Tag Archives: gun violence

British Crime Statistics Are Falsified To Support False Claim That U.K. Gun Ban Is Lowering Crime

larry pratt piers morgan debate
British Crime Statistics Are Falsified To Support False Claim That U.K.  Gun Ban Is Lowering Crime.

British crime statistics show higher crime rates than U.S. crime statistics per capita in most categories of violent crime, but the murder rate and gun violence statistic have appeared mysteriously low in comparison. Often people will point to the slightly lower official British murder rate as proof of success of the gun ban in Britain (while ignoring the significantly higher violent crime rate overall).

If you forward the video clip below to 12:40, you can see marginally notable British Journalist Piers Morgan (who now works at CNN despite the fact that he was previously discredited in the U.K. for falsifying news) become irate when Larry Pratt, the head of Gun Owners of America, suggests that the official statistics from the British Home Office may not be entirely accurate:

However, it has been recognized in the U.K. for many years that the method of reporting crime is not scientific and that the official statistics are far from accurate. The statistics incomparable to that of U.S. crime statistics because what is begin reported and how it is being compiled are very dissimilar.

This is hardly a new issue, as warnings of faulty statistics and unscientific methods of compiling them have been reported in the news since before 2000 in Great Britain. The Independent claimed that proposals were being made at that time to change the official policies on how crime rates are recorded:

An estimated 1.4m crimes are going unrecorded by the police every year partly because officers bend the rules to exaggerate their success, government inspectors have discovered.

Police officers have been found grossly to misrepresent and massage crime statistics to improve their detection rates while downplaying the number of offenses committed.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary found that 24 per cent of crimes reported to the police in 11 forces examined were not recorded as offenses. Some forces required hard evidence that there had been an offense before recording it as such. One force was found to have recorded only about half the crimes reported to it.

The Home Office announced proposals yesterday for a radical overhaul of how the police collect, record and publish crime statistics. One of the expected changes will be the future publication of detailed neighborhood crime statistics to allow citizens to find out the level of lawlessness in their local streets or villages.

The changes will certainly result in a huge rise in the published crime rate. Criminologists have always known that the official number of offenses recorded by the police is an underestimation of the real rate, but the report details widespread rule bending.

According to the Telegraph in 2008:

Data provided to The Sunday Telegraph by nearly every police force in England and Wales, under freedom of information laws, show that the number of firearms incidents dealt with by officers annually is 60 per cent higher than figures stated by the Home Office.

Last year 5,600 firearms offences were excluded from the official figures. It means that, whereas the Home Office said there were only 9,800 offences in 2007/8, the real total was around 15,400. The latest quarterly figures, due to be released on Thursday, will again exclude a significant number of incidents.

The explanation for the gulf is that the Government figures only include cases where guns are fired, used to “pistol whip” victims, or brandished as a threat.

Thousands of offences including gun-smuggling and illegal possession of a firearm – which normally carries a minimum five-year jail sentence – are omitted from the Home Office’s headline count, raising questions about the reliability of Government crime data.

Dominic Grieve, the shadow home secretary, said: “These alarming new figures not only highlight the appalling state of gun crime in this country, but also remind us just how poor the Government’s statistics actually are.

“Crime statistics must also be compiled and published independent of the Home Office, and crime mapping rolled out so that people can have confidence in what they are being told about the state of crime in this country.”

Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said the figures revealed the extent to which gun crime is a “scar on society”.

“It is shocking that the Home Office is in denial about the extent of gun crime by refusing to include offenses where a gun is present but not brandished,” he said.

“This is another strong reason why the Home Office should not be in charge of collecting its own statistics, which should be put directly under the responsibility of the Office for National Statistics.

“Gun crime must be treated with the same seriousness and concern as knife crime. Both are a scar on our society.”

In all, there were at least 5,612 offenses excluded from the Home Office’s official gun crime total last year, according to figures supplied by police forces.

