The lead editorial in Washington Post on Wednesday, May 12, excoriates the U.S. Congress for failing to pass gun control measures. It notes that we Americans suffer about a hundred gun deaths a day. More statistics: 2020 was the deadliest year for gun violence in the last 20 years; 49,492 Americans died from gun violence in 2020; and there were 611 mass shootings in 2020.
The problem is that we have so many guns, more than 120 for every hundred people—we have more guns than people. Compare us to the U.K. which has 4.6 guns per one hundred people. The U.K. suffers .2 gun deaths per 100,000 people; the U.S. has 12.21 deaths per 100,000 people. Worldwide, the ratio between number of guns in the hands of the population and number of people killed by guns is constant.
The British, in their wisdom, do not arm their policemen. In London, more than 90 percent of the bobbies, as British policemen are called, carry out their daily duties without a gun. We Americans are not so fortunate. The Washington Post reports more than 5,000 fatal police shootings since 2015. Worth noting: Blacks are killed at more than twice the rate of Whites.
What does it take for us to learn from our British allies? Currently, we can’t put police on the streets without guns because they would be defenseless against our population which has so many guns. The only way we can disarm our police—thereby reducing the number shot to death by police—is by first taking guns out of the hands of the citizenry. Doing that would also lower the numbers killed by gunfire.
I know of no sensible arguments in favor of permitting Americans to have more guns than people. The arguments against it are overwhelming. So why do we allow this deplorable situation to persist?
What does it take for us to learn from Britain’s bobbies?