Some London neighborhoods are set to look a little more like Northern Ireland as elite paramilitary police hit the streets of specific neighborhoods marked by high levels of drug-related gang violence.
About 20 officers from the Metropolitan Police's CO19 branch, the English equivalent of American SWAT Teams, will increasingly patrol "no go" zones where rival Turkish gangs have engaged in violent shootouts recently. The officers, some on motorbikes, will conduct weapon sweeps on individuals.
Drugs and violence and obviously guns are coming into London. It seems perfectly logical that the police need to meet the threat with increased firepower.
London has recently seen a significant jump in gun crimes with 1,736 gun crimes reported in between April and September—a 17 percent increase over last year. On average, there are 50 to 60 shooting deaths a year in England and Wales, according to the AP.
Do you think the increase in gun crime in spite of strict gun control laws proves those laws do not work? That's the pro-gun argument, isn't it? I say it's not necessarily so. If gun availability increased and we somehow could ensure that none of the other factors changed, then the argument might make sense, but I'm afraid that's not the case.
Often I'm accused of focusing only on the gun to the exclusion of all else, an accusation I deny. I'm well aware of the other factors involved in a violent society. Ironically, the pro-gun argument that says Chicago or Newark or London has gun violence in spite of their laws, which proves those laws don't work, pretends that gun availability is the only factor. In other words, when convenient the gun rights crowd does the same thing they accuse me of.
I ask you this, about the gun violence in London, about the suicide rate in Japan, about Chicago and Newark, if somehow we could immediately flood those places with handguns, do you think there'd be more violence or less? Do you think the violence would increase in lethality in such a case? This is how common sense and reason can give you the answer when conflicting statistics often cannot.
What's your opinion? What do you think about the opposition to London's decision? They feel it violates the tenets of English policing, which is traditionally done by unarmed officers on foot patrol. Another concern is "how the unit would handle such powerful weaponry on crowded city streets." That's a good question, isn't it?
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.