The true total number of excluded offenses will have been even higher, because two of the 43 forces in England and Wales, Thames Valley and Leicestershire, failed to hand over larry pratt and piers morgan debate U.S. Gun Legislationtheir data when asked to do so under the Freedom of Information Act, and a large urban force, Greater Manchester, provided incomplete statistics. Scotland records gun crime differently.

When the Home Office publishes its latest quarterly crime figures on Thursday, they will include a section on gun crime injuries and deaths, but the figures will again exclude a significant number of incidents.

The Sunday Telegraph‘s figures suggest that the Metropolitan Police’s official tally of 3,300 gun crimes in 2006/7, the most recent available, would have risen to around 5,000 if excluded categories had been counted. In 2007, Met officers dealt with 1,678 firearms incidents which were not included in the official tally. The Met’s figures show that offenses of firearms possession in the capital rose from 850 five years ago to 1,400 last year.

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Biden Says “Nothing we’re going to do is going to … eliminate … another mass shooting”

Biden admits that gun control won't save lives

Joe Biden told reporters recently that “Nothing we’re going to do is going to fundamentally alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting or guarantee that we will bring gun deaths down 1,000 a year from what it is now,”

Biden admits that gun control won't save livesBut wait! Isn’t that the whole point of the proposed regulations to ban certain types of firearms? And he has expressed more than one opposing viewpoint, so what does he really think?

Just two weeks earlier, surrounded by children that had written letters to the white house asking for gun control (because they have been terrified into thinking that it is a likely possibility that they get killed in school due to mass shootings by random gunmen) he said:

We have a moral obligation to do everything in our power to diminish the prospect that something like this might happen again.” referring to the recent mass shootings.

But do we have an obligation as a nation to take action even if it is absent of logic?

The hysteria created by the recent shootings and the media blitz surrounding them has lead to a logic-free zone surrounding most politicians and many citizens. It is always the plea from these, the reactive and/ or opportunistic, crying, “We must do SOMETHING!”

But for the sake of the country we live in and the citizens who have always lived in a peaceful and harmonious manner, should we not obligate our government to be certain that the action we take is effective and not detrimental to the cause we claim for it?

Sen. Ted Cruz pointed out that according to the Department of Justice under Janet Reno [which was liberal and pro-gun control] during the Bill Clinton [which was also liberal and pro gun control] administration the assault weapons ban (the same one that our government is considering reenacting now), “Failed to reduce the average number of victims per gun murder incident or multiple gunshot wound victims.” And that it also, “Under [the gun ban] there was no effect on the injuriousness or lethality of gun violence.”

Sen. Cruz also pointed out that the features of guns that are targeted by the ban are entirely cosmetic. They have nothing to do with the firing mechanism or how quickly they can shoot. The ban doesn’t pertain to any aspect of how the gun works. The ban merely says that certain cosmetic features are not acceptable, such as a plastic pistol grip.

Sen Cruz Shows Ineffectiveness of Gun Ban because bans are merely cosmetic

Senator Cruz suggested that often the type of emotion in Washington surrounding tragedies creates a “Fact-free zone”, where no one is basing the action they want to take on factual statistics, historical facts, etc.

Says Sen. Cruz, “What it bans, I would suggest to you, are scary looking guns.” Demonstrating how an ordinary hunting rifle that would be legal under the gun ban could be turned into a banned assault rifle simply by adding a cosmetic plastic pistol grip that doesn’t alter the functionality of the weapon at all.

This is the kind of logic that we see behind gun control. Action is paramount but thought is not.

If the US Government Was Logical the Public Might Trust Them More

But you have to remember that congress often doesn’t function optimally, as we can see by the lessons that basically anyone could think through and learn from (with the exception of any government entity where, apparently, logic isn’t encouraged or allowed).

