I'm British and Piers Morgan is Damn Wrong
Many Americans, since the Sandy Hook massacre, have been disgusted by Piers Morgan's snooty condescension toward their great country, and his blatant disregard for the Second Amendment. This culminated in his recent interview with talk show host Alex Jones, that ultimately backfired when his fiery guest wiped the floor with him.
Since the shooting, Morgan has strutted around as the flag waver for gun control, pointing to his native Great Britain as the ultimate example of what these dumb, gun-toting Yanks should try and imitate. Not only did he use Britain constantly in his scathing editorial against American gun laws, but also repeatedly pointed Alex Jones towards the supposed low gun murder rate in the United Kingdom.
As a fellow Englishman living in America, there is no reason I should not be on Morgan's side. I have spent most of my life in Britain -- the supposed gun-free paradise. While I respect the American Constitution I have no particular reason to be persuaded of an argument just because there is an amendment allowing it; and coming from a country where even the police are unarmed, it can seem excessive to English eyes when Americans claim that military assault rifles like the AR-15 are for self defense.
And yet I can say with confidence that Piers is being either intellectually dishonest, or downright ignorant, if he believes that the USA should imitate the diabolical disaster that has been British gun control.
The first thing to be observed is that his very usage of Britain as an example for the U.S. to follow is proof that his claim only to want to ban certain assault weapons like the AR-15 is an outrageous lie. If it were true that he were a mere moderate quite happy to allow Americans to own ordinary guns, then he would have no reason to quote British gun statistics.
For the UK does not merely prevent its citizens from obtaining military guns, but any gun whatsoever (with very few exceptions), including the handguns with which Piers implies he has no quarrel. So to imply that minor gun restrictions in America would result in British-style results is like arguing America should restrict sales of alcoholic drinks with over 40% alcohol, while promising Prohibition era results.
Additionally, Piers' insistence that he is merely focusing on assault rifles is destroyed by his own logic. One of the arguments he put forth to Alex Jones was that the AR-15 should be banned as it is a common feature in the big massacres such as that in Newtown. Yet handguns were used also at Newtown, so surely those need banning too?
Indeed this was the precise logic that led to the banning of handguns in the UK. After the Dunblane massacre in Scotland in 1996, in which 16 schoolchildren and a teacher were killed (and 15 injured) by a man wielding only handguns, Britain's already strict gun laws were enlarged to include them. The newspaper leading the call for this ban was the Daily Mirror -- the editor? A certain Piers Morgan.
If Mr. Morgan wishes to ban all weapons, then he should have the decency to come out and say so. For his argument appears to be that banning just military weapons will stop massacres. Yet the Dunblane massacre he cites proves that it is possible to kill almost as many innocent children with much weaker weapons. Banning assault rifles may change the hardware murderers use, but it won't stop the killing.
So why doesn't Piers just admit it? After all, he keeps nodding to the gun-free nirvana that is our home nation. Why wouldn't Americans want to imitate our harmonious gun laws?
Simple -- Americans wouldn't want British gun laws for the same reason they don't want to join the European Union or eat Black Pudding -- because they're not as good as they look.
Piers may point to the fact that Britain has relatively few gun deaths, but this is like saying that if we banned cars we'd have a lot fewer road deaths -- it would be true, but that would only paint a small part of the picture and would fail to take into account the huge knock on effects that this would have.
Note that Mr. Morgan fails to take account of gun crime in the UK, only gun deaths. If he did, his argument would lose steam. Since the gun ban in 1998, the total number of firearm offences in England and Wales has risen by 89%, and in some areas of the country has leapt by as much as 500%. Gang culture once never seen in the UK is now rife -- disproving the notion that banning guns will weed out gang culture.
Additionally, according to a study by UN affiliated European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control last year, it was found that Britain has higher robbery, assault, and burglary rates than America. When criminals know you are unlikely to have a gun, what is to stop them from robbing you, beating you up, or simply breaking into your house?
A comprehensive 2007 study showed that we don't even fare well among our European neighbors. Britain was not only the burglary and assault capital of Europe, it also had higher than average rates of car theft, robbery and sex offences, and came second only to Ireland in the overall crime league.
This is no surprise to anyone who has lived in England for any amount of time. Having lived in Manchester, England, and now in New York City, I can say with confidence that while I am prepared to catch a subway at midnight in Manhattan, I wouldn't have dared take my bus home in Manchester past 10pm. I have never been attacked in New York, but have been mugged three times in Manchester.
Well, at least Britain hasn't had any massacres since the gun ban? Wrong. In 2010, Derrick Bird went on a rampage around Cumbria with a shotgun and a rifle, killing 12 and injuring 11. His casual shooting-fest lasted nearly four hours as he drove around vast areas of land completely unopposed in this gun-free country. Thanks to British leftists like Piers Morgan, Bird knew that there was unlikely to be anyone armed to stop him. Only when armed police were dispatched did he commit suicide. Shocked socialists could only babble about how this proved that the country with some of the strictest gun laws in the world needed more gun control.
If Piers Morgan wishes to use Britain as a model for gun control then he should be honest, not only about his true wishes to ban all guns, but what it has done to our country. UK gun laws have destroyed the freedom of law abiding British men and women, and turned our great nation into a crime hotspot. Americans should not imitate Britain, and instead should learn from our failure to keep our citizens safe.
Adam Shaw is a British-born freelance writer currently living in New York. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @ACShaw