Friday, 4 June 2010

Theresa May urges calm on gun law reform

The revelation that Derrick Bird held licences for both his weapons has given fresh impetus to campaigners urging further reform of Britain’s gun laws.

As voices on both sides of the debate called for action, Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday warned against any “knee-jerk” demands, while Home Secretary Theresa May insisted that ministers would wait until all the facts are in. No doubt that means that they will wait to see the way the wind is blowing before making any decision.

It was in the wake of Hungerford and Dunblane, the last great tragedies in Britain’s firearms history, that current laws were introduced.

The events of 1987, when unemployed gun fanatic Michael Robert Ryan killed 16 people in the Berkshire town of Hungerford, prompted laws banning semi-automatic rifles and restricting access to some shotguns. Ryan, like Bird, held licences for all the weapons he used.

Dunblane renewed pressure on government to crack down on guns, and legislation brought in by the Conservatives in 1996 prohibited all handguns except .22 calibre single-shot weapons. An amendment by Labour the next year widened this to cover all pistols.

Now, however, campaigners and politicians alike recognise that any further bans on guns could impinge on their use in sport; already the Olympic shooting team has been forced overseas to practice unhindered. Right so every ten years or so we have a load of unnecessary deaths perpetrated by people who held their weapons legally in the name of sport? In that case shooting ought not to be a sport and if it is it is one that we don’t need to take part in.

Shadow Home Secretary Alan Johnson said yesterday that the key question was whether or not someone was in a fit mental state to have a weapon, but campaigners disagree about how this could ever be determined. Clearly the last three people who engaged in a gun toting rampage were not in their right minds but they still had guns legally. The answer surely is to say no more guns for any reason at all.

The former head of Scotland Yard, Ian Blair, said the Government should consider asking relatives, neighbours and workmates whether people are fit to hold a gun licence. Well thanks for that Ian what a gem! Isn’t it odd that ever since Mrs Thatcher decided that keeping insane people in asylums was too expensive the number of them killing has rocketed. Mental health services are always one of the first to be cut when the Dunkirk spirit kicks in so I guess that is why Ian wants friends and family to shoulder the responsibility.

However, Graham Showell, a campaigner who runs the Britain Needs Guns website, said: “You can’t legislate against insanity.” He believes that “if just one other person there had been armed, [Bird] would have been stopped earlier”. What a nutter! It’s the lets all have guns argument is it? Then I can shoot you if I think you have a gun? Great!

Though background surveys are carried out when a person applies for a permit – often GPs will be asked by police whether they have any concerns – there is no safeguard against the person later developing a condition that makes them unsuitable for gun ownership.

May, told the Commons that debate was “right and proper”, but that “it would be wrong to react before we know the full facts”. I wouldn’t have thought that it would take too much brains to figure out that a guy flipped his lid and murdered 12 people with guns he held legally. No doubt May does not want to reduce peoples freedoms in the name of small government or perhaps she is just personally small in the intelligence department.

Of course the 6 billion cuts needed for “New Politics”® to get its Dunkirk spirit off the ground will hit mental health hard. After all Theresa and the Tories probably think that all people suffering from depression (like Mr Bird?)are malingerers, but when they legally hold guns they are dangerous as well. What facts does she need to wait on to find that out?


  1. Munguin

    First of all what happened in Cumbria was horrific and I really do feel for the victims families.

    You know I am absolutely flabbergasted that no politician has come out and said we need new laws on gun control. The idea of snooping on your family or neighbours to see if they are fit to own a fire arm is ludacris. Mental health assessments don't go far enough either. I am in a fit and proper mind and I could easily hide any underlying mental health issues from anyone, the same was true with the 3 lunatics that you mentioned.

    The only answer is a complete ban on all types of guns. What right does someone have to own a weapon that can kill a fellow human being in an instant? And as for the Olympic shooting team, I'm sure some sort of law could be brought in so that they can practice in a safe environment where guns are not to be taken off the premises.

    The British army own thousands of arms yet I don't ever recall any of them being branded in public.

    The hard facts are, 42 people have been murdered by just 3 people since 1986 (almost two per year) and not to mention the countless other shootings in the UK over the same period yet we are not to talk about knee jerk reactions.

