Very interesting read here at Dave Kopel’s site concerning the British experience with gun bans:
For the last several decades, the United States and Canada have enjoyed robust scholarly inquiry into the law and policy issues regarding gun control and gun rights. Yet in the United Kingdom, scholarly attention to firearms policy has been almost nil. As a result, the definitive history of the right to arms guarantee in the 1689 English Bill of Rights was written by the American Joyce Lee Malcolm. Her book To Keep and Bear Arms: The Origins of an Anglo-American Right focused on the century of political developments leading up to the 1689 Bill of Rights, and on the effect of the 1689 arms rights guarantee during the eighteenth century in Great Britain and the United States. In Guns and Violence: The English ExperienceMalcolm broadens her scope to tell the story of the arms possession, arms control, and violent crime in England from the Middle Ages through the end of the twentieth century.
Malcolm describes the patterns of gun possession and violence, as well as changes in British culture due to war, food shortages, politics, and crime policy. She pays particular attention to changes in the culture of self-defense, both from the viewpoint of the Crown and of the subjects, and to how crime victims are treated by the government. Formerly, Britons happily contrasted their own permissive gun laws with the repressive laws on the Continent, and considered liberal British laws to exemplify the superior and free character of the British nation. But today, British gun controls are the most severe in the western world.
Malcolm’s story is significant for readers interested in comparative criminology or British history. But the story of what happened in Great Britain over the last century is also of worldwide importance, because the modern British government has been aggressively working to export its policies on firearms and self-defense. At the United Nations, the British delegation has been in the forefront of efforts to create a legally binding system of international gun control. The Foreign Office has been extremely active in many other world fora, in regional conferences, and in bilateral relationships, in promoting the broadest gun prohibition policies possible, wherever possible. The British government is also a major funder of international gun prohibition lobbies and organizations. Quite plainly, the British government believes that it has gotten gun control policy just right, and that the British model must be imposed worldwide.
Britain’s violent crime record is worse than any other country in the European union, it has been revealed.
Official crime figures show the UK also has a worse rate for all types of violence than the U.S. and even South Africa – widely considered one of the world’s most dangerous countries.
And back to Kopel:
Today, Great Britain is generally a more dangerous place than the United States. Great Britain is also a place which has successfully crushed the spread of a large American-style gun-culture. While America’s gun culture is still composed, overwhelmingly, of law-abiding, hard-working, family-oriented people, Great Britain’s new gun culture consists of armed criminals, and armed police. One fact is undeniable: the Firearms Act “did not stop the use of guns, it prevented their use by honest citizens – and created a monopoly, with the ownership and use of guns confined to two classes: professional criminals and the police.”
Guns and Violence tells a remarkablestory of a society’s self-destruction, of how a government in a few decades managed to reverse six hundred years of social progress in violence reduction. The book is also a testament to the amazing self-confidence of British governments; Labour and Conservative alike have proceeded with an extreme anti-self-defense agenda, although the agenda has never had much supporting evidence beyond the government’s own platitudes. Whether the rest of the world should follow that bipartisan British agenda is an essential question in the current United Nations debate over international gun control.
We already know how this game plays out. We’ve seen it over and over again, as citizens are reduced to serfs – usually just economically. Gun control physically reduces citizens to serfs.