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Cumbria and the risk from guns

Mark Easton | 11:20 UK time, Friday, 4 June 2010

As the prime minister and home secretary meet people in Cumbria today there will be voices urging them to do something to ensure that the horrors of this week can never be visited on another community.

David Cameron has already warned against a knee-jerk response but there will be a review of our gun laws when the facts are known, the dust has settled and the scars have begun to heal.

Before ministers consider tightening what are already some of the toughest gun-ownership laws in the world, however, it might be worth seeking answers to two questions:

• Is there a link between gun ownership and mass killings?
• Would further restrictions on gun ownership be justified?

To answer the first question, I have done a few back-of-an-envelope calculations and pulled together all the documented cases of mass shootings I could find from the last 50 years.

Only 18 countries have experienced more than one such tragedy.

Gun data

Column two shows that the USA has experienced the greatest number with 24 cases, followed by China with 18 and Israel with 11. Given that Israel has a population of around 7.5 million compared with China's population of 1,300 million (see column three), it is clearly important to see such incidents in the context of the size of the country.

Column four provides a rough estimate of the relationship between population and mass killings - the number of incidents in the last half a century for every 10 million people.

The last column lists the number of legally held guns per 100 people. The main source for this is the Small Arms Survey [2.02MB PDF] compiled by the Geneva Graduate Institute of International Studies.

The experience of Israel and the Palestinian Territories is by far the most acute when it comes to an individual opening fire on a crowd of strangers.

It could be argued that these events, in the context of the crisis in the Middle East, are fundamentally different from, say, school shootings in the United States or this week's massacre in Cumbria.

It is wrong to argue that the only factor increasing the risk from mass killings is the availability of guns; on the other hand, without access to firearms, such slaughters would be almost impossible. Derrick Bird could not have completed his murderous journey without his guns.

I have not been able to find figures for gun ownership in Israel but it is widely reported to be very high. For the purposes of this exercise, however, let us put the Middle East situation to one side and focus on the countries for which we do have ownership figures.

The seven countries with the highest known levels are USA, Yemen, Finland, France, Canada, Germany and South Africa. Britain, it emerges, has relatively low levels of gun ownership by international standards, estimated at 5.6 guns per 100 people.

Excluding those places for which we don't have ownership data, the seven countries with the highest number of mass killings per capita are exactly the same seven countries - albeit in a different order.

This suggests a correlation between access to guns and the risk of suffering mass shootings. Hardly surprising, perhaps.

It is worth pointing out that there are some countries with gun-ownership levels above 30 in 100 which have not experienced two or more mass killings in the last 50 years, Sweden, Switzerland and Serbia.

However, there was a mass killing in Switzerland in 2001 in which 14 people died, in Sweden in 1994 when seven people were shot dead and nine people died in a mass shooting in Serbia in 2007.

The second question, then, is whether the events in Cumbria justify further restrictions on gun ownership.

What the table shows is just how rare these kinds of incidents are. Britain has only experienced three in the last 50 years - possibly ever: Hungerford in 1987, Dunblane in 1996 and now Cumbria.

All are profoundly shocking and tragic moments in our history. All must prompt us to look at how our government and our society can respond most effectively. But there is always a balance to be struck between reducing small risks and restricting vital freedoms.

Update 1459: Thank you to Steve Hunt (comment 6 below) for pointing out that South Africa should move further up the table - corrected above.

Comments

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  • 1. At 11:44am on 04 Jun 2010, CComment wrote:

    The bottom line is that you can't ever legislate for someone going crazy who decides to start killing people. If there are no guns, they'll use a knife. If there are no knives, they'll use a club. If there are no clubs, they'll run people over with their cars. Things don't kill people - people kill people. So whether it's some politician on the make, or an anti-gun lobby trying to make capital, or the media insinuating that somehow Cumbria police are negligent, all these reactions are as nonsensical as they are meaningless. Caledonian Comment

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  • 2. At 12:00pm on 04 Jun 2010, Kudospeter wrote:

    I find it difficult to see a justification why a British Taxi driver would need to keep a rifle and a shot gun. Intuitavily as well as the statistics the keeping of wepons is going to lead to a loss of innocent lives. Surely even if it was felt the freedom to use of weapons for recreation outweighed loss of life the weapons could be modified e.g air rifles (though these are too dangerous for me) or kept at secure registered sites.

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  • 3. At 12:18pm on 04 Jun 2010, Pseudo_John_Savage wrote:

    There were several wars in the 20th century which left the UK awash with personal guns of all types. Many people had been mentally traumatised, or brutalised, by their experiences of war. The social and economic conditions that came with a return to Civvy Street made personal matters worse for many people. Yet it appears that there were no mass shooting incidents? Either the figures are incomplete - or the supposed relationship with the number of guns held by non-criminal citizens is incorrect.

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  • 4. At 12:22pm on 04 Jun 2010, Jeremy wrote:

    Re Caledonian Comment - whilst it is true that people kill people, it is much easier to massacre people with high powered guns than it is with a knife or club or car. The Port Arthur massacre in Australia showed that: the murderer, Bryant, was able to kill around 20 people in two minutes because of his high calibre weapons. He wouldn't have been able to kill so many with a knife or club or car, certainly not in that space of time, people would have had time to escape if that had been the case.

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  • 5. At 12:23pm on 04 Jun 2010, tinkertaylor wrote:

    I agree with Cameron that governments cannot legislate against what makes people do these things.

    It is incredibily refreshing after the previous government, whose attitude was that the state could control thought and behaviour.

    However I also heard one of the witnesses ask why anyone needs a gun? If people want to use and enjoy guns, then they can go to a gun club.

    I admit I tended to agree. To me, though, that's a seperate issue to what has happened in Cumbria. To me that's a general of issue of "why?" and "for what purpose" would anyone need to own a gun.

    I'd half say that farmers are about the only people I can think of who may need guns - but the farmer next to us seems to only use his to shoot pheasants for fun. If there are genuine reasons for someone to need a gun, then this needs to be established first, before knee-jerk reactions are made.

    However I still am unsure how Derrick Bird remained loose for three hours to complete his killing spree? Three hours seems a very long time. Again there may be reasons unknown in this factor, but this to me seems to be a major factor in the number of deaths and in three hours Derrick Bird would have killed as many with a knife or any other implement.

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  • 6. At 1:03pm on 04 Jun 2010, Steve Hunt wrote:

    Interesting to see someone attempt to look at the statistics. Please check your sums - at least one is wrong (South Africa should be 1.0 not 0.1).

    A few observations.

    Firstly, why only count mass shootings? Although mass shootings naturally get a lot more attention than one-off shootings, surely the total number of people shot per capita per year is what we really care about, regardless of whether they were killed one at a time or en masse.

    Secondly, you are analyzing numbers of legally held firearms, but it is not clear whether your crime data includes crimes performed with illegal firearms or is, similarly, restricted to those done with legally-held ones.

    Thirdly, although you note a correlation, it appears to be quite a weak one. For example according to your data the USA has 16 times as many legally held guns as the UK, and yet only 1.6 times the incidence of mass shootings per 10m people.

    Finally, we should consider whether a person of a murderous nature, unable to acquire weapons legally, would instead have acquired them illegally. There is no reason to assume that a lack of legal weapons would have necessarily prevented the recent tragedy.

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  • 7. At 1:05pm on 04 Jun 2010, Granville wrote:

    When applying for a Firearms Certificate one must give a valid reason for wanting the firearm. In the case of a .22 rifle this could be one of three reasons. You could be a collector, or you could be a target shooter, or you could be a vermin shooter - i.e shooting rabbits and foxes on farmland. In each case very stringent proofs have to be offered and approved by the police. In the case of a shotgun the proofs are less strict, but you are still required to show the police 'good reason'. It will be interesting to see under which categories Derrick Bird's certificates were issued.

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  • 8. At 1:06pm on 04 Jun 2010, Tony Platts wrote:

    @ kudospeter 12pm 4th June

    Please explain why you think a taxi driver shouldn't legally own a gun?

    Are taxi drivers not allowed to have certain hobbies?

    FYI shooting is one of the most egalitarian of pastimes.

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  • 9. At 1:08pm on 04 Jun 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    Derrick Bird could not have completed his murderous journey without his guns.


    I'm sorry Mark but that is a pathetic statement to make and is a piece of very poor journalism.

    In 2001 there was a massacre at a school in Osaka where the former janitor returned to the school armed with a knife, killed eight people and injured 15 more.

    China is also suffering from a lot of mass murders at the moment where people are being killed by knives. There have been several of these attacks recently, mainly centred around schools, where multiple people have been killed by someone armed only with a knife in each case.

    To suggest that guns, and only guns, allow people to commit such crimes is nothing short of propaganda and misinformation. This attack could have been just as deadly had Mr Bird been armed with nothing more than a bread knife.

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  • 10. At 1:09pm on 04 Jun 2010, stanilic wrote:

    I think what this proves is that there is little advantage to be gained from banning the ownership of guns but a great deal to be achieved through the risk management of gun ownership and the refinement of such techniques.

    Even if all guns are banned they would still exist only this time underground and untraceable. This would be ensure that only the worst sort would be armed. There could be even more shoot-outs as a consequence.

    I cannot understand what people see in guns but I once worked with a former sergeant armourer who was also a very skilled rifleman. He loved target shooting and could bore for England on the subject. He was also probably the most sane and dependable man I will ever know. There would be no sense in destroying the enjoyment of such people even though one does not understand the rationale for their humour.

    We need to understand more about the human psyche. Why do mainly angry men go on the rampage? One consistent factor seems to be their loneliness and marginal status. Is this the price we have to pay for the increasing fragmentation of society? Are these violent excretions an expression of individual alienation? Have we destroyed any sense of community, communal values and social solidarity?

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  • 11. At 1:09pm on 04 Jun 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    Does the figure for china include the several recent spree killings in schools using KNIVES to kill the children?

    The chinese response was interesting. Rather than futile measures to ban knives, their government looked at the root cause rather than the tool being used.

    They controlled news coverage of the school killings.

    We have now had several days of blanket coverage of cumbria, turning a nobody into a celebrity. What a way to go out! No longer a bullied, pathetic tax debtor but a hugely famous, hugely powerful and feared rambo!

    I think we have to ask the question: if someone else does this next week - where will he have got the idea from?

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  • 12. At 1:36pm on 04 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    Those in the UK who keep guns (except the police and security forces) should be shown on a current publicly viewable data-base showing the name and recent photograph of those holding the firearms, their licensing police officer/station and other relevant details including full details of their monitoring officer and a confidential publicly accessible telephone number for making representations on their fitness to hold firearms.

    I have known of a few who hold valid firearms who would be likely to be dispossed of their firearms if such a transparent public information scheme were to be applied.

    The public have a right to know who is legally holding firearms whether it be e.g. their boyfriend, next door neighbour or someone at their work place.

    Until this is in place ... no is safe anywhere ... and if and when it is in place the public will themselves police those with a morbid fascination of firearms whether it be shooting at targets or blasting little rabbits to bits.

    We have a right to know and doing something about those who are perceived to be a 'risk' - we can't wait for rural and other police forces sorting themselves out.

    The other thing is that those who do or would keep guns would know that they are constanly under observation by those around them... and the other great benefit of a transparent public register is that... it would be extremely cost effective and would put all licensed gun holders under scrutiny with very low resource input.

    The other thing is that I think that all serving UK police officers (an possibly some who are retired) with e.g. more than 3 years service should be given the option to carry firearms at ay time - concealed or otherwise, in the cause of public duty and security.

    Think radical - get it right ... let's be ready ... for the next time!


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  • 13. At 1:37pm on 04 Jun 2010, Laurence wrote:

    I don't think anyone can really argue against availability of guns and the likelihood of mass killings - the more people who have access to these weapons the more likely it is that when one of them goes crazy that they will possess a gun - and therefore more likely that they will use it.
    I also don't think anyone can reasonably argue against the fact that posessing a gun gives someone more scope to kill more people than say a knife. If those taxi drivers had been attacked with a knife it's likely they would have overpowered their assailant. A gun allows a person to kill at a distance whereas a knife or club needs personal contact.
    That said, I don't think it's as easy as comparing registered holders of firearms against population size - I think there are a lot of environmental factors (including cultural factors) that come into play. Rather than tightening gun laws, maybe regular inspections of license holders should be undertaken - in the recent case, regular inspections may have picked up on the large amount of ammunition etc (as reported) present and steps taken to reduce that threat.

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  • 14. At 1:38pm on 04 Jun 2010, mjcraughwell456 wrote:


    There is no further justification to restrict gun ownership even further than it already is.

    There was a genuine case with the hungerford massacre (why would anybody need automatic weapons which are purely designed to kill people) or half a dozen high calibre military style manstopper pistols, which unlike their .22 counterparts again were purely designed for stopping people.

    However this individual used firearms whose intended design was not for killing people, the shotgun historically was designed for shooting water fowl, and the .22 calibre rifle was created for poor small land holders and householders to dispatch vermin, many people on the anti-gun lobby lose sight of this and just.

    I see someone makes reference to the port Arthur massacre, again an event where the perpetrator used a high powered military assault rifle, not a .22 or double barreled shotgun

    Taxi driver argument aside, I think it is ridiculous and discriminatory to start forbidding firearms or firearm related hobbies based upon your profession, location maybe (I.e what justification would a London city center cabby have other than a target club?), the London city Rifle club based at Bisley has operated since 1850 and whose membership consists entirely of people who live and work in the city, most store their high powered target rifles at home, by virtue of what some people here suggest we should ban them because we reckon their profession doesn't fit with doing shooting as a spare time hobby?

    As a person who has been around firearms as a recreational and working past time most of my adult life I think the only current amendment we should have is that your local GP should know if you are have a shotgun or firearms certificate holder, who should without delay pass on any suspicions of a troubled mind to the police.

    But any more restrictions would be wholly unnecessary and infringe upon the vast majority of us who have enjoyed our past time for many years well within the law.

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  • 15. At 1:39pm on 04 Jun 2010, SSnotbanned wrote:

    It's easy to say ''you can't legislate for 'a switch being flicked in someone's head' '' and '' it's not the gun, but the person using it'' and then neglect one's responsibilites as individuals and as a government.
    Doing nothing,saying nothing has left this coalition government undeniably impotent.

    There is any amount of things that can be done.

    For example.
    Hold all the private guns in a central office. Released by signature and witness by responsible staff. The user could then be accompanied on the use of the gun, by a responsible person, before it is signed back. Constant communication could be maintained,use,location etc, while the gun is (safe)in use.
    Had this been done, this massacre of innocents would not have happened.

    But it doesn't seem to be about people.

    Nobody seems to understand how it happened, so nobody is to blame, so nothing gets done.

    On Responsibility,it shouldn't be the default position.

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  • 16. At 1:49pm on 04 Jun 2010, circlingthedrain wrote:

    Away from the issue of gun control, I see that the Home Secretary has said that there will be more money available to Cumbria Police for their investigation.

    Without wanting to appear callous, is there much investigation to do? The police could spend ages and millions of pounds collecting all the evidence, but why? What are they going to do:
    Prosecute the corpse of Derrick Bird like some medieval trial?
    Prosecute the local poice / magistrates for negligence in issuing gun licenses or not following up on reports?
    Do they think he had an accomplice, or someone else actaully did it?
    Try to determine his motives on the day?

    It may provide some comfort to the families of the victims to have their questions answered but, in a country where people die because we can't afford cancer medicine, is that really the best way to spend our money?

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  • 17. At 1:59pm on 04 Jun 2010, SSnotbanned wrote:

    Mark, it WOULD BE WRONG TO UNDERESTIMATE what psychologists call the ''availibilty error'' and correlated gun crime. Some studies suggest it(gun crime and availibility) is more positively correlated/statistically significant with illegal guns.

    Mr Bird's guns were, apparently, legally held, but Mr Bird had committed at least one criminal offence, albeit theft and apparently, was under investigation by tax authorities.

    Because of this it is important to remember that reasons for refusing gun licence only occur if caught(criminal offences) or exhibiting inappropriate behaviour(doctor's letter/certificate,referee).

    Perhaps it is simply that Mr Bird himself only knew he shouldn't have a gun licence and was able to fool the community. As some reports suggest on his character.

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  • 18. At 2:00pm on 04 Jun 2010, Marc the Unruly wrote:

    I think you should (unfortunately) include Australia. As well as the Port Arthur massacre there was at least 1 and I think 2 in Melbourne and one in Strathfield in Sydney in the late '80s.
    In support of Steve Hunt's comment above. Following the decision in Australia to prohibit military style semi-automatics after Port Arthur, I was discussing in a taxi whether it would make a difference. My view was that it wouldn't any difference whereas my collegue thought it would. As I exited the taxi, the driver turned around and told me I was right. He said if he knew me and trusted me, he could get me a fully automatic Uzi in 15 minutes, and this in a country town of 25,000 people.

    Mark

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  • 19. At 2:09pm on 04 Jun 2010, Fenrir1 wrote:

    there has been much comment about why a taxi driver might want to own a rifle and a shotgun, probably for much the same reason another taxi driver might want to own a set of golf clubs or an estate agent want to own a pair of skis. People have hobbies away from their normal work lives and in order to participate in them fully often purchase and own equipment associated with the sport.

    Living as he did in a rural community he would in all probability have been given permission by local farmers to shoot rabbits and other pests damaging the crops.

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  • 20. At 2:14pm on 04 Jun 2010, Stefan Nonsense wrote:

    Tony Platts - "Are taxi drivers not allowed to have certain hobbies?"

    Yes, but what's wrong with pursuing that hobby at a gun club?
    Farmers are the only people with a legitimate reason to have a gun in the house.

    This NRA argument about "guns don't kill people, people kill people" is utter tripe. Of course a lunatic can still kill people with a knife, but not nearly so easily as he can with a rifle. The act of getting close to somebody and striking them down is very different from the impersonal act of pulling a trigger from a safe distance.

    Murders will still happen without guns, but without guns in the community you massively reduce the odds. Mark, your statistics bear that out.

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  • 21. At 2:27pm on 04 Jun 2010, Pete wrote:

    Oh not again. How to make statistics say what you want. As people have previously commented, you cannot legislate for complete lunatics. If they want to kill people they will use a knife or a car.
    This list of countries to me says that actually gun ownership is not a major factor in mass killings. So the UK has 0.5 mass killings per 10m population whereas the US has 0.8. Pretty much the same? Then take a look at the gun ownership numbers where 90 in 100 own guns in the US as opposed to our 5.6.
    Surely this says that actually it has nothing to do with the availibility of weapons.
    As an American friend of mine frequently tells me, an armed society is a polite society.
    In small town America I can't help but wonder if the Cumbrian lunatic would have been stopped earlier by a vigilant armed citizen.

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  • 22. At 2:34pm on 04 Jun 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    #2 Kudospeter. Do you have any idea what an air rifle is? I've been shot with one. It really damn well hurt but I pulled the pellet out with tweezers. An air rifle is hundreds of times less dangerous than a steak knife. If one of those is stuck in you it takes more than tweezers and swearing to remove it.

    Getting back on track, it precisely because spree killings are so uncommon that Marks stats are meaningless. There are 1.5M legal shotguns in Britain. 1 was misused. To put it into context 1 in 1000 people given penicillin at random will die from the drug.

    He notes, but does not include, nations like Sweden and Switzerland with very high levels of gun ownership and very low levels of gun crime because to do so would show there is no link between guns and spree killing. The problem is the cultures of the different nations. Far too many Americans think they're John Wayne. On the HYS forum its overwhelmed with comments from Virginians and Texans saying 'if everyone had a gun Bird would have been shot dead in seconds'.

    Its this attitude to guns that is is the problem. Its the same with booze. Give a Brit enough wine and he'll drink himself silly. Give an Italian the same booze and he won't. Its not the wine bottle that causes the problem but the drinker.

    I'm an ex-soldier so am well used to guns and its precisely because I used to carry one daily for years that I don't think members of the public should. They don't have the training or responsibility. Our weapons were locked up when we didn't need them and every round of ammo accounted for. The problem is the attention given to the gun, not the man. If you have a disturbed violent man with a gun and just remove his gun then you still have a disturbed violent man loose in the community. THAT is the problem, not his shotgun.

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  • 23. At 2:40pm on 04 Jun 2010, Lazarus wrote:

    Mark Easton using statistics again to back up yet another ill-informed and presumptive article?

    Where's the facepalm icon when you need one?

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  • 24. At 2:41pm on 04 Jun 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    #5 "However I still am unsure how Derrick Bird remained loose for three hours to complete his killing spree? Three hours seems a very long time"

    Because our police don't routinely carry weapons (and even if they did I wouldn't chance a pistol against a rifle with sniper scope) the police in Whitehaven had nothing to stop him with. I know we hold our police in contempt but it seems unreasonable to expect them to try and tackle a man with two firearms with pepper spray and a truncheon. After Bird left Whitehaven his car could drive as fast as the vehicles bringing the armed response units and the roads in Cumbria are quite poor and Birds destination unknown.

    Its rather like a very stupid comment I read on HYS demanding to know why it took 30 minutes for a helicopter to reach a wounded British soldier. The fact that the helicopter flies at 100mph and its base was 50 miles from the wounded soldier didn't seem to cross the posters mind.

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  • 25. At 2:51pm on 04 Jun 2010, geraintdmorgan wrote:

    why only include those countries which had 2 or more incidents? that seems like some self-selection of the data. excluding say Switzerland (with its very high rates of ownership) and not trying to explain the absence of incidents is just as important as trying to explain why incidents have occured in the places that have.

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  • 26. At 3:02pm on 04 Jun 2010, Linker wrote:

    nautonier your idea for a publically accessible database on who owns firearms is profoundly stupid. You do realise that people like to steal legally held firearms even ones that are securely stored? How long would it be until criminals realised this and began stealing the guns? A gun cabinet only really deters opportunistic thieves they're no match for those who come equipped - so then we'd have scores of firearms floating around in the hands of criminals. That'll make sure fewer people get shot.

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  • 27. At 3:04pm on 04 Jun 2010, BPH wrote:

    Sorry Nautonier but publishing details of legal gun owners would be very stupid. The police would rightly never allow a list of locations of firarms to be available to any criminal who wanted to source one.

    It also smacks of a "sex offenders register" type situation for individuals who have done nothing wrong and nothing to feel guilty about.

    I don't think this would have prevented this tragedy.

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  • 28. At 3:05pm on 04 Jun 2010, Landroverchick wrote:

    @ nautonier: So you would make a database of the location and owners of all firearms available for everyone to see? Really? You want to tell EVERYONE where they can go and threaten someone to hand over their firearms by holding them or their families hostage? What a singularly bad idea...

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  • 29. At 3:05pm on 04 Jun 2010, AJS wrote:

    The very fact that this event is even newsworthy just goes to show how rare incidents of this nature are.

    The existing laws are working, mostly.

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  • 30. At 3:05pm on 04 Jun 2010, CR wrote:

    According to Home Office statistics overall gun crime in the UK has more than doubled since the handgun ban in 1997, which clearly demonstrates that tougher restrictions simply aren't the answer.
    While firearms might make it easier to commit these acts you don't need a gun to be a mass murderer, just look at the recent mass killings in China where knives were used to kill scores of children.

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  • 31. At 3:06pm on 04 Jun 2010, Tim wrote:

    I'm certainly no fan of guns and personally I would be quite happy for them to be banned, but in the interests of balance...

    Average number of people killed annually in mass shootings in Great Gritain since 1960:
    < 1

    Average number of people killed annually in road accidents in Great Britain (1992 - 2002 ONS Statistics - just for comparison):
    3604

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  • 32. At 3:06pm on 04 Jun 2010, netherwoods wrote:

    It's only natural to question gun laws after such an incident. The main question after this must surely be should a gun licence be revoked if someone is found guilty of theft or is sacked for gross misconduct at work as it seems he was? Surely the answer has to be yes i.e. if actions highlight character flaws, a change in circumstances, wider problems or could lead to holding a grudge then their licence should be revoked.

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  • 33. At 3:06pm on 04 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    Following on from 12 ...

    The other issue ... a total mad-person would keep shooting and run out of ammunition... and thereby not have enough rounds left to finish themselves as a last, defiant act of suicide.

    Yet, the worst of these gun mass muderers stay remarkably composed throughout their gory trail of detruction.. and find time and one or two spare bullets ... to finish off themselves.

    To some extent, these crimes are pre-meditated and controlled by the perpetrators.

    In other words, I think, some of these crimes could and should have been prevented if a publicly transparent database of firearm holders is maintained ... especially now with internet access to such information, for millions of members of the public.

    I know of a guy who visits his office and walks around a major city centre with a 12 bore strapped to his shoulder in a holdall, for all observant eyes to see ... ready to go out 'shooting' in the afternoon from work. Is this illegal? ( I've been ready with a 'cricket bat' a time or two)

    As to the link between those countries having a larger proportion of mass shootings ... what links them is vast economic and other inequalities ... STRESS!

    Very scary indeed!

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  • 34. At 3:12pm on 04 Jun 2010, BPH wrote:

    "The user could then be accompanied on the use of the gun, by a responsible person"

    And the first person shot after signing out the gun is the responsible person? Certainly wouldn't stop a madman intent on a killing spree.

    Current legislation is fairly tight, It should certainly be looked at to see if there is a way of preventing this sort of tragedy happening again but banning private ownership of firearms within the law is not the solution.


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  • 35. At 3:14pm on 04 Jun 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    #15 "Hold all the private guns in a central office. Released by signature and witness by responsible staff. The user could then be accompanied on the use of the gun, by a responsible person, before it is signed back. Constant communication could be maintained,use,location etc, while the gun is (safe)in use.
    Had this been done, this massacre of innocents would not have happened"

    Thats possibly the most ridiculous idea I've ever heard. Even playing along with your pantomime idea what is to stop the holder of the gun once it is loaded shooting the responsible person then going on the rampage?

    As farmers keep shotguns to shoot vermin are you seriously suggesting that when a farmer sees a fox in among his hens he waits until 9-5, Mon-Fri to check out his shotgun?

    As hundreds more are killed by knives than guns in the UK maybe I should be forced to keep all my kitchen knives at my local police station and have a PC escort the knife to my kitchen, watch me cut up my steak, then take it back again? If you think thats being flippant read this:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/derbyshire/10219134.stm
    On the same day that Bird shot 12 a man killed his partner, her 23 month old kid them himself just up the road from me with a kitchen knife. Are there deaths less worthy of attention than the ones in Cumbria?

    "Doing nothing,saying nothing has left this coalition government undeniably impotent". They're impotent because they don't have a TARDIS. NOTHING can make this better. Passing some knee jerk law less than two days after the incident is the sort of stupid knee jerk reaction that we can well do without.

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  • 36. At 3:15pm on 04 Jun 2010, toni49 wrote:

    Excluding nations which have not had two or more mass killings drastically changes the meanings of these results. Why were they not included?

    Even using these data, the useful thing to know would be what is the number of mass killings per gun owner, and whether this does actually scale up and down accurately.

    For those where gun ownership data are reported, the number of mass killings per ten million gun owners are:

    Finland 7.3
    Yemen 2.0
    Germany 2.8
    Canada 2.8
    France 2.4
    USA 0.9
    UK 8.6
    Philipines 11.6
    Colombia 6.1
    Russia 3.9
    China 4.0
    South Africa 7.8
    India 0.4

    The average is 4.7


    As these number vary (and that variation is statistically significant), it seems a little unrealistic to assume that reducing gun ownership is the only or best way to stop mass killings. If it were that simple, we could expect to the number or mass killings per ten million gun owners to be reasonably consistent.

    Perhaps we should ask why the UK has twice as many as the average, and why other countries, such as Germany, Canada and India have lower than average.

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  • 37. At 3:16pm on 04 Jun 2010, Il Pirata wrote:

    Legal gun owners are responsible for a timy fraction of those killed by guns each year in the UK. We kill more people on the road every day. Get the threat in perspective. If you are serious about saving lives limit all cars to 30 mph in built up areas. Also why do anti gun types trust the police with guns they manage to shoot each other by accident with some regularity. Legal gun owners are highly trained, massively safety conscious and law abiding people - Perhaps a widening of gun ownership would have resulted in the madman being stopped before the killed so many?

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  • 38. At 3:18pm on 04 Jun 2010, SimonLondon wrote:

    "Caledonian Comment wrote: The bottom line is that you can't ever legislate for someone going crazy who decides to start killing people. If there are no guns, they'll use a knife. If there are no knives, they'll use a club. If there are no clubs, they'll run people over with their cars. Things don't kill people - people kill people."

    A police man on patrol with a taser and gas can stop a maniac with a knife, baseball bat, or a machete. If he has a gun the officer is toast. No point waiting for armed response, it is too late then. If the maniac uses a car, he will probably damage the car or himself and inflate the air bags, restricting it's further use. You you run from a knife, but not from a bullet. There have been no more massacres with automatic weapons or hand guns, inner city gangsters have illegal weapons and it is a different point. The bottom line really is, if shotguns and rifles were restricted to those that really need them and gun clubs, these people would all still be alive today. His motives are irrelevant. I'm sure Cameron being a friend of the country side elite, will veto any ban, as he is already hinting.

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  • 39. At 3:20pm on 04 Jun 2010, Algol60 wrote:

    A man tried to aid a friend but "his face had been shot away". Derrick Bird, a quiet, friendly man, shot dead twelve people, six in the face: three he knew, nine were strangers; he wounded others.

    His guns were licensed. The UK's rules for owning a shotgun require completion of forms, certifications by doctors and police, and showing "good reason" to have one. Bird's shotgun blew faces away.

    His "good reason"? Hunting: he liked blowing away creatures' faces -- for fun.

    Certainly, he could have had this state-of-mind without a gun, but his urge to kill people would have been thwarted by the need to tackle each victim at close quarters.

    Who next will turn violent? Another "good reason" person? Licensing use of guns so people can kill for fun seems a point worthy of discussion.

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  • 40. At 3:22pm on 04 Jun 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    #18 "As I exited the taxi, the driver turned around and told me I was right. He said if he knew me and trusted me, he could get me a fully automatic Uzi in 15 minutes, and this in a country town of 25,000 people."

    I believe you. I couldn't do it now but in the past I could easily have got an illegal weapon. I served in the army and knew friends of friends who claimed they would sell weapons (usually brought in from the Balkans) and I knew a publican that would pay very good money for stolen army ammo (which implies someone had a weapon that would fire 5.56mm Nato ammo). After that I had a Greek girlfriend who's Grandfather was a resistance leader- he had over 1000 ex-German army weapons in a barn and a cave in Crete. Brand new still in their waxed paper wrappings (in case the Germans came back.......) My grandfather had a Luger with full magazine he brought back from Germany after the war. I stole that from him 10 years ago and handed it into the police to stop someone else stealing it and using it on him. My sole brush with the law is a single parking ticket. It seems reasonable to assume that someone with criminal links could get a better range of weapons than this.

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  • 41. At 3:28pm on 04 Jun 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    #20 "Murders will still happen without guns, but without guns in the community you massively reduce the odds. Mark, your statistics bear that out."

