Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/283/24426

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 February 2017

Gun Crime - Fact And Fiction

THE KILLING of two innocent young black women on New Years Day, apparently caught in the crossfire of a gang battle, sparked a flurry of media interest in gun crime.

Steve Score

There is genuine horror over these killings and concern, particular in inner-city areas, over the use of firearms. However politicians, in particular New Labour ministers, used the incident to divert attention away from the huge unpopularity of other government policies.

After statistics showed an increase in gun crime, the government proposed a mandatory five-year jail sentence for possession of firearms or replicas in a public place.

However as criminologist and former prison governor, Professor David Wilson said: "If sentencing had any part to play in reducing the crime rate, Britain would have the lowest crime rate in Europe".

We already have Europe's highest prison population and mandatory minimum sentences, yet still have one of the worst crime rates.

There has been a racist element to some of the comments, from the Birmingham coroner to Labour politicians like Kim Howells and Blunkett, hinting that the problems are somehow caused by black communities, or even rap music!

Government statistics claimed that, despite other figures showing a fall in crime rates, there was an increase in gun crimes by 35% last year. These were concentrated in particular in the big Metropolitan areas.

But statistics should always be approached with care; they are affected for example by changes in the ways they are recorded.

The British Crime Survey shows that in 84% of cases the gun was not fired. 97 of the 858 murders in England and Wales last year were from guns. So, although this issue is a serious one, particularly for families in inner-city areas, it has to be seen in proportion.

Underlying causes

It is ironic when the government talk of stopping the import of guns and replicas, yet support the British arms industry's export of 1,200 tonnes of guns and military equipment since 1997.

Without condoning violence, the question remains as to why some young people in inner-city areas join gangs that use weapons.

For many youth there appears no alternative to a life of poverty, unemployment or low wages, repression and alienation in society.

Many hope that through a gang they will get respect, a feeling of community, protection from others and a way out of poverty. Of course it is also likely to lead to a higher chance of prison, injury or death.

The BBC Midlands news quoted one teenager saying that many join gangs because the alternative was "a crap job on 3 an hour".

Censoring rap music or simply increasing sentences will not solve the problem. Tackling the underlying causes of inequality, discrimination and repression, which result from capitalism, has to be part of the solution.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 11 February 2017:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Wage War On Low Pay: Support the firefighters

No To Bush And Blair's War

War On Iraq: The Pressures Grow


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Gun Crime - Fact And Fiction

Domestic Violence: Don't Let New Labour Renege On Their Pledges

Firefighters Ready For Battle Again


Socialist Party features

The Great British Wage Theft

Stop the War Coalition conference


International socialist news and analysis

Gujarat: Communalists Profit From Hate

Suez 1956: When British Imperialism Hit The Rocks


Socialist Party workplace news

Hackney Trade Unionists Attacked


 

Home   |   The Socialist 11 February 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Crime:

triangleProfiteering NHS counter-fraud firm in alleged case of... fraud

triangleRate of black imprisonment worse than US

triangleRacist smears won't stop child sex abuse

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Jobstown victory - protest is not a crime!

triangle200-year miscarriage of justice exposing ruling class

Government:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: How could a Corbyn government avoid sabotage?

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleCarlisle socialists campaign against Universal Credit

triangleNo more excuses: fit sprinklers now!

Prison:

triangleSheffield trees campaigner sentenced to prison

triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

trianglePalestinian prisoners on mass hunger strike protest

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/11/17

Sheffield

Sheffield Eastern Ave Job Centre strike ends

16/11/17

Virgin

Virgin train workers vote for strike action over pay

15/11/17

Students

March for free education! We demand a future!

15/11/17

Plymouth

Plymouth PCS members fight relocation threat

15/11/17

Virgin

Virgin train workers ballot for strike action

15/11/17

Carlisle

Carlisle socialists campaign against Universal Credit

15/11/17

Haringey

Corbyn must challenge pro-gentrification council leader or others will

15/11/17

Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party: "I started to question whether there was a better way"

13/11/17

Manchester

Strike wave continues with 49 walkout days by housing workers

10/11/17

RMT

Strikers picket the South Western Railway network

10/11/17

Merseyside

Huge support for strikes of bus drivers and train guards

10/11/17

Socialist Party

Highest ever ticket sales for Socialism event

9/11/17

Pay

Serco - not fit for purpose

9/11/17

Rail

Fight to keep guards on trains continues despite setback Aslef deal

8/11/17

Birmingham

Brum meeting celebrates centenary of 1917

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle15 Nov March for free education! We demand a future!

triangle15 Nov Tories on the brink - kick them out!

Socialism 2017

triangle14 Nov Socialism 2017: Organising to fight back

triangle13 Nov Strike wave continues with 49 walkout days by housing workers

triangle10 Nov US: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

triangle10 Nov Strikers picket the South Western Railway network

triangle10 Nov Europe in crisis, revolutionary winds in Catalonia

More ...

triangle20 Nov Birmingham Central Socialist Party: How can socialists support upcoming strikes?

triangle21 Nov Bristol North Socialist Party: Venezuela - the battle to be faced by a Corbyn government?

triangle21 Nov Cardiff Socialist Students: Socialism and the struggle for LGBT rights

triangle21 Nov Birmingham South East Socialist Party: NHS in Meltdown - What can be done?

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2