British Gun Control Fails as 37 People are Shot in a Murder-Suicide Killing Spree

Published by the Author on June 4, 2010 at 12:01 am > Pro Gun Rights Articles > British Gun Control Fails as 37 People are Shot in a Murder-Suicide Killing Spree

A cab driver in Northwest England is said to have killed 12 people and wound 25 others, despite the incredibly strict British gun control laws:

According to news reports, 52 year old Derrick Bird allegedly shot dead a colleague in the town of Whitehaven, then methodically drove through the countryside, shooting 36 additional victims at more than 30 separate crime scenes. After the killing spree, Mr. Bird committed suicide, and his body was found in a wooded area along with a shotgun and a rifle, according to police.

British gun laws are among the toughest in the world, with handguns and many other firearms having been banned outright (even the Olympic pistol team must leave the country to practice their sport). Citizens who wish to lawfully own a shotgun, which is one of the few guns that can still be owned, are required to have a certificate issued by their local chief of police.  Applicants must prove to the police that they have “good reason” for wanting the gun, are fit to own a gun, and that public safety will not be endangered. Police must personally interview every applicant and later visit their home to check that the gun is stored in a secure locker. Those individuals who violate the gun control laws – even by using a gun in self defense against violent home invaders – face severe penalties.

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Yet none of these laws prevented today’s mass killing spree.  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, and 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.  In sum, British gun control has failed to disarm the criminals, who get their guns on the black market – or simply manufacture their own illegal guns.

Rather than protecting British citizens, British gun control laws instead ensure that murderous criminals will have a monopoly on guns. Common sense should make clear the fact that a person bent on killing as many people as they can before committing suicide won’t think twice about the penalties for violating a gun control law.  On the other hand, the law abiding people (who weren’t going to commit mass murder in the first place) will obey the law, as they don’t wish to tarnish their good names with a criminal conviction.  The result is that the violent criminals are armed, while their victims are defenseless.

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Had just one of the Cumbria killing spree victims been armed self defense, this tragedy may well have been averted – just as happens in the United States when crime victims are armed.  Instead, the law abiding British citizens were gunned down, one by one, having been left defenseless by a misguided law that does more harm than good.

Remember, guns allow the elderly, the disabled, and the physically weaker to defend themselves against violent attackers, rather than being overpowered.  They allow women to defend themselves and their children, instead of becoming domestic violence statistics. Guns also allow a single person to successfully defend themselves against multiple attackers, who would otherwise be able to use their numerical advantage to deadly effect.  This article goes into much more detail on that point, and those who would like to read pages of real-life self defense examples may click here.  Statistics on the issue of armed self defense can be seen here.

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  • Bill Gibbons

    An armed citizenry is a deterrant against this kind of slaughter. Britain has seen three such mass shooting where unarmed police were unable to stop any of them. Hungerford (16 people shot dead, including an unarmed copper), Dunblane (16 children shot dead, including a teacher), and now Cumbria? I would argue that if any of the victims in these horrors had access to a gun and were trained to use it, the nutters that committed these atrocities would have been stopped in their tracks a lot sooner.

    Secondly, NOT ONE person could stop Derrick Bird. not the police, not the public. Why? Because they were unarmed. Nobody had a gun or access to one that could be used to stop this slaughter. He went on a killing spree for THIRTY FIVE MILES before he parked his car, casually walked into a secluded area and shot himself. In one instance, Bird was in plain sight of two police officers who were scooting people out of the way and shouting at others to “take cover.” They could not stop him. Their batons and cans of pepper spray weren’t quite a match for Bird’s .22 rifle and 12 gage shotgun.

    The UK handgun ban is absolutely insane. Just how many of the tens of thousands of UK citizens who owned handguns went on shooting sprees before they were stripped of their weapons in 1996? Ten years later in 2006, there were an estimated FOUR MIILION illegal guns circulating in the UK. Criminals between the ages of 15-24 can get access to Mac-10 sub-machine guns, Beretta pistols and Brocok air cartridge weapons, converted to fire live ammo. Also on the rise is the number of victims shot: Again, going back seven years, 440 people were seriously wounded by firearms in 2003-04, up five per cent from 2002. In the first six months of 2009, the number of shootings in London had almost doubled from 123 to 236 compared with the same period in 2008, a rise of 91.8%. Serious firearms offences have risen by 47% across London.

    Since 1996, gun crime has increased overall in the UK by 92%. Now we have huge areas of London, Manchester, Glasgow and Liverpool controlled by gangs armed with machine guns, fighting it out over turf and the drugs trade. Teenagers packing illegal handguns battle each other in “respect” shootings. In the meantime, coppers walk around unarmed while the rest of the country is left to cower in homes behind locked doors, burglar alarms and barred windows.

    As an ex-British soldier now living in Canada, the situation here is a lot saner. All police officers here are armed and Canada has considerably less violent crime than the UK. There are over 3.8 million gun owners here who didn’t kill anyone yesterday. The answer in the UK is to have every police station or district manned by a select number of armed officers who can react quickly and independently when another mass shooting happens. And it will given time.

    For those who continue to believe that disarming law abiding citizens will somehow keep us all safe, just listen to the number of 911 recording on YouTube by terrified women who were calling for help when stalkers, rapists and burglars were in the act of breaking into their homes. The police were too far away to get to the scene in time. All the women in question are all alive today because they had access to a gun in the house and were able to put a bullet in their attackers. So what would you rather have? A woman raped, beaten, then strangled with her own panties, or a dead criminal? As far as Derrick Bird is concerned, I would rather have armed police officers or even a citizen with access to a gun who could have stopped Bird a lot sooner.

    When a citizenry is unarmed and therefore stripped of its ability to protect itself from violent criminals, then that citizenry is no longer free. My thoughts and prayers are will the victims of this horrid crime.

    Bill Gibbons

  • PACIFISMftw!

    Every time someone goes on a shooting spree in the UK, the gun crime rate for that year goes up. Knife crime is more common and any attempts to arm British civilians will inherently lead to knife criminals being armed with guns. See,

    And there's a good reason why the British public don't like the Police having guns – because of the Stockwell Incident.

  • Theghost

    ^^So that puts them on even footing. I also like how the British Govt. are attacking the citizens expressive rights now that they are unarmed. Hate to say "we told you so." Actually no I don't. I love saying it and they're getting what they deserve for supporting their Government's stupidity.