Bullets over Britain

At a meeting in the town hall of South London's Brixton neighborhood, community leaders voiced grief and rage over the Jan. 2 murder of two black teenage girls in Birmingham. "The horrendous barbarity of this crime ... left me feeling quite sick," said chairman Lee Jasper, a race-relations adviser to London Mayor Ken Livingstone. At a Whitehall summit called by Home Secretary David Blunkett, politicians, bureaucrats and police officers expressed grave concern over the latest crime statistics.

That both meetings, which took place last week, were about gun crimes is a rude shock for many Britons, shaking their...

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