The changing face of violence in the UK

From Chuck Rives, an article about how violence in the UK is getting… worse.

Horrific wounds have been caused by screwdrivers and spoons as attackers look to circumvent knife-carrying laws by switching to “improvised weapons”.

[…]

Doctors say a trend has emerged of teenagers being stabbed in the rectum – a practice known among gangs as “dinking” that can leave the victim requiring a stoma bag for the rest of their life.

[…]

Chris Aylwin, a consultant surgeon at St Mary’s hospital, said: “There seems to be a decreasing value of people’s lives. One of the more worrying features that we have certainly seen are stabbings around the buttocks and thighs. People don’t do that without good reason.

[…]

Duncan Bew, the clinical lead for trauma and emergency surgery at Kings’ College hospital, said: “There is an intention to leave someone with an outward sign that they have been punished by a gang – a stoma bag or some other injury to ‘clip their wings’.”

You should read the entire article as there’s just too much to detail here.

Here’s my take-homes:

Bans Don’t Stop Violence

UK essentially bans guns, so people turn to knives. Now knives are being severely restricted, and so they’re turning to screwdrivers and spoons and other improvised weapons.

Ban all you want, it doesn’t stop people from engaging in the base behavior (how’s that “War on Drugs” working out?). If evil people wish to do evil things, they will always find a way. Instead of focusing on the tools, how about focusing on the root evil(s)? You only have so much time, money, and energy in your lifetime, so why waste precious resources on ineffective solutions?

Statistics Tell Certain Stories

According to City Hall, the number of knife assaults causing injury rose 7.7 per cent across London between April and September this year, compared to the same period last year. There were 335 incidents in September – 51 per cent up on the 222 recorded in March.

People love to quote how “gun violence” is low in the UK, and that it is. Maybe it is support that “banning guns” leads to less “gun violence”. But “banning guns” does not lead to a safer society, a society where there is less violence.

People like to quote homicide and murder rates as indication of how things are getting better or worse. Alas, murder rates only tell part of the story, because for it to be murder the victim has to die. Every year medical ability improves, and these days if you make it to the Emergency Room with any sort of vital signs, your chances are extremely high you will live due to the miracle of modern medicine. Thus, at most your attack will only be classified as “aggravated assault” – what used to be called “attempted murder” – and consequently “murder rates going down” are in part due to good ER’s, not reduction in crime.

Consider the contents of the article: the very intent of the attack is not to kill, but to severely maim and inflict not death but a lifetime of agony and suffering. How does this affect your statistics? And do the statistics really matter when you’re the one spending the rest of your life in a wheelchair with a colostomy bag?

Get Medical Training

A week after Joel was attacked, the trauma team at the Royal London saved a 16-year-old stabbed in the leg. “It was a really deep wound,” Mr Konig said. “That struck me as real intent, and that was just shocking. [In a week] we had one dead, one survived. Left alone, these people would all die.

“Passers-by were excellent at putting pressure on his groin and stopping him bleeding to death right there. If members of the public are having to come to your assistance to stop you bleeding to death, it’s like soldiers relying on their buddies in a war zone. If we have to start educating people how to stop someone bleeding to death, that does change things.”

This doesn’t mean you need to be a medic, an EMT, or anything of the sort. But get some basic First Aid training. Then maybe get some more advanced care in things like Wilderness First Aid, or other training that goes beyond “boo-boos and bee stings” to help you deal with things like severe bleeding and when and how to use a tourniquet.

Carry some form of medical equipment. Heck, my Dad has always carried a single Band-Aid in his wallet: it’s not a tourniquet, but you’d be amazed at how often it’s come in handy.

Some People Are Just Sick

I’m sure you are a positive person that surrounds yourself with other positive, uplifting, productive, contributing, and generally “good” people. Thus chances are you may not realize or really fathom that the world is filled with horrible people. Thankfully they are a minority, but they are still there and all it takes is one to ruin things.

Some people are just twisted and sick. Consider the attackers in this story: they are out to cause their victim a lifetime of suffering. I mean, intentionally stabbing someone in the rectum to cause the victim a lifetime of difficultly? How fucked up is that? Sorry for the language, but there’s no other way to describe such a vile, despicable act. It’s truly the mindset of a sick individual.

It’s important to accept the world contains such scum. You don’t have to like it nor tolerate it, but admitting and accepting they exist improves your ability to address the realities of the problem.

Real Solutions

Mr Bew is a trustee of Growing Against Gangs and Violence, a partnership between the Association of Surgeons, Metropolitan Police and Home Office that aims to end gang and serious youth violence through proactive work and “pupil power”. This Autumn it has reached 17,080 students in 70 schools in 11 boroughs – four times as many students as two years ago.

He added: “Trauma centres have made a massive difference to mortality and morbidity in the last couple of years, particularly in that younger group. The challenge for us is how we stop the kids coming to us in the first place.”

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