    It does. Because Mark doesn't include the stats from countries like Switzerland where almost everyone has a fully automatic weapon at home yet gun crime is very low. Nor does he include figures for individual gun crimes or define what a mass killing is. 2? 5? 10? Nor does he compare it to total murders in that country which gives an idea of the general level of violence in that country. The figures are complete nonsense.

    If you only include the nations stats that prove your point then the stats will prove whatever you want them to prove.

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  • 42. At 3:31pm on 04 Jun 2010, toni49 wrote:

    13. At 1:37pm on 04 Jun 2010, Laurence wrote:

    "I don't think anyone can really argue against availability of guns and the likelihood of mass killings"

    See my data analysis, comment 36. Unless of course you have some other data analysis or research paper proving your point that you'd care to share. More importantly, as suggested by SSnotbanned, the correlation with illegal guns may well be more significant.


    16. At 1:49pm on 04 Jun 2010, circlingthedrain wrote:

    "Without wanting to appear callous, is there much investigation to do?"

    They could find the root causes of his behaviour to see if something could have prevented him losing control. Thus mental health may begin to be taken more seriously in the UK.


    20. At 2:14pm on 04 Jun 2010, Stefan_Nonsense wrote:

    "Farmers are the only people with a legitimate reason to have a gun in the house."

    What if farmers are busy farming and are happy to allow others to shoot livelihood destroying pests on their property for free?

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  • 43. At 3:33pm on 04 Jun 2010, D Dortman wrote:

    I don't see how it's actually feasible to ban shotguns in the UK, they have legitimate rural use, and through organised shoots are a multi-million pound business in many areas.



    But a total ban is the only way to stop such things (although it'll never stop the criminal element as hand-gun crime has shown since their total ban).

    But then frankly alcohol kills more people than guns in the UK, so should that be totally banned too?

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  • 44. At 3:35pm on 04 Jun 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    nautonier wrote:
    Those in the UK who keep guns (except the police and security forces) should be shown on a current publicly viewable data-base showing the name and recent photograph of those holding the firearms, their licensing police officer/station and other relevant details including full details of their monitoring officer and a confidential publicly accessible telephone number for making representations on their fitness to hold firearms.


    What do you do when criminal gangs start using this database to find everyone who owns a gun and then starts following them home in order to steal their guns ?

    If there is a recent photograph of the gun owner and information relating to the area they live in then you are effectively giving criminal gangs a new tool to find a new supply of free weapons.

    Your database would result in law abiding people being targeted by criminals who would use force to steal their guns.



    SSnotbanned wrote:
    Hold all the private guns in a central office. Released by signature and witness by responsible staff. The user could then be accompanied on the use of the gun, by a responsible person, before it is signed back. Constant communication could be maintained,use,location etc, while the gun is (safe)in use.
    Had this been done, this massacre of innocents would not have happened.



    And how are we going to fund this ?
    There are thousands of gun owners in the country and unless you're going to restrict how often they use their guns then we would need an army of people to accompany them when they use their guns. This means that for every gun owner we would need at least one person to accompany them which means you'd have to employ at least 10% more people than there are gun owners to account for holidays, sickness etc.

    How are you going to fund the transport, accommodation and other expenses of these people when they have to accompany someone from the south coast when they go on shoot in Scotland ?

    And what if the people working in this central office go crazy and decide to go on a rampage with all of the weapons stored in their location ?
    And what’s to stop the individual from killing the person accompanying them and then turning the gun on the general public ?

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  • 45. At 3:36pm on 04 Jun 2010, fishinmad wrote:

    Nautonier @12, your comment has to be simply the most idiotic, dimwitted piece of drivel ever posted on HYS, and that took some doing. However, thank you for posting it any way as you raise a fantastic example of the illogical thought-processes which we must do all we can to avoid.

    I have to say this and I hope the mods let me as I actually have a point to make.
    A publicly viewable register of gun-owners, have you even thought this through at all? Are you indeed capable of logical thought? You don't betray much evidence of either I'm sorry to have to say.

    Such a register as you propose would provide criminals with all the information they need to target, rob, attack - and who knows - maybe even kill yet more decent law-abiding citizens. Plus get free firearms, more illegal guns on the street. The innocent victimised and the criminal enabled and even more heavily armed - really - is that what you really want?
    If yes, you are a monster!

    I'm not a great fan of DC, but when he declared that he wanted to avoid knee-jerk, emotion-driven, badly formulated and counter-productive legislation he was absolutely correct!
    Who knows? Maybe he had views like yours in mind when he decided on that approach.

    I hope sticks to his current approach and that none of the advice he listens to is provided by idiots like you.

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  • 46. At 3:40pm on 04 Jun 2010, D Dortman wrote:

    For example.
    Hold all the private guns in a central office. Released by signature and witness by responsible staff. The user could then be accompanied on the use of the gun, by a responsible person, before it is signed back. Constant communication could be maintained,use,location etc, while the gun is (safe)in use.
    Had this been done, this massacre of innocents would not have happened.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------



    But then he could have just shot the "responsible person" FIRST, then gone on his rampage.

    Plus taxes will inevitably have to rise if every farmer that wants to control animal pests has to be accompanied by someone (paid for by the tax-payer I assume) every time they need to do so.

    Currently violence mixed with knives and/or alcohol kill more people in the UK than guns.

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  • 47. At 3:40pm on 04 Jun 2010, tacrepus wrote:

    People can throw out all the statistics they can find, but it won't change one unalterable truth; if you don't have a gun you can't shoot anyone. The argument that no guns leads to the use of knives and clubs is laughable. Most of those who go on shooting rampages would be unlikely to exhibit the same kind of behaviour if it meant they had to do it at very close range. And even if they did, there would be many fewer victims, far fewer fatalities and much more chance of the perpetrator being overpowered, or incapaciated, long before they got into their stride. Bssides which, in 21st century England, why does anyone need to own a firearm? Unless it is to bolster an inadequate ego. And which is a very good reason to deny permission.

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  • 48. At 3:41pm on 04 Jun 2010, D Dortman wrote:

    12. At 1:36pm on 04 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    Those in the UK who keep guns (except the police and security forces) should be shown on a current publicly viewable data-base showing the name and recent photograph of those holding the firearms, their licensing police officer/station and other relevant details including full details of their monitoring officer and a confidential publicly accessible telephone number for making representations on their fitness to hold firearms.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------


    And yet by all accounts that system would NOT have barred Bird from holding the weapons licences and weapons he did.

    As until he actually did this he exhibited nothing that would have barred him from owning a gun.

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  • 49. At 3:45pm on 04 Jun 2010, Buzzardstubble since 2007 wrote:

    I am encouraged that The Prime Minister has said that it would be wrong to have a knee jerk reaction to this incident. That is exactly what the previous Conservative administration were guilty of, when they proposed a ban on pistols following Dunblane.
    Essentially the two incidents are very similar, involving licensed firearms and multiple victims.

    Rifles and shotguns are held predominantly for sporting purposes (and there will be a wealth of first hand advice available to Mr Cameron from within the membership of his own party on this) with purely vermin control being a small contributor.

    Without second guessing the outcome, can I suggest that IF it is decided that shotguns and rifles will NOT be proscribed in the UK, because the balance of fairness would not justify it....that the great wrong committed by the 1997 Firearms Act is repealed and we have our sporting pistols back.

    There has been (understandably) much questioning of whether access to guns is justified and many contributors cannot conceive of shooting as a sport. Well it is an Olympic sport, it can be enjoyed into old age and is accessible to the disabled. Experimenting with different powders, load and bullet weights, in order to eventually place a hole accurately in a paper target, whilst enjoying competition with like minded men & women, is extraordinarily rewarding on a skill and social level.
    The argument that people cannot understand this is fatuous, in the USA there are 300 million people who cannot understand cricket or give it the time of day, that is not a reason to ban it.

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  • 50. At 3:52pm on 04 Jun 2010, BPH wrote:

    I Agree with most of what Peter_Sym says. However I think that "They don't have the training or responsibility" is rather a sweeping statement and is unfair to those shooters who are in fact "responsible and trained" (I'm not saying they all are) There have been many firearms incidents involving "trained" soldiers and police officers over the years that have been made the news - probably many more that have not.

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  • 51. At 4:02pm on 04 Jun 2010, cornetto nick wrote:

    #12 nautonier suggested
    "Those in the UK who keep guns (except the police and security forces) should be shown on a current publicly viewable data-base showing the name and recent photograph of those holding the firearms, their licensing police officer/station and other relevant details"

    Well that would certainly cut down crime in one area - all the armourers converting imitation handguns would be out of business as criminals used the database as their "shopping list". Why bother working on dodgy conversions when someone has obligingly told you where every gun in the country is stored?

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  • 52. At 4:12pm on 04 Jun 2010, Mr Man wrote:

    Ok - lets look at some other stats.

    Approx 350 people were murdered last year by someone with a firearm

    Approx 4 of those 350 people were murdered by legally held firearms - the remaining 346 were killed by firearms that were held ILLEGALLY !!!

    I am far more worried about the illegally held guns.

    The Police know exactly what guns are held legally but NO-ONE knows how many or where the illegal guns are.

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  • 53. At 4:12pm on 04 Jun 2010, Chris wrote:

    I assume these "mass killings" are "mass shootings", in which case shouldn't you be comparing the number of true mass killings (by any means) against the other statistics above to see whether mass killings - the thing we're actually fearful of - is affected by gun ownership and not simply whether you get more mass shootings if you have more gun owners, which would kind of stand to reason? This would show whether the mass killer desire is fed by gun proliferation or whether it's just a handy weapon of choice for those intent on causing such atrocities.

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  • 54. At 4:12pm on 04 Jun 2010, Kudospeter wrote:

    no 8 Tony Plats
    I did actually say its difficult to see a justification why a British Taxi Driver would NEED to KEEP a .22 rifle and shot gun.
    I'm happy to make clear this is purely a matter of fact and relates equally to people with the same occupation as my own or the vast majority of occupations in the UK irrespective of perceived status. This is the first time I’ve been accused of supporting one rule for one stuff but accept the sentence could have been read differently to its intention.
    With regard to having hobbies, the reality was 13 people died and 11 wounded by weapons, we are assuming, were to hand as a result of somebody registering them to pursue a hobby.
    I pursue hobbies myself and frankly if it was possible that as a by product of these hobbies more people could be killed, I would happily allow people to discuss whether the hobby should be band or how the hobby could be made safer.
    I stick by the comment that attempting to keep guns in a controlled area, minimizing the (mass) killing potential of hobby weapons and being handed out by someone to assess its use each time are questions that should be part of any sensible debate.

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  • 55. At 4:19pm on 04 Jun 2010, Stumo wrote:

    Surely gun ownership will have changed over time - given you're looking at 50 years worth of incidents, shouldn't you consider 50 years worth of gun ownership?

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  • 56. At 4:25pm on 04 Jun 2010, angelholme wrote:

    "1. At 11:44am on 04 Jun 2010, Caledonian Comment wrote:

    If there are no guns, they'll use a knife. If there are no knives, they'll use a club. If there are no clubs, they'll run people over with their cars."

    The thing is - I don't know if you've tried killing someone from 500 yards away with a knife, a club or a car, but it is quite a lot harder to do than with a gun. (And no, I have no experience of killing people with guns, knives, clubs, cars or chainsaws, but I am just basing it on logic, observation of the world and common sense).

    So while the argument that "guns don't kill people, people kill people" is true, you have to add that "guns don't kill people, but they make it a hell of a lot easier to do".

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  • 57. At 4:32pm on 04 Jun 2010, BPH wrote:

    "The argument that no guns leads to the use of knives and clubs is laughable"

    June 8, 2001 - At least eight children are killed and more than 20 are injured by a knifeman who ran amok at a school in Osaka - not very funny really is it?

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  • 58. At 4:37pm on 04 Jun 2010, S Horley wrote:

    12. At 1:36pm on 04 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    Those in the UK who keep guns (except the police and security forces) should be shown on a current publicly viewable data-base showing the name and recent photograph of those holding the firearms, their licensing police officer/station and other relevant details including full details of their monitoring officer and a confidential publicly accessible telephone number for making representations on their fitness to hold firearms.


    Two words: Bad idea.

    A relative of mine has shotguns and the first thing he taught me was don't mess about with them. the second thing was don't tell people about them.

    By having a database of gun keepers you give criminals a list of pople they can burgle and threaten to get their hands on firearms.

    Even the rules for guns cabinets state to keep them in a secure, out of sight, location so people can't glance through your windows and see you have firearms.

    If anything i believe the gun laws should be relaxed to allow people to carry and conceal handguns (limited to 9mm) so next time someone starts to open fire on innocents, the vicitms can try to defend themselves.

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  • 59. At 4:42pm on 04 Jun 2010, John UK wrote:

    SSnotbanned said above:
    "Nobody seems to understand how it happened, so nobody is to blame, so nothing gets done."
    This is the same sentiment that arose in the aftermath of the Dunblane outrage. It's just SO frustrating when mad killers go and commit suicide, robbing us all of a perpetrator who we can see prosecuted and punished thus achieving some kind of, albeit wholly inadequate, collective closure. So the reaction in many, who rely on instinct not intellect, is: "Surely SOMEONE has to pay for this. There's no one we can direct this rage at so shooters will have do, after all, they're all nutters aren't they?"
    The Dunblane enquiry found that the Police officer inspecting Hamilton for his FAC renewal recommended it shouldn't be renewed. This was over-ruled by a superior and the renewal went ahead. So, there's someone to blame right there, were it not for the fact he was allowed to 'retire' I believe. The laws in that instance were entirely adequate. It's just that the Police didn't follow their own procedures. But still 78,000 shooters were punished instead. Job done. Er, no. Handguns were outlawed so only outlaws now have them. In massive abundance compared to the time of Dunblane. Criminals, it appears, do not obey laws nomatter how 'tight' you make them.
    Human tragedies happen every day, large and small. Today about ten people will have died in road accidents. Their families will be broken hearted and desparately needing to know what happened and what or who can be blamed. Quite often no one thing or person is to blame, and no matter how hard that is to live with, nothing can relieve that urge to lay blame.

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  • 60. At 4:43pm on 04 Jun 2010, Dee_A_Jay wrote:

    Not sure about these stats. The figures for population and number of guns per 100 are very recent figures I assume, but the figures for mass killings are for the last 50 years. And what about the political, social and cultural differences between the countries listed here. I don't think we can compare like with like. Or are all men and women who rampage with guns in a similar psychological place regardless of where they are in the world, and when in the last 50 years they carried out their killing spree? What I am trying to say is that in order to draw a meaningful conclusion from these figures, can we simply compare figures for gun ownership with the number of mass killings, or are there a number of other factors that must be taken into account

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  • 61. At 4:45pm on 04 Jun 2010, kentspur wrote:

    I am very disappointed to learn that Bird had a criminal conviction and was still granted a firearms licence. As far as I am concerned, if you have shown you are prepared to break the law, you don't get a firearms licence. End of. Owning a gun in this country is a privilege; it's not a right.

    Personally I would ban .22 rifles. Why does anyone need them? If they are for sport - tough - find another sport. Better a few thousand disgruntled shooters having to make do with air pistols than one madman stalking pensioners with his 'sporting' weapon.

    Shotguns - I feel - are different. They have been used for pest control by farmers for hundreds of years and I am not in favour of taking them away from people who need them for their livelihood. As for 'sporting' shot-guns, my view is the same as for hunting rifles. Find some other way to pass your time. If that doesn't sit well with 'libertarian' gun owners, I don't care. Go and live in America. I want the UK - as far as possible - to be gun free.

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  • 62. At 4:48pm on 04 Jun 2010, John UK wrote:

    Why do people keep suggesting this ludicrous idea that guns be kept in a central repository? This has been rightly dismissed before by those looking at firearms controls, mainly because these storage facilities would present an irresistable target for criminals and terrorists. Can you imagine a cornucopia of firearms and ammunation all in one place! Other posters have already pointed out the numerous other glaring snags to such an idea.

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  • 63. At 5:00pm on 04 Jun 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    This has obviously been a shocking event. However, as the figures show it is also a very rare event. I know that will be cold comfort for the families involved. David Cameron is right to say that there should be no knee jerk reaction. Saying that, I fail to see what can be done to prevent these sort of incidents happening in the futures. The guns laws we have are the toughest in the world. The only alternative would be to ban all guns, but wouldn't that be a knee jerk reaction. As we should have learnt by now, banning things never achieves anything. Maybe people wanting to own a gun should undergo a full psychological screening at their expense. Any doubts raised by this should mean a person is not granted a licence. But like anything illegal, if you want it enough it is usually easy to obtain, like drugs, and look how well we are doing dealing with that issue, far too many knee jerk reactions.

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  • 64. At 5:02pm on 04 Jun 2010, Kudospeter wrote:

    #22 peter sym

    #2 Kudospeter. Do you have any idea what an air rifle is? I've been shot with one. It really damn well hurt but I pulled the pellet out with tweezers. An air rifle is hundreds of times less dangerous than a steak knife.

    I was actually suggesting the use of air rifles (the low power variety i confess to not being an expert) as a substitue for the holding of more powerful guns.

    I'm not surprised you have been shot with one, a lot of people have. Theres actually around 20,000 gun offences in the UK each year, 60% are air rifles ( these are reported cases i suspect your experience was one of the many unreported). one in five leads to injury , on in 10 hospital treatment. One hospital counted the treatment of 73 cases in around 5 years. I gave a personal opinion that they were too powerful for me based on seing how intimidated a friend of mine was by having an air rifle fired at him recently and being scared in my school days of kids who carried them around uncontrolled and used them irresponsbly, largely in the false belief they they only hurt but aren't really dangerous

    With regards to Knives i would very much like to see knife injuries and deaths reduced too. Life is precious and should be protected

    I can't really accept we should accept gun crime as it is less prevelant than knife crime as a rational arguement.



    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1888038.stm

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  • 65. At 5:10pm on 04 Jun 2010, MissBarbarella wrote:

    A more valuable comparison would be mass murders - i.e including poisonings, stabbings, machete attacks, driving cars into crowds. It would be clear then that where there are no guns madmen will still find a way. Let's not forget that in Rwanda and Burundi hundreds of thousands were murdered in genocidal attacks WITH MACHETES.

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  • 66. At 5:16pm on 04 Jun 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    To some of the people who say it would be a good idea for ordinary people to carry concealed hand guns. ARE YOU MAD! There are people out there I wouldn't trust with a water pistol. If you think city centres are bad now on a Friday and Saturday night it would be like the wild west. It would certainly reduce the population pleasing the over population factions.

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  • 67. At 5:19pm on 04 Jun 2010, toni49 wrote:

    61. At 4:45pm on 04 Jun 2010, kentspur wrote:

    "Shotguns - I feel - are different. They have been used for pest control by farmers for hundreds of years and I am not in favour of taking them away from people who need them for their livelihood. As for 'sporting' shot-guns, my view is the same as for hunting rifles. Find some other way to pass your time."


    But the sporting owners may well be providing a service for the farmers for free. Or even paying for the priviledge.

    You cannot ban things just because you don't want to do them yourself. If an activity harms others, then ban it. If the activity itself (shooting clay pidgeons for instance) doesn't harm anyone, why should it be banned? Live and let live and all that.

    Personally, I don't want to spend my time playing football, but I wouldn't suggest banning the game, despite the fact a few supporters use it as an excuse to get drunk, agressive and have a fight. And yes, on occasion, football has been involved in killings, both accidental (Bradford, Hillsborough) and intentional (Old Firm games are notorious for violence).

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  • 68. At 5:29pm on 04 Jun 2010, mjcraughwell456 wrote:

    SSnotbanned wrote:

    "Hold all the private guns in a central office. Released by signature and witness by responsible staff The user could then be accompanied on the use of the gun, by a responsible person, before it is signed back. Constant communication could be maintained,use,location etc, while the gun is (safe)in use"

    So do you propose that during the height of the shooting season in deepest darkest regions of the Scottish borders that 50 shooters who have each had a shotgun and being this sport for the last 20 years be followed every step of the way? Let alone 50 how about several thousand in all manner of remote locations.

    Or what do you suggest for many of the massive target rifles meets, like the Imperial meetings for instance where several thousand shooters from all over the UK and from all over the world congregate, do you employ your stewardship service then? As an inhabitant in Scotland I don't think the steward in question would be best pleased following me 6 hours down the A1 to Surrey for a whole weekend just so he could make sure that I was shooting paper targets from 300 yards in a safe manner? And then where do I store given that I am apparently not safe enough to store myself, Do i then drive back up to Scotland with the steward in question to start the fun again?

    and who is going to pay for this army of goons and who is going to make sure that they are to be trusted keeping ahold of MY firearms? There is a very good reason that Firearm ownership is not entrusted to 3rd party trusteeship of people you don't know.

    It is a unpractical and hugely monstrous logistical nightmare of which it would take a brave person with a very stress threshhold to organize such a draconian measure.

    and where would you stop, would you have a steward releasing and supervising uses of a knife no less?

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  • 69. At 5:32pm on 04 Jun 2010, Tony Platts wrote:

    890. At 2:01pm on 04 Jun 2010, Stefan_Nonsense wrote:
    ''It's absurd that a taxi driver is legally entitled to own a gun.''

    Stefan,
    You're at it again on another BBC post!!!

    Snob.

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  • 70. At 5:39pm on 04 Jun 2010, Andrew wrote:

    I dispair at modern journalism, especially the BBC who set these hares running with out any subtantiated facts and allow a generally ill-informed public run with a major story thread then do nothing about establishing the real facts when they are apparent or available becaused they have moved on th the next major story line! No wonder the country is full of mis-informed and blinkered people, believing what they see in the "Movies" or on the news media.

    In this case there are a number of important stats missing including weapon types (Power, range, rate of fire etc) therefore the data is skewed to the authors point of view (therefore "leading" arguement, especially the fact its based on spree killings using firearms only).

    In reference to the Whitehaven incident;
    1) there has been emphasis placed on him being a taxi driver but no indication on if he had land or property to shoot on or for intended the purpose the Firearms Certificate was issued.

    2) given the ballistic characteristics of both weapons (which the BBC have not provided any data) I would suggest that the killings where all close range surprise attacks (less the 50ft). If correct the Telescopic (NOT sniper) sight on the rifle (if used) would have been of no use. (do you know the effective range of a .22 rimfire or shotgun? I guess most people would be wrong!! and by effective range I mean resonable accurate lethal range not just a lucky shot.

    3) what is the role of the modern media in the mind set of the killer, ie it seems the initial victims where intended targets and once he embarked on this course of action possibly with the intent of suicide at the end he may have decided to become "remembered" though the predictable media frenzy.

    With respect to the Law, where are the facts of the firearms certificate and how they are issued. Also previous suggestions that they are keep in central armouries or public resisters are laughable, the last thing we need is lots of weapons in one place or as other have indicated a public list of where guns are held this would have serious criminal activity concerns be it targeting the armoury, people taking or returning weapons or even onwers homes.

    Please be balanced and factually informative before starting threads like this.


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  • 71. At 5:43pm on 04 Jun 2010, John UK wrote:

    #64 Kudospeter:
    "Personally I would ban .22 rifles. Why does anyone need them? If they are for sport - tough - find another sport. Better a few thousand disgruntled shooters having to make do with air pistols than one madman stalking pensioners with his 'sporting' weapon."

    Personally I would ban football. Why does anyone need such an oafish, loutish, boorish pursuit? If it's for recreation - tough - find another sport. Better a few thousand disgruntled football fans having to make do with Subbuteo than one drunken, violent football fan attacking innocent bystanders and consuming millions in Police resources with his love of the 'beautiful game'.

    Ah, tolerance, it's what we're so good at...

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  • 72. At 5:43pm on 04 Jun 2010, Granville wrote:

    Kudospeter writes "Theres actually around 20,000 gun offences in the UK each year, 60% are air rifles"

    According to the Home Office in 2008/09 firearms were used in 14,250 reported crimes, a reduction of 18% on the previous year and the fifth annual fall in succession. Overall firearms offences involving injury are down 41%, from 4164 to 2485 cases

    Of the total of firearms offences handguns were used in 4275 offences, representing a rise of 2%. Handguns have been totally banned in the UK since 1996. So that bit of legislation hasn't been too successful, has it?

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  • 73. At 6:01pm on 04 Jun 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    As deeply saddened & shocked as I am by the deaths & injuries, there are questions to be asked, questions brought to mind by your enlightening article.
    In the UK is there an armed response unit? If yes, where is it located?
    Do regular police stations have firearms on-site? Are the officers trained to use them and are there procedures to deal with the armed suspect(s) until the armed response team arrives?
    There are just over 3,000 FACs and just over 22,000 shotgun certificate-holders in Cumbria.
    Does this seem high? It seems high to me.
    If one or more Cumbrians had used their weapons to kill, wound or make a Citizen’s arrest of Mr. Bird what would be their legal consequences? (English law allows proportionate self-defense, but does it allow for proportionate defense of others?)
    In Finland and Switzerland, such massacres are even rarer than in the UK; yet, both countries have significantly higher rates of gun ownership. These events are almost unheard of in other Scandinavian and European countries, and are extremely rare in Canada, yet British laws seem tougher & rates of gun ownership lower. So this fact might be worth looking into.
    As has been shown in Japan and China, multiple killings can be carried out with knives, and there are many instances of murder by car. So, I have to wonder why Bird used a gun – because it was handy? Were his certificates in order, up-to-date?
    Of course there is the ole-time humankind bugaboo – errors of commission and omission.Are certificates issued carefully, or nonchalantly? Is the issuance procedure as tight as the rules? Is this function audited?
    I pray for Cumbria and hope that peace is restored at every level soon.

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  • 74. At 6:10pm on 04 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    58. At 4:37pm on 04 Jun 2010, S Horley wrote:

    12. At 1:36pm on 04 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    Those in the UK who keep guns (except the police and security forces) should be shown on a current publicly viewable data-base showing the name and recent photograph of those holding the firearms, their licensing police officer/station and other relevant details including full details of their monitoring officer and a confidential publicly accessible telephone number for making representations on their fitness to hold firearms.


    Two words: Bad idea.

    A relative of mine has shotguns and the first thing he taught me was don't mess about with them. the second thing was don't tell people about them.

    By having a database of gun keepers you give criminals a list of pople they can burgle and threaten to get their hands on firearms.

    Even the rules for guns cabinets state to keep them in a secure, out of sight, location so people can't glance through your windows and see you have firearms.

    If anything i believe the gun laws should be relaxed to allow people to carry and conceal handguns (limited to 9mm) so next time someone starts to open fire on innocents, the vicitms can try to defend themselves.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    If you think that my idea is bad - your idea to relaxe the law to allow more gun toting ... is a very bad idea.

    You are right that a public database of those individuals but not there adresses could expose the guns to more criminal risk from e.g. burglary - but managing gun crime is about managing and balancing risks of those holding guns.

    The worst and even petit criminals will always have and get hold of guns ... and breaking into secure houses for licensed guns is insane as the guns are marked and recorded and the risk of detection is high ... and generally not worth the trouble.

    So we will have to disagree here - most illegals guns are bought from licensed gun holders (at some stage of the supply chain) who are doing illegals things with guns and ammunition etc.

    If e.g. my next door neighbour has a shotgun and rifle in his house as a licensed firearm holder ... then I think that I have right to know.

    But don't take my word for it - perhaps the BBC could take a poll or ask a politician to propose a referendum on gun licensing re: a public database of potential or actual 'nutters'.

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  • 75. At 6:13pm on 04 Jun 2010, kentspur wrote:

    Toni 49
    re your comment
    You cannot ban things just because you don't want to do them yourself. If an activity harms others, then ban it. If the activity itself (shooting clay pidgeons for instance) doesn't harm anyone, why should it be banned? Live and let live and all that.

    I actually have shot Clay pigeons and targets with .22 rifles and .303s. It's quite fun, but I don't think that pleasure is worth the risk of someone else 'harming' others as others most assuredly have done. I'd ban them. I can live without going to the range - happily if it restricts the numbers of guns in this country

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  • 76. At 6:18pm on 04 Jun 2010, Algol60 wrote:

    "for sporting purposes" is being quoted above. Killing for fun is an acceptable idea is it? Don't you think there might be the slightest chance that the 'fun' of killing other and defenceless species at the very least desensitizes an individual to concerns about causing pain?

    Those who suggest keeping guns in central stores have a sensible idea. A gun-club is surely a fine place for shooting at fixed targets or at clay pigeons, after which time, once all ammo and weapons are accounted-for, they can be locked safely away.

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  • 77. At 6:25pm on 04 Jun 2010, ronnieboy1 wrote:

    its not the guns that are the problem,its the people.Modern living creates people like bird. People cannot solve their problems rationally so they resort to plan b namely violence.We live an instant overhyped existance, revolving around drinking normally.Money isnt far off either everybody wants something for nothing ."nutters" like bird are probobly pretty common, its just that bird had the guts to carry out his warped beliefs.A few good police snipers would have taken bird out for sure, but after the fuss over the brazilian bloke 5 years ago the police are scared stiff to shoot anybody.

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  • 78. At 6:27pm on 04 Jun 2010, Doug wrote:

    To # 44 I totally agree with you it is plain stupid to suggest a publicly viewable database for registered gun owners as this would cause open season for criminals and I would not participate in such a scheme.

    As an owner of several shotguns for the purposes of shooting game, i would also resent having to going to a public gun lock up every time i want to shoot. This would be incredibly inconvenient, put many off the sport and again would make it easy for criminals to target those who legally use guns. I keep mine in a hidden locked safe (as in compliance with the law) and i do not tell people i own guns as a precaution.

    We already have the third most restrictive gun laws in the world behind North Korea and China yet such policies in china have not abated the recent wave of school attacks they have recently suffered; where the assailant has used knives. I do not believe any further legislation is necessary this is just a one off unfortunate case.

    By the way I work in a supermarket, its not just farmers who have a right or need to own guns.

    An in response to # 71 John UK your opinion is both silly and short sighted so you would ban all activities that have some trouble associated with them like football? One murderer should not ruin the sport for the masses and cost the economy billions. Go back to your crosswords and Daily Mail

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  • 79. At 6:31pm on 04 Jun 2010, mark_2002 wrote:

    If this is an example of your logical prowess then I worry for the state of the BBC.
    The duration of these sorts of killing spree is only limited by how long the attacker lives. Some kill themselves early, some kill themselves late, still others are shot by other people with guns. Why have you not noted how these sprees ended?
    The other sort of mass murderer operates over years, taking one at a time. Do these people use guns?
    Not all killing sprees involve guns; China only last week hanged a man for going wild in a school with a knife.

    Seems to me that criminals and lunatics can always lay their hands to weapons and they usually shot people who are not able to shoot back. Surely if we all had guns (as in some US towns) these events would end sooner as someone would shoot back?

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  • 80. At 6:37pm on 04 Jun 2010, thelawntroll wrote:

    I hope that the people who are vocal about limiting gun ownership or questioning the right to own firearms have actually had some experience of them, or are we seeing the 'Daily Mail' effect here? Do I hear loud sounds of condemnation for crossbows to be banned following the 'Crossbow Cannibal' arrest? Or how about archery?

