UK Newspaper’s ‘Probe’ into Firearm Use Reveals Shocking Results!, the online version of the British tabloid The Daily Mirror, recently published the groundbreaking results of their “probe into firearms in the UK.” The report begins with the article’s most important piece of news: “Nearly 4,000 British youngsters have shotgun licences.” The exact number is 3,982—a full .03% of the country’s under-18 population. Terrifying.

But wait, the good journalists at the Mirror aren’t done rocking your world. The second Pulitzer-worthy bit of reporting is even crazier than the first: according to the British Home Office, “there are 1.3 million legal shotguns in England and Wales alone.” Again, that’s 1.3 million guns legally owned and operated by responsible English and Welsh residents. When will the madness end?

This, apparently, is how “Britain’s brightest tabloid newspaper” and the self-proclaimed “website of the year,” covers firearm news. If you’re wondering how the Mirror’s “findings” count as anything close to newsworthy, you’re not alone.

But it doesn’t take long to figure out that the trumped-up statistics are just an excuse to promulgate anti-gun propaganda. The first quote in the article is from the Gun Control Network’s Gill Marshall-Andrews, who gravely warns, “Youngsters with access to shotguns should always be worrying.”

Another gem from Ms. Marshall-Andrews appears later in the article. Referring to children’s shotgun certificates, she says, “In a way it is a historical hangover that we just can’t seem to shake.”

At one point the article makes a weak attempt to link its investigation to the terror attacks in Paris, noting that “the revelation [that 3,982 British kids under age 18 have shotgun certificates] emerged as the National Crime Agency was ordered to prioritise a firearms crackdown amid fears of a Paris-style terror attack in the UK.”

Never mind the fact that none of the Paris terrorists used shotguns or the fact that shotguns wouldn’t be as effective as rifles in most terror situations. A gun is a gun, and all guns are scary.

But don’t judge the Brits just yet. The article did include several quotes from Liam Stokes, head of shooting campaigns for the Countryside Alliance, who said: “Legally held guns aren’t dangerous… We fully support efforts to crack down on terrorism and criminality, but that’s a world apart from legal shooting.”

These quotes appear at the end of a lengthy article as a kind of afterthought, but we’ll take what we can get.

Also, if the article’s comments section is any indication, our pro-gun brothers and sisters across the pond aren’t taking the Mirror’s article lying down.

One of the article’s commenters—RuhRoh—sums it up well:

What a crock of rubbish

Another—DiggoryHadoke—is less direct but somewhat more articulate:

An ‘investigation’ to find out what law abiding people are doing to carry out an activity – finds out that a lot of people are complying with the law! What a waste of time. Poorly researched, biased and sensationalist. Recreational, sporting and animal control uses for firearms have been legitimately going on in the UK forever. All it exposes are that most people are blissfully ignorant of the countryside, shooting sports and the non-link between thousands of legitimate, licensed gun owners and crime.

We couldn’t have said it better.

(Editor’s note: This article was a submission from freelance writer Jordan Michaels. Cover photo courtesy of Wikipedia.)

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Julio Galletti March 27, 2016, 5:23 am

    I am no anglophile per se, however, I do admire the British, except for your utter cowardice as a populace to allow yourselves to be disarmed, while being deceived with the concept of an unwritten constitution and lately being overrun by a “passive” Muslin invasion. Sooner or later, your cousins across the pond will have to come back to clean up your mess, just like we always do. Really, how have you eroded a great empire into a pile of shameless beggars.

  • Kivaari March 25, 2016, 2:58 pm

    From the first days after the Paris attack, one of the shooters in the music hall used a pump action shotgun. Several witnesses reported, so I wouldn’t discount that until the official report is made pubic.

    • mtman2 March 26, 2016, 7:10 am

      Yeah heard that too.

      There’s a reason a sawed off(under 18″) shotgun barrel is a classified a ClassIII weapon.
      It covers the whole barn+door in one shot, in amicrosecond -~!

      • Michael Fox March 28, 2016, 1:41 am

        Nonsense. The pattern opens about 1inch in diameter for every yard it travels. So at 100 feet (33 yards) it will be about 33 inches wide. Hardly the whole barn or door.

      • ejharb April 24, 2016, 11:50 pm

        You watch a lot of movies don’t you? The only way you can have a pattern like that is a spreader load or a duck bill muzzle.not common

  • leonard feinman March 25, 2016, 11:12 am

    The newspaper poll explored the legal ownership of people with gun licences. They have to also consider that there are probably more guns owned illegally, that are not even considered. And, after all of that, they fail to see that this issue is small compared to what you can buy in a hardware store that stocks swimming pool cleaning chemicals. If you ever attended high school science classes, you have probably seen things go “boom.” A bomb can be easily made. The chemicals range from those that clean the swimming pools to the garden department fertilizers. Don’t forget match heads either.
    Penny wise, but pound foolish. Ah, the Brits. It may be a dry laugh, but they are still “funny.”

  • Chris Baker March 25, 2016, 8:54 am

    I wonder how many Brits don’t even know that their rulers begged for us to donate our firearms when they were in fear of invasion. I also have to wonder, if they think “guns are bad”, what are they teaching in their history books about it? Probably nothing. What should we do if Britain is in fear of invasion again? Sorry Brits I need my guns.

  • BigC March 25, 2016, 8:36 am

    It all boils down to this; don’t start no s**t, there won’t be none!!! GOT IT????????