    In comparison 3 children have been killed over the last decade by roller blinds in the house and some very vocal annoying people have called for a ban on roller blinds???????

    Sometimes the public mood in the UK is warped and very weird.

  2. I think Theresa May's right. A knee jerk reaction to this is wrong. Banning all guns is wrong. Guns can be had from the internet quite easily I'm told.

  3. Just to add to my last comment.

    People will mention the fact that Farmers need guns to sort out any pest control.

    Farmers are under great stress and mostly live in isolation, the perfect breeding ground for mental stress and frustration that can lead to someone acting like a lunatic. So now you can begin to see the problems of assessing candidates who might be too loopy to have guns comes into play. It would bring in the entire farming community.

    If a farmer wants to get rid of pests then he will just have to phone for a professional marksman. The idea of stressed out hillbillies running riot with shotguns is frightening.

    I also deplore the idea that a farmer can shoot a family pet if it is seen to be causing a nuisance to his animals. Who the hell made the farmer judge and jury?

  4. Subrosa

    A complete ban is needed. The facts are simple, the public can't be trusted with guns in the UK. We are a violent nation. Switzerland has more firearms per head od population than the UK yet shootings there are virtually non existent. Incidentally their laws are more relaxed than our own.

  5. Allan: I agree with all of that. There is no need for guns to be held legally by anyone. I don't think shooting should be an Olympic sport and if it is I don't think we should take part. It certainly is not a reason to allow public access to guns.

    The farming excuse is also rubbish- what are they gonna do go out and shoot all the rats or rabbits on a farm with a rifle? If they did they would need to travel faster than Santa Claus to do it. Much easier I would have thought to poison vermin.

    May is just an idiot who is totally failing to show any kind of leadership. She is the Home Secretary and she has nothing to say on this subject until the facts are in? Who is she kidding? I think she already has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana skin as far as her job goes.

  6. S/R Lots of things can be got over the internet including child porn but that does not mean we ought to legalize it. And no doubt guns can be had on the black market too. The point of the matter is that in these three incidents the guns were held legally and any checks on mental capability failed. Now is the time for the government to show leadership and not sit on the fence and vacillate.

  7. With the coming economic collapse and associated breakdown in law and order I think the government would love an excuse to introduce even tougher gun laws. We should all be allowed to carry a sidearm so that anyone like the cumbrian maniac will know we can shoot back. That would make us all safer.

  8. Munguin

    Not only has May not shown any leadership she has show very little compassion. If the UK really thinks having shooting as an Olympic sport is such a big deal then the athletes can practice in army compounds, that way it will keep them and the public safe and it also means if one of them decide to flip then they want get very far.

    Indeed the farmers would have to travel faster than the old man in the red suit if he was to shoot every 4 legged furry pest. I actually like rabbits and rats so I also deplore the thought of a rosy cheeked farmer blasting the poor wee things to bits.

    Seriously though, if a farmer has a problem with pests, ie foxes.badgers then under a ban he would have to call on a professional marksman.

  9. Now this is a totally personal opinion, but I think that there is something rather dodgy about a person who enjoys killing other living things.

    But that's me; the guy who yesterday rescued a beetle from a pond in my garden and blew on it till it was dry then put it on some stones and watched and waited till it had found a crack in the rocks to disappear into before getting on with what I was doing.

    I'm the guy who ever rescues bees and wasps despite being allergic to their stings, and who can’t kill slugs in the garden, but takes them to the park so that they can live without eating all my plants. So my opinion on this may be warped.

    I was just thinking Allan. You're right. Every man in Switzerland is required to keep a gun in his house and to be able to use it. The public militia still exists. Yet, I've never seen a gun in my friend's flat in Geneva. I don't know if anyone ever goes mad in Switzerland and kills. Maybe they do. I do know that Switzerland is a much more mature and sensible country than the UK.

    I was wondering how long it would be until we heard from the newly confident because he got the gong anyway Lord Sir Ian Blur to offer his “professional” opinion. It’s weirdly inappropriate that it should be on firearms.

