Given that the BBC's own graph showed the reality of firearms crimes (excluding airguns) whilst maintaining that gun crime "overall" is down, it really doesn't surprise me that David Davis has written to Jacqui Smith pointing out that the Government is basically lying about the state of firearms crimes, and in particular firearms homicide.
The Home Office's own statistics show that gun-related killings and injuries (excluding airguns) has increased for a factor of four since 1998. David Davis letter to Jacqui Smith quite rightly points out that to therefore say that gun crime is down (simply based on a reduction between this year and last, is both "inaccurate and misleading".
I can imagine what the Labour response to such an accusation will be. It will either be, as Chris Paul tried to imply in the comments here, that if you include airguns in the data set then it's somehow not as bad (which is of course nonsense when you are being very specific about the type of crime - gun homicide has increased four fold). This is bit like the way Labour still insist on saying that because mortgage rates are not 15% that the situation of indebtedness in Britain isn't "as bad" therefore they ignore it.
The other response, at some point, that I would expect, is for someone to say that David Davis is playing party politics with the tragic death of Rhys Jones. That it is shallow and naked opportunism. This is the stock response to anything the Tories say eventually. They'll probably then roll out some 20 year-old statistics showing how it was much worse under the Tories, but that won't of course be playing party politics.
I could be wrong of course, but the arguments that Labour use have become so tried and tested for them that they've become rather easy to predict.
Update: I notice that Bob Piper has posted saying that anyone who blames Labour for the four fold rise in gun homicide is wrong and that you could as easily blame Thatcher as the parents were brought up under her and she was of course a baby eater*. What's funny is that Bob calls the people who link increases in gun homicide over the past ten years to failure of Government - ergo the party of Government - twonks.
Presumably he was deaf from 1993 onwards where his party continually made such connections about the Tory Government (and continued too for at least seven years of Government)? Or perhaps he's just being a tad disingenuous? Either way his post is utterly contradictory. You'll note that he has also made the "party political point scoring" argument.
This is how it works you see. Something tragic happens. You express your dismay at the tragedy and say why you think something has gone wrong, in this case the four fold rise in gun homicide over the last ten years, and your "playing party politics" if you don't support the Government. It's complete and utter bollocks. It's made all the more ironic when it's wrapped up by someone claiming to be taking the moral highground (that would be the same highground that also has a big ostrich hole in it for them to stick their head into).
Having a view contrary to the Government, and officially wearing a badge that says you're on the Opposition's side, means that any argument you make is closed down with glib responses like "point scoring". There is nothing point scoring about saying "err excuse me, I think we have a problem here, and I think you're not being honest about the scale of it".
Incidentally, I don't blame the Labour Party, I blame the amalgam of ideas that have flowed from the Left as whole over the past few years. They may not have intended it, but they've brought about a dominance of nihilism and relativistic sophistry. Is it any wonder that an eleven year-old boy gets gunned down randomly in cold blood as a result?
* It has been noted by Bob that he said nothing about the actual gun figures. This is true, I was paraphrasing his arguments into the context of the wider response that is often thrown back regarding "party political point scoring" or more usually called "opportunism"