Gun-rights proponents said on Monday that London's rising murder rate is evidence of failed gun-control policies.
London saw 15 murders in February while its American cousin of nearly the same size, New York City, saw 14, according to the Sunday Times. Similarly, the paper said there were 22 killings in London during March while there were 21 in New York City. They said it represented a 38 percent increase over 2014.
Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation and chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, said the recent spike in killings shows criminals are undeterred by England's civilian gun bans and strict gun-control laws. "Last year, London recorded 80 fatal stabbings, which only proves that guns aren't the problem, criminals are," Gottlieb said. "And when violent criminals don't have guns, they resort to other lethal weapons."
He said English civilians face a situation where they are forced to disarm but face criminals who do not obey the nation's laws.
"Our friends in the United Kingdom suffer under horribly restrictive gun laws, yet the murders in London reveal something anti-gunners everywhere refuse to acknowledge," Gottlieb said. "While the British have campaigned for people to turn in knives, it's clear from the body count in their capitol city that their outlaws are just like American criminals. They do not obey the laws against guns, knives or murder and mayhem.
"And that is the dirty little secret of gun control. Criminals always find a way to violate the law."
Croydon Central MP Sarah Jones, who chairs a parliamentary group focused on knife crime, told the BBC that London needs to adopt policies more like those of New York City in order to combat the murders.
"New York has been able to bring down serious violence through a public health approach," she said. "We need a proper strategy that looks at all of the issues. Knife crime and violent crime acts like an epidemic, so you need to go in at the source to cut it off and then you need to inoculate the future young people against it."
Jones said London needs to teach kids that they don't need to carry knives but made no mention of changing the country's strict gun control laws to allow law abiding citizens to carry weapons for self-defense.
"Going in at source means major intervention work with youth workers, inoculating means going into schools, changing the social norms, educating kids, teaching them what it is to be a man, teaching them how they don't need to carry knives," she said.
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said at least part of the answer should involve ending the country's various bans on civilian gun ownership.
"The time has come for authorities on both sides of the Atlantic to admit that their decades-old campaigns of citizen disarmament have created an environment where criminals thrive," Gottlieb said. "Sadly, the people responsible for these restrictions, which penalize honest citizens, are just too cowardly to admit their failures. Instead, they hide behind the empty promises of new restrictions which won't work any better than the old restrictions, and that's a problem in both countries."