"Sinister- This No Stopping sign near the A40 in Oxfordshire is riddled with what appear to be bullet-holes." (caption courtesy dailymail.co.uk, photo courtesy Matt Seiber/News Dog Media)

“Gun-crime in the UK may still be rare, but a drive around our roads reveals that it is far closer to home than you might have thought,” dailymail.co.uk reports. “In fact, hundreds of road signs are peppered with bullet-holes, rather than pellet holes, made by ammunition from illegal firearms.” I like that. UK gun crime “may still be rare.” In other words, it may not be so rare. Or it’s rare now but it may not be so rare at some point in the indeterminate future. Anyway, “Former Marine Matt Seiber, 58, who has travelled the land in search of signs that have been shot at, says there is plenty of evidence of illegal firearms if you look for it . . .

His astonishing pictures show bullet-holes in hundreds of signs across 36 counties, some of which the Falklands veteran believe may have been put there by Britain’s most notorious killers. Driving through Cumbria, close to where taxi driver Derrick Bird murdered 12 people in June 2010, Mr Seiber saw bullet-holes he believes were caused by Bird.”

Evil holes made by evil people! Something must be done! I know! Let’s write a book!

Mr Seiber records his project on his website gunfire-graffiti, and has also written a book called Gunfire Graffiti: Overlooked Gun Crime in the UK.

Overlooked gun crime in the UK. Who’d a thunk such a thing was possible in the gun-free paradise known as The Land of Hope and Glory? Someone tell the American antis who cite UK crime stats more than Mormons cite The Book of same. Actually, don’t bother. Why let facts confuse them?

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38 Responses to Signs Say UK Not As Gun-Free As Some Think

  1. It’s funny, but I used to see shot up signs all over rural Missouri and Illinois. Nowadays, not so much.
    What’s it all mean, Mr. Natural?

  2. To me, shot-up road signs always seemed a reassuring sign of a healthy distrust for government and authority. Makes me feel warm inside.

    Not suggesting I’ve ever shot one up; I don’t remember, as the government criminals always say… Could have happened. Hard to say!

    A society that seeks to eliminate its rebels is a moribund society.

  3. So it is a crime to shoot at a sign? Gee, I didn’t know that there was a “sign protection act” in Jolly Old…Funny thing, though, is that the only signs here I am used to seeing with bullet holes in them have deer/elk on them.

      • Did I say it was OK? I just questioned if it was illegal. I still remember the first one I saw, in backwoods Pennsylvania, somewhere outside of Warren. I think it was 1968, so it is not a particularly recent phenomenon. In my little town, we have a nice new bridge across the Sacramento Rive that has some pretty neat art-deco style lights along the side, lots of glass, and some asshat likes to drive by at 2 a.m. and take target practice with a .45. It is not appreciated.

        • It costs a lot of money to replace a sign. Especially if it is one that has say city distances as it has to be made indiviually vs say a stop sign. I large roadside sign can easily top a $1000. Thats why you see fewer of them today than you did 30 yrs ago. Just to expensive to put up in he first place.

    • While there certainly are problems with defacing/destroying others’ property with guns, I agree that using “gun crime” to refer to both shooting signs and shooting people is going to cause problems.

      I know that the sign shootings are not referenced as “homicides”, but I can visualize a situation where, to make new weapons regulations, “gun crimes” against signs are included in a total number alongside homicides, armed robberies, etc. to make a bigger, unrealistic number.

      • It’s clear that the author is really stretching on this one. Why can’t we of all people (i.e. those that rely on facts, not emotion) concede that there are very few true gun crimes in the UK and that is a result of the lack of availability of guns. That doesn’t mean gun restrictions are the answer (clearly not as there is violence in the UK committed with other weapons).

        • Jus Bill; if the total incident of gun injuries is very low there, then it would be a strong indicator there isn’t much gun violence. And it is.
          That shouldn’t be a surprise and doesn’t actually mean the UK is less violent on the whole (you can hurt people with plenty of other things–violence is fungible) but it DOES have less gun crime by any measure.

        • I do not concede this, because there isn’t a lack of gun availability in the UK; there are only fewer guns and more restrictions.

          There is a lack of gun availability in prisons; they are very difficult, if not impossible, for inmates to acquire. This is why shivs are a common murder weapon there.

          The UK homicide rate is roughly equal to the US non-gun homicide rate. If gun control could actually exist, and all guns in the US vanished, would all homicides committed with guns (about 75% of total), cease to occur? Would any cease to occur? If two thirds of all homicides using guns simply didn’t happen after the spontaneous gun vanishing (the other third using different means), the US homicide rate would still be double the UK rate.

          Both facts and emotions are useful, if used properly. Some treat them as if they’re mutually exclusive.

  4. I’m imagining some younger couple, maybe in their early 20’s. Shielded from life. No grandfather to tell them of the Great War. No dad to tell them about hunting. No cool uncle to show them his collection, legal or otherwise.
    They’re driving along, see that sign, stop, and just stare. Asking each other, ‘what on earth could have caused those holes’? (English accent, of course)

  5. New item on bucket list: pick out a lonesome roadside sign and perforate it. I wonder if the experts have any caliber recommendations…

    • Gotta be .45 because a ..40 or 38 caliber hole (9mm/.357/ .38)just looks smaller and wimpy beside it. And the slower velocity means the round leaves a big dent AND a big hole as opposed to a fast-moving round that punches clean through. A .32 sometimes bounces off without punching through, maybe because of the angle. Surprisingly, a .22lr doesn’t seem to have any problem getting through but then, what would I know? I don’t engage in such illegal, nefarious defacing of state and federal property.

  6. And this is why I think those who shoot road signs are idiots and morons at best, and selfish vandals and @$$holes at worst. They can’t be good shots if all they can hit is a road sign 20 feet in front of them.

    • Ditto. It’s like dogs pissing on a fire hydrant. Only it cost me the tax payer money. The public gun range near my in-laws had a nice tin roof put on a few years back. Every few months when I’d visit I’d notice more holes in it. 3 years later it is completely gone. I try not to think of all the rounds that showered down whoknowswhere.

  7. Yea, I guess we do cite the Book of Mormon a lot. The Book of Mormon is filled with accounts of righteous people taking up arms in defense of their liberty, and even fighting corruption in the government.

  8. Always disappointed when I see a potshot taken at someone else’s right by a person in the gun community. It doesn’t relate to the article in any way – it makes the author less credible by introducing unrelated bias – and is flat out offensive. Thanks for striking a blow against religion in the name of logic loving gun owners everywhere. /sarcasm off

  9. I noticed while browsing the pictures that for an illegal, surreptitious activity there were a few decent groups there.

    • I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that the solved murders with convictions (someone actually going to jail) is probably quite similar to the US. Here (or at least in the 70’s) murder was one of the most solved crimes. Saying that only 50% of musrders are clear by arrest. And of those people actually arrested only 20% were convicted. The euros try really hard not to send people to jail for anything so their actual incarceration rate is probably south of 10%. So using their methode of reporting murder stats multiply that by 10 and you will have a better idea of what actual murder rates are.

      About 10 years ago England admitted they fudged the numbers of all crimes to make people feel safe. They also don’t want to or can afford to build more prisons even for murderers.

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