The ordinary citizen, and even most police officers, in the U.K. cannot legally own a gun. As a result, gun crime is fairly low, yet murder in London has still reached record highs, surpassing New York City, as a result of stabbings.
Their response? To implement tight “knife control” and start stopping-and-frisking people on the streets to find people carrying around anything pointy.
Police departments all over England are bragging on social media about the “weapons sweeps” they are conducting. The recoveries have included ordinary scissors, screwdrivers, pliers, a file, and even a butter knife. When questioned (well, mocked) about the butter knife on Twitter, Hackney Police said, “Thanks for your insightful & original retort. The fact remains, a ‘butter knife’ in the chest will kill as surely as a bayonet.”
What’s worse, they’re bragging about what they call “stop-and-search,” their version of the mostly-defunct “stop-and-frisk” that the NYPD used to unconstitutionally search 800,000 people in one year alone, finding weapons less than 2% of times. The NYPD insisted that the program was responsible for a drop in crime until they were ordered to stop by a federal judge and crime stats in New York continued to improve.
It seems difficult to find the rules describing the circumstances under which English police may search an individual on the street, but as far as I can gather — and knowing they have no constitutional amendment against unreasonable search — it’s whenever an officer has reason to be suspicious. (I welcome corrections if anyone can find an official policy.) And good Brits will bend over and take it, because as this retired British police officer mused:
We hear the statistics that suggest intelligence led stop and search gets positive results in a third of all cases, but what we don’t know is what happens when an officer decides not to stop and search someone they are suspicious of. Does that person then go on to do something terrible?
No, actually, police are suspicious of everyone, and most will not go on to commit crimes with concealed screwdrivers.
Here in the States, I think there is reform we can do to make it more difficult for people who shouldn’t have a gun to get one. But today we hear useful idiots like Larry King and retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens call for a full repeal of the Second Amendment — literally calling for the government to take our guns.
Apparently, that doesn’t stop murder: people are really good at finding ways to kill each other. The correct solution is to remove the desire, whether motivated by mental illness, religious hatred, or otherwise. The incorrect solution is what has led the U.K. on a path to tyranny and dry toast.