    People enjoy different persuits, some of which are dangerous to themselve and some could be dangerous to other people. Let's face it, how many people have been injured or killed at football matches, due to accidental causes or from violence on the terraces of outside. We condone this, because soccer is a National Sport, but a minority sport, where almost all the people who enjoy it are trained to a high standard, is looked upon as a soft target (pun NOT intended).

    Yes, we are all repelled by the acts of violence carried out by a man at the end of his tether, but how much of our reaction is due to rational thought and how much to what we see on the TV from the news, crime series and movies.

    All Dunblaine did was remove legally held handguns from responsible owners - the number of illegal handguns, I think, went up...

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  • 81. At 6:51pm on 04 Jun 2010, Kudospeter wrote:

    71 john uk

    Thats not my quote!, i do agree with you a bit in terms of tolerance though.

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  • 82. At 7:14pm on 04 Jun 2010, Firstlight wrote:

    Mark I strongly suggest you look at the Home Office bulletin, "Homicides, Firearm Offences and Intimate Violence 2008/09" Online at: [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] This provides much better guidance to the two questions you pose.

    Furthermore to your second question consider the following (from the above Home Office report):

    - 71% of robberies involving firearms used weapons described as handguns.
    - 60% of all firearms offences took place in Manchester, Metropolitan and West Midlands, areas representing 25% of the U.K. population.

    Offences recorded by police in England and Wales in which firearms where used 2008/09:
    Shotguns 619
    Rifles 89
    Imitation Firearms 1,511
    Handguns 4,275

    Would further restrictions to gun ownership be justified, you ask. Looking at the above figures and the Home Office report, it would suggest that existing legislation does not work. More specifically in this example the 1997 ban on handguns has not worked. The trend in handgun use 6 years either side of the ban did not change. Yes, we should have legislation to minimise the relative 'potential' harm that firearms can pose. But let us make sure that legislation if fit for purpose.

    Politicians and the media may revel in the immediate superficial gains in popularity or headlines after such tragic events, but it is the law abiding firearm owners, the taxpayers, and victims of gun crime who are the ultimate losers. Let us be proud of strong firearms control in the U.K. but for pity sake let it be effective.

    After this appalling tragedy let's see some positive outcome for a change. Let us have serious discussion and debate, and above all let's have a complete overhaul of the Firearms Act.

    (For the record I am involved in shooting sports both here in the U.K. and abroad).


    P.S. for those that are unaware of the economic and conservation benefits brought by shooting sports to the U.K. please have a look at http://www.shootingfacts.co.uk/

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  • 83. At 7:32pm on 04 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    A publicly viewable database of firearms holders and all weapons would mean that Licensed firearm holders would be unable to 'lurk in the shadows' and would be required to 'stand under the spotlight' and justify their requirement to hold and use these weapons to those around them including all social and peer contact groups.

    So an 'ordinary guy' stacking shelves or driving a taxi might find it harder in social and peer group terms to justify having a shotgun and a rifle than in comparison with e.g. a farmer.

    To my mind this is not only desirable but essential as the one truly wicked ability that these gun murderers have is their stealth and 'shadow lurking phase' immediately before carrying out their firearm outrages.

    The point being is that a family member, friend, associate neighbour or casual acquintance would be able to do this and be best positioned to have the knowledge that the person posing the risk is in possession of a lethal firearm(s).

    Until this informational position is reached of prior knowledge of a person posing such a risk - there is very little chance of some of these types of murders (and lets not forget the many suicides from guns also) being prevented.

    How can it be acceptable to ruin the arguable recreational benefit to gunholders by further restrictions and red tape ... when the main weapon against these kind of crimes is information and knowledge in the public arena ... in the absence of a near complete firearms ban as the only viable alternative?

    Gunholders should not be allowed to lurk in the shadows and blight people's lives with a lingering fear of potentiality - turn the spotlight of public information on them ... and gun club members can have their weapons stored at their club in a high security armoury. I should say that existing gun holding security for most is a joke - How many checks do the police make here?

    Arguably, being registered as a licensed gun holder on a public register would make some safer - would the average criminal break into a house knowing that the householder is a 'gun holder'? Here, I think that the law does need changing.

    What is desirable here ... is it 'prevention' or political justification for coming to terms better with the aftermath of killings/gun crime ... or even more guns and killings and gun battles as proposed by some?

    If someone is not a risk with their gun - what or why have they got to hide?

    If someone cannot account for having a lethal weapon ... then why are they permitted to hold one?

    Does this scare you gun holders - Good ... because this means that YOU should not have a gun

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  • 84. At 7:58pm on 04 Jun 2010, hilltop_farmer wrote:

    >> 73. There are just over 3,000 FACs and just over 22,000 shotgun certificate-holders in Cumbria.
    Does this seem high? It seems high to me.


    Have you ever been to Cumbria? If you do come, the first thing you'll notice is that it's not a very urbanised part of the world...

    The vast majority of guns held in Cumbria are for rough shooting (on equally rough farmland, of which most of Cumbria consists). I'm not a gun fan, by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm even less of a rabbit/rat/mink/etc. fan. If farmers want to let others help control these infestations (and grazing land is in short enough supply up here, even before the millions of bunnies have had a go at it), I'm all for it. Know quite a few people who do this from time to time. Never met a gun nut.

    As for game shooting, I personally find it extremely silly, but rich people insist on handing over ridiculous sums of money for the privilege, so it provides a lot of proper employment, and at least some young people and seasonal workers have a chance of earning over the winter. For sure, far too little of this wealth trickles down this far, but it's still a seasonal mainstay for local shops and tourism in the area.

    Although I'm anti-gun and anti-blood sports by inclination, I'm forced to concede that both do serve a purpose - in Cumbria at least.

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  • 85. At 8:35pm on 04 Jun 2010, Firstlight wrote:

    Re Post No. 82

    Please refer to: http://rds.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/crime-weapons.html for the source of the missing Home Office reference.

    Apologies for making reference to a pdf file. I wasn't aware it contravened BBC house rules. I hope the html reference passes muster.

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  • 86. At 10:02pm on 04 Jun 2010, Miroku wrote:

    I am a shotgun licence holder and whilst I agree that the murders in Cumbria are a terrible tradgey I believe that the gun laws are tough enough. However I am posting to give my views on some of the ideas being posted.

    Firstly I would like to comment on the idea many people have come up with being that for the purpose of shooting clay targets, the competitors should rent a gun from the shooting ground with the ammunition and then hand it back at the end of the shoot. Now this is obviously the precedure with stag weekends, however for formal competition this would simply not work.

    At the highest level (shooting for England and GB) the shooters have their guns made specifically to their dimentions and personal preferences. With the UK being at the top of most of the disiplines of the sport, including recently winning the World DTL in South africa, it would seriously harm the standing of the UK in the world. Whilst natural talent could get you 95% with almost any gun the last 5% can be achieved with a gun made for you. So you could not have a gun made for you if you always have to hire one as most shooter do not stick to one ground so even if you had a gun it would be stuck at one ground.

    Another problem of hiring guns from the gun club will occur whenever a large event takes place. The Krieghoff Classic DTL last weekend had over 450 entries all shooting on the same 2 days at Mid Wales gun club. So under this proposal the gun club would have to store atleast 200 guns and 150,000 shotgun shells. Now storing all this in one place is going to cause security problems.

    The third problem will come when hosting international events. Last month Southern Counties, near Dorchester, hosted one of the rounds of the Shotgun world cup attended by 300 competitors from over 50 countries. If you tightened gun laws too much an event like this would never be allowed to take place and many of the competitors said it was the best organised event ever. It would also not help the 2012 Olympics which has small bore and clay target events.

    Also to store guns in a central location like also suggested previously would be difficult due to shooters attending events over many days across the whole country which logistically would be a nightmare aswell as targets for criminal gangs.

    A total gun ban would cost the country millions of pounds in national income aswell as not stopping the potential for killings with illegal guns.

    Those people who believe that a total gun ban is a good idea or that guns should be stored at gun clubs should attend their local registered shooting club - have a go and a watch and see how carefully and safely every thing is handled. Also when attending they should note that the majority of shooters do normal jobs like builders, office managers and taxi drivers.

    No law could ever stop a mass killing even if all arms were banned.

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  • 87. At 10:26pm on 04 Jun 2010, Buck_Turgidson wrote:

    @ nautonier


    Why should I be treated like some sort of criminal who is a threat to the community just because I own a gun ?

    I started shooting when I was a young child and have been around guns for as long as I can remember and I really do not understand why you think people like me are some sort of a threat. I was taught from a very young age that there was a responsibility that came with owning and using a gun and everyone else I've ever shot with has had the same attitude.

    We're not some gun totting gangsters who own guns to make ourselves feel big and tough, we own them because they are a useful tool that can also be used for sport.

    I know a few farmers who live in the surrounding area and a couple of times a year we go and spend a weekend shooting rabbits in an attempt to control the numbers. Two we go to most often don't shoot their foxes as they're growing crops not rearing livestock so they like the foxes as they help keep the rabbit numbers down, unfortunately the foxes can't keep up with the rabbits so every now and then our friends ask some of us to come and shoot as many as we can.

    Rabbits can destroy whole crops quite easily and the only way we can continue to produce enough food is by controlling rabbit numbers, shooting them is by far the most humane method of doing this as most rabbits will get a quick death. Poisoning and snaring are long and painful ways to die and hunting with dogs has become an unpopular choice amongst the general public, if I had to make the choice for myself I'd take the bullet to the head every time.

    The only way our farmers can control rabbit numbers across the country is by making use of amateurs who will come and shoot them and take what they shoot as payment for the job. Professional pest control is used by more corporate farms and if there is an infestation occurring on the farm but most family farmers can't afford to pay for the professional service several times a year.
    It's also a very good source of meat for our family and many others, after skinning, gutting and boning a few dozen rabbits you're left with an awful lot of very tasty meat that makes great pies, stir fry's, roasts and other meals. The offal makes great dog food and the furs have many different uses or you can sell them to the clothing trade.

    If you're lucky then occasionally the farmer may also invite you round to shoot some game birds, it doesn't happen very often but you take the opportunity every time it does as pheasant and partridge are some of the tastiest things you'll ever eat.

    I've also shot and eaten deer from Scotland, again without human intervention the numbers would get out of control. Unless we're going to re-introduce wolves all over Scotland or start poisoning them the only way to prevent numbers from getting out of control and causing widespread disease is to control them through shooting.

    Given the choice I'd rather kill everything I eat myself, not for the thrill of killing but because I know that if I've killed it that I've done everything I could to give the animal as quick and painless a death as possible and that I make use of as much of that animal as I possible can. I try to buy free range meat whenever I have the choice as I dislike the way animals are treated on factory farms; hunting & eating wild or nearly wild animals is my preferred method of getting meat though because I know the animal has lived as normal a life as possible and as quick a death as possible.

    People who pay to go on organised shoots are also preserving large areas of wild land that helps protect many rare species in our country. If it wasn't for those toff's from the Home Counties shooting so many pheasants Scotland would look like a completely different country and many other species would be near extinction as their habitat only exists as a breeding ground for game birds.

    Many of the people I shoot with are also members of lots of different charitable organisations that give their time to protect and maintain many of our protected wildlife areas, spending hour after hour walking through the countryside gives you a great appreciation of it and because of that many of us are happy to give our time to help look after it.

    The Police in our area also do work well with gun owners to try to protect the general public, I have to complete annual checks and home visits from our local firearms officers who generally spend well over an hour just talking to me at my home and they regularly check up with the owners of the land I shoot on to make sure that I have permission and that I am doing what I say I'm doing. They don't give out certificates like MPs expenses; I've had mental health checks, have got a very expensive and difficult to break into gun cabinet and had to jump through all sorts of hoops to be able to own the guns I have. This isn't a complaint as I'm more than happy that they do these checks, I'm merely pointing out the facts.

    I'm a working class guy from Merseyside but throughout my life I've met all sorts of people from cleaners to Royalty through shooting, you can meet people from every walk of life & profession when you go shooting and at country fairs. We're not the ones you need to worry about as it's the unlicensed gangsters who are committing the vast majority of the crimes committed with guns.
    There are very few gun nuts in the UK, unlike the US most gun owners over here are more than happy to comply with the law and want to see strong legislation that helps keep our communities safe. We don't want to see any idiot owning a gun just because they want too.

    The fact is our current laws are already doing everything that can be done, as a country with a lot of rural land there is no way we could ban guns and ideas such as gun depositories and sex-offender type databases are, to be honest,ridiculous and impracticable idea that would only be suggested by someone who has no knowledge or experience of the issue. Everyone in the shooting community will continue to do everything we can to help the Police but there is nothing that can be done to prevent tragedies like this as there will always be some people with a legitimate need to own a gun and any one of them could go crazy at any time and for any reason.

    Scaremongering and persecuting legal gun owners isn't going to achieve anything other than to push more people into illegal gun ownership and as the statistics will tell you, illegal gun owners are far more likely to be involved in crime and accidents involving guns than licensed gun owners.

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  • 88. At 10:30pm on 04 Jun 2010, vieja80 wrote:

    As devastating as the last few days have been for the families and friends of the people who have suffered loss of loved ones. Nothing will repair this.
    I have to say why did this man still have firearms certificate? In the conditions of owning one, the fact that having a criminal record will effectivley cancel your firearms certificate. The shooting range i belong to makes this perfectly clear on joining- if you have a criminal record you will be asked to leave. This includes minor offences.
    Even though i shoot on a regular basis i think all firearms are better off locked up in club safes, it makes your house safer and may make this type of tragedy preventable in the future. There is no reason to have a firearm of any sort in a residential address. unless you can prove that you have the sufficent land to use it, i.e. farm land.

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  • 89. At 10:54pm on 04 Jun 2010, Buck_Turgidson wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 90. At 11:01pm on 04 Jun 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Buck_Turgidson #87.

    "Scaremongering and persecuting legal gun owners isn't going to achieve anything other than to push more people into illegal gun ownership and as the statistics will tell you, illegal gun owners are far more likely to be involved in crime.."

    correct, prohibition does not work -- ever.

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  • 91. At 11:17pm on 04 Jun 2010, Thomas Cowell wrote:

    As someone who has been shooting for over 40 years, both as a civilian shooter and during my 20 years army service it is somewhat refreshing to read you article Mark. But I was rather peturbed at the BBC using Peter Squires as an 'expert' given that he lobbies for the Gun Control Network..

    I'd like to address the points that nautonier made regarding his idea for a publicly accessible database of shooters.

    Your idea sounds like a perfect plan to identify, to every criminal in the land, exactly where to go to find firearms. If your suggestion was carried through I might as well put a large sign in my driveway saying "Get Your Guns Here"..!!

    Whilst I don't hide my hobby I don't exactly proclaim it to the whole neighbour hood. What is there for them to know? The rifles and shotguns I have never leave the house other than securely cased; in fact they only really see the light of day in my house when they are cleaned. I remove them from the gunsafe, put them in their cases, and they don't appear until I am on either the land I shoot over or the range I shoot at. I, and all the shooters I know, take security very seriously.

    The loss to the families and community in Cumbria is huge and saddens me greatly. We do not need sensationalist journalism, not including you in this comment Mark, but we do need measured responses to the facts as and when they come out.

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  • 92. At 11:29pm on 04 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    87. At 10:26pm on 04 Jun 2010, Buck_Turgidson wrote:

    I am not pressing for any changes in gun law that would restrict what you do - what I am saying is those who have a gun licence and guns should stand up and be counted as having a gun and be detailed on a public data-base.

    Unless you have got something to hide - what would be the problem ... in justifying your keeping of a gun to e.g. your 'partner'/spouse, friends, family, neighbours and work collegues etc and prospective employers could know whether they wished to employ someone who a kept gun also?

    I am pro UK homeowners using a gun in self defence against an intruder particularly if they are e.g. live alone or in an isolated location - I am pro homeowners having and keeping a gun for this purpose as including defence of their family on their own property.

    All I am saying is for those that have or want to have a gun - is stand up and be counted on a public data-base so that everyone knows who is licensed and has guns in their possession. This is a very soft option in terms of regulation and is really saying allow gun-holders to justify their needs for having a gun ... to society ... by being listed publicly as a gun holder.

    I just happen to think that the public have a right to know who has and doesn't have a licence for a gun.

    I have also said that I think that criminals using guns should have stiffer sentencing and all police officers should have the option to carry guns to defend themselves and the 'peace'.

    I happen to think that this is the only realistic method of 'prevention' other than further restrictions and a ban. I would expect that if a such a data-base was applied ... many would give up their guns as having no real justification for holding a firearm. I am convinced that this would be a good thing for the gun-holder and those around them.

    I think that just waiting for the next massacre is unsatisfactory. If the propsect of 'transparency' upsets some of the gun owners ... well ... I wonder why?

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  • 93. At 00:05am on 05 Jun 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    First of my prays for all involved.

    But as some here have said compared with daily life around the world this is just one of those things.

    Drone crew kills 23 civilians http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100529/ap_on_re_as/as_afghanistan

    Are you just making attractive limelight to a X factor world, im sure the relatives are loving all the reminders or will the BBC be setting up a fund to help with private therapy for the constant barrage of nightmares they are laying down in 2 minute news blipverts. little things like that lead to PTSD and worse.

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  • 94. At 00:27am on 05 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    91. At 11:17pm on 04 Jun 2010, Thomas Cowell wrote:

    As someone who has been shooting for over 40 years, both as a civilian shooter and during my 20 years army service it is somewhat refreshing to read you article Mark. But I was rather peturbed at the BBC using Peter Squires as an 'expert' given that he lobbies for the Gun Control Network..

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Just what I've been saying ... and I'm sorry ... but yet 'another one sneaking around with a bag full of guns.' I'm glad that you don't live next door to me!

    A public database of firearms (and convicted firearms offenders) would mean that many would not keep their firearms at home or would give up their licence or would have to ensure very secure methods of holding the firearms. How many houses are actually robbed for firearms? If this is happening and firearm robbery is already a problem ... why haven't the police and home office done anything about it yet?

    The problem with burglary of firearms would not be the existence of a public database of firearms ... it would be that the 25% of hardcore violent house burglars who carry about 85% of house burglaries ...keep being let out of prison instead of being locked up in prison, on long term sentences, where they belong.

    By the way I have seen how some keep theit firearms locked away at home and it is a joke - including plywood boxes with padlocks on etc.

    I think the criminal robbery argument is weak ... more houses are likely to be robbed and guns stolen by chance ... with or without a database of firearms. However, it is possible I admit that some illegal weapons are also stolen by thieves and the owners will not then report the theft of illegal weapons - these would not, in any case, be on any public data-base?

    Anyway, as others have pointed out on here, every serious criminal in the land already has or has easy access to a gun and does not need to raid a house and get one just because it is on a data-base as a marked and recorded gun and ironically, is probably not going to go out and shoot 12 people dead as it is bad for their life-style.

    Whatever you may think ... is doing nothing an option ... other than doing nothing and waiting for the next massacre ... What would you suggest?

    My questions is the same - Why do some wish to have guns and creep around without this being or becoming public knowledge/information? It isn't just the threat of thieves breaking in - not by the character of many of those who are keeping guns?

    It is the 'secretive' non-public stage of those fairly ordinary people having licensed guns that leads to some of them becoming stealthy perpetrators of these massacres - and doing so much damage in terms of death and injury.

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  • 95. At 01:09am on 05 Jun 2010, tacrepus wrote:

    @ comment 57 - BPH "June 8, 2001 - At least eight children are killed and more than 20 are injured by a knifeman who ran amok at a school in Osaka"

    A very weak and inadequate argument. The real logic here would suggest that if this killer had found access to firearms then the total of fatalities would probably have been much higher. Do you really think the Columbine massacre and the Virginia Tech shootings in the U.S. would have had the same number of dead if the only weapons available had been knives?

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  • 96. At 01:09am on 05 Jun 2010, Buck_Turgidson wrote:

    @ nautonier

    If you don't have a need for a firearm the Police will not give you the certificate you need to own it legally, part of the application and renewal process involves proving that you have a legitimate need to own it.

    You can't have one just because you feel like owning one, you have to provide proof that you will be using it either at a licensed club or on land where you have a purpose and permission to use it. Collectors or people who like having guns on display are only allowed to own deactivated guns as it is an offence to have an active gun on display in your home.

    The type of gun cabinets we are required to use in the UK also mean that anyone wanting to steal your gun is more likely to use force to get you to open it for them as they are built like bank safes and take several hours to break open even using a blow torch and an industrial drill. They're also required to be bolted to an external wall so you can't remove it from the building without putting up a ladder and doing some demolition work.
    Your database would mean every criminal in the country would know what I look like, where I live and the fact that I have guns in my home. This would make me, and everyone else on it, a prime target for people who want to get hold of guns and have no problem killing people to get what they want.

    Are you really saying that tens of thousands of people who have already gone through the whole application process (which happens to be one of the most thorough you will find anywhere in the world) must also have to accept this risk to their lives and the lives of their families because of your paranoia ?


    And just for the record, I'm against allowing people to use firearms to defend their homes. A properly stored firearm would not be easily accessible in most situations and statistics show you're more likely to end up killing or hurting yourself and/or someone you love than you are to scare off any intruder.
    I wouldn't convict people who had used a legally owned gun in such circumstances but I would expect them to face a criminal investigation and trial in order to show that they had acted in self defence and that their actions have been proportionate to the circumstances they were in.

    I find the idea of people owning guns primarily or solely to defend themselves to be very scary, I also wouldn't accept it as a legitimate reason to own one. The chance of you ever needing a gun for this purpose is more than negated by the extra risk that would be involved in people using guns for this reason. The most likely result would be a load of dead teenagers who had woken up their parents while sneaking back in late at night.

    I won't even use people shaped targets at the range and the last thing I'd want to do is pull a gun on someone coming into my home as I wouldn't want to escalate the situation in that way as I believe it would only serve to put my family and I at greater risk.

    You seem to be a little confused, you think anyone should be able to own a gun so they can defend themselves but you also want to put all of them onto a database that would increase the chance of them being attacked in their homes.


    And all of our Police do have the right to carry a gun, they just have to complete the firearms training and selection process first to prove that they're able to use it safely and appropriately. Having spoken to several firearms officers over the years I've found that very few of their colleagues want to carry guns.

    This was 2003 but it still illustrates the point:
    Police don't want to carry guns

    The Police Federation's report showed that 78 per cent did not want to carry guns on everyday duties, compared with 79 per cent in 1995. It also revealed 47 per cent of frontline officers in England and Wales backed mandatory wearing of body armour and eight out of 10 said more officers should be trained to use firearms.

    "They recognise that openly carrying guns would fundamentally change their relationship with the public."

    Just 4.6 per cent of officers said they wanted to be armed both off and on duty, down 1 per cent on the results of the 1995 survey. However, 17.4 per cent said they wanted to be trained and armed while on duty, a rise of nearly 2 per cent.

    Nearly 43 per cent said that while they did not want to be routinely armed, more officers should receive specialist firearms training.


    Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1429849/Police-dont-want-to-carry-guns.html

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  • 97. At 05:38am on 05 Jun 2010, danccooke wrote:

    I am a Shotgun Certificate holder. Two of my neighbours are. My two brothers and my mother and father are. My parents both shoot clays as and when health allows.

    My Brothers and I along with my neighbours aid local farmers in the woodpigeon problem.
    A pest that can eat it's own weight in crops every three days. With a flock of a few hundred to a thousand birds rotating round the fields they can totally destroy a crop in a matter of days.
    Most farms these days don't have a throng of staff but maybe a handful of people. These people have jobs to do and that isn't studying the flight paths of the pigeons, eating habits locally and then trying to preempt which fields the pigeons are going to hit. Then setting your hide in the right position taking into account, weather, location of the fields and surrounding buildings/roads/footpaths/bridleways etc etc. sitting in a hide for the afternoon hoping that your reconnaisance, fieldmans ship (hide setting/location and building) are adequate to fool a particularly wiley quarry.

    Why do I do it??

    1) Pigeon tastes damn fine, lean, healthy and versatile
    2) My grandfathers farm went bankrupt, I like to feel I am helping an industry that we should be proud of.
    3) Have you sat and watched day time TV? ( I work shifts and often have my days spare)

    I am not a threat to the public, nor are my neighbours or my brothers. We all have respectable and varied jobs. From Publicans, Long distance lorry drivers to IT Consultants and Office Clerks.

    I am not a farmer but the farmers that I have permission to shoot for would say my shotgun is more necessary than thiers which are only used for Clays or Driven Game. I am also insured against any damage I could possibly cause (this is at my expense but almost all farmers insist thier shots are insured)
    My gun cabinet is secured in my loft. My local FEO comes round more often than his "minimum quota" requires. Perhaps he wants to make sure that we are all doing as we should. He might pop in for a natter but even during chatting we always get onto the guns and where they are currently, how much ammo I have etc. (perhaps he is just very cautious that he doesn't want an attrocity to happen "on his patch").

    When heading out to the field often my neighbours will see me and ask which fields I am heading to. Or ask if for some pigeon if I am sucessful. Creating more of a community feel between the neighbourhood.

    Also if anyone were to dial 999 for my address it will provoke an armed response. Becuase the police know who are registered keepers of firearms and addresses have markers on them. Even if a neighbour reported a domestic between myself and my wife. The police don't know what is happening but they know firearms are possibly present.

    I don't know what people want to happen from this horrendous incident. people who are quoting the ability to kill at 500yards. Not with a shotgun and not with a .22 I don't know of any responsible shot who would take a shot at live quarry at ranges of half that, and that would be with a high power rifle not a .22

    do we ban matches when an arsonist strikes?
    do we ban football when a riot happens and people get injured or killed?
    do we ban alcohol when someone get violently drunk and kicks to death a man trying to protect his property?

    I would have no problem with more checks to make sure I am sane and fit to posses the firearms I own. I would have no problem with having a monthly visit from my FEO (however in my local area he is one of three FEO's and there are A LOT of firearms owners, he'd never have time)

    As for registers and central locations for firearms to be held. Who is going to be there when i finish work at 0600hrs? I'll be going home getting changed and spending the morning in the fields , who would accomapany me, will that person have sufficient patience and field craft to keep still and unseen?

    Lets just stick to current legislation that ultimately works with perhaps some more sanity checks which any of us legal owners would do, we jump through enough hoops already, a couple more wouldn't be a major issue.





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  • 98. At 08:03am on 05 Jun 2010, vieja80 wrote:

    This is proving to be an interesting discussion, The statement by Danccooke, " I don't know what people want to happen from this horrendous incident. people who are quoting the ability to kill at 500yards. Not with a shotgun and not with a .22 I don't know of any responsible shot who would take a shot at live quarry at ranges of half that, and that would be with a high power rifle not a .22 "

    Very true commment and the lack knowledge by the non shooting majortity is my concern as with most things the minority (e.g the shooters) will suffer in the long term.
    Most people are responsible enough to use a firearm correctly. just like most people are responsible enough to use a kitchen knife correctly!

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  • 99. At 08:27am on 05 Jun 2010, ChrisPer wrote:

    Mass shootings are imitative crimes. The perpetrators learn from journalists and anti-gun activists the easiest ways to get guns. In the US, mass killers kept articles from TIme and Newsweek and went out of their way to imitate by buying the guns emphasised by the media and choosing the same kind of locations - post offices and schools.

    Professional journalists are very careful how they report suicides and those same guidelines would be very helpful in reducing mass shootings. If you look at reporting of mass murders, every factor for creating imitators in suicide is there.

    If your family fall in one of these shootings, its journalists, not innocent people, that you should hold to account.

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  • 100. At 08:48am on 05 Jun 2010, dinosaur wrote:

    It would make sense to focus on access to legally held guns if

    1/ There was a clear relationship between the availability of legal firearms and these horrific multiple shooting incidents.
    2/ There were no other forms of behaviour which were equally shocking and socially incomprehensible.

    I think the discussion here has weakened proposition 1/.

    In recent times there has certainly been a perception that incidents under heading 2 are increasing - I would include the serial killings in Ipswich and Bradford, and also a succession of incidents involving extreme child neglect or child abuse (in some cases child on child), resulting in death. The discussion around the latter has generally focussed on institutional failures, rather than asking what circumstances and factors led to individuals behaving towards children in ways which shock and horrify the rest of the population. Perhaps both the "gun control" argument and the "social service failure" argument are attempts to treat the symptom, rather than the disease?

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  • 101. At 09:05am on 05 Jun 2010, Broom23 wrote:

    After the Dunblane tragedy innocent users like me who used a target pistol for target practice under strict conditions were banned from owning another firearm. As I recall to own a firearm certificate meant going through strict conditions and vetting. Now even pistol shooters for the olympics have to train abroad, how stupid is that? I use an air pistol for target practice now at a recognised shooting club. Now air pistols are not allowed to be purchased on the internet. Judging by recent events in Cumbria all these restrictions do not seem to prove very much.

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  • 102. At 10:10am on 05 Jun 2010, iGonzoid wrote:

    You seem to have missed Australia's two major tragedies — Port Arthur massacre, 1996, in which 35 died; and Hoddle St, Melbourne, in which seven people were killed in 1987.

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  • 103. At 10:18am on 05 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    96. At 01:09am on 05 Jun 2010, Buck_Turgidson wrote:

    You're the one who is confused ... any serious criminal already has a gun and most people who keep guns or are likely to have a gun or are probably already known to criminals in the sense as being a gun holder/user. So there is not a new or major problem with guns being stolen from registered gun owners.

    However, what a public database would do would be to highlight that someone owning guns and living e.g. in a terraced house in a busy urban area is probably unable to guarantee the security of those weapons. So the data-base would make it obvious to the police that some addresses would be unsuitable for keeping guns and that a firearms certificate should be refused. If someone has a twelve bore shotgun and lives a in an urban terraced house with 4 by 5 back yard - Why have they been licensed with a shotgun?

    There are still far too many guns in circulation - and the police have little chance of tracking individual guns as many are bought and sold and altered etc.

    Most criminals get a gun from a Licensed gun holder somewhere in the supply chain.

    The police are over-stretched and are unable to police guns and licences properly.

    There are many guns problems here - police marksman training is not readily available to all police officers as you suggest as the available numbers are limited - and that is a different issue from a police officer having a personal option to be trained and carry a concealed weapon both 'on' and 'off duty' ... whether its 10% or 90% off officers is irrelevent - those officers who prefer to do this should be allowed to do so - as that is only fair in regard to the risks that thay can be asked and are prepared to face.

    Until the general public know who is licensed to possess guns and why ... I think the public will be dissatisfied with the present gun licensing arrangements.

    I asked some friends and neighbours this morning if they thought that details of licensed gun carriers should be public information on a public data-base ... and the response was YES.. absolutely. One of my neighbours also said .. we all assume that career criminals have guns ... but many shootings are by fairly ordinary people 'losing it'

    That is the justification ... peope, have a right to know ... that e.g. the car pulling off the drive opposite where they live probably has a couple of guns in the boot of that car...

    A public data base could also have different levels of access and information ... so that everyone viewing the database would need to give reasons for viewing the database and be logged themselves for identity checks. This would enable e.g. a person to check on how many guns are held by their next door neigboor but not check on the entire neighbourhood and publish the findings in a local newspaper.

