BBC News: An American professor on firearms in the UK Why Britain needs more guns by Joyce L. Malcolm (Professor of history, Bentley College, US author of Guns and Violence: The English Experience, Senior Advisor, MIT Security Studies Program).
Prof. Malcolm goes into a learned discussion, quoting statistics on gun ownership and the correlation to crime, claiming that gun ownership by the general public discourages crime, as criminals are more worried of individuals who can defend themselves than police. So far it makes sense. However, when quoting US statistics about the increase in gun ownership, which she correlates to a decrease in violent crime, she conveniently forgets about the introduction of zero-tolerance policies in the US, which probably had more influence on the reduction of violent crime. Also, she conveniently glosses over the fact that, in the US, any criminal or psycho can buy high velocity assault weapons with no restriction and no cooling off period. The regular school and office massacres prove the point: an unbalanced person in the UK can knife a few, while the US psycho can go on a killing spree, the only limit being the eventual suicide of the disturbed person or the capability of SWAT teams to take him down. The recent massacre in Norway was one of the rare European cases, but a clear reminder of what an unbalanced person can do with unlimited firepower.