Four people have been shot over a 48-hour period in Sadiq Khan’s London, leaving a teenager dead and a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old with head injuries.
The first victim, 17-year-old Rhyhiem Ainsworth Barton, was shot in Cooks Road, Southwark, on Saturday evening, while playing football.
Witnesses to the killing told the BBC a number of shots were fired during the attack, including one which missed a woman and punched through somebody’s window.
Barton, described as a talented rapper by his godmother, later died from his injuries.
Murders in London Overtake New York for First Time Since 1800 Under Sadiq Khan https://t.co/lvWiKJqH6g
— Jack Montgomery ن (@JackBMontgomery) April 1, 2018
The next day, two even younger boys, aged 13 and 15, were shot within minutes of each other in broad daylight in Wealdstone, north-west London.
Both are in hospital being treated for head injuries, although neither are thought to be in a life-threatening condition.
A local shopkeeper said the 13-year-old was “lucky to be alive”, with a bullet appearing to have only grazed the back of his head.
“He was holding his head down [when I saw him],” the shopkeeper told reporters.
“I could not see his face but could see his white T-shirt was proper covered in blood.”
Finally, a member of the public flagged down police on New Cross Road to attend a 22-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds in the early evening — the last known victim of a weekend of violence when Londoners were supposed to be enjoying a sunny Bank Holiday.
London Hospital Admits Trump Right on Knife Crime Epidemic, Disagrees with Second Amendment Stance https://t.co/aOVLWjjnXk
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 5, 2018
The shootings came as establishment politicians and commentators were working themselves into a lather over comments by U.S. President Donald Trump concerning the level of violence in London, delivered at a conference of the National Rifle Association (NRA), which defends and promotes Americans’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
Surgeons at a London hospital which President Trump compared to a “war zone” admitted he was right about knife crime in the British capital, but argued that guns were “no solution” to the problem, and that gunshot wounds were more difficult to repair than knife wounds.
The doctors appeared not to understand that President Trump was not advocating for criminals using knives to be given guns instead, but for law-abiding citizens to be allowed to own arms for self-defence.
In any event, the wave of shootings over the past weekend, viewed alongside statistics showing gun crime in London rose by an astonishing 42 per cent from 2015/16 to 2016/17, would appear to suggest that limiting legal access to firearms for ordinary citizens does not deter criminals from using them.