    Lord Blair of Stockwell Tube Station...we'll call him Tube for short..... ennobled, raised to the aristocracy for services to toadying to the Labour Party, and who was overall in charge when his men emptied bullets into the innocent Mr De Menezes in Stockwell while the real terrorists laughed their socks off and slipped away.

    And wasn't he the one who promoted the woman in charge of that disaster? The woman who couldn’t find the meeting room she was supposed to be in? Cressida Dickhead wasn't it? So he knows a thing or six about firearms...

    Would I bad them? I dunno. Personally of course I would. There is no need in this country to have a gun. It’s not the wild west. But there would be a whole pile of civil liberties people screaming that it was their human right to carry a gun for sport and to kill things was part of the non existant constitution. So it’s probably not going to happen.

    But then the relatives and friend of the victims may well say it was part of their civil liberties to go on living and not be shot by a guy who had lost the plot and quite lawfully had a gun.

  10. hector.

    I take it your comment is a bit tongue in the cheek?

  11. Tris

    (Lord Blair of Stockwell Tube Station...we'll call him Tube for short)

    Indeed the aristocracy tube was the one who promoted Cressida Dickhead and now you can start to see the problem with those who are in charge of gun laws in the county. They wrap themselves in itch tweed an ignore the innocent lives that are lost almost on a weekly basis in the UK due to people owning guns.

    Its true what people say and the problem is not the gun but the person using it but we can't ban people from living but we can ban guns.

    Tris I hold the same view as well. I don't see any pleasure in shooting animals for sport. I think it says more about the persons mental state of mind than anything.

    I also try not to kill innocent creatures but a wasp in the house is pron to a news paper swat.

  12. LOL Allan. I probably should be a Buddhist. I’m obsession about not killing the wee things that live in my garden. I once rescued a moth from a basin of water in the kitchen, and put it on the window ledge to recover. It rewarded me by laying eggs all over my house plants, and the caterpillars eat then all ...
    Mind (and I hope Munguin won’t mind that this is off topic) I’m rewarded by having a nest of tits with chicks, the watching of which gives hours of pleasure. A wee mouse who lives in a wood pile and flower pot turned sideways, and a solitary bee who inhabits my garden shed, and for all I know is making me a wee pot of honey right now. Now that should be an Olympic sport.

  13. BTW.... does anyone think that Ms May's apparel is appropriate business wear for a person in a senior position?

    She looks like she'd off to an afternoon tea party in that frock.

  14. "No doubt that means that they will wait to see the way the wind is blowing before making any decision."

    Rubbish. It means we want proper law making. For example after Dumblane, there was knee-jerk lawmaking and as a result our olympic shooting team has to practise outside of the UK.

    It is a matter of making sure any future legal response is measured. It has nothing to do with politics and PR spin. It is disgraceful that you actually think that.

  15. Tris

    I like the idea that people just don't kill animals or creatures just for the sake of it although I would hate my home to be filled with creepy crawlies lol.

    I have noticed May is a bit causal, maybe she is appealing to the Matalan vote.

  16. The Truth is we have the maximum control of guns possible in a free? Society.Any further attempt at restricting Gun ownership will impinge on other law abiding citizens rights(and be booted out by ECHR)

    We are probably after an expensive enquiry going have to accept these events few and far between are an inevitable consequence of allowing guns in a free society.

  17. Dean: it is not disgraceful to think that. Some things the government and a home secretary should be there to give a lead on. And this is one. Sitting on the fence humming and hawing wont do. I think you will find that the government will end up going the way the wind is blowing on this.

  18. I see that the foreign secretary sat on the fence over the Israeli attack on a Turkish ship in international waters until Hilary Clinton told him what to think. The home secretary seems to be adopting a similar “well I don’t really know” approach.

  19. Munguin,

    You say take a lead, but what you are actually calling for is a knee-jerk reaction; with hasteily drafted gun tightening laws.

    I think that is a daft view to hold.

  20. Mr MixedPickle: yes doubtless the small government freedom of the individual cooks will be jumping up and down and insisting on their right to own guns and not be interfered with by government.

