Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Friday, October 23, 2009

How's that Gun Control Working Out for You?

Britain now has some of the toughest gun laws in the world. We recognize that only the strictest control of firearms will protect the public.

-- Home Office Minister Alun Michael, 11/3/97 press release.
That was right after passage of the handgun ban.

Armed officers placed on routine foot patrol for first time
And not just any guns, either!
Police officers armed with submachine guns are to be deployed on routine patrol of Britain's streets for the first time. A hand-picked team from CO19, the Metropolitan Police's elite firearms unit, will walk the beat in gun crime hotspots where armed gangs have turned entire estates into "no go" zones.

Local politicians and anti-gun campaigners have reacted with anger at the news that the officers will carry Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine guns – capable of firing up to 800 rounds-per-minute – and Glock semi-automatic pistols.
This, in a country where at least one media outlet called the full-auto Glock 18 pistol the Most Terrifying Gun in the World!
CO19 currently provides armed support in volatile situations like sieges and terrorist attacks, with its officers on constant call in vehicles around London.

But this is the first time that armed officers will be sent on permanent foot patrol anywhere in the country outside Northern Ireland.

"Historically, CO19 was only called out when someone rang up to report a gun crime," said Inspector Derek Carroll, head of the new unit.

"But a lot of streets in London have young people in postcode gangs, aged 14 and upwards, and a lot of communities feel that they are controlling areas of estates.

"We are looking at gangs that have access to firearms and will be robust in dealing with them and disrupting and deterring them."
Really! Gangs have access to firearms on an island nation with "the strictest control of firearms" that they were promised would "protect the public"?

Say it ain't so!
The team of 18 constables, led by an inspector and two sergeants, will begin their patrols of Brixton, Haringey and Tottenham on Nov 9, following successful trial schemes.

The officers – some on motorbikes – will carrying out weapon "sweeps" of their neighbourhoods in an effort to deter gang members from carrying guns, and are also intended to be a reassuring presence for residents.
Residents that have been told, literally for decades, that guns are evil, and that fully-automatic weapons are only useful for mowing down large crowds indiscriminately.

You'd think someone would comment on the dichotomy there.
"My view is that just because you carry a gun, it should not affect the way you police," Inspector Carroll added. "We chat to people and they love it."

Unlike their counterparts in the United States, British police officers not routinely carry guns, although armed patrols are frequently deployed in the aftermath of shootings and to guard potential terrorist targets.

In October 2000 armed officers on the beat were temporarily introduced in Nottingham after a string of drug-related deaths.

Jennette Arnold, a Labour London Assembly member for northeast London constituency, said that the patrols threatened to tear up the contract between the community and the police.
Already torn, Ms. Arnold, already torn.
"No one asked us or the people I represent if this was acceptable and when they do I shall tell them it isn't. It isn't acceptable to throw away the principle of policing by consent," she said.

Gill Marshall-Andrews, chairwoman of the Gun Control Network campaign group, described the routine arming of officers as a "very retrograde step" and warned that it could lead to higher levels of gun crime.

"This is likely to raise the stakes and encourage more criminals, especially young criminals, to arm themselves," she said.
Soooo, you're saying that having armed foot patrols in the area might "escalate the situation"? Who do you represent, Ms. Marshall-Andrews? The residents or the thugs?
"Gun crime in this country is very low by international standards and that's largely because there aren't many guns about. Arming police officers sends out all the wrong messages."

The Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, has long campaigned against attempts to arm a larger section of the force, but said it had no objection to the new scheme.

Simon Reed, vice-chairman of the national federation, said that although majority of his members did not wish be to armed, forces must be free to respond to particular threats.

"The ethos will always be that the British police are unarmed, but we need officers to be able to use firearms when appropriate," he said. "My feeling is that the current balance is just about right."

The Home Office declined to comment, saying that the operational use of firearms was a matter for local forces.

Officers from CO19, formerly known as SO19, have been involved in a number of high-profile incidents in the capital, including the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell station in 2005.
No internal link to that one, but a second on Bing gets you this:
Police officers in Jean Charles de Menezes shooting escape punishment

No police officers involved in the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes will be disciplined, despite an inquest finding that catastrophic failures led to his death in London.
Same paper. Imagine that. The public should feel very secure!
Gun-related crime is on the increase in London with 1,736 gun crimes reported in London between April and September this year – up 17 per cent on 2008.

The problem of turf violence between drugs gangs was highlighted earlier this month with a spate of shootings in north London linked to two Turkish gangs, the Tottenham Boys and the Bombacilar.
Yup, Gun crime in the UK is very low by international standards, but it keeps going UP. It keeps going up in the face of Alun Michael's proclamation that "only the strictest control of firearms will protect the public."

It's a stone bitch when reality won't conform to the theory, isn't it? And it's even worse when someone points it out.

(h/t: TFS Magnum)

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