Gun Control in England: The Tarnished 'Gold Standard'

Joyce Lee Malcolm, Bentley College

Firearms restrictions in England, now the strictest of any democracy, are often cited as proof that strict gun controls produce low rates of armed and violent crime. There are two basic problems with that model: before 1920, when there were no serious gun restrictions in England, gun crime was astonishly low. Secondly, as the government circumscribed the right of individuals to have guns, or any device, for their protection, violent crime began to spiral out of control while gun crime, never a problem, has becone one. A recent UN study of crime in 18 developed countries put England at the top for "most serious offences". This paper will briefly track the English policy of disarming the public and examine the modern impact.

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Updated 05/20/2006