have it right?  Do we have it all wrong? 

Imagine our police officers not carrying guns like the British bobbies.  I like that.  I don't want someone armed with a cannon approaching my vehicle or home, whether that individual is a criminal or a police officer.  Do you?

The Barefoot Accountant

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Harry December 20, 2012 at 05:46 PM
The Holidays are here and the fiscal cliff looms - Where the average family can look forward to $3000 - $7000 in pay cuts starting Jan 2nd. The SS payroll deduction goes from 4.2 to 6.2% regardless... btw, these are net not gross, minus those numbers from take home pay. the President can clearly stop this from happening to 98% of Americans - Will he? NOPE, and who will he point the finger at? Republicans. And who suffers? Yup, keep thinking Liberals have your best interest as they stuff there pockets with your hard earned money...
Socialist Worker December 20, 2012 at 07:19 PM
The Socialist agenda for gun control by this government is simple we don't want any. Why because we trust our brothers and sisters with guns. We don't trust the capitalist government with guns. So no guns for cops or the military. We don't trust top corporate elite or private security cops with guns either. So since his father is a VP at GE Capital and his mom though divorced had received a 'hansom settlement.' We would have disarmed them if possible.
Fred December 20, 2012 at 07:21 PM
It was the NRA that publicly opposed and called for criminal charges against Janet Reno after the ATF and FBI stormed the religious compound in WACO, TX shooting it up and murdering 21 children under the age of 8.
Harry December 20, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Thats all you got Maria? I feel sorry for you...
Harry December 20, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Doesn't matter Fred, Just like Benghazi doesn't matter or Malloy pushing to open a PRISON in Rocky Hill CT, right in the middle of the most populated area in town, to house mentally ill criminals. It's ok when the left does it, see, they can never ever do anything wrong or illegal. Point fingers, blame the other guy and distract from real issues at hand.
Harry December 20, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Guess Maria only cares about selective crimes that result in innocent lives being taken. DUI's killings from illegals have killed more people this year alone then the entire history of all mass killings in the US from guns.
Socialist Worker December 20, 2012 at 08:27 PM
That is an excellent example of why liberalism goes no where. Obama receives a Nobel Peace Prize while conducting a war on terrorism and innocent people killed are cynically called collateral damage like a home damaged by bad weather. They care no more that Bush did as about how many innocent civilians die. As long as those drones don't hit Camp David, the White House, and where the rest of them and their ruling class buddies live it is 'Unavoidable."
Kaptainsteve December 20, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Hawk, People are screaming about Newtown, Lanza and Gun Control, They are NOT screaming about Obama's Drone murders of almost 200 innocent children in foreign countries that we pay for and supported by RE-ELECTING this monster. Which monster is worse, one that kills 27 and is dead and cannot harm anymore people, or the other one, who's killed 200, was POPULARLY re-elected and has 4 more years to kill again and again? One monster is clearly much worse than the other.
Kaptainsteve December 20, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Maria, You are at war as it is the gun grabbers, like yourself, who wish to impose yourself on others by restricting their freedom to own property and protect their inalienable right to life and liberty. We wish to do nothing to anyone except be left alone and live free. Maria, it is people like you, and the gun grabbers, who cowardly use your votes to hide behind while the government commits the acts of aggression you voted for and support on individuals who've broken no laws and threatened no person. It's very clear who the aggressors are.
