An editorial in a leading British newspaper criticizes that nation’s gun-control laws, pointing out that “total” bans on some weapons only help criminals while punishing law-abiding citizens.

The London Telegraph column, published Jan. 5, also said the country’s violent crime rate was rising and predicted that London’s murder rate, which is rising, would overtake New York City’s rate, which is falling.

“New York has just recorded the lowest murder rate since the 19th century. I’ll bet that in the next two years London’s murder rate overtakes it,” said opinion writer Mark Steyn.

Citing a recent U.N. crime survey, Steyn said, “England and Wales now have the highest crime rate of the world’s 20 leading nations.”

“One can query the methodology of the survey while still recognizing the peculiar genius by which British crime policy has wound up with every indicator going haywire – draconian gun control plus vastly increased gun violence plus stratospheric property crime,” he wrote.

Steyn said since the British government imposed its “total ban” on handguns five years ago, “there are more and more guns being used by more and more criminals in more and more crimes.” And now, in the wake of shootings in Birmingham over New Year’s, “there are calls for the total ban to be made even more total: If the gangs refuse to obey the existing laws, we’ll just pass more laws for them not to obey.”

The editorial tied an increase in gangland activity and drugs to England’s increase in violent crime. Steyn also said much of the increased crime was “black-on-black” violence.

He said it wasn’t “politically feasible” to suggest that some ethnic groups – particularly the Jamaican drug gangs – “be subjected to special immigration scrutiny.”

“This basic approach of addressing any cultural factors apart from the ones that correlate was pioneered by American progressives,” he wrote. “The corpulent provocateur Michael Moore, in his film ‘Bowling for Columbine,’ currently delighting British audiences, spends an entire feature-length documentary investigating the ‘culture’ of American gun violence without mentioning that blacks, who make up 13 percent of the population, account for over half the murders (and murder victims, too). Once you factor them out, Americans kill at about the same rate as nancy-boy Canadians.”

“America’s traditionally high and England and Wales’ traditionally low murder rates are remorselessly converging,” Steyn said. “In 1981, the U.S. rate was nine times higher than the English. By 1995, it was six times. Last year, it was down to 3.5. Given that U.S. statistics, unlike the British ones, include manslaughter and other lesser charges, the real rate is much closer.”

WorldNetDaily reported in March 2000 that when Australia banned private ownership of most guns in 1996, crime rose dramatically.

After Australian lawmakers passed widespread gun bans, owners were forced to surrender about 650,000 weapons, which were later slated for destruction, according to statistics from the Australian Sporting Shooters Association.

Australian officials discounted the report, which used figures also cited by the National Rifle Association.

But while figures showed that murders fell from 312 in 1996 to 284 murders in 1998, after experiencing a slight increase in 1997, from 312 to 321, Australia’s crime data also showed that almost every other form of crime had increased, often dramatically, in the same time period.

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