Comparison misfires: Terrorist attack in U.K. is no argument for guns

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Second Amendment activists complain about the pro-gun-control camp "politicizing" the various firearm-related tragedies that are the regular scourge of America. That tendency cuts both ways -- and a horrendous crime in Britain has supplied the latest example.

On Wednesday, Britons were shocked to learn that a British soldier had been attacked with a meat cleaver and knives by radical Muslims near his London barracks. When police arrived, the attackers were shot and arrested.

Immediately, the right-wing blogosphere in the United States lit up to bemoan the strict gun control that supposedly has left the British as so many defenseless lambs ready for the slaughter. "This is what an unarmed populace can expect," someone wrote on the website gunssavelives.net. "You are at the mercy of thugs, gangs and terrorists."

Forget the fact that even the most alert passerby with a gun might not have had time to react and save someone suddenly attacked with a meat cleaver. The pertinent fact is that murder of any sort is relatively uncommon in Britain. People there are very much safer without guns than those in the United States, where the number of gun-related homicides is counted in the thousands. The comparison is a dud.

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