New Fox News piece: Think Tough Gun Laws Keep Europeans Safe? Think Again...

The new piece starts this way:

It wasn't supposed to happen in England, with all its very strict gun control laws. And yet last week Derrick Bird shot and killed 12 people and wounded 11 others. A headline in The Times of London read: "Toughest laws in the world could not stop Cumbria tragedy."

Multiple victim public shootings were assumed to be an American thing for it is here the guns are, right? No, not at all. Contrary to public perception, Western Europe, where most countries have much tougher gun laws, has experienced many of the worst multiple victim public shootings. Particularly telling, all the multiple victim public shootings in Europe occurred where guns are banned. So it is in the United States, too -- all the multiple victim public shootings (where more than three people have been killed) have taken place where civilians are not allowed to have a gun.

Look at recent history. Where have the worst K-12 school shootings occurred? It has not been in the U.S. but Europe. The very worst one occurred in a high school in Erfurt, Germany in 2002, where 18 were killed. The second worst took place in Dunblane, Scotland in 1996, where 16 kindergarteners and their teacher were shot. The third worst high school attack, with 15 murdered, happened in Winnenden, Germany. The fourth worst shooting was in the U.S. -- Columbine High School in 1999, leaving 13 killed. The fifth worst school related murder spree, with 11 murdered, occurred in Emsdetten, Germany.

With three of the worst five attacks, . . .

UPDATE: Police apparently saw the rampage killing occurring, but they were unable to stop it because they were unarmed.

Three police officers tried to chase Derrick Bird during his shooting rampage in Cumbria but could not stop him, it has emerged.

An unarmed officer based at a Whitehaven police station heard shots at 1033 BST on Wednesday.

He got into a passing car and followed Bird, who was in his own taxi, as he shot another driver. Two other unarmed officers followed in a police van.

Bird killed 12 people on the rampage in west Cumbria before shooting himself.

He also wounded 11 others as he drove for 45 miles through the Cumbrian countryside.

Paul Goodwin had seen the shooting at the taxi rank and decided to follow in his car.

He said: "Just as we got to the corner there were policemen coming down from the police station and I saw the local town bobby so pulled over and shouted 'get in the car - it's him in the taxi'.

"We got to the traffic lights, and we're probably about 10 or 15 yards behind and there's a man walking round the corner.

"I saw him jolt back and put his hands on his face and there was blood there.

"I said, 'it's Paul, it's another taxi driver'."

Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde said that "at no point" did officers "have the opportunity to end the killings sooner".

He added that the first officer went to the assistance of the injured man, who had been in another taxi, and his female passenger, who had also been shot.

'Exceptional circumstances'
A police transit van, with two unarmed officers, then joined the pursuit and continued to follow Bird.

Bird appeared to pull into a driveway, turned and pointed the gun directly at the officers, before driving off at high speed.

The officers attempted to follow but were unable to locate him.

Cumbria Police said in a statement: "They were forced to protect themselves after it became clear they could not reverse due to the traffic that had built up behind them. . . .

Thanks very much to Erik Lidström for this link to the BBC.

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Blogger Willorith said...

I understand that police officers have about a 15% "hit rate" when they are in a gun battle. That is, 85% of the shots fired by police officers miss the intended target. What are the statistics for armed civilians? I suspect that we shoot better than cops.

The civilians that go armed are the ones that are already interested in guns. The ones that are motivated to practice to maintain proficiency with their weapons.

6/10/2010 6:22 PM  
Blogger Chas said...

The most effective deterrent to mass shootings is fear of failure on the part of the would-be shooter. With the prohibition of private handgun ownership, that deterrent is eliminated.

6/11/2010 5:46 AM  

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