As reported, Ernest Wright is a 68 year old British man who has been convicted of two murders. The first murder conviction came in 1973, after he beat Trevor Hale to death with an iron bar, then tried (unsuccessfully) to burn Hale’s body in a shallow grave. Wright served 26 years in prison for that crime, and was then released. In March of 2009, Wright (illegally) armed himself with a shotgun, covered his face with a mask, and broke into the house owned by Neville Corby and Craig Freear, with whom he had previously had a dispute. Immediately upon entering, Wright opened fire, sending the men diving for cover. Feeear was seriously injured, but managed to jump out of a window and escape, while Corby was killed as he tried to flee. Wright was sentenced to life for this second murder. My thoughts on this tragic situation, and what it teaches about British gun control, can be seen below:
Gun control didn’t disarm Wright
Wright was armed with a shotgun when he murdered Corby. Being so armed meant that Wright was breaking numerous gun control laws, yet these laws proved as ineffective at disarming Wright as the law against murder was at preventing Wright from twice committing that crime.
Indeed, this is not the first time that I’ve written about the failure of British gun control laws to disarm criminals. To name a few cases, I’ve written about a pregnant British woman being raped by an armed home invader, an a British postal worker who was fatally shot by an armed robber. I’ve mentioned how a British bicycle rider was gunned down, and how teenagers are often shot in London these days. I’ve discussed how a former boxing champion and father of 2 young children was fatally shot in a smoke-free nightclub after politely asking a violent individual to stop smoking indoors. Moving beyond those anecdotal evidence, crime statistics show a 40% increase in handgun related crime in the first two years after the British banned handguns, and a doubling of gun-related crime in the following decade. Not surprisingly, criminals who want guns will get them on the black market, or will simply manufacture their own illegal guns, just as criminals who want illegal drugs are able to acquire that contraband.
Gun control did ensure that Corby and Freear were defenseless
Rather than preventing Wright from having a gun with which to commit his crime, British gun control only ensured that Corby and Freear were defenseless. Had Corby or Freear been armed, they very well may have been able to defend themselves, rather than suffering death and serious bodily harm.
Remember, armed Americans use their guns in self defense about 2,500,000 times each year, preventing murders, domestic violence, rapes, home invasions, robberies, kidnappings, stabbings, burglaries, and every other type of violent crime. Citizens of other countries who have the right to keep and bear arms for self defense are similarly successful at the task of stopping violent criminals. There is no reason to believe that the UK’s citizens would be any less successful – but for the unjust laws which leave them defenseless.