  21. I take your point Niko. I suppose people need the freedom to go around killing things.

    And I guess that at the end of the day if people have gone mad, we have to accept that they could go around killing people with cars or motor bikes or some other thing. I guess a nutter bound on killing people isn't going to be stopped by a law that says 'no guns'.

  22. Dean I don't think I am. Either it is an outrage or its not. If it is we need laws to do something about it and if its not then these peoples lives are an expendable consequence of other people freedoms.

    Are you saying the English parliament led by the Tories is incapabale of coming up with anything sensible that hasn't been discussed and chewed over for years?

  23. PS... for a relaxing smile away from all this killing and guns and the daft government, here's a lovely piece you should all read.

  24. Lordy Allan... is there a Matalan vote? LOL

    I think I've got a Matalan card somewhere.....

  25. Mr Mixed vegetables

    I wouldn't say we live in a free society because after 13 years of a Stalinist Labour government just about every freedom we have has crumpled under the pressure of interfering Labour ministers.

    Anyway take knives. I am a responsible person but because of the mindless minority I now cant carry a knife, not that I would want to carry one unless I was going fishing etc.

    When I visit Celtic park I along with the 60,000 other fans can't take in bottled water or any sort of liquids due to terror legislation but I'm not a terrorist.

    Can you see where I am coming from? Now firearms?

  26. Tris

    Yes the Matalan vote coincides with the Burberry vote. I like to think of myself as a Gap or Next voter lol.

  27. Ahhhh gotcha.... What about me... the Oxfam voter?

  28. PS Allan... you're not really wanting to take firearms into Celtic Park are you? Not even for Dr John Reid...opps I'm sorry Lord Dr John Reid.?

  29. Munguin,

    This terrible incident was the result of a failure in a number of ways, and simply calling for more gun control is incredibly nieve.

    The nutter most likely had mental health issues on the run up to this; they have found evidence of self harm apparently [see Telegraph reports]- so maybe a better way of improving the future, so that this doesnt happen again is for us to take another look at our mental health profession?

    I'd argue it is incredibly bias towards reaching out to women, rather than men- and most 'random killer' nutters are men as opposed to females.

    It is mad to make a knee-jerker reaction and simply say its all the fault of gun regulation.

    It is so much more complicated Munguin than you seem willing to acknowledge

  30. Tris

    Lol the Oxfam vote? Well I suppose every vote counts lol.

    I think the best weapon for John Reid is the thousands of jeering fans whenever he arrives at the stadium.

  31. Dean

    The mental illness issue is a non starter. Many people who suffer from mental illnesses don't even know they suffer from it.

    On the issue of firearms then I agree with Munguin and a total ban is the way forward. Even taking away the 3 horrific incidents which Munguin has mentioned on his article then we are still left with dozens of people being shot and killed each year in the UK.

    The UK is too violent to have Joe public with firearms and the proof is in the news almost every weekend.

    If I am to be convinced that a total firearm ban is to extreme then the next best option is for no firearms at all to be taken out of gun clubs and into the home. Farmers would have to call on professional marksmen if they have a pest issue, ie foxs.

    People say its unfair on the rural communities if a ban comes in but the 3 mass shootings in the UK all took place in rural areas.

  32. That's the way I would have it too Allan, and I'm against government interference as a rule. But next time it could be me that gets a bullet because care in the community in the UK has only ever meant saving money because it's cheaper.

    I know there are other ways of killing people but I just don't know why anyone needs to have a gun here. It's not the Badlands of Pakistan-Afghan border.

  33. Allan,

    Mental illness is a non-starter because people don't realise they suffer from it? So, mental illness is only a factor and problem once its diagnosed?

    That sounds like a non-starter to me!


