A recent article from the BBC discussed how in 2009-2010, 16 people were killed in England and Wales, despite having contacted the police to request protection from a violent individual. The news report noted that those 16 killings represented a near doubling from the previous year. More information on that situation, and my thoughts about the wisdom of trusting the police to preserve one’s life, are below:
Sixteen people were murdered in England and Wales during 2009-10 after police had been informed about concerns over their safety, the police watchdog says. . . It added that the 16 killings which happened after police had been contacted compared with nine reported in the previous year. . . Seven were women allegedly killed by a current or former partner or friend. In each case either the woman herself, or other family members, had raised concerns with the police. . . In another incident, the perpetrator had warned police of an intention to kill. Another killer had been under police surveillance.
Simply put, I find it to be quite unjust when the citizens of a county are disarmed, preventing them from defending themselves, then neglected by the police force that they have been told will protect them.
Indeed I don’t believe it is ever wise to rely upon the police to ensure one’s safety. In the UK, as well as in the United States, the police are not legally liable for failing to protect any particular citizen, and often fail to promptly respond to requests for emergency assistance. When the police do respond, they shoot the wrong person from time to time – sometimes with fatal results.
The British gun and violence situation
In an impulsive and misguided reaction to a pair of high-profile shootings, the British government enacted strict gun control at the national level. These anti gun laws went as far as to ban the .22 target pistols used by the British Olympic Pistol Team, forcing those athletes to go to Switzerland and France to practice their sport.
However, the gun ban laws didn’t stop criminals from acquiring and misusing guns. Instead, British criminals buy their guns the black market, or simply manufacture their own illegal guns. Crime statistics reflect this fact, showing a 40% increase in handgun related crime in the first two years after the gun ban took effect, and a doubling of gun-related crime in the first decade after the gun ban took effect. The result is that the violent criminals are armed, while their victims are defenseless.
Turning specifically to domestic violence, it is worth noting that domestic violence offenders tend to be males, who are usually physically stronger than the women they are abusing. As such, these offenders are more than capable of murdering, beheading, setting on fire, or otherwise harming their victims, without a gun. Moreover, the kind of person who is willing to commit domestic violence crimes is not going to be deterred by the less severely punished laws prohibiting gun possession.
It is also notable that even those British criminals who don’t have a gun are often quite capable of harming or killing their unarmed, physically weaker victims. In other words, a situation where neither the criminal nor the victim has a gun is often a situation in which the victim still loses. As an example, this elderly British man was tortured to death in his own home by unarmed criminals who incorrectly thought he had large amounts of cash they could steal. This elderly British woman was severely beaten and left for dead by an unarmed sadistic home invader who simply felt like harming another human for the fun of it. Similarly, this disabled woman was slashed with a knife by a gang of teenagers who attacked her and stabbed her dog to death for no reason at all. As a final example, I would note the stabbing death of Pat Regan, who was an anti-gun crusader. Again, looking at crime statistics rather than anecdotal evidence, stabbings in Britain have risen since the gun ban was enacted, and the stabbing of juveniles is up a staggering 72% over the last 10 years.
Arming crime victims is the solution
Armed domestic violence victims, on the other hand, are in the best position to defend themselves and avoid suffering the terrible sort of attack that Yvette suffered.This armed woman used her gun to stop violent ex who broke into her home and cornered her in her bedroom. This armed woman was able to defend herself against a rapist who came back to rape her for a second time in a week. Similarly, this woman used her gun to stop an ex-boyfriend who broke into her home, hid in a closet, and attacked her when she returned home. Indeed, I could list many more examples and go into the statistical evidence, but the point should be clear: armed self defense is effective.