Comparison misfires


Second Amendment absolutists routinely complain about gun-control supporters “politicizing” firearm-related tragedies that are the regular scourge of America. That tendency cuts both ways; a horrendous crime in Britain provides the latest example.

Last week, a British soldier was attacked with a meat cleaver and knives by radical Muslims near his London barracks. When police arrived, the attackers were shot and arrested.

The right-wing blogosphere in the United States immediately lit up, bemoaning the strict gun control that supposedly has left the British as so many defenseless lambs ready for slaughter. “This is what an unarmed populace can expect,” someone wrote on the Web site “You are at the mercy of thugs, gangs, and terrorists.”

Even the most alert passer-by with a gun might not have had time to react and save someone who was suddenly attacked with a meat cleaver. The pertinent fact is that murder of any sort is relatively uncommon in Britain.

People there are much safer without guns than are residents of the United States, where the number of annual gun-related homicides is counted in the thousands. The comparison is a dud.