    Key facts about violence

    * Out of 1,564 people convicted for homicide in England and Wales between April 1996 and April 1999, 164 (10 per cent) were found to have had symptoms of mental health problems at the time of the offence. [5] A later study looking at homicides committed between January 1997 and December 2005 found that the same proportion, 10 per cent (510 of 5,189), were by individuals known to have had mental health problems at the time of the offence. [6]
    * In 2009, the total population in England and Wales aged 16 or over was just over 43 million. It has been estimated that about one in six of the adult population will have a significant mental health problem at any one time, [7], [8] which amounts to more than 7 million people. Given this number and the 50–70 cases of homicide a year involving people known to have a mental health problem at the time of the murder, [9] clearly the statistics data do not support the sensationalised media coverage about the danger that people with mental health problems present to the community.
    * The majority of violent crimes and homicides are committed by people who do not have mental health problems. In fact, 95 per cent of homicides are committed by people who have not been diagnosed with a mental health problem.[10]
    * Contrary to popular belief, the incidence of homicide committed by people diagnosed with mental health problems has stayed at a fairly constant level since the 1990s. [11]
    * The fear of random unprovoked attacks on strangers by people with mental health problems is unjustified. This has been highlighted by a US finding that patients with psychosis who are living in the community are 14 times more likely to be the victims of a violent crime than to be arrested for such a crime. [12]
    * According to the British Crime Survey, almost half (47 per cent) of the victims of violent crimes believed that their offender was under the influence of alcohol and about 17 per cent believed that the offender was under the influence of drugs. [13] Another survey suggested that about 30 per cent of victims believed that the offender attacked them because they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In contrast, only one per cent of victims believed that the violent incident happened because the offender had a mental illness. [14]
    * People with mental health problems are more dangerous to themselves than they are to others: 90 per cent of people who die through suicide in the UK are experiencing mental distress. [15]
    * People with serious mental illness are more likely to be the victim of a violent crime than the perpetrator. One study found that more than one in four people with a severe mental illness had been a victim of crime in one year. [16]
    * It is also worth keeping in mind that many cases of violence in the community get reported three times – the event, the court case, and the inquiry report – thus greatly exaggerating the number of cases in the public’s mind.

  35. * The majority of violent crimes and homicides are committed by people who do not have mental health problems. In fact, 95 per cent of homicides are committed by people who have not been diagnosed with a mental health problem.[10]

  36. You could at least attempt to learn the facts before pontificating

  37. Mr whatever,

    There is evidence that Derrick Bird had mental health disorders, so the issue of why this wasnt diagnosed ought to be asked!

    Moreover, the fact that most mentally ill prisoners are diagnosed AFTER entry to prison rather proves my point that mental health services is a bigger issue than most acknowledge!

    Mental health is a significant issue in random massacres like Birds, just because it isnt diagnosed does not reduce its importance as a factor explaining 'why'

  38. I've owned guns since being a teenager, never felt the urge to use them on anyone, same as the vast majority of people who use them for sport or work. Were someone to drive their car at a bus shelter full of people, would there be an outcry to ban cars? How about the knife ban? That worked well didn't it? In everyone theres a switch that takes you from normal to insane, the factors that turn the switch are different for everyone too and banning guns wont stop someone going on a rampage. banning guns will merely put them into the hands of the criminals, lunatics and the police and leave the rest of us defenceless if or when faced with them. More liberalisation of the gun laws is needed, not more control. As Hector pointed out fewer might have died had members of the public been able to take action themselves.

  39. WOW QM. Do you think that we should all carry guns all the time then incase we meet a lunatic who's shooting everyone in his path like this crazy dude was...?

  40. Quiet Man

    Is Right who will protect us in the post-apocalyptic world created by Con/Dem

    No one only ourselves and the only way will be the Way of the gun.

  41. Tris, I'm not saying everyone, but there are people out there who can be trusted with firearms, as I said, I've owned guns since my teens, from air rifles/pistols to shotguns. At the moment I keep the shotgun at my sports club, but I have 2 air rifles here for target practice. I've never yet felt the urge to even point a gun at anyone, never mind use it. Nontheless if I or others like me had been allowed to carry guns (concealed) in Cumbria this would have been nipped in the bud before he hit double figures.
    There is of course the possibility of arming our feral population and letting the "problem" take care of itself in a few months of random violence ;-)
    The thing to remember is that a gun is a tool, it's the person who has it that is the problem if they are unstable, you'd be amazed at the damage you can do with a nailgun if you remove the safety, same with a mix of fertiliser and brake fluid.
    Guns don't kill people, people decide to kill people.

  42. I partially agree with QM on this.

    The issue isn't the law as it stands, he is quite right, our laws remain among the orlds toughest.

