Friday, January 28, 2005


Going to London?

Muggers operate pretty much with impunity on public transport throughout the British Isles.

One form of attack is known as 'Steaming' where a gang of knife-wielding thugs terrorise commuters into handing over money and valuables. This is not yet commonplace but there's usually an incident every six months or so.

Much more common is the 'distraction' mugging. These will typically be carried out by one to three people. If anybody approaches you in London, inquiring about the time, or claiming to be lost, or just trying to make conversation, ignore them and leave the area as fast as you can.

The police are well aware of who these people are. In any Police station there will be a noticeboard with pictures and details of 'PROMNOMS' - Prominent Nominals, in other words, well known local criminals.

Unfortunately, the revolving door system of justice in the UK means that these criminals view arrest as an occupational hazard, much like a taxi driver would view a flat tire. Arrest - fingerprinting - bail - and they will be back on the streets. Even if they get a jail sentence, it's going to be short, and it's unlikely they'll serve more than one fourth of it.

So I was particularly encouraged today to read this story from the fine city of Houston, Texas.

I would love to compare the robbery statistics in Houston with those of London.

Interesting comparison between London and Houston. I lived in Las Vegas Nevada for 17 years. In '95 they passed a "will issue" concealed weapons law. In a talk the sheriff gave on radio in 2002 he said this law had made his job easier. At that time the Las Vegas valley had over 150,000 residents with such permits, and though the population had nearly doubled since '95 the crime rate had continued to drop. He said the criminals also know there are 150,000 people carrying a gun but they don't know which ones. It makes them far less apt to accost someone in the city, and many had moved on to California where such permits are far more restricted.
Precisely my point.... I cannot think of a single logical argument in favour of gun control
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