Everybody enjoys a good laugh when they read some version of what Robert Godwin calls “the perennially clueless New York Times, which often publishes variations on the theme of “Crime Down Despite Increase in Prison Population.” That is, we enjoy the fact that the NYTs, and other liberal publications, seem blind to the fact that crime might be done, not in spite of, but because of, the fact that more bad guys are in prison. I just got a glimpse of another one of those liberal disconnects, where a liberal makes a statement oblivious to the fact that his premise might be, just might be flawed.
I was reading Jack’s News Snipet ‘Blog, which headed me over to a news story about increased gun crime in England, and cries that Labour is responsible — or rather, not in control, and therefore irresponsible. The crime numbers are impressive:
Labour has been accused of losing control of gun crime as new figures show a sharp rise in armed robberies.
Guns were used in 4,120 robberies last year – a 10% jump – including a 9% rise to 1,439 in the number of street robberies where guns were used.
There was also a rapid and unexplained increase in the number of times householders were confronted in their own homes by armed criminals. Residential firearms robberies show a 46% leap, a record 645 cases in England and Wales – up 204 on the previous year and four times the level recorded in 2000-01.
It’s the last paragraph in this story that has the money quote, the kind of statement that should have someone in government scratching his or her head and saying, “Wait, maybe there’s a connection.” Here:
Home Office minister Tony McNulty said: “Firearm offences have fallen significantly, by 14% in the year up to September 2006, which amounts to 1,642 fewer incidents.
“While there is a small rise in residential firearm robberies, these account for a tiny proportion of recorded offences overall, although we recognise any firearm incident is traumatic for victims.” He added: “We have some of the toughest firearm legislation in Europe.” (Emphasis mine.)
I’m not saying there’s a connection, but there might be. Especially since studies do show that violent home break-ins in London increased immediately after the City outlawed guns entirely. (You can read Mark Steyn’s analysis of that situation here.) The same thing happened in Washington, D.C., so you have an “n” of at least 2 from which to draw your conclusions.