I figured since we have some Brits they would know this.
For example , etc. Since the U.K. has such strict gun control (so I've heard) do the criminals prefer knives, fists, sticks, or do they just yell loudly at the victims?
The use of weapons in robbery, burglary, domestic violence, and kidnapping is quite low. Burglars very rarely carry weapons, domestic violence is usually fists, kidnapping is usually brute force and/or deception.
You don't say what sort of robbery; personal or, say, a security van. Personal robbery is usually fists or sometimes a knife. Jewellery shops tend to be smash and grab - no weapons. Security van robbers had a lot of success dressing as policemen but when that stopped, a[sawn-off] shotgun backed up by pick-axe handles became popular (shotguns are not too difficult to obtain), illegal handguns have been used too.
The main problem now is drug gangs who tend to shoot each other and often the twats miss and shoot some by-stander or target the wrong person.
The problem with being a criminal and using a gun is that once it happens, the police are all over the whole associated community like a rash, making life difficult for every honest criminal. To get the police out of their hair, the criminals point fingers and so information on who fired the shot is not too difficult to come by. Careers as armed robbers tend to be short.
Recorded firearm crime is not at all a very good guide to anything, I quote from the House of Commons "Firearm crime statistics 2011 - www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN01940.pdf
Some offences involve the use of imitation weapons, while others involve the use of a ‘supposed firearm’ (i.e. a concealed object presumed to be a firearm).
On top of this, any incident in which "something looks like a gun" is counted as a firearms offence. As does, just possessing a firearm or failing to renew registration, or keeping it insecurely, letting your friend fire it or possess it whilst loaded, etc.
As if this weren't enough, there are statements such as,
Robberies accounted for 42% of non-air weapon offences compared to 1% of air weapon offences.
This makes it seem as if 42% or robberies were armed robberies - this is not the case at all - it is the percentage of weapons offences, not of the robberies, for which no figures are given.
Crimes using a weapon" is not, as far as I am aware kept as a statistic - You can look here, http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/science-research/research-statistics/crime/crime-statistics/
but I don't think it will help as to be meaningful, it would have to be, "Crimes where you could have used a weapon but didn't, as opposed to those crimes where a weapon was used, except those crimes where there was a weapon but no one saw the point of it or it wasn't loaded, capable of hurting anyone or was an imitation and not counting technical offences, etc."
I do hope HAL is not going to say, "So despite all this tyrannical and despotic oppression in gun-ownership, people still use weapons, so why do you still allow knives/ pick-axe handles, etc... and how do you protect your loved ones against drug gangs."