    Access to the data-base would be on a need to know basis and neighbours should be able to object to someone getting a new licence or holding several guns like e.g. Kalashnikov rifles as are held by some collectors.

    The police cannot possibly police gun control in the UK. In my local area they routinely fail to follow up on most reported incidents by instead just giving an incident number when a crime is reported or by not bothering to turn out at all for e.g. street dealing in drugs.

    The public have a right to be involved with this and remove the cloak of secrecy that involves licensed gun ownership.

    You may not be a risk to anyone and do things properly but there are others who clearly are a risk and a public data-base would highlight these problem people and get their guns removed - and get the opublic involved with policing. I think it's called a 'big society' issue?

    The database could be used for logging convicted gun offenders and allow members of the public to report crimes and other issues. A public access crime and security database is long over-due. This should be a great asset to any police force as would dramatically increase the effectiveness of our police forces with eyes and ears on every street corner ... regarding guns and those using them.

    The main benefit of a public data-base is that members of the public would be able to report on the data-base that a registed gun holder has a significant change of behaviour, unreported crimes etc and the main venue for their shooting be listed in case of illegal use of guns e.g. shooting in protected areas etc.

    A public data-base would probably mean that the number of licensed gun holders would fall ... and this would be good as arguably... that would be removing the risk of the unnecessary and under-used guns ... the ones that are probably posing the greatest risk to the general public.

    I was was brought up in a rural area and I am very familiar with guns but I would not wish to own one now.

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  • 104. At 11:34am on 05 Jun 2010, fastbowler wrote:

    #12. At 1:36pm on 04 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote: A very useful idea, if I was a criminal that is. So every firearm owner's name, photo and the address of his local nick would be kept on a publicly-accessible database under your scheme?

    Hmmm... The phone book or voter's register should give me the address of 'is drum and the photo would confirm I've got the right geezer. A little breaking and entering while the family's out shopping and I've got a nice shooter for me blag next week. Me angle grinder will soon cut it down to an 'andy pocket size an' I've saved meself free 'undred nicker down the boozer.

    It seems to me, nautonier, that you've shot yourself in the foot (no apologies for the obvious pun). Confucius once said: "Observe the ripples when tossing a pebble into a pond. You might just cause a tsunami that drowns all your ducks."

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  • 105. At 11:41am on 05 Jun 2010, thelawntroll wrote:

    Oh dear...the 'Daily Mail' effect strikes. Do we REALLY want to live in a society where people watch through windows until their gun-owning neighbours go out and them worry/phone the police about possible guns on the loose? Why shouldn't a factory worker, living in a terraced house with a 4 x 5 back yard own a firearm if he can show just cause (e.g. target shooter), is deemed by the police to be a sane, law-abiding citizen and keeps his firearms locked in a secure, approved, gun-safe?

    I have been involved with target shooting since school, and I have never met anyone at a range who would even remotely be described as a 'gun nut'. Most of them spend huge sums of money on the technical aspects of their sport - to improve their shooting skills, not in glorification of the weapons themselves.

    It seems to be the common consensus on this blog that illegal firearms come from abroad and are supplied by 'crooked firearms dealers'. This is where the police should be concentrating their efforts.

    So, where do we stand? On one hand, the public are in fear of firearms, perhaps from gratuitous violence on TV and the movies. They call for a national, public database of who owns firearms and where they live, and would prefer the outright banning of all firearms.

    On the other, the shooting community replies that shooting is a very popular sport in this country, and that almost everyone who owns a weapon is a law-abiding citizen. They acknowledge that you cannot legislate against individuals who are determined to commit crimes of violence. Shooters also feel that a national, public database is a poor idea and would lead them open to more crime, and not less.

    The new Government has promised that there will be no 'knee-jerk reaction' to the sad events in Cumbria. Perhaps we should be having this debate in six months time, when people can look and think a bit less emotionally about it. Like it or not, this is an important subject which must be sorted out.

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  • 106. At 12:18pm on 05 Jun 2010, jack halford wrote:

    As much as I have enjoyed the new Coalition government coming to terms with sharing and implementing their different views on how our lives should be shaped, I am appalled at the PM and some senior government officials remarks about 'Gun Control'!!
    'Knee Jerk Reaction' is a poor choice of words in relation to twelve innocent people losing their lives to yet again a Gun permit holder!
    Most MPs are totally out of touch with the ordinary person on the street and its about time they got their heads out of the clouds and start to act for the people and NOT their own agendas.
    This Taxi Driver from Cumbria should NEVER have owned a GUN!
    The Home Secretary said 'lets wait for the facts before making rash decisions over gun control'. How lame is that statement/
    The facts are that twelve! innocent people lost their lives to a permit holder of Guns!
    I regard myself as a decent law abiding citizen who also knows how to handle firearms due to 24 years in the military, and yet I do NOT believe that I should ever have a gun in my place of residence.
    The PM needs to take responsibility for the fact that over 1 million gun owners should never have a gun and ammunition in their place of residence!
    If they need to use guns for recreational use (skeet, target, hunting) then their guns should be locked up in a armoury until such time as needed. They should then have a permit for the day of weapon use and at NO time should they have ammunition and gun in their place of residence.

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  • 107. At 1:01pm on 05 Jun 2010, SSnotbanned wrote:

    #34 BPH
    #35Peter Sym

    you both seem to be missing something.

    As I posted on #15 CONSTANT COMMUNICATION (e.g.with the firearm office) to be maintained while the gun(s) are in use. If the gunholder shoots the responsible person you have;

    a name,
    a description of person,
    car/vehicle/other registration number,
    an exact time,
    and location, starting point.

    Far more than initial information than the Cumbrian police had I'm sure when the first call for help rang out.

    Far from being ''pantomine'' it's laughable that you find this sort of information not of extreme importance.

    P.S. As a farmer I know the fox will run a mile when he sees/hears me open the farmhouse door. Even if Mr Fox was too busy savaging the chickens, I wouldn't want to miss and kill more chickens.
    (Maybe that's why we have to go ''fox hunting''.)

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  • 108. At 1:01pm on 05 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    104. At 11:34am on 05 Jun 2010, fastbowler wrote:

    #12. At 1:36pm on 04 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote: A very useful idea, if I was a criminal that is. So every firearm owner's name, photo and the address of his local nick would be kept on a publicly-accessible database under your scheme?

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    The options regarding 'gun control' and mass murders from licensed weapons, very loosely are:

    1) Do nothing

    2) Very stiff bans until virtually no one can hold a ban legally ... and only criminals will have guns

    3) Get the public involved and contributing to licensing decisions and keeping and eye on gunholders to raise the alarm when a gun holders's behaviour appears to be a risk with them being in posession.

    Which category will your preferred option be in ... let me guess ... No1

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  • 109. At 1:20pm on 05 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    105. At 11:41am on 05 Jun 2010, thelawntroll wrote:

    Oh dear...the 'Daily Mail' effect strikes. Do we REALLY want to live in a society where people watch through windows until their gun-owning neighbours go out and them worry/phone the police about possible guns on the loose? Why shouldn't a factory worker, living in a terraced house with a 4 x 5 back yard own a firearm if he can show just cause (e.g. target shooter), is deemed by the police to be a sane, law-abiding citizen and keeps his firearms locked in a secure, approved, gun-safe?

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Yes I read the Daily Mail amongst other daily's as it is one of the few papers that has a real opinion instead of the bland libertarian clap trap of the rest. I am actually in favour of responsible gun ownership but the political climate and human rights legislation etc also prevent proper gun control in the UK.

    The 'reason' is that if that firearm is discharged on that terraced property with 4 x 5 backyard, either, accidentally or otherwise ... there is an increased chance of a passer-by or someone being or living close by ... and the potential risk posed by that firearm being stored in a location where it can never be safely discharged is out of all proportion to the benefit to society or personal owner's justification for having that firearm at that address.

    That's why!

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I would also say to you:

    The options regarding 'gun control' and mass murders from licensed weapons, very loosely are:

    1) Do nothing

    2) Very stiff bans until virtually no one can hold a ban legally ... and only criminals will have guns

    3) Get the public involved and contributing to licensing decisions and keeping and eye on gunholders to raise the alarm when a gun holders's behaviour appears to be a risk with them being in posession.

    Which category will your preferred option be in ... let me guess ... No 1?

    Also, whether a person is sane or not is very difficult to determine ... even for those who are 'experts' and doctors in mental health ... and a police officer is not trained to determine someone's sanity... the only possible way to identify those posing a risk is for those in contact with a licensed gun holder to recognise the signs of potentially high risk CHANGED behaviour... depression, stress, anxiety, drug taking etc.

    Looks like a very stiff firearms ban is on the way while we anxiously wait and see when and where the next incident will occur.

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  • 110. At 1:30pm on 05 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    The other issue about a public access database about guns and firearms would be that criminals would not be entitled to see and use the database and access material - some of the sensitive personal material could be given to those with genuine information enquiries; verbally by police officers through appointments at police stations; accessing the database could be controlled by signing agreements as to personal use of the information. This would amount to ? a few thousand enquiries a year across the UK for those with genuine concerns?

    Surprisingly, most members of the public are responsible and can be trusted with legitimate enquiries and information on e.g. gun owners living nearby to them or as work colleagues - and are not all criminals trying to steal the guns of licensed firearms users and the like fantasy speculation.

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  • 111. At 2:06pm on 05 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/opensecrets/2010/06/should_you_know_if_your_neighb.html

    I have only just seen this web page with a similar theme.

    The public access databases in the US have run into trouble as the databases and access to information is not being managed properly ... the database and access should be operated only on a need to know basis and with fines for misuses of information etc.

    This is the important bit ... if Cumbria had a public access database and this had been in full operation last week ... there is a good chance that someone would have made contact with the police and suggested that he was unwell/unfit to have a licence ... and the incident could have been avoided.

    In my humble opinion this is the only thing that can work and make sure that similar incidents can be prevented ... by public and peer awareness and confidential contact with the police on thos posing a significant risk either to themselves and/or the public.

    Mr Bird could have been stopped and his gun and licence have been taken away from him ... it was very much preventable!

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  • 112. At 2:48pm on 05 Jun 2010, Buzzardstubble since 2007 wrote:

    @ nautonier:

    You have now posted 10% of all contributions to this blog. That is a fact (09.30hrs EST 6/5/10)

    To quote you, "Most criminals get a gun from a licensed gun holder"

    Please give the source of your statistics, because I don't believe them.
    If in 2008/9 4275 firearms offences were committed in UK with handguns, which are prohibited weapons, who were the licensed holders of those weapons?

    You make a point supported by, "I asked some friends and neighbours". I need to know more about this sample, because I suspect that their ideas may all be as one dimensional as yours.

    Who would administer your database, would it only be accessible at police stations? In order to vet enquirers, I take it DNA, fingerprinting and CRO checks would be essential (to make sure criminals were not targetting their customary source of guns). Who pays, how many police officers staff this department, would you agree that a 300 pounds fee to inspect would be reasonable to cover the work?

    Let me tell you a short story regarding concentrating guns at gun clubs. Mine was on a remote marshland area, the nearest police station was about 10 minutes away and not 24 hour manned. They recovered a stolen 4x4 vehicle, which was in turn stolen from the police station yard. The next nearest response was about 35 minutes away under 'flaash' conditions. You might as well give the guns away and cut out the middle man.

    I am happy to listen to anyone's opinion, but not to have it rammed down my throat repeatedly, labelled as fact.

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  • 113. At 3:13pm on 05 Jun 2010, thelawntroll wrote:

    At 1:20pm on 05 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    "Which category will your preferred option be in ... let me guess ... No 1?"

    Sadly, I suspect that you are right...there will be a very stiff ban on firearms...although this may apply more to rifles than shotguns. Like it or not, shotguns are a vital tool in management of the countryside, and this will need to them being treated more leniently.

    Actually, the thought that the mental health of someone can be judged by a neighbour, work colleague, etc. and then informing on them to the police sounds just a little Orwellian to me. However, since this will, I suspect, be the way things will go I hope that the police are well able to back up any subsequent action in the courts and not just rely on the case of "a friend told me that he was feeling depressed..." That's why we have a thousand years of law in this country which prides itself on 'innocent until proven guilty' I agree that in this case, if someone had have gone to the police sooner and voiced their concerns, things may have taken a different tack. We shall never know.

    So, let's have a blanket ban on all weapons...rifles, shotguns, air weapons, crossbows, archery bows, knives, catapults and anything else which can hurt people in the wrong hands. It would save the police a lot of time and effort and no-one would have to inform on anyone else. Simple!

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  • 114. At 3:36pm on 05 Jun 2010, Dave Derrick wrote:

    Nice article Mark, thanks for some common sense reporting.

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  • 115. At 3:41pm on 05 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    112. At 2:48pm on 05 Jun 2010, buzzardstubble wrote:

    @ nautonier:

    You have now posted 10% of all contributions to this blog. That is a fact (09.30hrs EST 6/5/10)

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    If you'd like me to post even more and reply to YOU... you had better say 'Please' ... and withdraw some of your comments

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  • 116. At 3:43pm on 05 Jun 2010, DouglasM wrote:

    I think the conclusion that the level of legal gun ownership correlates to the incidence of mass killings per capita is proved false by the statistics quoted. The USA has 16 times the number of registered guns per head of population to that of the UK yet has experienced less than twice the number of killings. Also, Germany, Canada & France have as many or more killings per head of population to the USA, yet the USA has nearly three times the number of registered weapons. Also, Bird carried out these killings at very close range I believe, so it is pretty likely he would have been able to accomplish his horrific ends by using no more than a kitchen knife - it was just easier with a firearm. Don't think the availability of guns would have prevented this murder spree, but might have reduced the death toll.

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  • 117. At 3:44pm on 05 Jun 2010, Flora d Lithe wrote:

    Ben Elton's comedy might not often resonate, but never has he hit a nail so firmly on the head as in the episode of "The Thin Blue Line" when the police inspector (played by Rowan Atkinson) expressed the view that the mere act of applying for a firearms licence indicated that the individual was unfit to hold such qualification.

    No private individual should be permitted to keep any kind of firearm whatever at home.

    Gun clubs (for which there is no real justification) and shooting estates, etc., should be authorised to procure guns on behalf of individuals - but those clubs, estates, etc. would be required to retain possession of all such arms (even though owned by private individuals), and to account for their safety.

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  • 118. At 4:25pm on 05 Jun 2010, JapRobin wrote:

    This is similar to the CCTV impinging our freedoms debate. You have to ask the question, "Which is more important, the right of the law-abiding legally held gun users to shoot, or the right of the victims of law-breaking legally held gun users to live?"

    It may be that Derrick Bird would have resorted to some extreme action by some other means if he hadn't had a gun, but I'm confident he wouldn't have caused the same damage, and might have been apprehended before any damage was done, or he might not even have bothered. We all get angry from time time and vent it in different ways, but as the examples quoted in this post suggest some individuals cannot be trusted with the immediate, destructive potential of the gun. You don't have a gun, and maybe you'll have calmed down by the time you get your hands on another kind of weapon, and might even give up on the idea, especially if your intended victim is bigger and/or tougher than you.

    That's the point, just like some owners of vicious dogs, some owners of guns enjoy the POWER they feel it gives them. These are the scary people, and there are far too many of them.

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  • 119. At 4:43pm on 05 Jun 2010, CWS65x57 wrote:

    The thought of my neighbours and anyone else knowing that I keep my rifles at home, might not be a bad idea. Everytime I go out to work or shopping etc., I'll just phone my local CPO to say that there is no body at home and I would be grateful if they could post an armed bobby outside my door until I return home. This would ensure that 'no unauthorised persons' could gain access to them, which is a police requirement. I could then cancel my expensive home insurance policy, knowing I have the best security around! Judging by the numbers of Shotgun and Firearms licence holders, that would employ the entire Police force. What a fabulous idea.

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  • 120. At 4:54pm on 05 Jun 2010, Granville wrote:

    It seems to me that a lot of suggestions for gun control depend upon the police operating some form of public database. Leaving aside the merits or otherwise of such a database, can we rely on the police to administer it correctly? I may have missed it but I notice that the Cumbria police has given no information about the events surrounding the granting of firearms and shotgun certificates to Derrick Bird.

    This is eerily reminiscent of Dunblane, where subsequently the Cullen inquiry showed that the relevant police force had missed a number of factors that should have disqualified Hamiliton from holding guns. Indeed, a recommendation from a firearms officer that Hamiliton should not own guns was ignored by superior officers. Have we here, in Cumbria, a case of lack of diligence by a police force being a contributory factor in the murders?

    And another thing - this concentration on legally held guns implies that while its not OK to be killed by a madman with a legal gun, it matters less if its an illegal gun, or a knife, club or whatever that is used as the murder weapon.

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  • 121. At 5:03pm on 05 Jun 2010, G_K___ wrote:

    It is indeed important to defend vital freedoms, but the freedom to own a weapon designed to maim and kill is far from vital.

    Selective licensing takes up far too much police time and resources, and is a drain on taxpayers' hard-earned money.

    This is the 21st century, and we are a civilised society. What we need is a blanket ban on the ownership of weapons.

    Gun owners are a danger to the public, and need to be identified and disarmed.

    Let's root out the bad eggs!

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  • 122. At 6:28pm on 05 Jun 2010, twomblyparsnip wrote:

    Ok; here are a few questions I'd appreciate answers on:

    How many people might have survived if Mr Bird was unable to use a firearm or firearms, relying instead on blunt/sharp instruments and bad language?

    How willing would Mr Bird have been to attack and kill knowing he would have had to use physical violence as opposed to shooting them?

    What reasons are given by the farming community for the ownership and use of firearms?

    How how many verminous animals (assuming they represent the only genuine rationale for firearm use in the farming community) are killed by firearms each year?

    What is the primary purpose of a firearm?

    I suspect (though I'd hate to secondguess) that the answers will point to the conclusion that there is no real reason for guns to be owned by ANY private individual or club in this country.

    I'm sure the relatives of the unfortunate victims of this tragedy (and it has to be said, those of Derrick Bird himself) would like to know the answers to some of these questions too.

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  • 123. At 6:34pm on 05 Jun 2010, Mickrick wrote:

    There is one common link between the three mass killings in the UK and that is police incompetence. The Hungerford killer had been reported for strange behavior regarding firearms, The Dunblaine killer was shielded by a senior police office who blocked at least two attempts to revoke his firearms certificate and it seem sMr Bird was allowed to keep his FAC in spite of a having a conviction for theft. I well remember the comments of a police officer after the Dunblaine killing who said, in response to the question " would a gun ban stop this sort of thing". He said it wouldn't but "at least the next time it won't be our fault". Prophetic words, don't you think?

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  • 124. At 7:21pm on 05 Jun 2010, Buzzardstubble since 2007 wrote:

    g_k

    Much more time, money and police resources are wasted on roads policing, in order to save lives.

    Why not ban cars?

    180 people were killed in workplace accidents in 2008/9 http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/index.htm

    Why not ban work?

    Why do I keep seing Neville Chamberlain waving his piece of paper when I read your blogs?

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  • 125. At 8:27pm on 05 Jun 2010, SDEF wrote:

    Considering the three hour rampage that Bird was granted without intervention, had he murdered his innocent victims with a knife, car, machete or any other gadget, what would have been the reaction by the media and those speaking against firearms ?

    All Bird's premeditated and random victims were attacked at close range, some lured, to ensure a kill. Therefore nothing contradicts that he would have not done the same if he did not have a firearm.

    I wonder what would have been the present uninformed reaction against firearms had any gentleman courageously confronted Bird with a firearm and stopped him in tracks. Maybe the victims would have then been just one, two, three, eleven ! How would that gentleman be hailed ? A hero, a murderer ? When defending yourself in UK has been turned into a moral taboo and a crime, I fear no such gentleman exists anymore. Alas the count is Twelve. When seconds count, the cops are minutes away.

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  • 126. At 8:33pm on 05 Jun 2010, unknown1730 wrote:

    One thing I have always argued is their are much more deadly alternative with homebrew munitions. A weed killer spray bottle, fire extinguisher filled with improvised napalm or petrol could be nasty flamethrower (And it has been done - see cologne school massacre). A home made sub-machine gun can be made with hand tools, with nail gun blanks converted to real ammunition. The loyalist paramilitaries used improvised machine guns and have killed people with them.

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  • 127. At 9:08pm on 05 Jun 2010, Riff Raff wrote:

    I assume the Firearm used was a .22lr rifle although I suspect when the police present their report on this horrific incident it'll be shown that a shotgun was used for most of the deaths & injuries.

    A .22lr is probably the firearm most commonly used for the control of the rabbit population. It fires a subsonic solid round of approx 5mm diameter & 10mm long. The normal set up is to have telescopic sights & a sound moderator fitted. With practice it's effective range to consistently head shoot rabbits is 50 metres, it would struggle to hit a barn door consistently at 200 metres. It's virtually silent to use hence it's popularity for shooting rabbits. Rabbits are a very destructive pest that can cause massive destruction to both crops & the landscape. I know shooters local to myself that are shooting in excess of a 1000 rabbits a month.
    Obtaining a Firearm Licence isn't an ivitation to start a weapons arsenal, you have to have permission for each individual rifle calibre. For instance you will be given the right to own one .22lr + a sound moderator. All sales & purchases of weapons have to be reported to the police, they hold record of all serial numbers. All ammunition purchases are recorded on your licence & by the gun shop, ammunition quantities held also have restrictions. Ammunition has also to be stored in a seperate safe from the rifle. Although it varies by police force you are also restricted as to what you are able to shoot, it's unlikely that a force will allow the shooting of foxes with a .22lr
    Shotgun certificate rules are not as tight as the Firearm ones. There are no restrictions as per numbers kept as long as you have a suitable cabinet to hold them. All guns held are registered by serial number with the police. The purchase / sale of shotguns is the same as a Firearm. There are no restrictions regarding purchase of ammunition or the keeping of it. I'm assuming that these rules will be altered in the near future. A shotgun is lethal at close range, it'll cause a serious wound. It's effective range for shooting game or clays is 40 - 50 metres.

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  • 128. At 10:49pm on 05 Jun 2010, david de wrote:

    Some of the above reactions from people who wish to deny firearm ownership to all responsible gun owners - who have legitimate reasons for owning and using guns for sport, recreational or work use - are neither sensible, equitable or workable.

    If we follow that same flawed logic, maybe we should ban all GP’s from attending to or treating elderly patients because of Dr Harold Frederick Shipman, the most prolific known serial killers in global history with 215 murders being positively ascribed to him.

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  • 129. At 09:19am on 06 Jun 2010, BritDownUnder wrote:

    No amount of legislation will ever eliminate all incidents such as this, as the saying goes 'where there's a will there's a way'. In addition, although a horrific event, only 45 people have ever been killed in mass-shootings in the UK. Just looking at some random stats on the internet it seems your statistically more likely to be killed getting your wisdom teeth removed (1 in every 400,000 - 1.75mill operations apparently (yes I have far too much time on my hands).

    This shouldn't be used as an excuse for inaction however. We should at least look to see if there is an opportunity to at least reduce the risk of something similar happening again (but no knee-jerk decisions as Mr Cameron quite rightly says).

    To add my own contribution, I would include a psychological assessment as part of the gun ownership test (at applicant's expense). The psychologist would also have access to all details of the applicant (including financial, any past criminal activity however small or long ago etc) which would have to be reviewed every 2 years or so. Lower income applicants who relied on gun ownership for their livelihood (such as farmers) could be made eligible for some form of financial support to pay for this.

    Now I appreciate (as many have said) that someone could always go to the black market. If you have the right knowledge and connections I'm sure it's easy to obtain such weapons but for the average Joe (as Mr Bird seems to have been) finding out who and where to go (I wouldn't have a clue) would create more obstacles and much greater risk of someone becoming suspicious of your questions and behavior (it would also take more time to plan and thus reduce more spontaneous 'red-rage' incidents).

    Banning guns completely and penalising all owners for the rash actions of one individual is just the type of rash, over-the-top decision we should avoid. Anyway got to finish there I have a dentists appointment to cancel.

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  • 130. At 09:21am on 06 Jun 2010, Bob Blanchett wrote:

    Mark,

    Australian research into Mass shootings (>=5 deaths)
    "Australia’s 1996 gun law reforms: faster falls in firearm deaths, firearm suicides, and a decade without mass shootings" Chapman, Alpers et al.2006
    http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/12/6/365.full

    in short:
    Results: In the 18 years before the gun law reforms, there were 13 mass shootings in Australia, and none in the 10.5 years afterwards. Declines in firearm-related deaths before the law reforms accelerated after the reforms for total firearm deaths (p = 0.04), firearm suicides (p = 0.007) and firearm homicides (p = 0.15), but not for the smallest category of unintentional firearm deaths, which increased. No evidence of substitution effect for suicides or homicides was observed. The rates per 100 000 of total firearm deaths, firearm homicides and firearm suicides all at least doubled their existing rates of decline after the revised gun laws.



    It seems to me the earlier posted wacky libertarian reductionist arguments (if they dont have guns they'll use knives!.. or staplers!) just dont stack up against the data. The decline in fatalities per incident track directly against the highest ROF of the prevailing legal weapons.

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  • 131. At 10:27am on 06 Jun 2010, Granville wrote:

    I don't think Bob Blanchett is telling the whole story about Australian gun control. In the first place the report he cites was authored by a long standing anti shooting acedemic, Simon Chapman, a former convenor of the Coalition for Gun Control in Australia.

    Secondly the report was never peer reviewed before publication, and thirdly the use of the statistics was, as ever, somewhat suspect. For example at least one of the incidents included in the statistics was of a massacre involving criminal gangs and illegally held weapons.

    As far as statistics go a later report, also by Australian academics, concluded that there was little evidence to suggest that the firearms controls introduced in Australia subsequent to 1996 had any significant effects on firearm homicides and suicides, and further that the money spent on buying back legally held firearms "had not translated into any tangible reductions in terms of firearm deaths."

    But in a sense what happens elsewhere is of little value in Britain, as the one thing all commentators agree on is that the culture of the country concerned plays a major part. First let us know why the present firearms laws did not actually work, and this involves the Cumbria police being open and clear about the chain of events prior to the shooting. Then, with that knowledge, formulate a system that will work. And it should concentrate on licensing the person, rather than the guns he or she wishes to acquire.

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  • 132. At 10:55am on 06 Jun 2010, JanosZ wrote:

    Whilst the stability and mental make-up of an individual who shoots to kill are the obvious root causes of a terrible incident like the Cumbrian massacre, might not the current gung-ho glorification of weapons and the power they confer have some bearing on the mindset of the perpetrators?

    We live in a culture that is apparently obsessed with the rule of the gun and an individual's right to use it to dispense 'justice'; the 'Dirty Harry' syndrome? Countless movies and TV shows hammer home the message that the answer to almost any problem is for the Good Guys - aka, you and me – to blast the Bad Guys to Kingdom Come, preferably using some massively-powerful weapon with the effects rendered in special effects close-up technicolour with sickening realism. A plethora of ultra-violent, ultra-realistic computer games take the same basic concept a step further; the 'player' gets to be the guy who pulls the trigger and unleashes the hail of hellish carnage, at no risk to himself other than a 'game over' message.

    The point has been made that a series of recent massacres in China and elsewhere in south-east Asia have involved knives and swords. I'm currently domicled in Cambodia (a country that you would have thought had suffered more than its fair share of appalling violence), and the Asian (mostly Chinese and Korean) TV channels here are awash with a sickening sea of 'slasher' movies – films of savage violence in which the 'avenger' hacks a never-ending succession of 'badies' to pieces with a variety of such weapons, again with ultra-gory special-effects realism. Locally-produced computer games are based on the same scenario.

    The media industries producing all this material would doubtless argue that this is all harmless 'fantasy', that no-one believes it is 'real'. Intelligent, rational people can doubtless make such a distinction; but those in a state to contemplate random mass-murder are rarely rational. Surely a constant exposure to a doctrine that suggests that administering violence and exerting the power of lethal weaponry is somehow a "right without consequence' can hardly be regarded as beneficial.

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  • 133. At 11:16am on 06 Jun 2010, Granville wrote:

    JanosZ has a good point. I always found it slightly bizarre that adverts in favour of gun control post Dunblane featured Sean Connery - who had made his money by glorifying violence, particularly gun violence. A damascene conversion perhaps?

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  • 134. At 11:18am on 06 Jun 2010, Daisy Chained wrote:

    The question is one of balance, between that of the armed person versus that of the unarmed person. Given such a premise the exploration of the problem becomes one of "reading" the statistics of homicides (lawful or unlawful) where an unarmed person was the victim.

    The events of Cumbria are, thankfully, very rare no matter where you live, and we will always have people who "flip" and have access to a weapon of some sort. Since the events are very rare they cannot be prevented in any reasonable way.

    The "gun lobby" will, I believe, always be successful in arguing their case, since the statistics for the UK will demonstrate that it is just as likely a "flipper" will come from outside their ranks as it is from inside. Indeed the "flipper" will be just anybody and most often for a vast and complex amalgam of reasons.

    Cumbria was not about access to firearms. It was a very unfortunate series of apparently random occurrences which fitted together to cause a considerable loss of life and injury. Had even one very small sliver of the connecting occurrences panned out a little differently who knows what the eventual outcome may have been?

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  • 135. At 12:07pm on 06 Jun 2010, JapRobin wrote:

    #125, your misrepresentation of this weeks tragedy disrespects the deceased.

    Derrick Bird may well have been relatively close to his victims, but not as close as he would have had to be if his weapon had been a knife. Confronted with a gun his victims were helpless. If he'd had a knife he would have had to physically touch them and they probably would have had an opportunity to attempt evasive action or struggle, not to mention his task would have been more difficult with onlookers and blood spattered clothing. And are you telling me that a rugby league player in company with another adult male wouldn't have put up a fight or tried to make an escape, or that the perpetrator wouldn't have thought twice about it?

    And #128, are you sure it's not your logic that is flawed? As noted by another contributor, guns are designed to maim and kill (the reference to the Ben Elton sketch speaks volumes). Doctors are designed to do the opposite.

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  • 136. At 12:19pm on 06 Jun 2010, Bob Blanchett wrote:

    @Granville 131

    While not wishing to get into an experts at 20 paces debate;(it took me 10 minutes tracking citations to gauge the provenance of chapman and those who somewhat rapidly and it seems inadequately sought to whiteant his conclusions.)

    I don't seem to think affiliations of the two academics(?) and the paper Granville seems reluctant to refer to are members of that August institution, WISH (Women in Shooting and Hunting). Given this his claims of insight into the review policy of the BMJ seems somewhat ..erm remarkable and seem to be based solely on a self-referential (major academic sin) wikipedia link to a shooting website.

    the academics(?) in question are a then president of the SA branch of a shooting association (wish again!) and psychlogist, Baker and McPedran. (they like granville seem to be reluctant to detail their associations even in parliamentary submissions)

    Simon Chapman's primary post seems to be Professor Public Health at
    Sydney University.. if he is/was a gun control advocate too bully for him I say.

