The UK Banned Guns—Now Stabbings and Violent Crime Are Out of Control

Monday, February 19, 2018
By Paul Martin

While gun control advocates argue that stricter laws could prevent mass shootings, statistics show that countries with those laws in place are battling increasing rates of stabbings and other violent crimes.

By Rachel Blevins
February 18, 2018

When there are reports of a mass shooting, and many politicians and mainstream media pundits respond by pushing for gun control, it is important to take a moment to look at the statistics and whether there is evidence that the proposed laws would make an impact—and in the United Kingdom, that impact is painfully apparent.

The UK has some of the strictest gun laws in the world, putting the burden on its citizens to prove to the government that they are worthy of owning a specific firearm, and their intent for its ownership.

As The BBC reported, “Getting a license is a long and complicated business. Every stage of the process is designed to reduce the likelihood of a gun falling into the wrong hands. It starts with an application form which asks specific questions about why the individual wants a gun, telling them they need to show ‘good reason.’”

The latest calls for gun control in the United States have come as a result of a mass shooting at a high school in Florida, in which suspect Nikolas Cruz has been accused of using an AR-15, which he purchased legally, to shoot and kill 17 people.

As a result, gun control supporters are arguing that if Cruz had not had access to an AR-15, then the massacre would not have happened. Now, ignoring the fact that Cruz could have committed murder by setting off a bomb at the school, driving his car into a crowd of students, or coming to school armed with the knife collection he showed off on social media—the question remains as to whether stricter gun control laws would have prevented this suspect from committing mass murder.

In the UK, where it is highly unlikely that Cruz would have been able to legally buy a gun, his knife collection would have remained legal. And if he chose to go on a stabbing spree with those weapons, he would have joined thousands of others who have brought stabbings in the UK to a staggering high in recent years.

There were 37,443 recorded knife offenses in the UK—12,980 of which took place in London—between September 2016 and September 2017, which was a 21 percent increase from the year before, according to records from the Office for National Statistics.

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