For instance, decades ago when we (the United States) funded and armed Osama Bin Laden and helped bring Saddam Hussein to power, who could have foreseen that it would turn around and bite us in the hind quarters? Oh well, you live and learn, right? Except that we never learn, so early in 2013 we (the United States) sent 4 free f-16 fighter jets and 200 tanks to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt even though the current president is unfriendly toward us. Hmmm…

We can also look at “Operation Fast and Furious” where the United States was caught  smuggling guns out of the United States and into Mexico. The guns, predictably, were used to attack U.S. agents, and used in at least one massacre in Mexico. Why would the United States be responsible for spreading weapons all over the world – and frequently to our enemies – if our government thinks weapons are dangerous and that they can’t even trust American citizens to have them in their possession? It’s food for thought.

Recently Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was questioned before Congress about the attack on the American diplomatic mission at Benghazi, in Libya, in September 2012. “The Pandora’s Box of weapons coming out of these countries in the Middle East and North Africa is the source of one of our biggest threats,” said Clinton, “There is no doubt that the Algerian terrorists had weapons from Libya. There is no doubt that the Malian remnants of AQIM have weapons from Libya,” and According to ABC News, the man who masterminded the attack in Algeria, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, had said in November 2011 that his people “benefited” from the black market weapons caches stolen from Gaddafi’s warehouses in Libya.

But, mysteriously, what no one ever mentioned or questioned anyone about, is that the United States has been giving aid such as money and weapons to Libya and Syria for many years, which, obviously, contributed to these attacks and many other detrimental events in the area.

Another inconsistency I have noticed with the logic of the government of the United States is this:  as it has often been pointed out, if the gun legislation is really supposed to be enacted due to our concern for and love of children, to protect them from the injury or death that weapons can cause, then why do U.S. drones constantly fly overhead in countries that we aren’t at war with causing the death of, so far, over 185 children.

And, furthermore, how can the U.S. government afford to send free fighter jets and tanks to other governments if our own government is insolvent and can’t pay it’s bills? If they can’t even afford to give Social Security recipients the benefits that they paid into all of their working years?

These inconsistencies and more need to be addressed before considering letting the U.S. government rip apart the U.S. Constitution that they swore to uphold and defend. Before we allow anyone to touch the fundamental rights in the Constitution, they should show that they have good and sound judgment and are fair and just people. Simply being president of the United States isn’t enough.

 

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Statistis Showing That Firearms Save Lives and Protect Property Are Largely Ignored

Statistically speaking, there is a significant amount of evidence showing that guns save and protect more people than they harm. Facts, however, are not always appreciated or reported in the national press. Unfortunately  we live in a society where any tragedy will keep a large percentage of the populace glued to the news 24/7 lusting for the latest tidbit of information, while news of bravery and heroism are all but ignored by the media. If a mass shooting is prevented, it may get a blurb on a local TV station or a mention on a morning talk show, but it will be largely passed over  – especially if the violence is prevented with the use of a firearm. The everyday hero goes unsung and real, common sense solutions are laughed at or treated with disdain by many and passed over in favor of actions that victimize  all of society.

Much of the national media and the American public are willing to overlook statistics that say the crime rate in the This women prevented a school shooting in TNU.K. has tripled since banning guns and now has the highest crime rate in Europe, but Switzerland, with the highest gun ownership rate, has the lowest crime rate. It is statistically factual that violence is more frequently perpetrated without the use of a firearm than with one. These weapons include blunt objects, hands, feet, knives, and even cars. So far there have been no moves to ban any of these deadly weapons.

Many in the media and public are  also willing to overlook the fact that  statistically crime rates decrease as gun ownership increases and that the areas with the most restrictive gun control laws also have the highest crime rates. Apparently there are some real flaws in the philosophy that gun regulation makes society safer, but often when individuals become entrenched in a philosophy, they have a difficult time taking a step back and giving it objective and critical thought.

Although statistics can often be skewed to serve the purpose of the person using them, good statistics taken from objective research can be very helpful. Below are listed some statistics that show a view of gun ownership and gun control that are at odds with much of current popular opinion being promoted in the media.

