The current and possibly outgoing British Prime Minister thinks that old fashioned East German style censorship will somehow prevent terrorism.
This ludicrous and counter productive proposal has been thoroughly picked apart by The Duran.
But at times such as these, it is both important and necessary to examine real options that could prevent or minimise such atrocities in the future.
First of all, it is crucial to restate that there is not now nor has there ever been a scientifically established relationship between the usage of or kinds of material on the internet and terrorism. Sure, terrorists may use smart-phones or laptops to speak with one another, but terrorists communicated with each other long before the iPhone. For that matter miscreants communicated with each other long before the advent of the phone.
Perhaps Mrs. May can suggest that we all have our mouths forcibly stapled shut for fear that one in 10 million people might string together some sentences that convey the desire to plan an atrocity? It’s only slightly more ridiculous than what she proposed and to make it more spicy for her, if she wins the forthcoming UK election, she can have her corporate buddies make special nutrition injections to compensate for the loss of the ability to chew.
However, statistics do show that in many cases, the legal ban on certain kinds of firearms actually increases the homicide rate.
Britain introduced some of the world’s most strict gun control laws in the aftermath of the Dunblane school shooting in 1996. The following chart using Britain’s official government statistics shows what happened in respect of homicide rates in England and Wales (the majority of Britain’s population) after strict gun control came into force.
When one accounts for post UK gun control homicide rates where firearms were used (illegally in most cases on might add), the chart is even more shocking.
Similar statistics appear in both Ireland and Jamaica after similar gun control measures
According to John R. Lott Jr’s book More Guns, Less Crime, both Chiago and Washington D.C. have among the highest violent crime rates in the US, in spite of having among the strictest gun control laws.
The following chart taken from the OECD’s official statistics shows that Switzerland and Finland in spite of high levels of legal gun ownership, have far lower homicide rates per capita than countries with considerably less legal gun ownership.
An eyewitness of the recent terrorist attack on London told the BBC that they witnessed terrorists repeatedly stabbing a young girl to death. According to a man called Gerald,
“They stabbed this girl maybe 10 times, 15 times. She was going, ‘Help me, help me”.
He also said that the best onlookers could do is attempt to hurl objects at the terrorists, but this had no effect.
If the eyewitnesses had guns rather than random objects, there is at least a chance that they could have terminated the terrorists and possibly have saved innocent lives in the process.
The fact of the matter is, unless there are more criminals in a society than average, well meaning people, gun ownership should not increase the crime rate any more than knife ownership or car ownership. It would be ludicrous to ban cars or kitchen knives because terrorists use them to commit atrocities, but it is perfectly reasonable to make renting or purchasing a car or even buying a substantial knife be subjected to various background checks. The same is true for guns, people who own guns should be subjected to thorough background checks and should be subject to regular drug tests.
In many cases of crazed shootings in the United States, the killers are on prescription drugs that are less pervasive in other high gun ownership societies. Consequently, these societies have fewer tragic gun related incidents.
Vigilant citizens with guns would have a far better chance at stopping many kinds of terrorist attacks as well as random incidents of violent crime vis-a-vis vigilant citizens without guns.
It could even have the deterrent effect of making certain terrorists think twice before committing technically low-grade or semi-improvised atrocities.
Countries that have a less aggressive foreign policy than those like Britain and France almost always have fewer terrorist atrocities. The exceptions to this list are the countries that France, Britain and their allies are bombing–something which should surprise no one.
The relation between foreign policy and terrorist incidents is clearly illustrated by the case study of Spain, one of western Europe’s most populous countries. This is why for example Spain which socially is not all too different than Britain, has not had a single incident of Salafist terrorism on its soil since 2004 when a pro-war government was thrown out after the tragic al-Qaeda Madrid train bombings. Furthermore, Spain is not part of the US coalition in Syria either. The minute Spain withdrew from the Middle East, terrorist blow-back stopped. Since 2004 the only terrorist incidents in Spain have been committed by ETA, a regional group that is not connected with inter-continental terrorism.
But terrorism is also about domestic policies. UK opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn is right when he says that foreign policy must change and that simultaneous with that, budget cuts to police forces should be reversed.
To Corbyn’s list I would add, Britain’s gun control laws need a thorough revision. Guns do kill people, but in violent times, they also have the ability to save many more. It’s time for a change. The status quo isn’t working and censoring memes on the internet as the current British Prime Minister wants to do, is simply asinine.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.