    The answer is better enforcement. For example, why was Bird able to get hold of a .22 rifle with no one asking questions? The law, had it been followed, would have resulted in his criminal record being uncovered.

    I agree with QM so much as this is his point. Well said sir!

  43. Ok. I can see that you can do a lot of damage including death with a list of perectly legal things.

    And of course, if you are a member of a gun club you will be shooting at targets rather than killing things. I just have an aversion to killing things.

    In respect of your idea to arm the ferals and let them reduce their number, I heard that many many years ago on Glasgow Green, the neds used to gather to fight. Probably Protestants and Catholics, but who knows. Some people will just find an excuse to fight. Anyway, they used to go at each other with knives and razors and chains, and the police used to stand and watch and when they were done, exhausted and staggering about, they used to move in and lift what was left of them.

    That's what I call using your head.

  44. Why dis any change tae gun-law huv tae be a 'knee-jerk reaction'? Ah wid guess that the folk here advocatin' stricter controls were o' that opinion afore Bird startit shootin', an' likely will be efter the next nutter goes ballistic. Ah'm aw fer bannin' the private ownership o' guns, an' it has nuthin' tae dae wi' the three big massacres. Ah want them banned cos ah cannae think o' yin guid reason fer them bein' legal.

    It's no gaunnae eradicate fatal shootins, there'll aye be illegally held guns, but surely tae god it'll cut them doon, an' every death saved'll be worth it.

    Fair enough some folk like tae shoot at targets in clubs. But is that pleasure worth a life?

    These massacres are thankfully rare, an' oan their ain nae basis fer framin' legislation, but since Hungerford we've had nae massacres involvin' automatic weapons, an' since Dunblane nane involvin' handguns. Just a thought.

  45. Dean..

    You're not correct about gun licensing in England and Wales. His convictions only need to be considered and he can still get a shotgun and .22 licence despite his conviction for theft 20 years ago.

    From The Daily wail...

    " According to Home Office guidance, Bird's conviction for theft would only have to be 'considered' and was no automatic bar to getting a licence.
    That still means that Bird, who is believed to have served a non-custodial sentence, could have seen his request refused by Cumbria Police.

    The Criminal Justice Act states that those sentenced to three years or more are never allowed to possess firearms.

    Those given between three months and three years must not possess firearms until five years after their release.

    Bird's second licence, for the rifle, was granted only three years ago."

  46. That was my first point Sophia. Why do people need guns? To kill things.

    Why do they need to kill things? They don't really.

    I'm sure there must be some way that we can allow people to target shoot without them having to carry guns about.

    Then if one of them goes balistic and stars shooting then he is shooting at other people who like guns, are aware of the risk, and in any case have some means of stopping him as QM says... but without it being in the High Street, and you with your messages to do.

    It seems a limiting way of dealing with it.

    In the USA where it seems they have no control because of the gun lobby and the NRA, every few weeks some nut case kid goes wild with a gun belonging to his dad (not securely locked away), because someone spoke to him wrong, or he got bad grades or he hasn't got any frioneds or can't get laid or whatever.....

    We really want to be as far from that as is humanly possible.

    But I do accept that a nutter let loose with a car can plough into a bus queue and kill just as many without a bullet being fired, and I don't want people to take away cars.

    Maybe my second point that Care in the Community, introduced by Mrs Thatcher, might be better if the 'Care' element actually existed.

  47. Thanks for the technical info Hector...

    It's difficult to know, but ... if the crime committed by Bird was unconnected in any way to guns, why would he not be allowed a licence?

    Is it unqualified, lay Magistrates that do this sort of thing in England?

  48. Of course the difference between a gun and a car is that a car is primarily intended as a conveyance from A to B and a gun is primarily intended to kill something with QED!

    So Dean are the £6 Billion cuts not going to affect mental health at all? Because usually when the Dunkirk spirit stalks the streets that is seen as an easy hit and God knows mental health provision is pretty crap in Great Britain at the best of times. I don’t understand how we are going to beef up mental health provision to prevent loonies legally getting hold of guns while at the same time cutting everything to the bone. Much easier and cheaper to tighten up gun laws and regulations about who can own then and I think you will find that is what the Tories will do.

