As wild gangs of youths burned homes, shops and cars and severely beat anyone who tried to stop them last week, English people tried to defend themselves. Their desperation triggered a 5,000% increase in purchases of baseball bats from Amazon.
This is a sad symbol of the failure of the British approach to crime--with its sympathy for offenders, intolerance of self-defense, and unwillingness to pay for adequate crime control. A people once proud of their peaceful country and unarmed policemen had to resort to clubs to protect life and limb.
Bret Stephens has this column noting more generally that no, the European model doesn't "work" and that crime has been rising in the EU even as it falls in the US.
We have linked to quite a bit of commentary on the British riots lately, but I think there is an important lesson here. This is where the self-proclaimed "smart on crime" people want to take us.