Kaptainsteve December 20, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Maria says that her critics are "not interested in the statistics on mass killings from firearms in European countries. These are the most relevant statistics, after all. I wonder what they would reveal?" Violence is violence. It doesn't matter much how one goes about it when the end results are the same, and Britain's 10 year experiment with banning guns has resulted in an increase in both gun and non-gun violence. I've already footnoted/cited the sources (above). Yet, Maria says nothing about the almost 200 innocent children killed by Obama's drones? Is it that Maria is "not interested in the statistics on mass killings" from Obama's drones in foreign countries? I wonder why this doesn't outrage her, or any of the gun grabbers who've posted here? Is it because they voted for the psychopath who signs off on these murders? One can only speculate on the reason because they are conveniently silent on the relevant topic of the innocent slaughter directed by the Peace Prize President they voted for and support at this very moment, and these killings simply continue as well as their silence. Does their silence make them at all complicit or at least feel guilty, probably not. And this is exactly why they point their accusing fingers at legal gun owners who've threatened no one nor committed any crimes or acts of aggression. http://media.talkingpointsmemo.com/slideshow/connecticut-newtown-school-shooting/1-287703
James Bond December 20, 2012 at 11:00 PM
I will no longer give replys to the people on this board who obviously don't see a need for any gun restrictions at all. Thus, this is it. How anyone with any compassion or common sense can't understand that banning assault type weapons and hundred round clpis with bullets not needed in any society unless with the military are not worth a second of my time.I'm accused of being fearful......yes I am,of those who can't live without there guns.( Who really is living in fear me or those of you packing?) I've never said that a hunter couldn't own a rifle,but no hunter needs what reasonable people are talking about banning.Those of you who want NO restrictions, you're the minority now deal with it.Change; its a 'Blowin'in the Wind' and it's about time. To those out there who are like me we'll get there. We just have to tune out the fools at do what we know is right,even if they don't. PEACE
Kaptainsteve December 20, 2012 at 11:44 PM
James Bond says; "You're the minority now deal with it.Change...to those out there who are like me we'll get there." In other words, might makes right and the minority be damned. James, that's exactly why it was insisted the a Bill of Rights and the 2nd Amendment be added to the Constitution, to protect the minority from the abuse and tyranny of the majority. When you say that "you are the minority deal with it," your testimonial is living proof of who you are and what you believe - that the rights of a minority are of no consequence to you and do not matter. This is exactly the kind of thinking that slavery supporters used in pre-civil war South. This is exactly the kind of thinking that every person who's ever abused a racial, religious, ethnic or any kind of minority's ever used. You believe that since have right on your side, the rest don't matter. Hell, you are the majority. It seems, Mr. Bond that your means, the subjugating of the minority, conveniently and always are justified by your self-righteous goals. It don't matters who's rights you take away, who you impose your injustice on, as long as they are a minority and your goal is noble. The ends always justify the means and might makes right. Mr. Bond, you don't believe in life, liberty or private property because you don't believe in anyone's right to defend them as they see fit. You are exactly the reason why those who believe in the 2nd Amendment believe in it wholeheartedly.
Ed Froem December 21, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Minority? The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Americans believe more action to treat mental health issues will do the most to prevent incidents like last Friday’s school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty-seven percent (27%) think stricter gun control laws will do the most to prevent such shootings, while 15% put the emphasis on limits on violent movies and video games. Ten percent (10%) are undecided.
Kaptainsteve December 21, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Homicides and mass killings in the United States, 2006-10 Mass killings make up only about 1% of the roughly 15,000 people murdered in the USA each year. USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention records show that more people died from migraines, falling out of chairs and sunstroke than were murdered by mass killers during this time. But for all the attention they receive, mass killings still accounted for only a tiny fraction — about 1% — of all the Americans who were murdered over those five years. During those five years, more died from migraines and falling out of chairs than were murdered by mass killers, according to death records kept by the USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three times as many people perished from sunstroke. The killings between 2006 and 2010, however, offer a portrait of mass murder that in many ways belies the stereotype of a lone gunman targeting strangers: Lone gunmen, such as the one who terrorized Sandy Hook Elementary School last week, account for less than half of the nation's mass killers. About a quarter of mass murders involve two or more killers. A third of mass killings didn't involve guns at all. In 15 incidents, the victims died in a fire. In 20 others, the killer used a knife or a blunt object. When guns were involved, killers were far more likely to use handguns than any other type of weapon. Source' http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/18/mass-killings-common/1778303/
Mush Penglund December 21, 2012 at 12:15 AM
I see Observor doesn't know how to spell his own name. Hard to insult someone when you can't spell your own name right.
Observor December 21, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Actually, Mush, the spelling is deliberate and is based upon a frightfully amusing event that went down when I was working on my doctorate. Let's see whether you can figure out the language in which the pun originated. . .
Ed Froem December 21, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Now you sound like Maria, at least you didn't say extreme right. So which is it, modest or significant?
Maria Giannuzzi December 21, 2012 at 10:37 AM
Mr. Bond is quite correct. Sometimes, silence is the only appropriate response to closed hearts and closed minds.
