Defend yourself at your own risk in the UK

From the Daily Mail in the UK:

A shopkeeper could face a murder charge following a fatal struggle with a knife-wielding raider.

Tony Singh fought back when Liam Kilroe, a career criminal, ambushed him in his car after closing time.
Kilroe, who was trying to steal Mr Singh's takings, staggered away with a stab wound from his own knife and died in a pool of blood.

The 25-year-old was on the run after being charged with two robberies.

Police called to the scene found Mr Singh in a state of shock, still sitting in his car and nursing serious knife wounds to his back, face and neck.

However, the officers arrested the 34-year-old and are preparing to send a file to the Crown Prosecution Service.

A murder charge would carry a life sentence on conviction.

The case resembles that of Tony Martin who was charged with murder after shooting Fred Barras, 16, during a raid on his Norfolk farm in 1999.

He was convicted of manslaughter and served three years in prison. . . .

Thanks to Richard Miller for sending me this link.

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Privatizing Education in the UK?

This is pretty amazing. In Britain, these companies don't just have the power to award some credits towards a degree, they have the "power" to award the degree:

McDonald's employees trained in skills needed to run outlets for the fast-food chain can get credit toward high school diplomas, the British government announced Monday.

Along with two other large companies, McDonald's Corp. was given the power to award the equivalent of advanced high-school qualifications as part of a plan to improve young people's skills, said the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, a government education regulator. . . .

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UK Government: Let boys play with guns in nurseries


News Items from the UK

Having guns makes a teacher unfit to teach in England:

A TEACHER police feared could become "the next Thomas Hamilton" has been banned from the profession. Firearms enthusiast Stewart Nicoll, 56, is to be struck off by the General Teaching Council for Scotland after being found guilty of professional misconduct at Grantown Grammar in the Highlands.

He had previously been suspended by the local authority on full pay after his civil case against the police to win back his guns hit the headlines. . . . .

It appears that someone as young as eight years of age has been allowed to fire a shotgun in England:

Children as young as eight are being issued gun licences by the police, figures showed yesterday. # Have your say: Is eight too young for a gun?

Forces granted 1,291 shotgun certificates to those aged 16 and under in England and Wales during the 12 months to October.

Police said that there was no minimum age requirement for a holding licence and that a certificate would be issued to anyone who was not banned under the Firearms Act or did not pose a risk to public safety.

Campiagners expressed shock last night that those so young were being given licences. However, police said that children were not allowed to own a gun unless they were over 16 and licences were not issued until they were satisfied that security measures were in place and that adults were supervising correctly. . . . .

Thanks to Bruce Mills for these links.

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In Britain Air Guns are classified as firearms

TOUGH new laws about the sale and possession of air weapons and crossbows come into force today.

The crackdown, which will force all retailers to be registered as firearms dealers and restrict the sale of airguns and crossbows to the over-18s, represents a combination of UK and Scottish initiatives.

The UK government introduced the new laws on airguns, requiring dealers to conduct face-to-face sales and to record the name and address of the buyer and details of the weapon sold. The UK government was also responsible for raising the purchase age limit to 18. . . . .

Ministers moved to tighten the law following a rise in airgun crime in Scotland - offences have hit a seven-year high.

There have been three fatalities across Britain in the last two years, including the high-profile death of two-year-old Andrew Morton, the Glasgow boy who was shot in the head by Mark Bonini.

These three deaths over two years are tragic, but just out of curiosity how many other ways in the UK and Scotland have averaged at least 1.5 deaths per year?

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One Briton's View of Guns in the US

Despite the recent spate of shootings on our streets, we pride ourselves on our strict gun laws. Every time an American gunman goes on a killing spree, we shake our heads in righteous disbelief at our poor benighted colonial cousins. Why is it, even after the Virginia Tech massacre, that Americans still resist calls for more gun controls?

The short answer is that “gun controls” do not work: they are indeed generally perverse in their effects. Virginia Tech, where 32 students were shot in April, had a strict gun ban policy and only last year successfully resisted a legal challenge that would have allowed the carrying of licensed defensive weapons on campus. It is with a measure of bitter irony that we recall Thomas Jefferson, founder of the University of Virginia, recording the words of Cesare Beccaria: “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

One might contrast the Virginia Tech massacre with the assault on Virginia’s Appalachian Law School in 2002, where three lives were lost before a student fetched a pistol from his car and apprehended the gunman. . . .

It is nice to see that these arguments are even being taken seriously in the UK.

Thanks to Dan Gifford for sending this to me.

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UK Gun Crime Soaring, Labor Government Accused of Cooking the Books

THE government was accused yesterday of covering up the full extent of the gun crime epidemic sweeping Britain, after official figures showed that gun-related killings and injuries had risen more than fourfold since 1998.

The Home Office figures - which exclude crimes involving air weapons - show the number of deaths and injuries caused by gun attacks in England and Wales soared from 864 in 1998-99 to 3,821 in 2005-06. That means that more than 10 people are injured or killed in a gun attack every day.

This weekend the Tories said the figures challenged claims by Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, that gun crime was falling. David Davis, the shadow home secretary, tells her in a letter today that the “staggering findings” show her claims that gun crime has fallen are “inaccurate and misleading”. . . .

Thanks very much to Will Brink for bringing this to my attention.

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Handgun crimes rise in Britain since ban

Despite a ban on handguns introduced in 1997 after 16 children and their teacher were shot dead in the Dunblane massacre the previous year, their use in crimes has almost doubled to reach 4,671 in 2005-06. Official figures show that although Britain has some of the toughest anti-gun laws in the world, firearm use in crime has risen steadily. This year eight young people have been killed in gun attacks: six in London and one each in Manchester and Liverpool. . . . .

I don't think that the population of Britain has gone up much in the last decade (if it has gone up at all), but it would still have been better if they reported this in terms of crimes per capita. In any case, there are lots of reasons why gun crime is low or high in different countries, but the main point is how it changes when the regulations change. At the very least here, a gun ban doesn't appear to have lowered the crime rate.

Thanks to Richard of Newport for sending me this link.

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