“…only the strictest control of firearms will protect the public.”

Well, now the Brits will probably lose their .22 rifles and shotguns.

Taxi driver Derrick Bird got into his cab with a .22 rifle and a shotgun, and went on a shooting spree in Cumbria, England. He killed twelve and wounded another 25.

His rampage lasted three and a half hours.

It was ended, as most of these are, by a man with a gun. In this case, himself, once he’d decided he was done preying on a defenseless victim pool.

England has been on a long death-by-a-thousand-cuts path to complete disarmament since the 1930’s. The last two “turn ’em all in” bans came in 1987 after Michael Ryan took an AK-47 clone, an M1 Carbine and a semi-automatic pistol on a shooting spree in Hungerford, killing sixteen before he offed himself. The result of that was a ban on all semi-automatic and pump-action rifles larger than .22 rimfire caliber.

The British public was told it would make them safer.

In 1996 Thomas Hamilton took four handguns into a school in Dunblane, Scotland and killed sixteen students and a teacher before, again ending the shooting spree at the time of his own choosing by killing himself.

The response by the government? A ban on all centerfire handguns, followed by an expansion to include all .22 rimfire handguns as well.

The British public was told it would make them safer.

Since the 1987 semi-automatic and pump-action long-gun ban, gun crime in Great Britain has increased. Since the handgun ban of 1997, it has continued to increase. Even handgun crime has continued to increase.

Now someone has taken a .22 rifle and a shotgun and gone on a rampage. The predictable result? I have no doubt that a bill is sitting on a desk somewhere, pre-written and just waiting for the proper incident to drag out and dust off, that will ban .22 rifles and shotguns.

And the British public will be told it will make them safer.

After all, in 1997 Home Office Minister Alun Michael said:

Britain now has some of the toughest gun laws in the world. We recognize that only the strictest control of firearms will protect the public.

Sure it will.

It’s doing a bang-up job. I’m sure James Kelly will be at the forefront of the effort.

My condolences to the victims and their families. Perhaps now the Brits will start insisting on restoring their right to the tools of self-defense, because once again it has been proven that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

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