Kaptainsteve December 21, 2012 at 10:58 AM
Maria, you talk about closed hears and closed minds, but which side is which? When you talk about ways of forcing your views (gun control) on others via legislation and force of government (who uses guns) and others talk about wanting to be left alone to live and defend their lives, liberty and property as they see fit, who has the closed mind or heart in this debate? One group wants to restrict property rights and the other threatens no one. Which group has the closed hearts? One group wants to take away the right of peaceful individuals to defend life, liberty and property, and the the other wants to be peaceful. Which group seems closed minded? One group believes in peace, life and liberty, the other believes in imposition, aggression, force and threat and the right of a mob to oppress others if they are large enough in numbers. You tell me which group seems unreasonable? When one group believes that you do not have the god-given right to defend you or your families life or liberty, it becomes clear where the closed minds are in this debate. When the ultimate goal of one side is to create a police state, a gulag nation of a prison guards (government with guns) and prisoner-citizens, it's obvious whose minds are closed in this debate.
Ed Froem December 21, 2012 at 11:53 AM
Oh Maria, if only you could follow his lead...
Rick McDonald December 21, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Maria, please provide names of those many weapon knowledgeable people so that I and others may verify the validity of your claim.
Socialist Worker December 21, 2012 at 04:38 PM
No, What my post lack is hypocrisy. I express my empathy by exposing hypocrisy.
Harry December 21, 2012 at 05:12 PM
CT Gun Law on Assault weapons: By law, it is illegal for anyone to (1) possess assault weapons, unless he or she possessed the weapon before October 1, 1993, registered it with DPS before October 1, 1994, and received a DPS certificate of possession for it; or (2) sell, transfer, distribute, or transport assault weapons (CGS § 53-202b). Soooo we have the ban and it still happened. CT has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. Licensing or banning guns is not going to stop bad guys from getting their hands on so called assault weapons
Harry December 21, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Ya know, I was thinking, why didn't Lanza walk into a police department and try what he did? Hmmm, what would have made him think otherwise?
Kaptainsteve December 21, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Hawk, You are right, there is just two sides. There is no compromise. You either believe in freedom or you don't. There is no in-between. It's like the choice between food or poison. It is the choice between life, liberty, and property or bondage. When the citizens don't have guns only the government does, you are living in a totalitarian dictatorship whether you realize it or not. It makes no difference if you vote to change tyrants every four years, or the tyrant of the day seems friendly. It's just a matter of time... It really just comes down to this, if you don't trust civilians to have guns then what makes you think you can trust the government? Why is no one (besides my friend Socialist Worker) calling for the disarmament of the government and the police? What are they made of that the rest of us aren't? If the civilians aren't to be trusted then why does anyone trust those in government? Aren't they made of the same clay as the rest of us? If you think they are some how "super-human," you'd better think again, you are just not paying attention. Visit this site to see just some of the outrageous conduct that some of law enforcement are up to on a regular basis; http://www.copblock.org .. The fact of the matter is that these cowards attack schools because they are defenseless by LAW (gun free zones) and the kids are defenseless who can't fight back. Maybe this is what should change?
Kaptainsteve December 21, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Hawk says; "If Evil did not have access to a Bushmaster with three 30-round clips, Evil would have had to make do with say, a perfectly legit game rifle with a 4+1 capacity...And while there would no doubt have been some bloodshed, it likely would not have been as extensive as it was," That's your speculation. This psycho also had unlimited options (psychos are very creative because they are very motivated) of which I will not list here for obvious reasons. But let's not pretend that the psycho didn't have plenty of other options to do just as much harm. He did, and to say otherwise is to be disingenuous simply in order to forward an agenda.
Kaptainsteve December 22, 2012 at 03:17 AM
@Hawk, If you don't have a retort, then just say so.
Kaptainsteve December 22, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Where's the outrage? "US cluster bombs 'killed 35 women and children' Thirty five women and children were killed by an American cruise missile armed with cluster bombs which struck an alleged al-Qaeda training camp in Yemen, according to a study." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/yemen/7806882/US-cluster-bombs-killed-35-women-and-children.html
Kaptainsteve December 22, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Hawk, If you don't have a retort, then just say so.
Jim-Bob Masters April 13, 2013 at 03:35 AM
Sounds like a good idea. Disarming Connecticut Police Officers should be aggressively explored using the UK model of the unarmed Bobbies.


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