    Their analysis of suicide rates seems highly suspect given Chapman's revisiting of it.
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    make your own mind up

    but be careful when you comment.. they seem to keep tabs on you, I just found out!
    "Know your opponent
    There are many individuals, groups and organisations who are against private firearms ownership, sport shooting and recreational hunting. The following information will help you know your opponent."
    http://www.ssaa.org.au/research-archive.html

    my hunch from oz is that Cameron doesnt want the organized UK gun-nuts (as opposed to the working rural gun owners) to make this an issue like fox hunting became so hes playing it down.

    I'd say the UK Libservatives can gain enormous political capital from gun law reformas john howard did in 1996. (PS I live 75m from where the hoddle st shootings took place in CLifton Hill, Melbourne).

    Political capital useful in the general reforms to come.

    Go on, UK. be resolute.. reform the laws and licensing!

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  • 137. At 12:54pm on 06 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7919121.stm

    The nabis database could very easily be extended to provide a confidential mechanism for members of the public reporting those who may pose a public risk with a firearm/crossbow/knife/air rifle etc and on finding out information on those around them. Any extension of the nabis data-base does not need to be owned and controlled by the police ... as the police just need access.

    As I sit typing at my lap top PC - I would very much like to know whether I am in effective ballistic killing range of a legally held weapon(s) and the justification for that person(s) holding those weapons, and what safety measures are in place and whether their premises are used for discharge/use of that weapon.

    An 'improved nabis database' could allow me to find out this information as I believe that I have the right to know about my exposure to legally owned weapons, no matter how remote the perceived risk.

    Any way, isn't it time that the public were given the ability to access a general crime and security issues reporting data-base to log and report crimes and potential issues? This would include such issues as those at risk with a gun whether legal or otherwise and to do this online - this would save a huge amount of police time and if set up properly - the benefits of the database should outweigh the costs of creating and operating such a database.

    Currently, the reporting of any crime to the police can be haphazard with some police forces simply logging incidents regarded as minor or as too much trouble and doing nothing about them. A database would mean that the police should have transparency of crime reporting and be accounatble with their dealing with crime; whether firearm related or otherwise.

    If the police can keep the DNA of millions of innocent people so successfully - then they should be able to keep a proper crime and serious issues public access database in operation where any member of the public can search on their howm address and discover e.g. how many houses have been burgled within 500m of their home address in the last 6 months etc and e.g. know whether a gun was brandished during the burglary.

    e.g. Man seen carrying a gun in holdall city centre car park at 2 pm today
    Description ....?
    Vehicle description ...? and vehicle registration no?

    Remember this need only be information ... but the information can be vital to the police.

    e.g. Gun holder living across the street crawled up his drive drunk at 2pm this morning.

    The information would be given anonymously and would need to be treated with maxium confidentiality by the police ... but can anyone see the significance?

    If we can't trust the police - who can we trust? The police need this back-up - they need our help ... this is the 'big society' where we all help each other?

    I'll 'shop' anyone who misuses any weapon and I'm proud of that (that's enough from me now - I'll 'duck down' and 'keep my head low for a while'.


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  • 138. At 12:57pm on 06 Jun 2010, Rich wrote:

    I worry that legitimate ownership of firearms again comes under assault.

    I used to enjoy full-bore rifle and pistol shoting, but have long since abandoned this hobby due to legislation. I was recently in contact with my old club about rejoining to do some .22 LR rifle shooting. Apparently, joining requires a 3 month probabtionary membership with proof of regular attendance. That's just to become a member and shoot club guns at the range. I have no idea what the law requires as to having a firearms certificate now, but I suspect it's a lot more strict that it was when I was first a member.

    I don't mind jumping through the hoops. None of the many legitimate sports-shooters in the UK do. But I worry that after all the expense and efort of doing so, I'll have to quit again becasue of yet more legal restrictions.

    I mean, hey, I'm a law-abiding tax-payer. I like shooting targets/clays. I should be able to do it. (I should be able to own a powerful mortocycle but loads of people want to stop me doing that, too.)

    The fact is, these events, while atrocious, are rare. You have to ask the question, "Is it really fair and just to restrict the rights of a large number of citizens because of the rash and violent actions of a TINY minority?"

    The issue is not that guns kill more or less people than knives or cars or anything else, it is the fundamental principal that free citizens are being punished and restricted in a very REAL sense purely because of their legitimate and lawful choice of pass-time and the CHOICES of a tiny minority who have abused their priveleges.

    We live in a society where most of us believe free citizens have the right to free choice. The risk we always take is that any citizen, at any time may chose to act in an illegal or in this case, murderously illegal way.

    And if YOU support another ban - YOU will have stopped me and many others from doing something we enjoy. And who knows, maybe that's where you get the real kick.

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  • 139. At 1:01pm on 06 Jun 2010, Doctor Bob wrote:

    I must admit that figures on those killed or injured by gun crime as a total would be interesting. I'm ready to bet that the total over the last 50 years would be considerably higher than 65, most of them with unlicensed guns.

    There seems little reason to tighten gun law further. By far the biggest threat comes from illegal guns (mostly arising from our draconian gun laws that pushed ownership and the market underground). As other bloggers have noted, a determined madman can do as much harm with knives or home-made bombs.

    Until we can ban violent idiots there really is no solution and sadly, we will have to bear these thankfully rare tragedies, individual or otherwise.

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  • 140. At 1:09pm on 06 Jun 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    nautonier #137.

    "As I sit typing at my lap top PC - I would very much like to know whether I am in effective ballistic killing range of a legally held weapon(s).."

    morbid.

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  • 141. At 1:18pm on 06 Jun 2010, Croydonman wrote:

    First of all, deep sympathy to all those whose lives have been affected by this outbreak of madness.

    Now, some salient points:

    There needs to be an acceptance that such an act of madness is not in the same category as "armed crime" per se. Years ago in Germany there was a tragedy at a school, in which a disturbed person got hold of an old fire extinguisher and converted it to a flame-thrower.
    There is no proven link between legally-held guns and armed crime. None.
    Changing the law will only affect the law-abiding. Fully automatic weapons have nver been legal in the UK, yet feature frequently in drive-by shootings in the suburbs of Birmingham etc. Self-loading full-bore rifles were banned post-Hungerford, likewise pistols post-Dunblane. The number of legally-held guns has dropped though the floor per head of population (not pro-rata, but in real terms) yet armed crime continues to rise.

    In the USA, the highest incidence of armed crime is in those areas where gun control is strictest. Conversely, it is lowest where the gun laws are most liberal.

    "Guns should be kept at secure sites"- yes, 1 break-in and that's several hundred guns on the loose and in the wrong hands.

    "The public have a right to know who is legally holding guns"- erm,why?
    It would be more useful if they knew who was illegally holding guns, but of course no-one knows that. The suggestion that anyone could look up a list and see who owns guns and what their home address is alarms me no end. Didn't think it through, did you? The police know, and that's enough.

    "High calibre rifle". No such thing, so stop talking nonsense and find out more about the subject matter.

    At the end of the First World War there were indeed many disgruntled young men retrurning home, and loads of guns around- hence the Government Green Paper a couple of years after, which essentially established firearms control in a bid to avoid a repeat of the Russian Revolution here at home.

    "No justification for owning....." It's about freedom, and responsibility.
    On a small overcrowded island with a max. speed limit of 70 mph and thousands killed on the road every year,there's no justification for anyone owning a car bigger that a 1200 cc , but there's an awful lot of cars around with engines bigger than that.
    Alcohol supposedly kills thousands every year, but pubs and off-licences are still around.

    By all means let's have a look at the gun laws (which are, as agreed, amongst the tightest in the world), but remember that changes in the law will, by definition, only affect the law-abiding.



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  • 142. At 1:31pm on 06 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    140. At 1:09pm on 06 Jun 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    nautonier #137.

    "As I sit typing at my lap top PC - I would very much like to know whether I am in effective ballistic killing range of a legally held weapon(s).."

    morbid.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    You're right ... I agree ... and the reason is .. I think that I should have the right to know who is holding lethal weapon firearms around me at home or at work etc ... so that I can keep and eye on them ... or better still ... 'shop them' if they are doing something they shouldn't or taking drugs; are very stressed etc.

    If my next door neighbour holds a Kalishnikov rifle with a killing range of 1 mile and with canon shell bullets that can blow a hole through a double brick thick wall ... then I think that should know about this.

    I am not promoting any bans on guns by the way - I think that gun crime is an informational problem requiring anonymous full public participation and a means of access and communication to do this.

    I see that public transparency on gun ownership is equally as unwelcome to the 'gun club' as a draconion full firearms ban .... and this makes me question the motives for many who wish to own firearms.

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  • 143. At 1:35pm on 06 Jun 2010, Rich wrote:

    jr4412 - the question you should really be asking is how many people with a history of violent crime inhabit or frequent the areas in around which you live/work/frequent yourself - chances are you are at significantly more risk from them than a law-abiding gun-owner.

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  • 144. At 1:39pm on 06 Jun 2010, Doctor Bob wrote:

    137. At 12:54pm on 06 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:
    The nabis database could very easily be extended to provide a confidential mechanism for members of the public reporting those who may pose a public risk with a firearm/crossbow/knife/air rifle etc and on finding out information on those around them. Any extension of the nabis data-base does not need to be owned and controlled by the police ... as the police just need access.

    Trouble is "the public reporting those who may pose a public risk may be just posting anecdotal evidence or rumour which puts us back in the days of wytchfinding and pogroms on the innocent. Would you include all those paralytically drunk kids of a weekend night who might just turn on some innocent bystander for a bit of mischief? I've seen it end in hospitalisation of the victim. The well publicised case was Gary Newlove.

    = = = = = = =

    As I sit typing at my lap top PC - I would very much like to know whether I am in effective ballistic killing range of a legally held weapon(s) and the justification for that person(s) holding those weapons, and what safety measures are in place and whether their premises are used for discharge/use of that weapon.
    No one is safe in everyday life. A couple days ago two pedestrians were killed by a police car that collided with another vehicle. Besides, this database, by its nature, would not hold data on illegal guns, knives, catapults, baseball bats, bomb-makers or "offensive weapons" made at home. Knives are just as lethal as guns though, obviously, you have to be close to the victim - more people have died from knife wounds than bullets, I'll wager, so you'd have every household in the UK on the database.

    = = = = = = = = =

    Any way, isn't it time that the public were given the ability to access a general crime and security issues reporting data-base to log and report crimes and potential issues? This would include such issues as those at risk with a gun whether legal or otherwise and to do this online - this would save a huge amount of police time and if set up properly - the benefits of the database should outweigh the costs of creating and operating such a database.

    I asked my MP why the "sex offenders register" couldn't be extended to include those convicted of domestic violence; accessible by anyone in regard of a prospective partner and where children are or might be involved. He claimed that the government were not considering that. Our good old knee-jerking, don't-think-things-through government.

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  • 145. At 1:50pm on 06 Jun 2010, Granville wrote:

    "If my next door neighbour holds a Kalishnikov rifle with a killing range of 1 mile and with canon shell bullets that can blow a hole through a double brick thick wall ... then I think that should know about this."

    Well - you wouldn't because it wouldn't appear on any database as Kalashnikov type riles have been banned in the UK since around 1920.

    also

    "so that I can keep and eye on them ... or better still ... 'shop them' if they are doing something they shouldn't."

    Evidence presented at the Cullen enquiry suggested that a member of the public had indeed 'shopped' Hamilton for inappropriate behaviour. Nothing was done.

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  • 146. At 1:51pm on 06 Jun 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    nautonier #142.

    morbid is bad.

    "I think that I should have the right to know who is holding lethal weapon firearms around me .. so that I can keep and eye on them.."

    fascist is worse.

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  • 147. At 1:51pm on 06 Jun 2010, Doctor Bob wrote:

    141. At 1:18pm on 06 Jun 2010, Croydonman wrote:
    "High calibre rifle". No such thing, so stop talking nonsense and find out more about the subject matter.


    I wouldn't exactly call the Barrett Light .50 (M82) a small calibre. The original poster to whom you responded would be considerably less safe if someone locally owned and used one illegally.

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  • 148. At 1:55pm on 06 Jun 2010, Riff Raff wrote:

    nautonier #142.

    If my next door neighbour holds a Kalishnikov rifle with a killing range of 1 mile and with canon shell bullets that can blow a hole through a double brick thick wall ... then I think that should know about this.

    //////////////////////////

    ermmmm.....think these were banned from public ownership after Hungerford, quite rightly. They're an assult rifle used for close quarter action, if somebody wished you gone at a mile they wouldn't want an AK47 in their hands. Think it's time you based your Firearms knowledge on fact & not Hollywood fiction.

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  • 149. At 2:00pm on 06 Jun 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Rich #142.

    "..the question you should really be asking is how many people with a history of violent crime inhabit or frequent the areas in around which you live/work/frequent yourself.."

    disagree, I ask myself questions like: 'how come that we need to keep so many people in low pay jobs or in unemployment?'

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  • 150. At 2:07pm on 06 Jun 2010, Doctor Bob wrote:

    138. At 12:57pm on 06 Jun 2010, Rich wrote:
    The fact is, these events, while atrocious, are rare. You have to ask the question, "Is it really fair and just to restrict the rights of a large number of citizens because of the rash and violent actions of a TINY minority?"


    The fact also is that regulation will always be slack when commerce and large profits come into it: the economy. Otherwise (as with guns) we punish the whole population for the mischief of about 3 people. Meanwhile the laws have achieved nothing to assuage gun crime.

    With such things as alcohol, we know it does a great deal of harm, cause deaths (on victims of alcohol-induced violence as well as the drinkers)....but we do nothing to ban it. Besides the fact that prohibition wouldn't work, there's far too much money at stake and the drinks lobby in parliament is far too strong, not to mention chancellors getting a huge tax take. But guns? There's no money for the government in them.

    We live in a profit-greedy, weird society so far as balance goes. Guns are a taboo to most people who have no concept of responsible ownership or use. Meanwhile we allow millions to drive cars irresponsibly and kill others into the bargain

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  • 151. At 2:14pm on 06 Jun 2010, Doctor Bob wrote:

    110. At 1:30pm on 05 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:
    Surprisingly, most members of the public are responsible and can be trusted with legitimate enquiries and information on e.g. gun owners living nearby to them or as work colleagues - and are not all criminals trying to steal the guns of licensed firearms users and the like fantasy speculation.


    I wouldn't trust on that with a weapons register. With the black market as it is, that's all criminals would need to know: who legitimately owns guns. So, for Pete's sake let's rule THAT out!


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  • 152. At 2:29pm on 06 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    144. At 1:39pm on 06 Jun 2010, doctor bob wrote:

    137. At 12:54pm on 06 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:
    The nabis database could very easily be extended to provide a confidential mechanism for members of the public reporting those who may pose a public risk with a firearm/crossbow/knife/air rifle etc and on finding out information on those around them. Any extension of the nabis data-base does not need to be owned and controlled by the police ... as the police just need access.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Trouble is "the public reporting those who may pose a public risk may be just posting anecdotal evidence or rumour which puts us back in the days of wytchfinding and pogroms on the innocent.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    A) Correct ... the police would need to use 'intelligence' to decide whether to act on the information provided and reprimand those who might abuse it

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Would you include all those paralytically drunk kids of a weekend night who might just turn on some innocent bystander for a bit of mischief?

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    A) YES - absolutely

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I've seen it end in hospitalisation of the victim. The well publicised case was Gary Newlove.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    A) That's a bit of an irresponsible comment, I think, if I may say so ... a public access information scheme could have made a difference on cases like that (Warrington?) ... and there are hundreds of them each year ... I would be interested to hear of whether the family of the victim in such an incident would agree with you ... I very much doubt it

    = = = = = = =

    As I sit typing at my lap top PC - I would very much like to know whether I am in effective ballistic killing range of a legally held weapon(s) and the justification for that person(s) holding those weapons, and what safety measures are in place and whether their premises are used for discharge/use of that weapon.
    No one is safe in everyday life. A couple days ago two pedestrians were killed by a police car that collided with another vehicle.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    A) It was an unfortunate accident - the incident has has no comparison as cars have other uses besides destruction

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Besides, this database, by its nature, would not hold data on illegal guns, knives, catapults, baseball bats, bomb-makers or "offensive weapons" made at home.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    A) Well, you've got that wrong as well - the database could very easily be extended to cover a section of crime or indeed all crime and RISKS - we now have the technology to do this - why take millions of photographs every year of motorists doing 30 miles an hour and record zero details of gun and weapon offences properly ?

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Knives are just as lethal as guns though, obviously, you have to be close to the victim

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    A) Obviously - knive crime is a different issue except better public participation and tip offs could get the potential offenders taken off our streets

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    - more people have died from knife wounds than bullets,

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    A) a very good reason to include potential knife offenders and knife carriers on a public database

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I'll wager, so you'd have every household in the UK on the database.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    A) Fantastic - it would be the only reliable database on the entire UK population.

    A) Remember being on the database would just be information on public 'concerns' whether its a child or animal getting 'ill treated' or someone firing air gun pellets over my garden wall pinging against the side of my house as happened a few years ago ... not necessarily a crime ... but the police would KNOW about it and would have been told (on the air rifle incident the police did absolutely nothing)

    = = = = = = = = =

    Any way, isn't it time that the public were given the ability to access a general crime and security issues reporting data-base to log and report crimes and potential issues? This would include such issues as those at risk with a gun whether legal or otherwise and to do this online - this would save a huge amount of police time and if set up properly - the benefits of the database should outweigh the costs of creating and operating such a database.

    I asked my MP why the "sex offenders register" couldn't be extended to include those convicted of domestic violence; accessible by anyone in regard of a prospective partner and where children are or might be involved. He claimed that the government were not considering that. Our good old knee-jerking, don't-think-things-through government.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    A) I see the problem ... the public access database would simply be of concerns raised by the public primarily and not necessarily about criminal convictions etc ... simply observed incidents which may or may not be a crime, concerns, issues and perceived risks.

    With FAC's I think that the database would need to be able to show firearms offenders and registered firearms holders ... not necessarily their address ... perhaps just a postcode or a secret encrypted code for this information - so very few would be able to make use of the information held - we now have the technology to do this - which was not available in the 1990's with e.g. the Dunblane incident.

    To get the scheme off the ground the public access databse would need to have a trial and be limited to e.g firearm incidents or if the scheme got too big before it started ... the prospect and costs and 'nay-sayers' would 'kill it' and we will be left with what we have now ... i.e. guns and knives out of control both with registered and illegal gun and lethal weapon holders.

    Incidentally, I think that with a public access database the ban on e.g. handguns could be partially lifted after a year or so of its operation as handguns are less of threat on ballistic range than e.g. high powerd rifles ... so there are many opportunities for real gun enthusiasts to get involved and lift gun usage as a sport using the benefits of the data-base as security.

    I have no problem with licensed gun holders holding and using guns properly providing the general public are fully involved with security and informed and there is a public access mechanism for raising concerns about ... 'gun loners' etc.

    Once the public get used to satisfaction that can be obtained from 'shopping' a majaor risk of some sort - the public access databse would, I think, be a major national asset - a British world first ... the envy of the world ... with safer streets and countryside.

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  • 153. At 2:34pm on 06 Jun 2010, Rich wrote:

    jr4412 - Exactly how are you qualified (or how am I or any other member of the public qualified for that matter) to 'keep an eye' on other free citizens. Sounds a bit 1984-ish to me. Or would you first need to apply for an enhanced CRB check and get training on how to "spy on potential mass-murderers in your neighbourhood". Would you, I ask, get paid for doing this or would the smug satisfaction you would get from it be enough.

    Here's a thought, let's all be a bit better at minding our own business and being a bit more tolerant of people who don't confirm to our own narrow (and I include myself in this) view of how the world should be. Let's not assume we know better than the guy next door or that we have more rights to our views than the lady down the road, eh?

    Tragedy, I as I know from bitter experience, can occur anywhere, to anyone, at any time, either through criminal neglect or intent or pure accident. The consequences are equal no matter what the cause and those of us who are left alive have to learn to live with it and get on with our lives.

    The instinct to lash out at others who are not to blame for what happened is self-destructive but natural. People are rightly shocked by the Cumbria killings, cannot punish the killer but need to punish SOMEONE. It's understandable but that doesn't make it right.

    I don't want to be punished for what another person did and neither do you.

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  • 154. At 2:50pm on 06 Jun 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Rich #153.

    "Exactly how are you qualified (or how am I or any other member of the public qualified for that matter) to 'keep an eye' on other free citizens."

    not my thing, I was quoting (and replying to) nautonier who would have us walk yet deeper into a totalitarian nightmare.

    so, can I ask you to address your (mostly agreeable) points to nautonier.

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  • 155. At 3:17pm on 06 Jun 2010, Rich wrote:

    jr4412 - ah yes, sorry about that. I thought he was getting a bit Orwellian on us, too!

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  • 156. At 4:11pm on 06 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    Mark

    "But there is always a balance to be struck between reducing small risks and restricting vital freedoms".

    Sorry, no. By an odd coincidence, Dunblane occurred shortly after a general election. The government of the day, notwithstanding that handguns were not a major factor, moved to ban them. The result has been many guns no longer have a traceable history. It was knee jerk reaction politics. It has to be hoped that this will not be repeated.

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  • 157. At 4:14pm on 06 Jun 2010, Buzzardstubble since 2007 wrote:

    Can I reassure anyone who may be looking for an informed debate on this site, that there are no legally held Kalashnikov rifles in the UK. They were prohibited under the Firearms Amendment Act 1988. The 2 common variants of this weapon, the AK-47 and AK-74, fire 7.62mm and 5.45mm bullets respectively. Neither of them fires explosive ammunition, as you may have read earlier.
    I thought we had put the ridiculous suggestion of a burglars 'quick reference guide to finding firearms' to bed, but I see it is still consuming the oxygen in this blog.
    It seems to be that there is a short step from Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator, to Gauleiter in the mind of one contributor.
    My experience of fellow shooters in the UK, was that they did not drive over the blood alcohol limit, nor were they drunk & disorderly, or ever engaged in road rage. A firearms certificate was too valuable and too easily revoked, so the social benefits of shooting spread beyond that small community. In the part of America where I live there is no road rage at all, so perhaps an armed society really is a polite society. There is no list here, I just assume everybody has at least one. We don't have problems, no one I know has been shot at in the last 5 years...and we don't have nosey neighbours peeping in our windows at 2am or counting the beer bottles in our trash can!

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  • 158. At 5:04pm on 06 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    153. At 2:34pm on 06 Jun 2010, Rich wrote:

    jr4412 - Exactly how are you qualified (or how am I or any other member of the public qualified for that matter) to 'keep an eye' on other free citizens.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    A) Quite right ... I'm not ... that's why we have a police force .. although being a member of the public entitles a person to certain rights and privileges and 'keeping an eye out' is actually part of being a good neighbour and good citizen?

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Sounds a bit 1984-ish to me. Or would you first need to apply for an enhanced CRB check and get training on how to "spy on potential mass-murderers in your neighbourhood".

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    A) That's why 'concerns' and 'risks' do not get reported because firstly there is no covenient reporting mechanism as members have to wait for an over-worked PC plod getting round to their house and dealing with potential issues ... and most people can't be bothered dealing with the police and their antiquated reporting systems... instant reporting should now be available to all 'on-line' and the inputs should be monitored to ensure that the police do their job properly.

    If someone has a legitimate concern about someone who has a gun ... that should be reported ... call it spying or snooping or whatever you like. No one needs training just a fill in a couple of crucial details on an online form ... very simple.

    Those entering information should also be warned against giving false or maliscious information ... before doing so.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Would you, I ask, get paid for doing this or would the smug satisfaction you would get from it be enough.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    A) Most people I think would be pleased to carry out their public duty without any payment

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Here's a thought, let's all be a bit better at minding our own business and being a bit more tolerant of people who don't confirm to our own narrow (and I include myself in this) view of how the world should be. Let's not assume we know better than the guy next door or that we have more rights to our views than the lady down the road, eh?

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    A) Those minding their own business and ignoring the danger signs of dangerous people would not be behaving intolerantly, in my view, by reporting the actual or potential offenders dangerous or risky behaviour.

    We can move forward with these issues or just wait for the next incident to occur? Sounds to me like you prefer the status quo?

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  • 159. At 5:38pm on 06 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    157. At 4:14pm on 06 Jun 2010, buzzardstubble wrote:

    Can I reassure anyone who may be looking for an informed debate on this site, that there are no legally held Kalashnikov rifles in the UK. They were prohibited under the Firearms Amendment Act 1988. The 2 common variants of this weapon, the AK-47 and AK-74, fire 7.62mm and 5.45mm bullets respectively. Neither of them fires explosive ammunition, as you may have read earlier.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    RUBBISH!

    Just Google searched 'Kalashnikov rifles for sale in the UK' ... and my first search turned up over a hundred websites with these rifles for sale in the UK? Who is holding these weapons? (may be dealers or special licence holders?) Where are these weapons stored? How are these being bought and sold in the UK? Where are they used? By whom?

    and worse still ... how many UK criminals in the UK now hold these massively destructive armanents/weapons as result of this massive online availability?

    I am not going to post any of these websites as will be bad for moderation and also - there are many different cartridges that can be made for any gun and most assualt rifles and many shotguns will take specialist ammunitions which have armour piercing potential and a brick wall is easily penetrated by any of these. Some gun enthusiasts even make a hobby out of making their own super destructive specialist cartridges/ammunition!

    Thank you .... but I don't think we need a great deal of 'advice' from the US pro-gun lobby about UK gun control even though a basic public access firearms database is already in progress in some US 'states'.

    If transparency and public information on licensed gun holders is uncomfortable for some gun holders ... then I think that will discourage many of them to give up their weapons ... and for having guns for the wrong reasons.

    Surely, the most powerful 'weapon' in controlling guns and preventing gun crimes besides licensing itself is full public information and full public transparency (except for police officers, security services), and full public reporting, participation and access.

    The other issue is that firearm databases can be given many different access levels so that e.g. a police officer should be able to view virtually every firearm database entry in the entire country whereby a member of the public would be limited to being able to raise enquiries about their own neighbourhood or e.g. on specific persons.




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  • 160. At 5:46pm on 06 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2006/jun/25/ukguns.armstrade

    This is from 2006 - but beraing in mind the recent performance of our Labour government ... I verymuch doubt if things have changed much over the last 4 years.

    If I thought for a second that I thought that someone has or may have one of these weapons I would report this to the police... and they would in all likelihood ... do absolutely nothing about it.

    A public access data-base would allow me to follow up my report of the potential risk and see what if anything had been done ... and if nothing ... make a complaint to the IPCC.

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  • 161. At 6:03pm on 06 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    http://www.geopoliticalmonitor.com/uk-arms-dealers-investigated-for-illegal-sales/

    and again... conveniently 'hushed up' by the government last year

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  • 162. At 6:03pm on 06 Jun 2010, Granville wrote:

    "Just Google searched 'Kalashnikov rifles for sale in the UK' ... and my first search turned up over a hundred websites with these rifles for sale in the UK"

    Oh dear oh dear. Read on and the ads say 'deactivated' which means the guns don't work. Who buys them? Collectors, re-enacters and so on. You can see them every day at military shows. Sleep easy, the worst that can happen with one of these 'guns' is you might get hit over the head, and for that they are a lot less lethal than a baseball bat.

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  • 163. At 6:07pm on 06 Jun 2010, Buzzardstubble since 2007 wrote:


    nautonier:

    Instead of shouting "RUBBISH", why don't you look up the 1988 Firearms (Amendment) Act?

    The guns you can see for sale are:
    1. A .22 LR rifle made by Armscorp, to look like an AK47.
    2. BB guns made to look like AK 47 (these are air weapons for those like you who don't know better.
    3. Real Kalashnikovs that have been deactivated (look that up yourself)

    I suggest you print the page off of Google and shuffle off to your local police station with it, if you're not happy. That will keep them and you busy for some time.


    You really should do your research properly before spouting on an international forum like this. At least you have shown up the weakness of your arguments.

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  • 164. At 6:26pm on 06 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    162. At 6:03pm on 06 Jun 2010, Granville wrote:

    "Just Google searched 'Kalashnikov rifles for sale in the UK' ... and my first search turned up over a hundred websites with these rifles for sale in the UK"

    Oh dear oh dear. Read on and the ads say 'deactivated' which means the guns don't work. Who buys them? Collectors, re-enacters and so on. You can see them every day at military shows. Sleep easy, the worst that can happen with one of these 'guns' is you might get hit over the head, and for that they are a lot less lethal than a baseball bat.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    RUBBISH!

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/father-and-son-convicted-of-selling-firearms-574587.html

    Each one of these deactivated weapons can fairly easily be reactivated and in addition there are a hundreds of thousands of BB imitation AK47's that even a trained police marksman would be unable to distinguish from an original AK47 in any gun incident. A BB gun is still a lethal weapon at close quarters and their widespread distribution means that only public participation can now mop up the mess of risk posed by this massive lapse in increased ownership and its toll on e.g. garden birds and animals.

    The UK is awash with AK47's ... legal, illegal, immitation, commissioned, de-commissioned .... how many real operational AK47 guns are now loose on Britain's streets and held by the criminal underworld --- 100,000+?

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  • 165. At 6:30pm on 06 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    163. At 6:07pm on 06 Jun 2010, buzzardstubble wrote:

    nautonier:

    Instead of shouting "RUBBISH", why don't you look up the 1988 Firearms (Amendment) Act?

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    RUBBISH! See 164 on re-activated AK47's - if you post rubbish be prepared for it to be called what it is ... Rubbish!



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  • 166. At 6:32pm on 06 Jun 2010, Doctor Bob wrote:

    158. At 5:04pm on 06 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:
    153. At 2:34pm on 06 Jun 2010, Rich wrote:

    Sounds a bit 1984-ish to me. Or would you first need to apply for an enhanced CRB check and get training on how to "spy on potential mass-murderers in your neighbourhood".

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    A) That's why 'concerns' and 'risks' do not get reported because firstly there is no covenient reporting mechanism as members have to wait for an over-worked PC plod getting round to their house and dealing with potential issues ... and most people can't be bothered dealing with the police and their antiquated reporting systems... instant reporting should now be available to all 'on-line' and the inputs should be monitored to ensure that the police do their job properly.

    If someone has a legitimate concern about someone who has a gun ... that should be reported ... call it spying or snooping or whatever you like. No one needs training just a fill in a couple of crucial details on an online form ... very simple.

    Those entering information should also be warned against giving false or maliscious information ... before doing so.


    Pleeease! You're getting really muddle-headed now. First you want this dirty-great database, you want it to rely on on-line input or paper forms; and you want it accurate with useful information?

    Who is going to vet the information going in and out? You really aren't too clear about databases, are you? Just one of the principles is "garbage in, garbage out." Have you any idea of the size of such a database. Crikey, they can't even get the CRB let alone the CSA to work without errors that cause innocents to suffer. As for the DVLA, well someone on Watchdog confessed that of the 4 million entries per year on SORNs only a tiny percentage were in error - about 0.6%, the guy said. Except that 0.6% of 4 million is 24,000!

