Five years ago, and I do not know if anyone remembers this, after 16 children and a schoolteacher were gunned down in Dunblane, Scotland, Britain passed some of the world's tightest gun control laws. Crime statistics released by the Home Office yesterday show just how adept criminals are at getting around such bans. My purpose here is to use UK's model for the US model and to show how the only people who lose in this are the law-abiding citizens. Right then, on to my argument. Crimes involving firearms were up 35% in England and Wales in the last year, which includes a 46% jump in the number of robberies involving handguns. That followed a 9% increase in crimes involving handguns in 2000-2001. In summary, gun crime has basically doubled since Dunblane. The murder rate is still much lower in England and Wales than it is in the U.S., but the gap has been closing steadily. This ought to suggest that it's time to look beyond gun control for a way to make Britain safer? The Home Office also reported a survey in which a third of those surveyed cited anti-social behavioral problems as a very big or fairly big problem, and 44% believe that the criminal justice system is not effective. No wonder. Perhaps mindful of how rising crime rates in France helped drive former Prime Minister Lionel Jospin from power, Britain's Labour government knows it needs to do more? Or do they? Get this though, the plan of attack is to tighten an already comprehensive gun control law to include a ban on fake guns and a crackdown on the use of air guns and enforce mandatory sentences on those found with guns. I am not sure if anyone is looking at the past five years where a tightened gun ban will have no practical effect on the ability of determined criminals to get hold of guns, which, despite the statistical increase, are used in only 12% of murders and less than 1% of all reported crimes. A decade ago, one might have had some sympathy for ministers flailing about in search of a way to make the streets safer. But the dramatic success of New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has provided the textbook for how to do this -- through a combination of tough policing, consistent sentencing and attention to the sort of quality-of-life crimes that British police tend to ignore and judges to dismiss. Nothing in the Labour government's approach suggests Britons can start feeling safer any time soon.