Everybody knows how the Brady bunch and all the other Anti-gun morons always point out how great England's gun ban is. How if we were more like england gun crime would go down. Well here it is, hot off the presses. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... hot424.xml Victims and offenders get younger By Philip Johnston Last Updated: 7:01am BST 24/08/2007 Analysis Periodically, there is a national outcry about guns on our streets. It reached a climax 20 years ago this week when Michael Ryan shot and killed 16 people, including his mother, wounded 15 others, then killed himself. The massacre in Hungerford led to a ban on the ownership of semi-automatic centre-fire rifles. advertisement Telegraph - Menswear/Shoes In 1996, the murder of 15 children and their teacher at a school in Dunblane, Scotland, led to a complete ban on handguns. Yet since then, the number of crimes involving guns has risen. In 1996, there were 14,000 recorded offences in which firearms were reported to have been used. In 2005/6, the last period for which figures are available, there were 21,500. Although the numbers dying through shooting is roughly similar, 50 victims in 1996 and last year, attempted murders and woundings are up 50 per cent. Britain now has some of the toughest gun laws in the world - yet they did not prevent the appalling events in Croxteth. Yesterday, Gordon Brown said the Government was "working urgently" to tackle gun crime. But if previous laws have made little difference why should new ones? The past year has seen another avalanche of legislation. The Government introduced a minimum five-year sentence for possessing an illegal firearm. They made it an offence to possess an air weapon or imitation firearm in public without legal authority or reasonable excuse. The Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 made it illegal to manufacture or sell imitation firearms that could be mistaken for real firearms. It also strengthened sentences for carrying imitation firearms, and created tougher manufacturing standards so imitations cannot be converted to fire real ammunition. The Home Office boasted: "We're cutting off the supply of firearms into the country." But the guns are already here; and they are increasingly easy to get. Home Office research indicated that an imitation firearm could be bought for Â£20 and a shotgun for Â£50. A military-quality handgun will go for around Â£1,000. An automatic weapon sells for between Â£800 and Â£4,000. Guns and ammunition are normally the preserve of older, more mobile and "serious" criminals. However, they can fall into the hands of young teenagers who might then use them to sort out feuds that in the past were resolved with fists. Peter Herbert, a London barrister and an adviser to Scotland Yard "Operation Trident" tackling gun crime in the black community, said children as young as eight were being used to "mind" guns for gangsters. He told the Metropolitan Police Authority that the problem of young children and guns was "significantly worse" than even the darkest picture painted by the media. The use of BMX bikes by youngsters recruited by their elders to run errands, stash money and hide weapons is also increasingly common. The culture of "disrespect", and the willingness to initiate trouble at the slightest provocation, are a feature of the violence. At its root is drug trafficking. Guns are used to defend turf and intimidate rivals. Perversely, one reason why gang leaders hand their guns to children is because the penalty for an adult being caught in possession is so serious. Ministers have tried to give the impression that they were getting a grip on this by pointing to a recent fall in gun crime, though the trend this year is again upwards. But the bald statistics do not tell the real story of what is happening on the streets. Mike Todd, the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, told a Downing Street gun summit earlier this year: "We have got 14- and 15-year-olds walking around with body armour. "We have 13-year-olds arrested for minor offences, where when we do house searches we find illegal firearms because they are being used to hold them." Keith Bristow, the chief police officers' firearms spokesman, told the same summit: ''Victims and offenders are getting younger." In the case of Rhys Jones, that is horribly apparent.