Tea Time: The Removal of Guns in England


Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

By Ayman Mirkhan

Though England sounds like a posh country with sophistication to some, the truth is that they have their own share of problems. In England, guns may be outlawed, but that does not change the fact that almost everyone has a bloody knife.

According to British newspaper organization Independent, the Firearm Act of 1996 effectively banned guns from the U.K which was due to the Dunblane school massacre. Impossible it may seem to accomplish, the U.K was able to ban the possession and purchase of handguns across the nation and prevent another school shooting from happening since 1996.

Fantastic as this may be, what was the cost of such actions? Well, let’s just say it’s not all tea and crumpets with the absence of firearms.

According to BBC.com, a little under 40,000 offenses of knife crime were reported in the year 2018. This is staggeringly different compared to seven years ago where there were a little over 30,000 recorded knife offenses, 25 percent lower than today.

More and more people’s lives are in danger with crime on the rise and the police force getting less. According to BBC, there is about a 20,000 police force decrease when compared to the census of 2010, leaving less money to British law enforcement.

However, the more compelling questions that come to play are what are the benefits of producing the Firearm Act and what makes this any similar to America’s gun issues?

Besides there not being a single school shooting since ‘96, life in England has become a lot more tranquil. With not even the police having guns, the amount of damage one criminal can inflict with a knife is far less when compared to a gun. More importantly, the removal of guns has actually deterred most crimes to conducted with weapons.

In a 2018 census of the crime in England, about 79 percent of all attacks were used with no weapons at all. When gun possession is legal in a country, it does not take a lot for one to obtain a firearm. However, with the loss of guns entirely, using any other weapon does not change the dynamics of the crime for many criminals and has them stay away from using any form of weapon.

One of the biggest benefits the Firearm Act brought to England was a stronger bond between the federal government and the people. Just like any country, politics can get complicated in the U.K and it can seem that no one can agree on anything. However, after the shooting of 16 children and 1 teacher occurred, everyone understood the sinister power of firearms and took action as quickly as possible.

There are variables to be taken into consideration though such as the type of government England has where Parliament makes all decisions with not as strong checks and balances as the United States.

So, the conversation now falls to the U.S with the troubling concept of why can’t America ban guns? Too many children have died for us to turn other cheek and act like nothing happened. The problem with American politics are two major things: politics is too influenced by outside forces like businesses and there is too much freedom in the political system.

Big companies who invest much into the government such as the gun industry have a lot of influence on politicians in office and sway a lot of the opinions in the existence of guns in the United States. Controversial as the last statement may be, I think many can agree how corrupt our political system can be. This supports my second claim with that everyone is trying to cover their own backs and get themselves reelected, the trade-off being the disregard for all the lives being loss and not enough action being made to make the change needed for these children.

We need a revolution in politics and we need it soon as each and every day we have parents who are worried to send their kids to school in a fear of them getting shot. Is that the America we want to live in? Is that the American Dream?