    So to get a foolproof database with vetters judging your on-line input, you're talking of years and an army of totally honest people who would never divulge these data let alone lose a downloaded CD or USB. Can you imagine the extra demand on our police force today, stressed to the limits to cope with what they have, so utterly dependent on bureaucracy (that is, standardised procedures) to judge whether every bit of hearsay is worth following up? Every vendetta of neighbours already encouraged to spy is genuine?

    How are you going to check on the abusive inputters on-line? How are you going to deal with them when caught? what of the inevitable mischief makers? Have you never been on the internet? That's why we have moderators on this site.

    Have you any idea of the effort for which you are expecting the taxpayer to stump up? Think it through.
    i) You receive an input
    ii) you have to verify that input. How?
    iii) you send someone round to check up.
    iv) the "culprit" denies everything.

    Um.... what then?

    Just the same on the enquiry side. How will you vet querents? How will you detect first offender burglars? Will you check on them in situ first?

    That really is 1984 stuff. And would it make life more safe for you against me, going round coshing people with a salami sausage (not that I personally would, of course)? But, nope.

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  • 167. At 6:55pm on 06 Jun 2010, Buzzardstubble since 2007 wrote:

    Well nautonier, I think you have answered your own question. Why don't the police provide you with a fast easily accssible reporting route?
    They would run out of resources in no time, and real crimes would have to go uninvestigated, whilst you soaked up all their response capability on ill-informed wild goose chases.

    I bet they know you quite well. Is the front office often unmanned when you walk into the station?

    Although you have dominated this site and stifled debate, I think you have rather done shooters a favour. If people think you are typical of the anti-gun (well, everything you don't understand really) lobby, they will take it a lot less seriously.

    www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/acts1988/ukpga_19880045_en_1.htm - This link will take you to the 1988 Act. S1(a) prohibits automatic waepons (incl AKs). There is also a section on deactivated weapons. So even if you are not listening, it is there in black & white, not 'rubbish'.

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  • 168. At 7:16pm on 06 Jun 2010, Doctor Bob wrote:

    167. At 6:55pm on 06 Jun 2010, buzzardstubble wrote:
    Well nautonier, I think you have answered your own question. Why don't the police provide you with a fast easily accssible reporting route?


    You can't tell these people. The risk of being shot in towns like London, Nottingham and Manchester etc, is far higher from illegal guns. I doubt the owner of every illegal gun will want to register him/herself on a national database. If they wanted to they'd report themselves to the police!

    I somehow don't think the Tories will want to foot a bill approaching £100 billion with an annual maintenance and staffing well over the £1 billion mark, for the good it's going to do. If the parliamentary expenses department needs 600 staff then this outfit would take about 250,000 staff all-in (and some of them would be featured on this very database)!

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  • 169. At 7:23pm on 06 Jun 2010, Granville wrote:

    "The UK is awash with AK47's ... legal, illegal, immitation, commissioned, de-commissioned ...."

    The article in the Guardian is 6 years old. The law on deactivated weapons has changed a lot since then.

    But this is beside the point. This blog is discussing the legal ownership of firearms; the problems around illegal guns is a different matter and one to which no one, including several governments, has any answer.

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  • 170. At 7:54pm on 06 Jun 2010, SDEF wrote:

    @ nautonier
    You have by now amply proven your ignorance on the subject firearms. BTW an AK47 is a full auto firearm which is prohibited for civilian sales. If you know of any source report it to the Police.

    @135 JapRobin
    Who are you to state that I speak of disrespect towards the victims ?
    Bird was preying for victims at random yet selectively as witnesses confirmed. If he had lacked a firearm rest assured he would have still targetted the easiest and defenceless.

    Flash news from the USA.
    Vehicle Rampage On San Francisco Bicyclists
    Four victims in just 6 minutes !
    http://cbs5.com/local/san.francisco.rampage.2.1733530.html

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  • 171. At 8:42pm on 06 Jun 2010, Buzzardstubble since 2007 wrote:

    I see that the Govt are holding back on strengthening the law on self defence.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/politics/10249894.stm

    Could be a perfect time re-instate pistols on firearm certs and introduce formal carry permits, for those who have undergone the further training and testing as currently in the U.S.

    Cumbria might have been stopped at 3 deaths, saving 9 lives and 11 woundings.

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  • 172. At 9:19pm on 06 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    166. At 6:32pm on 06 Jun 2010, doctor bob wrote:

    158. At 5:04pm on 06 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:
    153. At 2:34pm on 06 Jun 2010, Rich wrote:

    Sounds a bit 1984-ish to me. Or would you first need to apply for an enhanced CRB check and get training on how to "spy on potential mass-murderers in your neighbourhood".

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    A) That's why 'concerns' and 'risks' do not get reported because firstly there is no covenient reporting mechanism as members have to wait for an over-worked PC plod getting round to their house and dealing with potential issues ... and most people can't be bothered dealing with the police and their antiquated reporting systems... instant reporting should now be available to all 'on-line' and the inputs should be monitored to ensure that the police do their job properly.

    If someone has a legitimate concern about someone who has a gun ... that should be reported ... call it spying or snooping or whatever you like. No one needs training just a fill in a couple of crucial details on an online form ... very simple.

    Those entering information should also be warned against giving false or maliscious information ... before doing so.

    Pleeease! You're getting really muddle-headed now. First you want this dirty-great database,
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) No ... is not a large data base ... no larger than e.g. a local health trust contact database or a BBC blog database
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    you want it to rely on on-line input or paper forms; and you want it accurate with useful information?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) On line as repeated several times
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Who is going to vet the information going in and out?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) Police authorities, government agencies, health authorities -some with read only access
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    You really aren't too clear about databases, are you?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) Correct - if you wish me to design and give you blueprint for it - I can arrange this for a contract amount
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Just one of the principles is "garbage in, garbage out."
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) That my be your experience and extent of your understanding and knowledge?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Have you any idea of the size of such a database.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) Yes .. is not a major issue ... particularly if restricted to e.g. reporting fire arms issues ... would have local regional and dimensions to a data-base .. there are hundreds and thousands of databases operating successfully - virtually every business in the country that has a server and data-base has some sort of database - where have you been for the last 15 years ... living in a cave somewhere?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Crikey, they can't even get the CRB let alone the CSA to work without errors that cause innocents to suffer. As for the DVLA, well someone on Watchdog confessed that of the 4 million entries per year on SORNs only a tiny percentage were in error - about 0.6%, the guy said. Except that 0.6% of 4 million is 24,000!

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    A) So what's your point - some civil servants are incompetent? - We know that - the point is, how are guns and their owners to be comprehensively monitored without sending PC plod to follow each one of them around every day

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    So to get a foolproof database with vetters judging your on-line input, you're talking of years and an army of totally honest people who would never divulge these data let alone lose a downloaded CD or USB. Can you imagine the extra demand on our police force today, stressed to the limits to cope with what they have, so utterly dependent on bureaucracy (that is, standardised procedures) to judge whether every bit of hearsay is worth following up? Every vendetta of neighbours already encouraged to spy is genuine?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A)
    An intial basic database could be up and running with vital information within a couple of months
    Very little extra demand on police and would save them thousands of hours a year in wasted visits and form filling as the data-base would be a valuable resource and provide details on cases before they even left the office/vehicle/ get involved.
    Nearly everyone submitting information would need to give their details in order to post a report ... saving much police time... and the police would be quite capable of sifting what is important ... and more importantly dealing with some issues without wasting time and resources with visits with some issues.
    Vendettas between neighbours are best recorded and not ignored ... and is still important information... in case the issues escalate at a later date.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    How are you going to check on the abusive inputters on-line?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) After someone registers their full personal details and is warned about use of the information and not to write abuse ... issue a warning and follow up with them ebing excluded or fined
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    How are you going to deal with them when caught?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) With who? ... let the police decide ... that is what they are there for
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    what of the inevitable mischief makers?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) fantastic - let them introduce themselves be to the police - I hope that they all go online and write abuse
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Have you never been on the internet? That's why we have moderators on this site.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) I refuse to insult your intelligence quotient here
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Have you any idea of the effort for which you are expecting the taxpayer to stump up? Think it through.
    i) You receive an input
    ii) you have to verify that input. How?
    iii) you send someone round to check up.
    iv) the "culprit" denies everything.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Entirely wrong ... taxpayer input is zero... the taxpayer has already paid for policing and security and is being failed ... and if the database and public online access saves police time and taxpayer money and gets results ... then the taxpayer will benefit

    The database does not need a lot of information to succeed ... with some gun related operations ... all our police often require ... to solve serious crimes is just ... a single name ... or even two initials ... that is all

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Just the same on the enquiry side. How will you vet querents? How will you detect first offender burglars? Will you check on them in situ first?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) No vetting is required ... the police will have the information as a resource and will know who has given them information, and why the information has been given ... the police can simply ignore the information, acknowledge it ... say they wish to discuss the information further... it is simply information to assist the police unless the information is said to e.g. relate to an ongoing incident or something very serious
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    That really is 1984 stuff. And would it make life more safe for you against me, going round coshing people with a salami sausage (not that I personally would, of course)? But, nope.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) Wrong again... this is 2010 stuff ... try and keep up will you!

    If you do bash people with a salami sausage - that is fine ... but if you also have a gun ... then I think that the police should know about your odd behaviour.

    No wonder things never move forward the short-sighted of most on what is really just about moving managing public security information and the police and PC plod into the 20th century .... never mind the 21st century!

    But thank you for your comments... this is about using the power of the internet to give police an extra information resource to tackle crime and make people/the public safer. The information can be excluded from court evidence unless on serious crimes etc and can be used puerly as a resource and not replace the police methods and systems i.e. is not to be given substantial legal reliance etc.

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  • 173. At 9:22pm on 06 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    167. At 6:55pm on 06 Jun 2010, buzzardstubble wrote:

    Well nautonier, I think you have answered your own question. Why don't the police provide you with a fast easily accssible reporting route?

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    There you are ... you're getting the hang of this now ... a fast easy accessible reporting route ... even I could not come out with a better decsription

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  • 174. At 9:29pm on 06 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    169. At 7:23pm on 06 Jun 2010, Granville wrote:

    "The UK is awash with AK47's ... legal, illegal, immitation, commissioned, de-commissioned ...."

    The article in the Guardian is 6 years old. The law on deactivated weapons has changed a lot since then.

    But this is beside the point. This blog is discussing the legal ownership of firearms; the problems around illegal guns is a different matter and one to which no one, including several governments, has any answer.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Deactivated weapons are a problem. If the authorities cannot deal with legal weapons ... then they have no chance in dealing with illegal weapons... the task is so immense that governments do not know where to start... that is why the problems are being ignored ...
    More resources?
    More police?
    More laws?
    More jails?

    No ... just manage the information better and let the public do the work ... make us all ... police men and women in terms of providing information on gun usage and behaviour ... concentrate on the behaviour... the local knowledge, the vital name dropping and clues and tip offs, the anonymous caller with a single name ... two initials that is all that is needed to solve most crimes

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  • 175. At 9:34pm on 06 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    170. At 7:54pm on 06 Jun 2010, SDEF wrote:

    @ nautonier
    You have by now amply proven your ignorance on the subject firearms. BTW an AK47 is a full auto firearm which is prohibited for civilian sales. If you know of any source report it to the Police.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    If I had the money and wanted to buy one I could go out and buy a fully automatic assault rifle tonight ... with no questions asked ... as other contribuors have said about being offered Uzi machine pistols etc - you get in a cab ... and ride around ... and flash the money ... and make a pick up. It is that easy! There are so many weapons out there - I'm not ignorant ... you must be ignorant.

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  • 176. At 9:43pm on 06 Jun 2010, Riff Raff wrote:

    If such trivial matters drove Bird to kill, however, he would have plenty in common with Dunblane murderer Thomas Hamilton, an obsessive bearer of grudges and writer of indignant letters.

    Quoted from a BBC news report.
    mmmmmmmm................

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  • 177. At 10:05pm on 06 Jun 2010, SDEF wrote:

    @175 nautonier
    Put your money where your mouth is, go for the ride and try it !
    You are misinforming and purposely confusing the criminal underworld with legitimate firearms licence holders who you clearly disrespect with the same grudge as you should do to criminals.

    @173 nautonier
    As for your fast easy accessible reporting route to the Police one can quite anticipate how it will end up and what the Police will do with it, particularly if you exhibit the same fervour by which you have blitzed this blog. Cry Wolf.

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  • 178. At 10:40pm on 06 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    177. At 10:05pm on 06 Jun 2010, SDEF wrote:

    @175 nautonier
    Put your money where your mouth is, go for the ride and try it !
    You are misinforming and purposely confusing the criminal underworld with legitimate firearms licence holders who you clearly disrespect with the same grudge as you should do to criminals.

    @173 nautonier
    As for your fast easy accessible reporting route to the Police one can quite anticipate how it will end up and what the Police will do with it, particularly if you exhibit the same fervour by which you have blitzed this blog. Cry Wolf.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    ... and I'm not even proposing any bans or increased gun control!

    It is surprising to me how a little bit of information gathering really scares some with gun licences.

    Ask yourself ... If you continue to just ignore the gun related problems ... will they just go away ... and is it better to move on from that position?

    However, we will have to agree to disagree on these issues as our discussion has now run its course - and I've managed to find a non violent film on the TV after an extensive search.

    BANG! (the end!)

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  • 179. At 11:05pm on 06 Jun 2010, fishinmad wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 180. At 11:12pm on 06 Jun 2010, Doctor Bob wrote:

    175. At 9:34pm on 06 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:
    170. At 7:54pm on 06 Jun 2010, SDEF wrote:

    @ nautonier
    You have by now amply proven your ignorance on the subject firearms. BTW an AK47 is a full auto firearm which is prohibited for civilian sales. If you know of any source report it to the Police.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    If I had the money and wanted to buy one I could go out and buy a fully automatic assault rifle tonight ... with no questions asked ... as other contribuors have said about being offered Uzi machine pistols etc - you get in a cab ... and ride around ... and flash the money ... and make a pick up. It is that easy! There are so many weapons out there - I'm not ignorant ... you must be ignorant.


    Hmm, if you know how to do that stuff then I think we should all be guarded from you.

    Anyway, I'll let you wallow in your ignorance. You're getting good practice at typing, at least there's that.

    BTW, I spent many years designing and implementing databases and their surrounding applications in a multinational bank; and it isn't anywhere as easy as you think. That's why a national NHS database never got off the ground - thankfully because the security of some of these systems seems as watertight as a collander. Just its administration would probably take 200 staff or so until it could move from development, bug-free, into maintenance, with all local installation and training done - by which time policies etc would have changed and it would need a revamp.

    I'm afraid you come across very naive. But I'll let you have the last word.....

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  • 181. At 08:12am on 07 Jun 2010, tinkertaylor wrote:

    Peter Sym @ 2.41 4 Jun

    I think you need to read what people write before you start calling their comments "very stupid".

    I think it is highly reasonable to question why the police took three hours - in fact, they didn't even stop this man, he continued until he had enough and then killed himself.

    If we can't question why it takes the police three hours to stop a man shooting people with a gun, then we are living in a very worrying society. And if those reasons are genuine (and not just that h&s prevented them, as some reports are suggesting re: the medical personnel or concerns about the rights of the gunman) then these need to be investigated.

    I don't hold the police in contempt as you imply and the tone of my comment was one of tolerance - I put that the details of why it took them three hours may not be fully known.

    And my comment that a dangerous man intent on killing will claim many victims in three hours regardless of whether he has a gun or not is valid and supports the argument that just blaming guns for this incident is not helpful.

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  • 182. At 08:18am on 07 Jun 2010, JapRobin wrote:

    #177, SDEF, I am a UK citizen concerned that last week 12 of my countrymen and women were gunned down and several others wounded in a horror show, for the benefit of decency, and conveniently for your argument, we won't go into the graphic details of, and all you care about is safeguarding the joys and exhilarations of shooting (disturbing to some of us) while not only turning a blind eye to the evils hiding among its ranks, but also trying to sanitise it. That's who I am.

    Regardless of the rights and wrongs of gun controls, your blind defence of the gun is exactly the selfish arrogance that demands closer inspection. In a face-off, left with the choice between a gun and knife, we all know which one you'd choose, and why.

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  • 183. At 10:16am on 07 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    180. At 11:12pm on 06 Jun 2010, doctor bob wrote:

    175. At 9:34pm on 06 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:
    170. At 7:54pm on 06 Jun 2010, SDEF wrote:

    @ nautonier
    You have by now amply proven your ignorance on the subject firearms. BTW an AK47 is a full auto firearm which is prohibited for civilian sales. If you know of any source report it to the Police.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    If I had the money and wanted to buy one I could go out and buy a fully automatic assault rifle tonight ... with no questions asked ... as other contribuors have said about being offered Uzi machine pistols etc - you get in a cab ... and ride around ... and flash the money ... and make a pick up. It is that easy! There are so many weapons out there - I'm not ignorant ... you must be ignorant.


    Hmm, if you know how to do that stuff then I think we should all be guarded from you.

    Anyway, I'll let you wallow in your ignorance. You're getting good practice at typing, at least there's that.

    BTW, I spent many years designing and implementing databases and their surrounding applications in a multinational bank; and it isn't anywhere as easy as you think. That's why a national NHS database never got off the ground - thankfully because the security of some of these systems seems as watertight as a collander. Just its administration would probably take 200 staff or so until it could move from development, bug-free, into maintenance, with all local installation and training done - by which time policies etc would have changed and it would need a revamp.

    I'm afraid you come across very naive. But I'll let you have the last word.....

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I see that I'm called back again by popular demand!

    The nabis database is an up and running and is a success story and is the type of database that can used and copied and extended to very good effect.

    Most police forces records on crime are on database anyway - that's why when you give a crime number ... the police can find it so quickly when they're on the telephone ... so this 'cloud 9' wonderful database technology is already in operation.

    The issue is to enable the public to report crimes issues and concerns easily on-line ... and the trivial stuff can be dealt with by trained administrators (who do most of the work anyway behind the scenes in police stations etc) and not take up the time of an over-worked PC plod as he ploughs through his or her daily mound of paperwork.

    At the moment trivial crime stuff is 'secretly' ignored by the police as they do not have the resources to deal with everything recorded and they are too busy and most people can't be bothered to report crime.

    In relation to guns the police could issue warnings regarding 'tell tale' signs concerning behaviour of registered gun holders for members of the public to be aware of and provide a mechanism for confidential reporting... to a 3rd party and not the police, if necessary:

    Drug taking /excess alchohol
    Violent/threatening behaviour
    Severe stress and anxiety, depression etc

    The most dangerous persons holding guns are those who are able to conceal the effects of e.g. drug taking etc as some, whether devious or otherwise, may not exhibit some of the behaviour which should trigger a police alert regarding their security with lethal weapons. Obviously, reports on this would need to escalated to the police as a serious issue and be dealt with immediately.

    This is what is missing in public participation in crime prevention - any member of the public should have the reasonable easy confidential /anonymous reporting mechanism for raising a valid concern or issue without being called names or the subject matter being regarded as any kind of slur on anyone else for their doing so.

    Much valuable but trivial information reported to the police can be dealt with by administrators and save thousands of hours for PC plod to enable him/her to deal with live ongoing issues.

    It is just a matter of getting the police and support services and improved dtatabses working better and more effectively and the taxpayer getting more for his or her tax dollar - so that routine but important information is reviewed and escalated as when necessary ... and KEY BEHAVIOURAL PATTERNS and/or their repetition/significance be identified and an appropriate response be considered, planned and co-ordinated.

    That is in part what I think is missing at the moment ... the critical information link that members of the public and other registerd gun licence holders need to fill.

    The other issue is that I think that registered gun holders should be publicly accountable for having weapons and if they're not happy with this level of scrutiny ... then give them up.

    The public information systems can then be enhanced to deal with illegal weapons ... offering rewards etc.

    Very basic stuff really.

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  • 184. At 10:43am on 07 Jun 2010, Pollowick wrote:


    Some interesting figures there.

    Maybe a longer term job but what about adding in mass killings using other weapons such as knives. these seem to be a little more common in countries with highly restrictive gun laws - for example China recently has had several where children were targeted.

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  • 185. At 11:39am on 07 Jun 2010, SSnotbanned wrote:

    #44 general Jack Rip
    as you say yourself there are ''thousnads of gun owners'' in the country. They are going to finance this.

    #46 d dortmand
    please, see original post ''constant communication ''.

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  • 186. At 12:06pm on 07 Jun 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    nautonier wrote:
    At the moment trivial crime stuff is 'secretly' ignored by the police as they do not have the resources to deal with everything recorded and they are too busy and most people can't be bothered to report crime.


    How can one sentence have so many contradictions in it ?

    If the Police are secretly ignoring crime reports from the general public then how do you know about it ?

    If most people don't bother to report crime then why are the Police too busy to deal with trivial crime stuff(sic) ?

    If the Police are already too busy to deal with the work they already have then how do you think they're going to be able to deal with all of the additional information that paranoid curtain-twitchers would be bombarding them with under your proposal ?

    I'm afraid you have fallen for the old politicians booby-trap of thinking;
    Something must be done.
    This is something, therefore we must do it.

    Just like many of our politicians you have also failed to grasp the technical, social and logistical problems that your solution would produce and even though many people on here who have far more experience of the subject than you have tried to explain the faults with your suggestion you still think it is the right thing to do because you have become ideologically attached to your proposal.
    This means that anyone arguing against it is therefore a gun nut who is afraid of something in your mind, on this point you are at least half right; we're afraid that people like you would have us all living under some Stassi style system of oppression just to satisfy your irrational demands for additional safety measurers.

    ***

    Most police forces records on crime are on database anyway - that's why when you give a crime number ... the police can find it so quickly when they're on the telephone ... so this 'cloud 9' wonderful database technology is already in operation.


    Again, you have fallen for the old they've already got an IT system that does a similar job and therefore we can then add this information onto the system or develop another system to run along side it type of thinking that so many computer illiterate people fall for.
    IT systems are far more difficult to design than you could possibly imagine and changing the structure of a system in order to add a whole load of new information or functionality to it is a sure fire way of having that system collapse under a mountain of conflicts in the programming.

    Seriously mate, stop buying the Daily Mail, stop watching so much TV news and try thinking for yourself for once. The world, and this country in particular, is a very safe place to live and your chances of being killed by someone who is a licensed gun owner are significantly lower than your chances of winning the National Lottery this week and then being struck by lightening while you pick up the winning cheque.

    ***

    The other issue is that I think that registered gun holders should be publicly accountable for having weapons and if they're not happy with this level of scrutiny ... then give them up.


    They're already are publicly accountable, that's what that system of certificates and licenses are for; so that publicly appointed officials (in this case, firearms officers) can ensure that those applying for the right to own and use a gun have a valid reason, and have taken appropriate precautions in order to own a gun safely.


    Events like this are tragedies but they're also amazingly rare tragedies and will not be prevented by persecuting legal gun owners.

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  • 187. At 12:20pm on 07 Jun 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    SSnotbanned wrote:
    #44 general Jack Rip
    as you say yourself there are ''thousnads of gun owners'' in the country. They are going to finance this.



    Now you're just being disingenuous, if you need someone to accompany you on a shooting trip then you are going to need tens of thousands of people who are qualified to act as chaperones for all of the nation’s gun owners.
    In effect you would need at least one chaperone for every gun owner and you'd therefore be adding over £15,000 per year, per person to the cost of getting a gun licence. And that’s before we’ve built all of those gun depositories…

    As most gun owners are working and middle-class people who would be unable to afford this it would mean that the vast majority of them would be unable to legally own a gun and therefore you'd either have thousands of people being forced to break the law or our nations farming industry would collapse under the pressure of the millions of rabbits and other pests that would overrun our country within a few months.

    You still haven't answered the question as to why someone like Mr Bird wouldn't just shoot the chaperone before going on a rampage.
    Or how you'd stop the chaperones from going crazy and turning their weapons onto the general public.
    Or how you would prevent criminals or terrorists from targeting these new gun depositories.
    Or how a farmer would deal with a situation where they needed immediate access to their guns to prevent one of their animals from suffering.
    Or any of the other reasonable questions that have been asked of you, all you've done is the intellectual equivalent of saying ner ner, you're it which doesn't really cut the mustard in my book.

    You'd come out of this looking a lot better if you just admitted your original suggestion was a panicked attempt to deal with a situation you found shocking but on reflection and after some thought you'd realised it was a silly suggestion that would not be practical or enforceable for a wide variety of reasons.

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  • 188. At 2:02pm on 07 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    186. At 12:06pm on 07 Jun 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    nautonier wrote:
    At the moment trivial crime stuff is 'secretly' ignored by the police as they do not have the resources to deal with everything recorded and they are too busy and most people can't be bothered to report crime.


    How can one sentence have so many contradictions in it ?

    If the Police are secretly ignoring crime reports from the general public then how do you know about it ?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) The information is in the public domain as the police routinely decide not to prosecute thousands of cases every year
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    If most people don't bother to report crime then why are the Police too busy to deal with trivial crime stuff(sic) ?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) I don't know ... they just are ... why don't you ask them?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    If the Police are already too busy to deal with the work they already have then how do you think they're going to be able to deal with all of the additional information that paranoid curtain-twitchers would be bombarding them with under your proposal ?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) Yawn - online database allowing contributors to track their input and keep and eye out and add to their input as and when necessary
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I'm afraid you have fallen for the old politicians booby-trap of thinking;
    Something must be done.
    This is something, therefore we must do it.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) Well there are probably millions like me who just want something accessible and easy to log a few details that don't get ignored and lost in the system ... so that we think its worthwhile making contact with the police on important issues like guns
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Just like many of our politicians you have also failed to grasp the technical, social and logistical problems that your solution would produce and even though many people on here who have far more experience of the subject than you have tried to explain the faults with your suggestion you still think it is the right thing to do because you have become ideologically attached to your proposal.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) Wrong again ... the nabis database is already operational and is a success and good be expanded to record critical inputs from members of the public
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    This means that anyone arguing against it is therefore a gun nut who is afraid of something in your mind, on this point you are at least half right; we're afraid that people like you would have us all living under some Stassi style system of oppression just to satisfy your irrational demands for additional safety measurers.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) If anyone has a gun and refuses to stand up and be counted and justify their use of that gun in public. Similarly, I think that all applications for gun licences should be advertised so that members sof the public can object and make confidential representations to certain people getting licences. I can think of a hundred or so licensed gun holders who would not have got a gun licence under full public scrutiny
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Most police forces records on crime are on database anyway - that's why when you give a crime number ... the police can find it so quickly when they're on the telephone ... so this 'cloud 9' wonderful database technology is already in operation.


    Again, you have fallen for the old they've already got an IT system that does a similar job and therefore we can then add this information onto the system or develop another system to run along side it type of thinking that so many computer illiterate people fall for.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) NO! - I've said repeatedly that the database could be an extension of the existing Nabis database ... that is a real success in tcakling gun related issues
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    IT systems are far more difficult to design than you could possibly imagine and changing the structure of a system in order to add a whole load of new information or functionality to it is a sure fire way of having that system collapse under a mountain of conflicts in the programming.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) Nabis database amendment will do fine - I don't think a few datatabse issues would stop those trying who wish to save lives - real poeple with real lives!
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Seriously mate, stop buying the Daily Mail, stop watching so much TV news and try thinking for yourself for once. The world, and this country in particular, is a very safe place to live and your chances of being killed by someone who is a licensed gun owner are significantly lower than your chances of winning the National Lottery this week and then being struck by lightening while you pick up the winning cheque.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) Really, these gun atrocities, although relatively few and far between - keep happening - try explaining yourself to the victim's families
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The other issue is that I think that registered gun holders should be publicly accountable for having weapons and if they're not happy with this level of scrutiny ... then give them up.


    They're already are publicly accountable, that's what that system of certificates and licenses are for; so that publicly appointed officials (in this case, firearms officers) can ensure that those applying for the right to own and use a gun have a valid reason, and have taken appropriate precautions in order to own a gun safely.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) Having to stand up and be counted and be publicly accountable ... amazing that this proposal really scares the gun holders?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Events like this are tragedies but they're also amazingly rare tragedies and will not be prevented by persecuting legal gun owners.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) Who is persecuting legal gun owners? Have you found anyone yet?

    Do you keep a gun? With your username you would definitely get reported on the 'new database'!

    The Cumbria incident, I would argue, was preventable, and should have been prevented.

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  • 189. At 2:19pm on 07 Jun 2010, Khrystalar wrote:

    Hmm... I think these figures make more of a statement about the human condition than they do about guns.

    Most of the figures for deaths-per-10m-population are in around the same area - 0.5 to 1 - despite the huge variance in percentage of gun ownership in each country. (Excluding the rather pointless inclusion of Israel and Gaza; how exactly do you qualify what counts as a "mass killing" in a region which has seen constant violence and bloodshed for the last 60 years?!?)

    What this shows me is that there is a very small percentage of the population in each country - and it's about the same for most countries. It has nothing to do with gun ownership; it's simply a terrible fact of life. Some people are, basically, completely nuts.

    Banning guns... legalising guns... isn't going to make much of a difference to this elementary fact of human nature.

    Personally, I'd rather have the right to bear arms - its one of the few things that I think America has right, where we have wrong - if Bird's first victim had been able to retaliate, there's a very good chance the other 11 would still be alive.

    Frankly, if I get attacked in any way, I'm going to respond with the full force at my disposal force anyway - I don't actually care what the law says one way or another, in this respect.

    But I'm under no illusions that this would change how often this sort of event occurs. It wouldn't.

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  • 190. At 2:22pm on 07 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    This is the link to the nabis databse website for anyone who wishes to know about it:

    http://www.nabis.police.uk/database.asp

    Should be possible to enhance the website to allow public participation in gun safety without spoiling the database with 'overkill'/too much information?

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  • 191. At 3:44pm on 07 Jun 2010, Dukebluenose wrote:

    I would be very interested to know the figures of home/business invasions resulting in the death of a citizen in this country every year.
    I suspect what you would find is that every year many more individuals are killed because they could not adeqautly defend themselves under the laws of this country than the dozen or so per decade killed in mass shootings.
    It annoys me that the same people who jump on the terrible, but thankfully extremely rare statistics of mass shootings in this country and then run and run with it all the while spouting nonsense about firarms and the type of people who want them, but say very little when a poor shopkeeper is beaten to death in Leeds.
    A woman who sprays a rapist with pepper spray could face potentially 5 years in jail for possesion of a firearm in this country.

    We need a massive overhall of the laws in this country - more power to the citizen, and less to the state, the police and the criminals.
    Im not proposing the ridiculous gun laws they have in the states, with people owning assualt rifles and whole rooms full of guns, but something sensible with proper medical/psychological tests and CRB and security checks, as well as more laws to back citizens.
    Would it really be a bad thing if many shopkeepers and householders in this country held a shotgun or a handgun for self defence purposes (and more importantly, the law backed them to use it.