  49. Also Dean I did ask if you thought that the Tories were incapable of framing good laws in a short time frame instaed of the as you call it knee-jerk reaction. I find it incredible that you have so little confidence in a party you support.

  50. Guns kill people. Killing people is bad. Therefore all guns should be banned.

    Must say I'm concerned about the Quiet Man's caveat - "I've never YET felt the urge...."

  51. tris

    Gun licensing is quite complex and there are different rules and licensing panels depending on whether it's a shotgun or a rifle license. Special Branch get called in where the license is for anything other than a shotgun.
    I found more info here..

    I've never felt comfortable around guns and wouldn't want one but the gun laws have had no effect on gun crime. In fact shootings have increased since the Dunblane crackdown. Gangsters know that they're the only ones with guns and violent burglars know that even if a victim has a gun in the house it's no problem to them because it will be locked away in a metal cupboard.

  52. @ Brownlea

    Guns kill people. Killing people is bad. Therefore all guns should be banned.
    Cars kill people. Killing people is bad. Therefore all cars should be banned.
    Electricity kills people. Killing people is bad. Therefore all electricity should be banned.

    Banning solves nothing.

  53. Yes QM but guns are intended for killing things cars are not and neither is electricity. The fact that these things kill people is an accident (usually). A gun is designed to kill.

  54. Hector. Once again I'm obliged to you.

    It is interesting to note, as yopu point out, that tightening of gun laws, as you say has not delivered a decrease in killings. People, as you say do know that the guns that people own, quite legally, are locked inside cupboards as a rule, and so, if a nut job goes down teh high street killing people, there is very little chance that a passer by will ahve a gun that he can pull out and blast them away.

    I wonder though if these nut jobs give that a second's thought.

    The truth is that you cannot legislate for madmen. You never could. However Care in the Community with a little more of the Care element might go some way towards helping.

    And again, I ask the qyestion, why, in this country, does anyone need to have a gun in thier house.

    If it's for target shooting then it should be in a club under lock and key, and with no way of taking it outside the club. If it is for shooting animals, I should think we ought to have got over that by now.

  55. Munguin,

    It is not about having little trust in my Party- it is about me realising politicians all and universally tend to automatically reach to the 'new laws' bucket asap whenever a crisis like Cumbria happens. More often than not it results in poor laws. See the post Dumblane laws - which have loop holes and inconsistances galore.

    I tend not to automatically trust any of our politician, no matter party alignment.

  56. Hector,

    Cheers for that technical info update. I find that it only strengthens my case. We do not need new laws- we need to improve existing statute. The law as it stands is tough enough on restricting access to gun ownership - what went wrong here was a failure to properly enforce the law; Simon Heffer in his Telegraph column outlines how Bird was never subject to 'any' questions about his record.

    We find poor enforcement and poor post-Dumblane laws. Lets not have a terrible incident be followed up by terrible and hastily drafted laws.

  57. Dean

    Yes I agree. Like most laws they aren't enforced properly. Drunken violence being my main bugbear.

    I think it's 'Dunblane' rather than 'Dumblane' ; )

  58. Yeh Hector, your right about that poor spelling of mine!

    But glad we can see eye to eye on this.

  59. Yes Hector, your right about spelling!

    But yep, its more a matter of enforcement- we don't need tighter laws.

  60. Hector: I'm with you on drunken violence, or being sick all over the pavement .. or leaning against people's walls and sliding down taking with you valuable plants... in fact although I'm not in the least against drunkenness, I am against all public drunkenness

  61. We don't need to be...

    We are an incredibly clever lot, we are inventive and resourceful and we could be great....

  62. Thats always the same story isn't it Tris? We could be great, if it where not for the fools, the greedy and the corrupt...

    but heck, some things are worth fighting for. And a better tomorrow has to be one of them!

  63. Good for you Dean. Well said.

    Now, as a Tory, do you think you could just advise our Tess that she shuld go buy some business suits.

    She really has to try to look the part. She's not off to a garden party. She's at the office to do a day's work!

  64. Quiet Man

    People kill people. Therefore, people should be banned from all lethal weapons, especially guns!