I recently stumbled across a 7 year old article in the BBC, which showed a 40% increase in handgun related crime in the 2 years after the UK’s handgun ban was passed.  This crime increase continues to this day.

The ban on ownership of handguns [in the United Kingdom] was introduced in 1997 as a result of the Dunblane massacre, when Thomas Hamilton opened fire at a primary school leaving 16 children and their teacher dead.

Gun bans often start out as a knee jerk reaction to a horrible crime, the the British gun ban was no exception.  However passing pointless and ineffective laws in the wake of a tragedy is almost never the prudent thing to do.  Such laws rarely if ever address the underlying causes of crime, and instead only find a convenient scapegoat to blame.  Worse yet, such laws disarm the law abiding citizens, leaving them vulnerable to the gun-ban-ignoring criminals.

A new study suggests the use of handguns in crime rose by 40% in the two years after the weapons were banned . . . The Centre for Defence Studies at Kings College in London, which carried out the research, said the number of crimes in which a handgun was reported increased from 2,648 in 1997/98 to 3,685 in 1999/2000.

The numbers don’t lie.  Banning guns didn’t lessen the UK’s crime rate in the first two years  Instead, gun related crimes increased a whopping 40%.  The study attributed this increase to criminals smuggling in guns, the manufacture of illegal guns, and the fact that gun bans only effect those people who will obey the law in the first place.

Fast forwarding to 2008, these same facts remain true.  The UK’s crime rate is still increasing, while organized crime makes money by producing illegal guns and smuggling them in to the country.  Citizens are gunned down by gun-ban-ignoring criminals, or stabbed to death by physically stronger criminals.  Instead of being able to defend themselves like Americans can, the law abiding British citizens are left defenseless.  Worse yet, the British citizens who do defend themselves are treated worse than the criminals who break into their homes.