    And please for all those people that want everything banned, get over yourself. We live in one of the least free western states as it is, we need less laws, not more. The reason guns are banned is because the state and the big business that run the state fears them. We had the right to defend ourselves under the 1689 Bill of Rights,

    "The fifth and last auxiliary right of the subject, that I shall at present mention, is that of having arms for their defence, suitable to their condition and degree, and such as are allowed by law. Which is also declared by the same statute I W. & M. st.2. c.2. and is indeed a public allowance, under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression."

    What happened was socialism spread throughout Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and sparked fears amongst the establishment that those upstart peasants might actually achieve something if they were armed. The same menatality applies today. The government want us to be in fear so we have to accept them as our masters with the police our saviours and protectors.

    It is time we started looking after ourselves, our families and our communities ourselves. The government has failed us time and time again.
    All this incident has shown us is that the police cannot protect you. It is not there fault it is just financially and physically impossible to do.

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  • 192. At 4:14pm on 07 Jun 2010, britishchristian wrote:

    As you rightly pointed out, high levels of gun ownership don't always equate with reoccuring mass shoootings. Switzerland had one such tragedy 14 years ago but that must be set against it's long-running citizen army status where almost all households have one or more firearms in them.

    Israel also has a high level of gun ownership for the same reason. Although there have been a number of multiple shootings these have been mainly terrorist-related.

    Finally, a thought on American gun laws which are so often criticised. If this had been the US then Derrick bird would have automatically lost his licence when convicted of a felony (i.e.theft)

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  • 193. At 4:35pm on 07 Jun 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    nautonier wrote:
    Do you keep a gun? With your username you would definitely get reported on the 'new database'!


    I do own several guns but considering that the government used to trust me with weapons of mass destruction I'm sure I'm responsible enough to own a couple of shotguns and a rifle...

    And what exactly is wrong with my username and why would it lead anyone to report me ?

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  • 194. At 5:03pm on 07 Jun 2010, Iapetus wrote:

    117. At 3:44pm on 05 Jun 2010, Never Knowingly Humble wrote:
    "the mere act of applying for a firearms licence indicated that the individual was unfit to hold such qualification."

    Do you have peer-reviewed studies supporting that assertion, or is it based on pure bigotry and ignorance?

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  • 195. At 5:33pm on 07 Jun 2010, Buzzardstubble since 2007 wrote:

    190 nautonier
    You're still at I see. Dr Bob, who seems to be speaking from knowledge and experience has told you repeatedly, it would be too expensive to create and run GOT IT?
    Nabis is a ballistics database and specifically excludes crime intelligence, which is properly held at force level.

    WHY DON'T YOU CALL CRIMESTOPPERS WITH YOUR GEMS? Is it because you have a very squeaky easily identified voice. You seem obsessed with anonimity in your posts, afraid to man-up, or already identified as a vexatious complainant?


    Where a FAC is revoked or not renewed, the holder has a right of appeal to the Crown Court. If the police act solely on your 'evidence', you will be summoned to the witness box, no hiding behind the lid of your laptop there. Any barrister worth his salt would lay you out before a jury for what you are, a sad, fixated, curtain twitcher, with an overactive imagination.

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  • 196. At 5:38pm on 07 Jun 2010, SDEF wrote:

    #183 @ nautonier
    nautonier wrote : "I see that I'm called back again by popular demand!" end of quote.

    Now that's what I call eccentric.
    Careful though ! At this rate we will soon be seeing you listed on some Strange Behaviour Public Database !

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  • 197. At 5:58pm on 07 Jun 2010, shadamehr wrote:

    "What the table shows is just how rare these kinds of incidents are. Britain has only experienced three in the last 50 years - possibly ever: Hungerford in 1987, Dunblane in 1996 and now Cumbria. "
    So where does the Monkseaton, Whitley Bay shooting spree of Robert Sartin, in April 1989 disappear to then...?
    Or are you suggesting that because only one person actually died, whilst the other SEVENTEEN people he was charged with the ATTEMPTED Murder of, managed to survive (14 actually wounded), that we should pretend this "gunman rampage" never happened, or doesn't warrant inclusion...?
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/tyne/8029888.stm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkseaton_shootings

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  • 198. At 6:22pm on 07 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    195. At 5:33pm on 07 Jun 2010, buzzardstubble wrote:

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Can't you read ... see 190

    http://www.nabis.police.uk/database.asp

    The database is up and running but lacks full public participation ... but anyway if you are posting from the US ... and if you're a foreigner ... try minding your own godamned business ... most of the problem guns have been imported to the UK

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  • 199. At 6:25pm on 07 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    196. At 5:38pm on 07 Jun 2010, SDEF wrote:

    #183 @ nautonier
    nautonier wrote : "I see that I'm called back again by popular demand!" end of quote.

    Now that's what I call eccentric.
    Careful though ! At this rate we will soon be seeing you listed on some Strange Behaviour Public Database !

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I have no problem with that - I've got nothing to hide - I'm not sneaking about with firearms and blasting little furry animals to bits for 'thrills' ... because otherwise I might feel 'indadequate'

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  • 200. At 8:01pm on 07 Jun 2010, Buzzardstubble since 2007 wrote:

    see 198

    nautonier still doesn't comprehend that NABIS will never have public participation, it is an intelligence database to link forensic indications related to weapon ballistics from diverse sources, to ensure that evidence does not slip through the net.
    It has nothing to with nautonier going 'ballistic', every time he thinks of a gun (whether in lawful or unlawful use, as he lumps them together).

    Not satisfied with wanting to breach the 1998 Data Protection Act, so that he can waste police time and intrude (anonymously) in the lives of normal citizens, I see he has now appointed himself CENSOR and wants to limit access to the BBC by people with opposing views.

    My family fought the Nazis, so that I wouldn't have to live in the world he wants to create. I think nautonier would make a great ambassador for the 'ban all shooting sports' lobby.

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  • 201. At 8:16pm on 07 Jun 2010, kb666 wrote:

    the risk is not from the ownership of a gun it is of the person who pulls the trigger. guns do not kill people it is the person pulling the trigger. I have fired hand guns and shotguns and own a hand gun abroad legally strictly for home protection, i am quite accurate but this does not mean i would go out and shoot somebody. the facts show that there has been only 3 incidents like this since 1960 goes to show the laws are strict enough and no matter what the government does it takes just one placid person to be pushed over the edge to do what happened to those innocent people last week.

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  • 202. At 9:18pm on 07 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 203. At 10:03pm on 07 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    200. At 8:01pm on 07 Jun 2010, buzzardstubble wrote:

    see 198

    nautonier still doesn't comprehend that NABIS will never have public participation,
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) NABIS already has public participation
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    it is an intelligence database to link forensic indications related to weapon ballistics from diverse sources, to ensure that evidence does not slip through the net.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) Really ... and the rest
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    It has nothing to with nautonier going 'ballistic', every time he thinks of a gun (whether in lawful or unlawful use, as he lumps them together).
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) Any gun is dangerous - legal or illegal - and capable of killing innocent people
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Not satisfied with wanting to breach the 1998 Data Protection Act, so that he can waste police time and intrude (anonymously) in the lives of normal citizens, I see he has now appointed himself CENSOR and wants to limit access to the BBC by people with opposing views.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) That's not what is says on NABIS website - previous quote link to NABIS refused by moderators ... but your minsinformation is laughable
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    My family fought the Nazis,
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) Mine fought and died
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    so that I wouldn't have to live in the world he wants to create.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) Mine fought and died so that decent folk could be free of guns
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I think nautonier would make a great ambassador for the 'ban all shooting sports' lobby
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) I'll look out for you on America's Got Talent/Most Wanted - one of those circus acts that gets laughed off the set with a big loud buzzer

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  • 204. At 10:50pm on 07 Jun 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    nautonier #203.

    "A) Mine fought and died
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    so that I wouldn't have to live in the world he wants to create.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) Mine fought and died so that decent folk could be free of guns "

    glib, cheap one-up-man-ship.


    here's a list of major arms manufacturers and their countries of origin, as you can see most are based where "decent folk" rule (how ironic); time perhaps to emigrate?

    LOL

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  • 205. At 11:29pm on 07 Jun 2010, Buck_Turgidson wrote:

    From NABIS FAQ's;

    Q: Will the database contain information on everything relating to firearms?

    A: No, the NABIS Database focuses on information relating to the intelligence surrounding a ballistic item. The reason for this is to provide high quality intelligence from across the country linked to a ballistic item or items rather than generic information or intelligence. The Police forces of England and Wales will continue to evaluate generic information and intelligence related to firearms.


    Source: http://www.nabis.police.uk/faqs.asp#10


    Isn't that the exact opposite of what nautonier wrote:
    Should be possible to enhance the website to allow public participation in gun safety without spoiling the database with 'overkill'/too much information?


    NABIS have specifically stated that they don't want to include generic information or intelligence from the general public as they want to maintain a system of high quality intelligence from across the country linked to a ballistic item or items.

    Their website is also quite clear that this system is only intended to be used by the Police and other law enforcement & intelligence agencies.
    They don't even want the general public to contact them and advise that if you have information relating to a firearms offence or other illegal activities that you should report it to your local Police or Crimestoppers.

    There is another system already in place to register all legal firearms and licensed individuals, it's called The National Firearms Licensing Management System (NFLMS), you can find more information about it here;
    http://www.npia.police.uk/en/10503.htm

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  • 206. At 04:30am on 08 Jun 2010, John Wheeler wrote:

    Actually private gun ownership in Israel is fairly limited and recreational shooting is not widespread. Despite the impression given by the media focussing on the ongoing conflict, the country is not awash with guns. Obviously a large part of the population serves in the military reserve and has access to military firearms. However, few non-military citizens (apart from those in the occupied territories) own guns.

    See http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090807120730AAt0wu1

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  • 207. At 06:06am on 08 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    204. At 10:50pm on 07 Jun 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    nautonier #203.

    "A) Mine fought and died
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    so that I wouldn't have to live in the world he wants to create.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A) Mine fought and died so that decent folk could be free of guns "

    glib, cheap one-up-man-ship.

    here's a list of major arms manufacturers and their countries of origin, as you can see most are based where "decent folk" rule (how ironic); time perhaps to emigrate?

    LOL

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Anniversary of my Great Uncle's death today ... two days after the date he had parachuted into Normandy to fight with panzer tanks near Caen... and he was a sergeant and medic and he hated guns.
    I don't think its funny ... he hated creeps having guns and so do I.
    Time for the UK to look at those import lists and stop those foreigners from sending us their dirty guns and other filth.

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  • 208. At 06:11am on 08 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    205. At 11:29pm on 07 Jun 2010, Buck_Turgidson wrote:

    From NABIS FAQ's;

    Q: Will the database contain information on everything relating to firearms?

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    The nabis site is 'ambiguous' as a there is plenty on the same site about public participation but it is still a good example of a data-base that can be used to track and report 'gun creepers' ... when some had been denying that such a database can even exist.

    Just need some mechanism for reporting all of those 'gun creepers' ... that's all.

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  • 209. At 07:39am on 08 Jun 2010, JapRobin wrote:

    #201, kb666, your quote is straight out of "Shane", and that's the problem. Some of you guys are living in a cowboys and indians, Dambusters, Terminator, or Hannibal Lector fantasy wonderland. On this post we have "kb666", the number of the devil, i.e. you, General Jack Ripper (a scary enough alter ego at the best of times, but unbelievably insensitive bearing in mind what we are discussing) bragging how they've controlled weapons of mass destruction,"SDEF", presumably for 'self defence', and a Duke Bluenose harking back to the gory days of 1689, calling for the disbandment of the police to be replaced by local militias. Not to mention the references to great exploits in the War. This sounds like one and the same person to me, or at least persons with the same agenda.

    While it's almost certainly true that the vast majority of owners of legally held guns are decent law-abiding people, amid all the smokescreens there has been little or no discussion of capability, or if some owners of legally held guns also possess illegally held guns. As we speak, the West is doing everything in its power to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons capability. Using the aforemmentioned's logic, we should allow them to develop it, and if they use it, if anyone's left, they can say "Well, if they hadn't had nuclear weapons, they would have used bows and arrows and Colt 45s anyway." I want to know that we did everything in our power to stop the idiots from which Derrick Bird came getting their hands on their weapons of mass destruction.

    Everyday we see individuals enjoying the empowerment of a weapon or aggressive dog. This can happen again.

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  • 210. At 11:35am on 08 Jun 2010, Damon wrote:

    Greetings from America. Of course what happened was a tragedy, but let me offer a couple of real life situations to you good British folks to consider, and maybe give a little thought to, as you think about how you would like to see your government react. First off, let me say that I love Britain and her people (my wife of nearly 20 years is English), so please spare me the "if you are posting from the US or are a foreigner, Mind your own Goddamn business" treatment, as one of your posters so politely put it. First example: In Texas several years ago, a lunatic similar to yours, went into a restaurant and started shooting people. I can't remember how many people were killed that day, but it was quite a few. One woman who survived, had come in to have dinner with her parents. Her parents were not so fortunate as she was, they both died. As the woman cowered under a tablecloth see could see the murderer walking causally around the restaurant as he fired. She knew that she could have easily shot the man and stopped the killings if she had only had her handgun in her purse. Instead she could only curse the laws that forbid her from carrying her gun. She had dutifully obeyed those laws, left her gun in her car, and as a result had watched helplessly as her parents died along with the others. After that day, the woman vowed that she would do all she could to prevent something like that from happening again. She set about working to change the laws in Texas to allow law abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons. She is today one of the country's most prominate gun rights activist and partly due to her hard work most states in the union allow their citizens to carry concealed weapons. This has proven to be strong deterrent to crime and the documented instances of everyday people exercising this right to stop a crime in progress or prevent a crime that was about to take place, now number literally in the millions. If you find it incredible that the knowledge that the average person may be armed is enough to make a criminal think twice, here is an example to prove the point. Florida has been a popular destination for European tourist for many years now, but several years back that popularity among Europeans was seerly curtailed in the wake of a rash of robbery and murder that seemed to be specifically targeting people driving rental cars. When some of the killers were finally caught, they were asked why they had been targeting people driving rental cars, they said that they knew those people were likely to be unarmed tourist whereas local people were likely to be armed. Simple as that. (At the time rental cars prominently displayed the fact that they were rental cars via bumper stickers and the like and that practice was stopped immediately as a result.) Personally I have carried a gun for practically my entire adult life, and have prevented a crime being committed against me on four separate occasions. (note, I do live in Atlanta, Georgia which is one of the most crime ridden cities in the US, so my experiences would not be typical). The Point is that citizens being armed is a positive check on crime and the right, or in the case of the British the "privilege", to own guns to hunt, control pests and whatnot, is totally irrelevant to this issue. While it is certainly true that a homicidal killer, like the one you had in Cumbria, is not motivated along the same lines that the average criminal is, the principal of the average citizen being armed is exactly the same. A case in point: recently here in my home state of Georgia a disturbed individual showed up at a construction site and began shooting at people. The man fired several times, one man was injured, but when one of the construction workers retrieved a handgun from his car and shot the man, the incident was instantly over without further loss of life. Surely it would not take a great deal of imagination on the part of even the most sincere "Ban all Guns" British subjects among you to picture what the outcome could have been in Cumbria, had just one of the killer's victims been able to shoot back. If any of you are by now (hopefully) beginning to think that this idea of average people being armed might bear further consideration, please Google Kennesaw Georgia and read up on their rather unique approach to this issue. Kennesaw is a small community just outside of Atlanta that began to experience a crime wave that spilled over from the big city back in the 80's. Their solution was a simple one. They did hire more police, or install cameras every where. They simply passed an ordinance that "REQUIRED EVERY HOUSHOLD TO OWN A GUN FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE OCCUPANTS" Can you guess what the result was? Far from being the "wild west" scenario that one of the other posters hysterically prophesied would be the outcome of everyone being armed, the crime rate plummeted to near zero. Can the attitude of the average British subject ever be changed regarding guns in the hands of the people? I hope and pray that it can for the sake of your country and the vast majority of your people who are law abiding. As an inspirational example of the kind of change in your thinking that can be achieved, I submit to you the case of my British born and bred wife. When we married and she came to live here in the US, ahe was just as gun-phobic as many of the posters on here have demonstrated themselves to be. We settled in a suburban community just outside of Atlanta, and she gradually became accustomed to the fact that I kept guns for personal protection (not "sport" or hunting, again that is an entirely separate and irrelevant matter). Then one day, while I was at work, she became aware that someone had entered our garage and was rummaging around. She called the police, just as you would, but she had another resource that the people of Britain don't. When the burglar emerged from our garage carrying an armload of tools he intended for the local pawn shop, he was confronted by my wife who was still speaking with the police operator on the cordless phone she was holding in one hand, and by my .44 magnum revolver that she was holding in her other hand.(yes, that's the one made famous by "Dirty Harry") The burglar promptly lay on the ground when my wife asked him to do so and awaited the arrival of the police. When the police arrived they were immensely pleased with the situation and after identifying the man, informed my wife that he had an extensive criminal record including several violent assaults. That was a few years ago now, but my wife is still regarded as something of a folk hero by our local police. That story came to a happy ending, but think for a moment how it could have turned out differently. Suppose that the man had decided to try our house instead of our garage and suppose that my wife had not had a gun day. The story could have likely then ended with the coroner being called and the police writing a report and wondering who could have done this. Even the best and most efficient police force in the world is extremely unlikely to be standing by you when a violent criminal strikes. It is simply not possible. Then all of the gun laws, neighborhood snitches, and psychological tests in the world wont help you, the victim. Please think about this and consider for a moment that the solution for achieving greater safety for you and your families does not lie with "getting the government to do something". It lies with each and everyone of you taking responsibility for yourselves.

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  • 211. At 12:15pm on 08 Jun 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    nautonier wrote:
    The nabis site is 'ambiguous' as a there is plenty on the same site about public participation but it is still a good example of a data-base that can be used to track and report 'gun creepers' ... when some had been denying that such a database can even exist.


    No, it is not at all ambiguous, it is perfectly clear that it is for use by law enforcement and intelligence agencies only and that it is not for public use and they do not want any public participation as this goes against the very purpose of the system which is to collect highly accurate intelligence reports about ballistics and firearms that have been used in crimes.

    It has nothing to do with what you're suggesting and would never work in the way that you want it too.

    And I'd still like to know what is wrong with my username...



    JapRobin wrote:
    General Jack Ripper (a scary enough alter ego at the best of times, but unbelievably insensitive bearing in mind what we are discussing) bragging how they've controlled weapons of mass destruction


    Why is my username scary or in the slightest bit insensitive ?

    And I did not brag about anything, I was merely pointing out that the government were more than happy to trust me with some of the most dangerous weapons ever produced while I was in the military and that would indicate I'm able to be trusted with a licensed firearm.

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  • 212. At 1:35pm on 08 Jun 2010, An Insult To Mediocrity wrote:

    Firearm Owners Database for everyone: Why not just provide a shopping list to criminals?

    Reading into this case and watching last nights Panorama I would question why Derrick felt so isolated that he felt this was the only action he could take. I would also ask the police why they felt they couldn't apprehend him when their cars were following his. And finally, Derrick has a charge of burglary on his criminal record, why then was he allowed a certificate in the first place?

    The problem here isn't the availability of guns, it is the continued fragmentation of society and the authorities not fulfilling their obligations.

    The outgoing Labour government once said "Tough on crime. Tough on the causes of crime". Guess what, legal gun ownership isn't a cause of crime.

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  • 213. At 1:50pm on 08 Jun 2010, JapRobin wrote:

    #211, Forgive me General Jack if it's your real name or a previously coined nickname, but if it isn't it would be like debating the holocaust under the name of Adolf Hitler or this post as Thomas Hamilton, which I would find distatsteful.

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  • 214. At 2:24pm on 08 Jun 2010, Dukebluenose wrote:

    Specifically for Nautonier

    The real creeps are people like you who have nothing going on in their own lives so stick their noses into everyone else's business.
    I am a legal gun owner, a self employed business man and have an active social life. I am not a weirdo or a gun nut just because I enjoy clay piqeon shooting and occasionally hunting.

    The real danger in this country is the loss of civil liberties because of cowards like you who are so scared of the real world you actually want the government to have more and more power. A database would be
    a) a wasteof money
    b) illiberal and would be abused by the state
    c) unreliable because it would be full of people like you who have already decided what is right and wrong and would use it accordingly.

    Lastly, if you want to spout rubbish do it with all the other cowards on the normal BBC blogs, usually Mark Easton's page gets a better level of contributor than the sad, pathetic, undemocratic but seemingly prevalant "I need nanny to hold my hand" brigade.

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  • 215. At 2:35pm on 08 Jun 2010, Dukebluenose wrote:

    In response to japrobin.

    Read my comment again idiot. I never once mentioned militias or disbanding the police, what I said was a few alternative examples to what we have now. As usual in this country when something bad happens, people like you offer no solutions yourself but just shoot down those you ideologically disagree with.
    I am not a gun nut or even a gun lover. I recognise what firearms are - they are a tool for self defence, for pest control and for hunting. I do not find it in anyway extreme that I or anyone else (once they have passed criminal/medical/psychological background checks) would wish to keep a handgun or shotgun in my house for self defence. If you do not wish to then fine don't, but why would you try and stop me having one.
    If your answer is because I might pose a threat to you then Im sorry but I don't, and if I did I would simply use something else or obtain one illegally, which is very, very easy to do. I live in London and when I used to work as a doorman myself and a colleage were threatened with a handgun on one occasion, criminals have these and do use them for negative reasons, all I want to ensure is that the odds are evened in favour of the law abiding.

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  • 216. At 3:09pm on 08 Jun 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    @ JapRobin

    Could you explain why, I really do not understand why my user name would be distasteful when discussing this or any other subject. I'm not being facetious here; I really do not understand what you and nautonier are on about and if my user name is in some way offensive I'd like to know why.

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  • 217. At 3:12pm on 08 Jun 2010, taylor_3 wrote:

    Slightly off topic but stil very relevent is the amount of people on Facebook making profile pages for Derrick Bird and supporting and condoning his actions. Worse still is the amount of people who then become this persons friend and again condone his actions and belittle the events that took place. A lot of these people even make threats of violence towards those who report them and glorify violence. Some have stated that they 'don't care about the victims', and that they're 'fine as they've got no more worries'.

    Facebook have blocked some of these people. But it shows just how sick and vile people in our society are. Asking when Grand Theft Auto: Cumbria is out and, in response to the 'what if were your loved ones' question, people have put 'well it wasn't so I don't care', shows the level society in this country has sunken too. In Australia in the past week a person was arrested for vandalising two Facebook sites created in memory of two murdered children. Partly due to child pornography, but also as Facebook is deemed a public carriage and this person was offensive on it.

    Surely Facebook can trace the IP addresses of people who not only create these pages but those who support them. I'm sure the Cumbrian police would like to visit these vile individuals. The crassness and direct threats of violence made by these people would have you arrested for saying them in public. So why not online in a public forum? You are able to access their abuse without even becoming their friend. One of them even said that he's been blocked lots of times, as he does this whenever something bad happens. And has the cheek to tell people who criticize him to 'get a life'.

    Basically I want this out in the public demain. I'd love for the media to pick on this sick practice that seems to folow every major disaster/atrocity. Surely somewhere this has to be illegal, and surely the likes of Facebook should be able to not only block these people ever using their site, but hand over their IP addreses to the police. I'm sure the tabloids would have a field day publicly naming and shaming these individuals. I'm sure they won't be so gobby when their actions are made public. You could se people losing their jobs and even friends over some of the comments left.

    Even if it's not illegal, it is extremely offensive and creates a very worrying picture of our society, which would seem no government can legislate against. I wonder if any of the vile individuals commenting on Facebook are capable of such random violence. The scary thing is, some appear to be very normal, everyday people. Maybe if they were to get a visit from the police, they'd see the error of their ways.

    Seeing as they're condoning and therefore promoting mass murder, surely that's being inciteful of violence and should face some sort of punishment.

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  • 218. At 4:25pm on 08 Jun 2010, TexasPhil wrote:

    I haven't read all the posts, but a factor not considered (so far as I have read)is that most of the multiple homicides in the US take place in sites that do not allow concealed weapons (Schools, colleges federal buildings etc,).
    The volume of data available in this area is massive and anything without months of research is a guess, mine guess is this guy (in the UK) was a bully and knew he wasn't going to be tackled by anyone, even a cop it seems.

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  • 219. At 5:08pm on 08 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    If rabbits and other little critters had guns ... they'd have the woods and fields all to themselves!

    See that some are about to 'fess up' as feeling that they need to defend their 'gun kissing'.

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  • 220. At 6:53pm on 08 Jun 2010, Buck_Turgidson wrote:

    nautonier wrote:
    If rabbits and other little critters had guns ... they'd have the woods and fields all to themselves!


    No they wouldn't, they lack opposable thumbs and wouldn't be old enough to buy ammunition...

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  • 221. At 8:10pm on 08 Jun 2010, JapRobin wrote:

    #215, bluenose, who's shooting down who or resorting to abusive language? You're right, I don't have any wish to have a gun, but I understand, especially the way things are going, why you might want to, but your aggressive language doesn't support your case very well.

    I read Texas Phil's very well argued case, and having worked with likeminded Americans, know how proud of the American Constitution some of them are, and in particular the right to bear arms, but then if you look at their healthcare system for example, you see our 2 countries are different in many ways, and what works for one doesn't necessarily work for the other. That's not to say he hasn't got a case.

    I agree with you about evening the odds more in favour of the law abiding, but suspect your society would be crammed with guns, whereas mine would be looking at why people want to have a gun. There wouldn't be a need for doormen, just like the country I live in now.

    You say you don't pose a threat, but then that's what the police thought about Derrick Bird.

    #216, come on then General_Jack_Ripper, let's put an end to the suspense. Why does your name bear a striking resemblance to one of the most notorious murderers in British criminal history?

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  • 222. At 10:14pm on 08 Jun 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    JapRobin wrote:
    #216, come on then General_Jack_Ripper, let's put an end to the suspense. Why does your name bear a striking resemblance to one of the most notorious murderers in British criminal history?


    I'm guessing you're referring to Jack the Ripper, for starters; my user name doesn't have the word the in it.
    I'm no expert on the matter but I don't think Jack the Ripper's surname was actually Ripper, I'm guessing that was just a name given to him by the press, public or the Police.
    I don't think he was a General either but I suppose as we don't really know who he was I couldn't really prove that either way.

    The actual source of the user name is USAF Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper, the commander of Burpelson Air Force Base from Stanley Kubrick's film Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

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  • 223. At 11:33pm on 08 Jun 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    General_Jack_Ripper #222.

    "..user name ... from ..Dr Strangelove"

    nice.

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  • 224. At 11:36am on 09 Jun 2010, D Johnson wrote:

    Ban guns and they are obtainable on the black market. This knee jerk reaction only harms the honest responsible members of society who use guns for pleasure, clay pigeon shooting, or on organised shoots. If you want an illegal gun, there is always a way of getting one.

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  • 225. At 11:57am on 09 Jun 2010, Adam Taylor wrote:

    I haven't read through every single comment. But most people seem to be missing the real issue here.

    Most people are being sensible about the fact that it is people not guns that are doing the killing, but then go on about how he was allowed to go on for three hours. It seems to me that this is an argument to arm the police force routinely like they do in America. I don't think this should be the case but I do think the police should be routinely armed with tasers. Why is it that this non-lethal weapon can only be deployed by armed officers? It doesn't make sense to me, the armed officers are there in the event a 'lethal response' be required. If police were routinely armed with tasers then the two police officers who were following him for a time may have been a bit more confident about going in to confront him and this could possibly have saved lives.

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  • 226. At 1:43pm on 09 Jun 2010, Mark Regan wrote:

    As a Cumbrian living locally to the shooting I find a lot of these comments alarming, how are farmers meant to control Vermin. I may be wrong in thinking that the Hungerford shootings were carried out with Semi-automatic weapons that it wasn't legal to own at the time. I know a lot of people who own guns for sporting, hunting and pest control purposes do we once again crack down on everyone and anyone who owns a gun, because I person has been unable to cope with something that has happened in his life and he has gone apparently to exact a measure of revenge. Ask yourself this, if someone kills 5 people in a motorway pile up due to driving at 120mph do you them ban everyone else for owning a car capable of the same speed. Mr Bird reaced a breaking point, the fact that he didn't head into a local supermarket or into a tourist centre liek Keswick or Windermere on a busy weekend to me suggests that he wasn't out purely to kill anyone. The gun laws in this country are some of the toughest in the world, as a country we are still a pretty safe place to live. Of course what also is missing is how many murders are carried out with illegal firearms, such as the terrible scenes of school children being killed inLondon. I would much prefer time and resources being spent to control illegal firearms as that is what most of the crimes involving firearms relates to.

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  • 227. At 1:58pm on 09 Jun 2010, ercul wrote:

    This was a truly terrible event. My sincere sympathies to anyone who was involved. Sadly, the draconian measures introduced post-Dunblane seem to have had little effect (I was a FAC holder from 1981 until forced to surrender my pistols). At that time, there was a huge outcry among the legitimate shooting community, with warnings that such measures would only penalise responsible gun ownership in this country. A predictable prophecy: a large number of firearms dealers lost their livelihood and many thousands of people lost their right to pursue a perfectly harmless hobby.

    I will refrain from the old chestnut of comparing guns to cars/knives/cricket bats - that appears to have been exhausted on this blog. I now have no personal axe (excuse the pun) to grind reference private gun ownership, but once all the emotion has been stripped away, playing golf or sport fishing is no more necessary than responsible shooting.

    The fact that this government (unlike their predecessors) hasn't initiated a knee-jerk reaction to this situation is encouraging. I hope that there will be careful consideration taken before any decisions are made. After all, it is a risk assessment with many factors to be taken into account. Probability, further restrictions on law-abiding citizens, possible consequences and cost are examples.

    The notion of a publicly available register is absurd. We were always encouraged to be discrete to prevent any ne'er-do-wells attempting to relieve us of our firearms.

    Centralised storage is not a practical alternative for many of the reasons already stated. As for the 'chaperon' system: presumably, the chaperon would have to be able to protect her/himself from a rogue gun-owner. By that logic, the only deterrent would be to arm the chaperon. 'Who watches the watcher' springs to mind. It'll certainly make a dent in the unemployment register ;-)

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  • 228. At 2:30pm on 09 Jun 2010, ziggyboy wrote:

    Reforming the gun law has nothing to do with an individual suddenly becoming totlly unhinged.

    My husband was personally involved in the aftermath of the tragedy in Dunblane and it still affects him today.

    You simply can't legislate for these terrible events.

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  • 229. At 2:42pm on 09 Jun 2010, Buzzardstubble since 2007 wrote:

    I hope the 'no knee jerk reaction' policy will work both ways. We should perhaps wait for the full facts to come out, before we drag the Police over the coals. It happened in Cumbria, so there is no use judging them on conditions in other counties, let alone countries.
    In the post Dunblane furore, there was (rightly as it turned out) blame heaped on the police. That made it convenient for them shout that a ban on handguns was needed. When a small sector of the public is up against the establishment at that level, it's no surprise that the establishment wins, so let's try to keep them at least neutral.
    That said, I am relying on Theresa May to get a full and factual report into the public domain, without delay. More facts, less emotion and a fair and proper outcome.

