Joyce Malcolm's latest article
"Two Cautionary Tales of Gun Control". The two tales are those of Britain and Australia.
One interesting side note, the laws and regulations for the UK are slightly different for NI:
(from Wikipedia article on "Gun politics in the United Kindom, subheading)
More than 100,000 people in Northern Ireland own firearms, having 380,000 among them. Gun control laws in Northern Ireland are slightly different from those in the rest of the UK, being primarily affected by the Firearms (Northern Ireland) Order 2004. Under the new law, first-time buyers will be required to demonstrate they can be trusted with the firearm. It will be up to firearms dealers selling the products to tell new buyers, and those upgrading their firearms, about the safety procedures. Firearm possessors in Northern Ireland must not transport their firearms to Great Britain. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom where personal protection is accepted as a legitimate reason to obtain and own a firearm and is the only part of the United Kingdom where handguns and semi-automatic firearms are permitted. Also, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed without a permit. However a firearm certificate for a personal protection weapon will only be authorised where the Police Service of Northern Ireland deems there is a ‘verifiable specific risk’ to the life of an individual and that the possession of a firearm is a reasonable, proportionate and necessary measure to protect their life.
There's no doubt some subtext to this, and I'd speculate the following:
1) I'm sure that for one, the UK government in London doesn't want to be in the awkward position of unilaterally trying to legally disarm Ulster Protestant paramilitaries (which would most certainly resist by any means necessary) or admit they really can't disarm the IRA by force either and thus can't justify disarming only one side.
2) PSNI officers are routinely armed, while in the rest of the UK police force, generally only special units are, and the same is true of the Gardai in the Republic; PSNI officers have often been high profile targets of the IRA in the past and thus arming them makes solid tactical sense.
2) The gun regulations in NI are, as a quirk of history, even more liberal than in the Republic of Ireland.
(and thankfully, the peace & ceasefire established by the Good Friday accords does seem to be holding.)
Posted by: JJR at December 27, 2012 05:34 PM
One other country that gun centralists used to mention was Canada forits successful long gun registry. A registry also created after a massacre in a girls school. But the registry became both a failure to produce significant reductions in crime or violence as well as a major cost on the country. Thus, it was voted out just this last year. Like Australia, Canada saw a reduction in suicide by firearm only to see complete transition to other means resulting in unchanged suicide rate over the last decade.
Posted by: James Gibson at December 27, 2012 08:28 PM