The last vestige of civilized Britain has fallen away — the unarmed British "Bobbie." For 170 years, British police functioned without guns. Since their founding by Sir Robert Peel in 1829, Bobbies walked their beats armed only with their nightsticks. Until the last few years of these 17 decades, the British public was armed. Now it is the other way around. The police have guns, and the law-abiding public doesn't. What happened?
Britain has the most severe "gun control" laws in the world. Not even members of the British Olympic Shooting Team are allowed pistols. The British are reduced to registered single- and double-barreled shotguns, and the maximum permitted shell load is birdshot.
According to the arguments of gun-control advocates, Britain should be safe and crime free. But, alas, violent crime and robberies have skyrocketed. Gunfights between rival immigrant gangs caused the revolution in British policing. In Robin Hood's Nottinghamshire, constables now patrol in pairs armed with semi-automatic pistols. They are backed up by armed-response vehicles (ARVs) stocked with submachine guns.
If gun control makes society safe, why was it necessary to overthrow British police tradition, arm police with semiautomatic weapons and provide machinegun backup? As a test case in gun control, Britain proves it to be a total failure. The result is exactly the one predicted by the National Rifle Association: "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns."
In Britain, a man's home may be his castle where the king of England cannot enter without a warrant, but robbers and rapists enter at will. It is easier and less risky for a criminal to have his way with a victim in the privacy of the victim's home than in public. Gun control has made home invasion safe for criminals.
In the United States, experts have proven time and again that widespread gun ownership is a deterrent to crime and prevents between 1 million and 3 million criminal acts each year. Gun ownership saves numerous lives and foils large numbers of rapes and robberies. Yet, gun controllers persist in their attempts to disarm the public.
A person can't help but wonder whether gun-control advocates are uninformed fools or have a secret agenda. Once gun control enters politics, the lying makes even Bill and Hillary Clinton blush. As the 20th century came to a close, Canadian Justice Minister Allan Rock fended off criticisms of a gun-registration bill his government was pushing by giving assurances that "there is no reason to confiscate legally owned firearms."
Within 10 months of the minister's assurances, 553,000 legally registered handguns were confiscated. Now, rifles and shotguns must be licensed and registered. Having learned that the only purpose of registration is to tell the government where the guns are, compliance has collapsed. Large numbers of law-abiding Canadians prefer to risk five years in prison than to register their guns.
Gun-control laws dramatically reduce public safety and turn law-abiding citizens into law-breakers. Licensing and registration increase crime by devoting police resources to paperwork. Gun registration databases cannot prevent crimes or aid in their solving, because criminals do not register their guns.
The people most dangerous to the public are not on the FBI's "Most Wanted List." Far more dangerous to our safety than criminals are gun-control extremists like Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Sarah Brady of Handgun Control.
These are the people who will leave us defenseless as they abrogate the Constitution and destroy respect for law, while promising an end to "gun violence."
The American Rifleman reports that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) — the guys who brought us Waco — are using intimidation and threats to compile an illegal registry of gun owners. BATF thumbs its nose at federal court decisions and continues to harass legitimate gun dealers and purchasers as if they were criminals.
We need to ask ourselves why liberals have made gun confiscation such a priority. I think it is to distract us from the disastrous results of liberal social engineering. When high-school students shoot their classmates and workers open fire on their co-workers, the fault lies not in guns. It lies in the breakdown in self-control and moral integrity. The irrational shootings are due to the success of liberals in achieving their goals.
Dr. Roberts' latest book, "The Tyranny of Good Intentions," has just been released by Prima Publishers. To find out more about Paul Craig Roberts, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2001 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
February 28, 2001