Today I read a fine report on the state of gun crime and the recent Government Legislation. Now, what soon occurred to me was the absurdity of the accusations being made by the reporter who was writing. Allow me to show some of the figures:
Highest increase - 310% North Yorkshire. 28 incidents
Other high rises - 240% Dorset 34 incidents, 100% Wiltshire 26 incidents
Now, am I the only one that thinks this is merely fuelling public hysteria? Having used weapons personally, had some training with them, and also had contact with weapon owners across the pond, I cannot help but see that this is a great inflation of a problem that the government have themselves cause. Talk about creation of a social folkdevil! As it is, the newspapers merely gloss over the fact that over 10 of the regions surveyed had had a drop in gun crime, most significantly Kent's 45% decrease. you really have to ask that, if this problem is so bad, why has it escalated so fast?
Now, let me take you back to 1995. This year was a big stepping stone to what we have with regards gun legislation now. This was the year of the Dunblane massacre, a LICENCED handgun owner used 4 semi-automatic pistols to kill lots of school children and a teacher. That was a tragedy in every sense of the word. But I can't help but sense that it was a police-made incident. Every licenced owner of a firearm is supposed to be checked with health and criminal records to make sure they are mentally stable, as well as being interviewed BY POLICE to see if they are "suitable" to own them. After the massacre, it was released by papers that he had been suffering clinical depression for months, and was suicidal. WHY THE HELL DIDN'T THE POLICE CHECK THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE?!?!?!
So from there and the various incidents that have followed, we reach today. Since 1995, hand guns have been banned (eliminating the sport of pistol shooting - the British "national" team has to train abroad for competition) while restrictions on de-activated weapons, automatics, shotguns, rifles and other firearms have been restricted beyond recognition since 1995. Before Dunblane, the issue of firearms was idle and not worth bother. Since then, the personification of all that is evil in the world within British society is the gangsta in the hood with the illegal pistol ready to "bust a cap in yo ass".
So let's look at the legislation that was brought in this week. Licencing of air rifles brought in and you have to be 17 or over. I'm sorry, but that is laughable. I can just imagine the aforementioned gangsta walkin' up for his gang murdering, as they all do of course, and shooting the person 7 times before he even noticed the pellets had penetrated his jumper. Air rifles are hardly strong enough to cause anything more than a scratch and lead poisoning from the pellets, let alone murder from AN ILLEGAL MACHINE GUN!! 5 years if you are caught with any gun without a good reason. How pointless is that?! How is such a law going to stop the use of concealed firearms? And lastly, the banning of replica weapons without good reason for having them. Erm.... the Home Office check to make sure they could never chamber nor fire a proper, usable round of ammunition. Why even bother with a law like this when the Home Office ALREADY does checks on the weapons already available? "But they import them, and those can be used!". WELL WHY DON'T THEY FUCKING LEARN AND BAN THE BLOODY IMPORTS!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!!
So tell me. If you ban every firearm possible, what will this achieve? More people will use illegal guns. Geez, no criminal is going to walk around with a stick and walk up to ladies and politely ask for their money. Neither, in fact, will criminals give a TOSS whether the weapons are illegal! In fact, I'd say that by banning them, they are making gun use more widespread. The government has an exceptionally naieve policy regards firearms, it would appear.
Surely a better way to lower gun crime (as has been exhibited in Greater Manchester) is to give people more experience with firearms. EDUCATE. To KNOW why they are bad, why they should not be used for ill purpose. As it stands, no one in the country beyond current owners, ex-military personnel and current servicemen know *anything* about weapons. Surely if people new and/or understood firearms, they would not think they were hard or tools for being a bad-ass, but rather things that while serving a purpose should not be used for crimes.
"BUT WAIT!!!" says the young Labour MP in the front row. "We do not want to create a neo-Fascist young gun culture from our youth! Surely reintroducing guns into society would INCREASE gun crime!!" he exclaims! "Bollocks" I reply. Look at countries in our own EU such as Switzerland, where they have no army at all. Every adult from 25 to 32 has a semi-automatic rifle and an allotment of ammunition so that if war comes around, they may take up arms in defence of their country. Do you see them "popping a cap" in the asses of oncoming traffic while at a traffic light? HELL NO. Why? Because the Swiss from a much younger age teach responsibility and carefulness with firearms.
I would rather see a state where the government were tough on gun crime and tougher on the owning of firearms BUT ACTUALLY ALLOWED IT rather than banning them left, right and centre. As a Second World War re-enactor, I am seeing our hobby over the rest of the periods slowly reduced to nothing as anti-gun policy impinges on our representation of our military forces. It's a wonder how we have gold medalist shooters at the Olympics or Commonwealth games when some of them are PICKETED when training ABROAD for the events!
Two words describe this approach: Counter Productive.
Thanks for your time. Venting over.
Peter Cooper - Finally returned. He can't even believe Larry Miller beat him there!!
Editor's Note: This is more like it! A bit of controversy! Ban all guns from Britain?! Never! The suicide rate amongst the farmers would fall dramatically and that would never do! Peter, welcome to the board. Good to see you putting yourself in the firing line so quickly.