  • Dusty Smith March 25, 2016, 7:28 am

    I work with many Brits and Europeans . Some of them can’t understand Americas love of firearms and others applaud the fact that we can walk into a gun store and walk out with whatever firearm we can afford in a matter of minutes ( in most states ).
    When I tell them I have a CCL and yes I do carry a weapon whenever I leave my home , they look at me like I’m insane.
    I explain to them that ;(1)I had to have an FBI background check and approval of local law enforcement (2) the people in San Bernadino and the people on the beach in Tunisa were not expecting to be slaughtered like sheep when they got up in the morning.
    They don’t seem to question my reasoning after I make that statement.

  • russ March 25, 2016, 7:20 am

    this is the same country when attacked by Nazi Germany and short on firearms asked our sportsmen to donate firearms to help arm the Home Guard against possible invasion——and our sportsmen stepped up to the plate and helped out—-guess they have to learn History does repeat itself

    • Dave514 March 25, 2016, 9:12 am

      This is true but there some additional details. The time was early on in the war when there was a threat of a German Invasion. A begging call went out to the US to help arm the British Home Guard who, some like my father, were armed with…slingshots, It caught the ear of the American Rifleman and a call went out to the members who responded by the thousands. These were all shipped free gratis and all for nothing.
      The awful part of the story was at war’s end, the British Government fearing an armed populace…buried them.

      I’ve told all my British friends, when you have to fight an internal war against Muslim Extremists don’t come begging again.

  • Joe McHugh March 25, 2016, 6:48 am

    Wait, did I get that right? 1.3 million firearms legally owned and operated in Britain and Wales? I can’t wait to enlighten my liberal friends about this fact. I will even ask them if they would rather face the muzzle of a British shotgun or the wrong end of an American rifle at a distance of six feet. They won’t even think to ask about the mentality of the person holding the firearms, they will just recoil in the horror of it all.

    But the quote of Ms. Marshall-Andrews proves why the British elite always tries to disarm the subjects of the Crown. “In a way it is just a historical hangover that we just can’t seem to shake.” Yup, just like the historical hangover the Britain suffered when it had to beg the American public to donate rifles so those same ruffian subjects could fend off the threatened German invasion in WWII.

    The same elitism is now occurring in the United States. The elite liberals are actively engaged in disarming the worrisome American lower classes to avoid any resistance to the coming socialist Utopia. You know, the same Utopia that the U.S.S.R and Communist China enjoy, where the masses struggle to support the elites in luxury. George Orwell described it best.
    “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

    What really happened in Great Britain was the realization by the British upper classes during the Great War To End All Wars, was that the rifle could enable resistance to ANY OPPRESSION, even that oppression exerted by the elite in the Queen’s Realm. This was an unlikely scenario but the elite everywhere fear armed masses.

    Private ownership of the rifle is a symbol of a free people and the elite know it.

    • Liberty1776 March 25, 2016, 10:19 am

      Joe – excellent bit and extremely insighful. Your last two paragraphs are very revealing. I never understood the point of the issue with rifles – it’s the ability to fight oppression, which you really can’t do with handguns or shotguns. In the Warsaw ghetto uprisings and other movements, if the folks involved were able to acquire any arms at all, the first thing they did was use them to dry gulch small patrols or individual invading soldiers, to acquire their rifles.

      • Ranger Rick March 25, 2016, 5:43 pm

        Liberty, that would explain why the armed members of British police “Firearms Units” always travel in pairs or more.

  • DRAINO March 23, 2016, 7:41 am

    Could the Brits be waking up to the madness?…..could there be a mindset change on the horizon for them? Let’s hope so! You can’t appease terrorists….or radicals who believe their only way to get to paradise is to harm others…with pipe bombs strapped around their wives and kids. Billy clubs won’t do it…verbal commands won’t do it….laws don’t do it. What does?…cranial activity disruption(a bullet to the head).

    • Joe McHugh March 25, 2016, 4:54 pm

      DRAINO, It doesn’t matter if the Brits wake up to the fact that they are basically a disarmed people. The elite will NEVER permit any movement toward rearming of the general public. This one-way disarmament is always acceded to by the public but can never be reversed. The first thing that a new tyranny does is to outlaw firearm ownership by the masses. Only the jack-booted thugs of the elite can carry guns. Oh, by the way, any government that keeps the people disarmed is, by definition, a tyranny. Let’s face it, such a government can inflict any humiliation on a disarmed people and they behave exactly like the subjects of the U.S.S.R. and the communist government of Cuba do, namely grovel at the feet of the authorities, begging for food, shelter and clothing.

      There is only one way that the people of a authoritarian government can acquire firearms and that is through a general upheaval. The ruling cadre depends on the reluctance of their people to engage in an uprising. They only have to keep the subjects in a state of sullen submission by allowing them just enough of everything needed to exist.

      The possession of a high power rifle with sufficient ammunition, is the symbol of individual freedom. Ask the citizens of Great Briton or Australia about their freedom to defend themselves against knife wielding killers. They are not even supposed to fight back with their own kitchen knives. If they do so and are successful, they are prosecuted for using excessive force. Don’t believe it? Research the actions of the authorities when a homeowner dares to defend himself or herself when the attacker dies. The governments instruct the innocent people to submit to the criminals and file a report later……..if they live.

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