The weekend’s most recent horrific terror attack in London that left seven people dead and 48 injured resulted in witness reports that unarmed police officers ran away from the attackers, followed by a series of tweets from President Trump, have pulled the UK’s contentious gun laws into the limelight.
Even though firearms weren’t used by the terrorists in this particular incident, they certainly were used by police to end the attack, as reported by CNN, who says the armed officers who rushed to London Bridge scene fired an “unprecedented” number of rounds at the three attackers because they were wearing what appeared to be suicide belts and they wanted to put them down as quickly as possible.
The story says eight officers fired 50 shots at the terrorists “to ensure they were neutralized.” The belts were later determined to be fakes.
The NRA-ILA reports that last week the UK’s Basildon Standard revealed that Essex County, England with about 1.74 million residents, contained about 69,000 registered firearms owned by about 22,000 certified gun owners. That means 1.26 percent of the county’s population can arm themselves.
This rate is reflective of the piles of red tape and multiple hoops the UK forces its residents to go through just to be allowed to own a gun.
A prospective owner must submit themselves to “an onerous and intrusive application process. Shotgun and firearm certificate applicants are subject to an interview and a home inspection of their firearm storage arrangements.”
After that, police can conduct surprise inspections of a certificate holder’s firearm storage methods at will. Plus, applicants must exhibit a “good reason” (as some states require residents to do in the U.S. to receive a concealed carry permit) for owning a firearm—and self-defense doesn’t count.
The story in the Standard posited that 69,000 guns in the county is still too many.
The article also quotes Essex County resident Richard Stanley, who was the victim of a violent crime involving a firearm. Stanley did not bemoan the fact that he was not able to defend himself from a criminal with a gun, but rather wishes for a completely gun-free England, or possibly world.
“For me, any amount of guns above zero is too many…There really is no reason to have one in your home,” Stanley said in the story.
Despite the country’s increasingly tightening laws and restrictions, violent crime in England and Whales is on the rise, according to this story from The Guardian, including gun and knife crime. So it appears that neither the hopes and wishes of folks like Stanley, nor the draconian gun control laws of the UK, can stop violent criminals who have no regard for the law.