 

Statistics Show Gun Owners Use Guns to Prevent Crime

  • A 1993 nationwide survey of 4,977 households found that over the previous five years, at least 0.5% of households had members who had used a gun for defense during a situation in which they thought someone “almost certainly would have been killed” if they “had not used a gun for protection.” Applied to the U.S. population, this amounts to 162,000 such incidents per year. This figure excludes all “military service, police work, or work as a security guard.”
  •  Based on survey data from the U.S. Department of Justice, roughly 5,340,000 violent crimes were committed in the United States during 2008. These include simple/aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, rapes, and murders. Of these, about 436,000 or 8% were committed by offenders visibly armed with a gun.
  • Based on survey data from a 2000 study published in the Journal of Quantitative CriminologyU.S. civilians use guns to defend themselves and others from crime at least 989,883 times per year.
  • *A 1994 survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Americans use guns to frighten away intruders who are breaking into their homes about 498,000 times per year.

 

A Survey of Male Felons in State Prisons Found That Gun Ownership Deters Criminals

  • 34% had been “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim”
  • 40% had decided not to commit a crime because they “knew or believed that the victim was carrying a gun”
  • 69% personally knew other criminals who had been “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim”

 

Handgun Ban Correlated with Increased Murder Rate In Washington D.C.

  • During the years in which the D.C. handgun ban and trigger lock law was in effect, the Washington, D.C. murder rate averaged 73% higher than it was at the outset of the law, while the U.S. murder rate averaged 11% lower.

 

Gun Control Laws Correlated with Increased Homicide Rate In Great Britain

  • In 1997, Britain passed a law requiring civilians to surrender almost all privately owned handguns to the police. More than 162,000 handguns and 1.5 million pounds of ammunition were “compulsorily surrendered” by February 1998. Using “records of firearms held on firearms certificates,” police accounted for all but fewer than eight of all legally owned handguns in England, Scotland, and Wales.
  • The homicide rate in England and Wales has averaged 52% higher since the outset of the 1968 gun control law and 15% higher since the outset of the 1997 handgun ban.*

*These statistics are not current. The current crime rate is much higher than this statistic shows, in part due to the rioting in the UK in 2011.

 

Handgun Ban Correlated with Higher Number of Murders Committed with Handguns in Chicago

  • In 1982, the city of Chicago instituted a ban on handguns. This ban barred civilians from possessing handguns except for those registered with the city government prior to enactment of the law. The law also specified that such handguns had to be re-registered every two years or owners would forfeit their right to possess them. In 1994, the law was amended to require annual re-registration.
  • In June 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (5-4) that Chicago’s ban is unconstitutional.
  • Since the outset of the Chicago handgun ban, the Chicago murder rate has averaged 17% lower than it was before the law took effect, while the U.S. murder rate has averaged 25% lower.
  • Since the outset of the Chicago handgun ban, the percentage of Chicago murders committed with handguns has averaged about 40% higher than it was before the law took effect.

 

Although it is easy to feel that we are taking good action when we follow emotional arguments, often there are unseen and undesirable repercussions for such actions. Just as, in the past, congress couldn’t foresee the unintended and undesirable outcome of funding Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein, they frequently fail to predict many undesirable outcomes of the myopic policies they promote. How do they really know that they would be making the country safer by passing laws that sound nice in theory but have no real substance? Is there a possibility that such policy might actually make us less safe?

Shouldn’t we have some significant evidence to show a realistic potential for benefit (or at least lack of harm) before we go ripping through the constitution and stripping law abiding citizens of their rights? Or is real thought no longer appreciated when emotions run high? The fact that sound bites and blurbs are repeated constantly in the national media for months on end doesn’t make them true. Critical and objective thought is needed to guide our country in the best possible direction for the future without unintended, and completely preventable, consequences.

 

 

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