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  • 230. At 5:57pm on 09 Jun 2010, ashcog wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 231. At 01:25am on 10 Jun 2010, GERRYH wrote:

    I am not a psychologist but to my nonprofessional’s way of thinking, there is a common behavioural phenomenon evident in the recent attack by a fox on two young children and in the recent mass shootings. Foxes are renowned for frantic killing sprees if they enter a large chicken coop but the question of why there is a need to attack anything for no reward or to kill needlessly seems to be the same. I worked with many violent people who became acrophobic or only ventured outdoors after dark and rarely alone. They were evidently afraid of retribution, not just the revenge of their victims but perhaps anyone remotely similar to their victims. My impression was that by harming more than once or being more violent than necessary to disable someone triggered a massive fit of remorse that defied conventional logic. Bird killed two people he knew; was the second murder one more than he considered necessary and the trigger to his killing spree? Imagine yourself killing a scary spider. I can guarantee the next spider you see will be ever scarier than the first and if you kill that spider; your fear will escalate more irrationally with every spider you see. All spiders native to the UK are completely harmless and the old primeval excuse falls apart by asking why we keep the ancestors of poisonous reptiles, large cats, and wolves as pets. Caring for a spider cures arachnophobia and it may be the cure for mass killings. Consider the statistics presented above and ask the following questions. How many of the mass killers were women? Are women the cultural nurture and care providers? Is there a connection there? How many mass killers were male, lived alone, cared for no one; not even a pet, and loved no one? How many of them committed suicide in a severe state of remorse? Is the dream of a caring community just a fanciful notion or the practical solution to mindless violence in all its manifestations? Do we teach our girls to care from a very young age? Can you figure out the last question for yourself?

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  • 232. At 09:17am on 10 Jun 2010, richardgh wrote:

    218. At 4:25pm on 08 Jun 2010, TexasPhil wrote:

    I haven't read all the posts, but a factor not considered (so far as I have read)is that most of the multiple homicides in the US take place in sites that do not allow concealed weapons (Schools, colleges federal buildings etc,).

    = = = = = = =

    Hate to point out that in each of your US examples - SOMEONE got into the "NO concealed weapons area" WITH concealed weapons to cause mayhem - Not a good example is it?

    There are far more mass shootings in the US proportionally than the UK - So our strict "no gun" laws work far better than the US "defender" gun policy.

    May I also point out the US has over 16,000 homicides annuallu of which 9,600 are WITH FIREARMS

    So After all 9,600 US victims died UNDEFENDED ANNUALLY - It just doesn't work does it!

    Here we had just 14 gun related - repeat 14 - homicides WITH guns (Statistics from NationMaster.COM) Yet we have one fifth of the US population - hardly a tiny population!

    So for the UK to have the same proportion of GUN related murders we need around 685 NOT 14 - Our gun laws work - the US lax gun laws do not.

    Hence the reason for the universal shock caused by this case - The 12 Bird killed represents a huge proportion of ANNUAL UK MURDERS BY GUNS.

    Our UK homicide rate of around 1200 is STILL far better than the US figure of 16000. But most of our murders or NOT committed by guns - whereas the majority of the US murders ARE caused by guns - the topic of this debate

    On a similar note Switzerland is often praised fot it's "guns in every home" policy - alleging that gun murders are low there - Not actually true - There are MORE gun related murders in Switzerland proportionally than in the UK - Our strict gun laws work far better. Swiss OVERALL crime rate is better than the UK - BUT NOT GUN CRIME!!

    - Our country is SAFER by far than either the US or Switzerland WITHOUT the "aid" of their lax gun laws.

    Does our UK gun law need modification? - Yes - But NOT by arming police but by placing more restrictions on recreational gun use.

    BTW I did shoot.

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  • 233. At 11:42am on 10 Jun 2010, straight pull wrote:

    Certainly a contentious issue.

    Firstly, guns are not weapons, they are firearms. A rolled up newspaper is a weapon!

    nautioner is partially correct, you can buy a full bore .223/5.56) AK47 in straight pull format. This is NOT an automatic or semi automatic rifle, it is straight pull. Those of us that reload ammunition can only use the bullet heads legally supplied by Firearms Dealers and these do not include any form of armour piercing or incendiary device. As I shoot on approved ranges, I cannot confirm, but I doubt a 5.56 round would penetrate a brick wall.

    The database arugement is unworkable. The "responsible person" accompoanying a shooter is also flawed.

    Of all the comment, hysteria and BS written above, we have forgotten two things. Firstly what about all the children gunned down by illegally held handguns in our inner cities? Why does it take a white middle class killing spree to ignite this debate? Is a black teenager any less worthy of the column inches above? Secondly, the Police Firearms units are one of the most dangerous users of firearms in the UK. The number of innocent people killed (including those that do not fit the criteria for the use of deadly force) by the Police is shocking. Whilst the psychological evaluations are high for would be Firearms Officers, there level of skill required on the range in terms of accuracy and shots on targets is easily acheivable by a novice.

    As a shooter I am slightly biaised as you would expect but I am more worried about passive smoking, drunk youths in the streets, gangs on street corners, joyriders etc than I am about the likes of Mr Bird.

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  • 234. At 1:11pm on 10 Jun 2010, richardgh wrote:

    "Of all the comment, hysteria and BS written above, we have forgotten two things. Firstly what about all the children gunned down by illegally held handguns in our inner cities?"

    = = = = = =

    Do you know EXACTLY how many children are ACTUALLY gunned down (fatally)?? Not just perceived to be gunned down - actually? Please state figures not feelings - sources not thoughts!

    All statistics I've seen show that the numbers are actually tiny - I live in Inner London - the actual number of children gunned down is tiny. Just as the numbers of UK gun related murders are tiny. Just 14 in TOTAL (not just children).

    The number of children killed by knives is far far far higher. But... That is not the debate.

    The fact is the perception about numbers of guns in Inner london used for killing is WRONG Twisted by media hype.

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  • 235. At 1:56pm on 10 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    233. At 11:42am on 10 Jun 2010, straight pull wrote:

    nautioner is partially correct, you can buy a full bore .223/5.56) AK47 in straight pull format. This is NOT an automatic or semi automatic rifle, it is straight pull.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I'm told by those who have experience of this in the millitary - it depends on the range .. at short range 'yes' - and that is another reason why some security guards wear high spec ballistics body armour and - YES I'm told a AK 47 5.56 round can go through a brick/wall at close range.

    I don't expect anyone to take my word for it - ask those who should know.

    Also, there are hundreds of You Tube and other web sites showing the testing of AK47 rifles (and there are different versions of AK47 as you point out) with video demonstrations on 'penetration'. These are unsuitable for moderation, I think - but easy to find for anyone who is curious.

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  • 236. At 4:34pm on 10 Jun 2010, straight pull wrote:

    I don't have the time at present to indepth research, but the content of this report is very interesting Homicides, Firearm Offences and Intimate Violence 2008/09. It is published by the Home Office.

    I wouldn't draw a distinction between fatal or non fatal, as when a gun is discharged, the object is to kill as the person pulling the trigger will not have sufficient skill to know where to shoot to wound.

    Regardless of the access to facts, Over the last 10 years in Britain, I honestly believe that more children have been killed in our cities than adults in mass shootings.

    The handgun ban has not worked as offences involving handguns have risen since the ban in 1997 (Source Hansard 11th March 2010.)

    I have regular unannounced visits by the Police to check my firearms. This involves checking the serial numbers, that bolts are stored seperatly, that ammo is stored seperatly. They also check with my club that I attend on a regular basis and the club have the right to report any untoward and unsafe behaviour back to the police.

    Any more draconian laws only confirms that we live in a Health & Safety obsessed Nanny State.

    Heaven help us all.

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  • 237. At 5:55pm on 10 Jun 2010, richardgh wrote:


    Regardless of the access to facts, Over the last 10 years in Britain, I honestly believe that more children have been killed in our cities than adults in mass shootings.

    = = = = = =

    Sadly THE FACTS show you are COMPLETELY WRONG - which is hardly a base to draw an accurate conclusion from.

    The authorities DO draw a distiction between fatal and non fatal shootings - One is MURDER the other is not.

    The debate is about mass murder with guns

    Anyway NOT ONE CHILD was killed in the last mass shooting.

    We've only had THREE mass shootings in the last 20 years.

    Please note I am writing about GUN FATAL SHOOTINGS - NOT child killings by knife.

    As you are "so busy" these are the figures


    ALL Murders 1,201

    ALL Murders committed by youths 139

    ALL Murders with firearms 14 (NOTE 14)

    The figures speak for themselves - MURDER WITH FIREARMS ARE VERY RARE IN THE UK - 14 out of the total of 1201 murders - Far fewer than most countries

    The perceptions of most people are wrong - they are coloured and helped by media hype - murder by gun is very rare - Our present gun laws work far better than US gun laws.

    Our handgun laws work better than most other countries and I certainly wouldn't want them relaxed. The handgun offences may have written - but not as high as other countries.

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  • 238. At 6:46pm on 10 Jun 2010, Peter wrote:

    There have been several comments on here along the lines of "guns can kill people at a distance - he may have been able to do it with a knife but it would've been a lot more difficult"
    and
    "only farmers have a need for guns"

    If we accept that farmers have a need for guns, then presumably the need for pest control is accepted. It's maybe possible to kill rabbits with a knife, but it would be a lot more difficult.

    Restricting guns to farmers is all very well in theory (if you wish to ban shooting as a hobby), but the fact is that farmers just don't have the time to hunt the rabbit population that damages their crops - that's why they delegate it to third parties, who do it for them.

    Prior written permission is required by law from the landowner before carrying a firearm on their land, and such written permission is one of the (very few) reasons why firearms certificates are issued.

    My point here is that if you accept that pest control needs to happen, then restricting firearms to only farmers isn't going to get it done.

    I think, tragic as this incident was, we need to keep it in perspective. There's always a balance between reducing risk and reducing liberties. Some of the 'fixes' suggested here would be unworkable, destroying peoples hobbies and making pest control impossible.


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  • 239. At 6:52pm on 10 Jun 2010, Steve wrote:

    Fascinating as this is, I'm afraid your table is totally wrong, because you've used press reports to compile it, and a lot of stuff doesn't get into the press. The US for example has had way more than 24 "mass killings" and you haven't defined what a mass shooting actually is. Does it only include successful attempts? Does it only include ones in which firearms were used? I can think of several where different methods were used, e.g. the incident in Winnetka, IL back in the 70s. There was in S Korea where he also used hand grenades.

    New Zealand should be on this list but isn't, the Stephen Anderson shootings in 1996 and the Aramoana shootings in 1990.

    However the fatal flaw in your analysis is that I can of at least six other mass shootings in GB alone - there was one in 1969 where a guy shot dead his whole family followed by a police siege, he was released from mental hospital in the 1990s, borrowed his neighbour's shotgun and shot dead his wife.

    Robert Sartin in Monkseaton in 1989 stole his father's shotgun and shot 14 people with it, one fatally. (Committed under the Mental Health Acts).

    James Griffiths in 1969 shot 13 people with a sawn-off shotgun in Glasgow while attempting to evade police.

    Kevin Weaver in 1988, murdered his mother and sister in Bristol with a hammer then went to his workplace with a shotgun and randomly opened fire, killing two other people. (Diagnosed as mentally ill, then released before the incident).

    Barry Williams in 1978 shot dead three of his neighbours in Birmingham, seriously injuring another using a 9mm pistol, then went on a rampage shooting at people randomly from his car before stopping at a petrol station and shooting dead two people, before being arrested. (Committed under the Mental Health Acts, later released).

    There was one in Rochdale a few years back, guy stopped by the police on the motorway, opened fire, then was chased by the police and randomly shot at people on the pavement with an AK-47 injuring several.

    Letisha Shakespeare and Charlene Ellis, shot dead with a MAC-10 in Birmingham in 2003.

    And so on.

    Criminologists don't bother trying to quantify statistically mass shootings simply because as you point out they are so rare and contrary to popular belief they are not all carried out by loners in their thirties or forties, many times they are people who are mentally ill or the person is simply a criminal. I can think of a couple where the shooter was a woman. Each case is unique.

    However I'm afraid press reports are not a good way to try and tally these things up, you have to use crime statistics and court reports, plus gun ownership statistics are also very vague because the definition of a "firearm" varies from country to country as does "ownership" - if you're issued a rifle to keep in your house for national defence, does that qualify? Does an airgun? Etc. I don't pay that much attention to the Small Arms Survey because of flaws in it like that.

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  • 240. At 9:31pm on 10 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    In addition to the NABIS database ... there is another existing and impressiv database

    http://www.npia.police.uk/en/10503.htm

    The use of databases is very advanced re firearms - the bit that appears to be missing is public participation ... in the information process and better and full national and international co-ordination of these resources .. up to date, inter- active - linked to geo-data mapping etc.

    Lots of potential here for finding part of the solution for dealing with all firearm issues - legal and illegal ... and risk assessment and management.

    It is I who is behind the curve with all of this ... the police already have nearly all of the information management in place ... it just lacks public input and better co-ordination.

    I know that maany are against the idea of big brother, surveillance, etc ... but public safety must surely be the exception that no right minded person should have any reasonable objection to when gun crime and public safety is at issue?

    It seems to me that there must be a quite few out there who know exactly what these information resources are about and where this can be a major benefit re: gun crime management but are staying very quiet or have been told to be quiet ... for the time being at least?

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  • 241. At 11:17pm on 10 Jun 2010, SDEF wrote:

    nautonier
    Wake up !
    Someone else beat you to the NPIA software a few days ago.
    Your new software discovery obsession has already been posted by Buck_Turgidson #205 at 11:29pm on 07 Jun 2010

    BTW
    What are you going to do about this mass infector ?
    "Swiss acupuncturist probed over HIV infections"
    No guns used and victims are practically doomed to a cruel death.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100610/ap_on_re_eu/eu_switzerland_hiv_acupuncturist

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  • 242. At 06:56am on 11 Jun 2010, CharlesNorth wrote:

    Living in a country ( Germany ) where blasting small-medium sized fury creatures into bite size portions is a national hobby complete with national Hunters fancy dress and more traditions than a English public school,and where every village still has a annuall shooting competion for all ages and sexes and where gun shops in major towns are always a visit worth just to see the range of weapons available to the puplic,from hand guns too snazy sexy rifles.All off course only available with a licence too kill,ops sorry to hunt or sport shooting.And not to forget the heady days of the Russian armys withdrawl from eastern Germany ( personnly there at the back street lorry market contemplating buying a R.P.G to take out that bloody church across the road with its insistence to deafen me three times a day )I'm still supprised that the press and the puplic show supprise and disgust when somebody,a disgrunteld father blasting his family into a early grave due to divorce proceedings or loss of his job,or the 14yr old from braunschweig who took his mother and father out with daddy's 9mm pistol cos he had a bag on beeing rich and privalaged and went to live with his uncle a few days later happy in the knowlege as he wasnt charged ( due to his age ) his inheritance was safe.Or a schoolie with a grudge,why oh why must these gun owners have the right to keep these weapons at home? leave the lonely farmers out of the equation,if these gun freaks want there toys let them pay for a amoury with controlled withdrawl of said weapon and a good reason why.Yes expensive and no woulndt controll illegal ownership,but might just stop a few death's !

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  • 243. At 08:46am on 11 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    241. At 11:17pm on 10 Jun 2010, SDEF wrote:

    nautonier
    Wake up !
    Someone else beat you to the NPIA software a few days ago.
    Your new software discovery obsession has already been posted by Buck_Turgidson #205 at 11:29pm on 07 Jun 2010

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Yes - Glad to see that we all now agree on the merits and application of databases - I can't wait to get my username and password to start participating on what hopefully will be a new public access firearms database as I have a few snippets of information 'to post'

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  • 244. At 09:46am on 11 Jun 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    It appears nautonier is trying appointed himself as the navigator of the good ship HYS, such a shame he's really just the blind leading the blind...


    Why do you think all of these databases were set up without the ability for the public to either access or enter information directly onto them ?

    It wasn't an oversight by the designers, it's because the Police do not want people like you wasting their time and ruining the quality of the data held on them and they don't want to encourage vigilantes to attack law abiding gun owners or criminal gangs trying to steal their guns.

    If you have any information relating to gun crime then they want you to report it to the Police or to Crimestoppers so that their staff can filter through all of the paranoid ramblings of curtain twitchers and overzealous do-gooders rather than burying the specialised firearms units under a mountain of useless information, gossip and paranoid delusions.

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  • 245. At 09:54am on 11 Jun 2010, SDEF wrote:

    nautonier
    Of course you conveniently ignored my question re the recent case of the Swiss acupuncturist who mass infected several patients with HIV.

    As for your snippets I anticipate the NPIA will soon setup a Junk mail filter.

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  • 246. At 11:20am on 11 Jun 2010, straight pull wrote:

    RichardGrey - it is a pity that you have to resort to sarcasm when most of us are trying to have a healthy debate. I think you will find that the debate is about the risk from Guns (see headline) not mass murder with Guns. I doesn't matter if someone is killed or wounded when a firearm is discharged, the fact is that each pull of the trigger is a desire to kill. It is only luck and anatomy that means someone is wounded rather than killed.

    nautonier - you leave me speechless at your database idea. Would you propose amending the Data Protection laws so that it would be legal to check such databases? And if so where do these laws stop? Could I check the DVLA database to see who owns the Bentley that has just driven past me? Unworkable! Paranoid curtain twitchers would bring the police force to a halt as they investigated every aspect of rumour and heresay because if they miss one nutter and he goes on to kill they will be sued.

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  • 247. At 1:27pm on 11 Jun 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    Scourge of the most common murder weapon

    The use of a "sharp weapon" led to the deaths of 167 boys and men and 69 girls and women in the year ending April 2005.

    A knife is the most common murder weapon and was used in 29 per cent of homicides in England and Wales last year. By contrast a gun is used only about nine per cent of homicides in England and Wales.


    Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/scourge-of-the-most-common-murder-weapon-478909.html


    *****


    Knives 'most commonly-used murder weapon in Scotland'

    KNIVES were the most commonly-used weapon in killings in Scotland in the last two years, figures showed today.

    Blades, including knives and swords, were used to attack 58 per cent of victims, homicide statistics for 2008-09 revealed.

    Hitting and kicking someone to death was the method used against 10 per cent of victims, with 8 per cent of victims either poisoned or struck with a blunt instrument, according to the Government's statistics.


    Source: http://news.scotsman.com/knifeculture/Knives-39most-commonlyused-murder-weapon.6095120.jp


    *****


    So when are we going to be getting a database showing all of the people who legally own knives and sharp instruments ?

    Aren't the Police and the government taking this issue seriously ?

    After all, what reason could any normal person possibly have for owning a weapon thats primary purpose is to stab someone ?

    The other issue is that I think that knife owners should be publicly accountable for having weapons and if they're not happy with this level of scrutiny ... then give them up.

    Surely we can't have law abiding citizens living in a country where people are able to legally own the most commonly used murder weapons without everyone else around them being able to find out who these knife-nuts are and where they live, just in case one of them comes home drunk on a Friday night or has a suspicious user name on the BBC's HYS website...

    So come on, let’s have a publicly accessible database showing the names, photographs and locations of all of these knife owners so we can make sure the people living next door to us aren’t sat around sharpening their evil weapons and conspiring about who they’ll kill next.

    Or better still, let’s have a single knife depository in every area and every time a knife owner wants to use their knives they’ll have to go and prove their need is legitimate and they will then have to pay to have a responsible state employee to follow them to ensure they’re only using their knives for the reasons they say they are and aren’t just owning them as a status symbol or to commit crimes.

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  • 248. At 1:52pm on 11 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    Just think at the immense price and satisfaction as a Licensed gun holder there is to be or can be as seeing one's own name there on the data-base as registered, legal, gun owner ... standing up and being counted!

    Thomas Jefferson would be very proud!

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  • 249. At 2:20pm on 11 Jun 2010, Buzzardstubble since 2007 wrote:

    Here is an interesting story:
    Likewise, Association of Chief Police Officers spokesman Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes, said an unarmed police service remained "central to the British model".

    Reactions to individual cases "rarely make a good basis for changing the law", he said, adding that the current arrangements allowed for flexible use of firearms teams.
    Source is BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/10260298.stm

    Let's hope that Mr Hughes realises that what's good for the goose...and offers the same advice on behalf of ACPO, to the eventual Cumbria inquiry.

    Can posters with comments about illegal guns please direct them to HM Revenue & Customs and their respective Chief Constables, they are not relevant to this forum. (Just one more little gem from the land of the free, we elect our police chiefs here, you might want to think about that).

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  • 250. At 07:41am on 12 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    249. At 2:20pm on 11 Jun 2010, buzzardstubble wrote:

    Here is an interesting story:
    Likewise, Association of Chief Police Officers spokesman Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes, said an unarmed police service remained "central to the British model".

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Yeah! How many Chief Police Officers have actually been out on the beat and worked their way up through the ranks rather than having floated in from Oxbridge and have actually confronted an armed criminal while being 'unarmed'.

    It's easy to say that on behalf of rank and file police officers while they're sat there on their leathers chacirs in their nice warm offices.

    Police and firearm requires the right questions being put to each and every serving police officer in the form of a ballot ... but I would not expect any police officer to be denied the right to carry a personal firearm concealed or otherwise if that is their personal preference... so long as they are trained and assessed regularly to maintain that posession.

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  • 251. At 7:21pm on 12 Jun 2010, richardgh wrote:

    "Can posters with comments about illegal guns please direct them to HM Revenue & Customs and their respective Chief Constables, they are not relevant to this forum. (Just one more little gem from the land of the free, we elect our police chiefs here, you might want to think about that)".

    It really doesn't seem to work in the US does it? There are over 16,000 homicides in the US - FIVE TIMES HIGHER THAN THE UK PRPORTIONALLY!!

    When you "only" include firearm homicides - the difference is staggering - 9,600 in the US - 14 - repeat 14 - in the UK - That is 150 times lower proportionatly.

    US gun laws do not work - the UK ones work far far better.

    I'd far see the strict UK GUN laws continue as they are than to allow the appalling US gun homicide rate to appear here with the appalling US Lax Gun Laws

    Political Police heads has been thought about here and rightly rejected many times - The US cultural system doesn't actually work beneficially in the US - So it certainly won't work in the UK.

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  • 252. At 9:50pm on 12 Jun 2010, Buzzardstubble since 2007 wrote:

    Richard Grey

    Your 'figures' are meaningless. Over what period? What is the source of your figures? How many homicides were committed with legally held weapons, used by their owners? If they are illegally held weapons, what do 'lax' gunlaws do to contribute to deaths? How many killings have been prevented by the use, or even just possession of a legally held weapon?

    I am glad that at least in your opinion:

    I'd far see the strict UK GUN laws continue as they are than to allow the appalling US gun homicide rate to appear here with the appalling US Lax Gun Laws
    so...You don't want to see shotguns or rifles banned, or any of nautonier's crazy schemes.

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  • 253. At 08:04am on 13 Jun 2010, richardgh wrote:

    "Richard Grey

    Your 'figures' are meaningless. Over what period? What is the source of your figures? How many homicides were committed with legally held weapons, used by their owners? If they are illegally held weapons, what do 'lax' gunlaws do to contribute to deaths? How many killings have been prevented by the use, or even just possession of a legally held weapon?"

    The period was one year - and in anycase the figures for the US, Swizerland and UK were over the SAME period. Source Nationmaster.com

    And crucially the UK gun deaths of just 14 gun murders is tiny in comparison to Switzerland (pop 7 mil) of 68 - and US (pop 300 Mill) of 9.600 makes whether the guns were illegally held or not TOTALLY IMMATERIAL. The dead person is STILL dead. THE TOTAL ANNUAL UK GUN DEATHS ARE TINY - OUR GUN LAWS ARE BETTER.

    It really doesn't matter whether they were legal or illegal guns - the UK figures show that just 14 people died by deliberate use of guns. Whereas 9,600 died in the USA. 150 times as many proportionately.

    Could UK gun laws be improved here? Yes.

    Though I didn't say whether or not guns should be banned - I do not think recreational guns should be held at home - they should be held at a safe place (say Police Station) at the owner's expense.

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  • 254. At 09:48am on 13 Jun 2010, richardgh wrote:

    246. At 11:20am on 11 Jun 2010, straight pull wrote:

    RichardGrey - it is a pity that you have to resort to sarcasm when most of us are trying to have a healthy debate. I think you will find that the debate is about the risk from Guns (see headline) not mass murder with Guns. I doesn't matter if someone is killed or wounded when a firearm is discharged, the fact is that each pull of the trigger is a desire to kill. It is only luck and anatomy that means someone is wounded rather than killed.
    = = = = = = = = = =

    Sorry it really isn't sarcasm - It is simply exposing the ridiculous statements - such as "Irrespective of the facts" and "In the US everybody is armed and we don't have a problem" which do not stand up to scrutiny.

    As regards the title of the debate - as we don't have "mass murders" by gun or otherwise - the objection is moot - except to say in the US mass shootings ocurr once a year - here it is once in about 20 years which is effectively Statistically infinitesimal. Unlike in the US.

    Frankly it DOES matter whether or not the person os injured or killed - ask any policeman or court of law. The fact of the matter your statement would be exactly the same for knives guns or pillows. In each case if the victim dies it is murder - otherwise it is not. But we are discussing guns.

    We are really discussing the public perception of risk of gun homicides - the vast majority of the public do not distinguish between one murder and another - They hear or read "a murder ocurred" and - when a discussion such as this comes up - completely ignore that the vast majority of murders (1,200) are NOT caused by guns but by other means - and usually committed by friends or relatives. Then lump them altogether.

    The ACTUAL risk is tiny - the risk of being killed by a motor car far far higher - do we ban cars - do we even discuss banning cars??

    Our strict gun laws work far far better than other countries - and are incredibly effective when we consider the actual numbers of ALL crimes.

    Murder by gunshot here is extremely rare and indicates that our already strict gun laws are working well. Remember even WITH illegal guns - MURDER BY GUNSHOT IS EXTREMELY RARE - however much you THINK otherwise.

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  • 255. At 4:04pm on 13 Jun 2010, Buzzardstubble since 2007 wrote:

    @ Richard Grey, who states:

    In each case if the victim dies it is murder - otherwise it is not. But we are discussing guns.
    ********************************
    Wrong in fact, unlawful killing is subdivided into 'manslaughter', 'death by dangerous driving' etc.
    -------------------------------------------------------------=

    except to say in the US mass shootings ocurr once a year - here it is once in about 20 years which is effectively Statistically infinitesimal. Unlike in the US.
    ****************************
    You do not define 'mass', but 1987,1996 and 2010 is not every 20 years.
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    "whether the guns were illegally held or not TOTALLY IMMATERIAL. The dead person is STILL dead. THE TOTAL ANNUAL UK GUN DEATHS ARE TINY - OUR GUN LAWS ARE BETTER."
    *****************************
    This is THE most relevant fact of all, because we are discussing a possible further reduction in legally held guns. Let me give you a simple analogy: In 2006 there were more than 1.5 million unregistered cars on UK roads. The drivers of those cars could speed, ignore red lights, commit physical attacks on other drivers and evade the police, with very little chance of being stopped, even by a mountain of law. Now if I proposed draconian restrictions on people who used their vehicles legally, based on overall # of offences....most right minded individuals would object and say "Go after the illegal cars, don't punish me".
    Well I am saying go after the illegal guns, don't punish the law abiding and if one individual transgresses, don't punish the majority.
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Now, I am a bit fed up with being selectively quoted in this forum, so here are my proposals:
    1/No change to the present regulation of shotguns and rifles.
    2/Sporting (incl. full bore) pistols to be restored to legal status, under the same strict regulatory system as was in place prior to 1997.
    3/Consideration be given to granting concealed carry permits to people who have undergone the necessary extra training and testing.
    4/Use of legally held firearms specifically considered in the Govt.'s upcoming review of self-defence legislation.
    5/ Elected Chief Constables, not an elected commissioner as Govt. is presently proposing (just on the basis of cost, a new post seems silly).
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    So there is my humble view,it won't be everyone's but it is fair. It will not transform the UK into the 51st State of America, but it may put a check-step into its' regression towards a totalitarian nanny state (my view).

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  • 256. At 6:57pm on 13 Jun 2010, richardgh wrote:

    This is THE most relevant fact of all, because we are discussing a possible further reduction in legally held guns. Let me give you a simple analogy: In 2006 there were more than 1.5 million unregistered cars on UK roads. The drivers of those cars could speed, ignore red lights, commit physical attacks on other drivers and evade the police, with very little chance of being stopped, even by a mountain of law. Now if I proposed draconian restrictions on people who used their vehicles legally, based on overall # of offences....most right minded individuals would object and say "Go after the illegal cars, don't punish me".
    Well I am saying go after the illegal guns, don't punish the law abiding and if one individual transgresses, don't punish the majority.

    = = = = = = =
    Actually - I think you will find that ALL motorists ARE subjected to the SAME draconian (your word) restrictions - That is why we have the laws in the first place - the 30 speed limit as an example was only introduced AFTER it was found that as motor density and speed increased so did 'accidents' on all roads. The unlimited speed limit was restricted to 70 when it was found that too many people were driving too fast for the conditions on "unlimited" roads. Now all motorists are subject to electronic checks to ensure that the car and driver are licenced and insured - that's everybody whether you are licensed or not. Repeat offenders have their cars impounded and crushed - I agree with the laws.

    I think also the police should do more to reduce the numbers of illegal cars on the roads - If I have to be licensed and insured with an up to date MOT - so should everyone else.
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Now, I am a bit fed up with being selectively quoted in this forum, so here are my proposals:
    1/No change to the present regulation of shotguns and rifles.
    2/Sporting (incl. full bore) pistols to be restored to legal status, under the same strict regulatory system as was in place prior to 1997.
    3/Consideration be given to granting concealed carry permits to people who have undergone the necessary extra training and testing.
    4/Use of legally held firearms specifically considered in the Govt.'s upcoming review of self-defence legislation.
    5/ Elected Chief Constables, not an elected commissioner as Govt. is presently proposing (just on the basis of cost, a new post seems silly).
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    So there is my humble view,it won't be everyone's but it is fair. It will not transform the UK into the 51st State of America, but it may put a check-step into its' regression towards a totalitarian nanny state (my vie
    = = = = = = = = =

    ABSOLUTELY NO WAY - I would not want to see ANY reduction in our present gun laws - which actually work - definitely NO concealed weapons AT ALL - and in fact I want to see recreational guns being held in more secure restrictions - such as held in police stations at the owner's expense

    I prefer to live in a nanny state - NOT to die in a US style "free" state - And 9.600 people a year do die by deliberate gun shot in the US - only 14 a year in the UK - our present laws are far better.

    In fact the entire annual gun shot murders in the UK really only adds up to one "mass murder" of the Bird type - Though NO ONE has defined what is a MASS murder.

    Keep UK gun laws the same as they already are!!

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  • 257. At 8:27pm on 13 Jun 2010, Buzzardstubble since 2007 wrote:

    Richard Grey wrote:


    and in fact I want to see recreational guns being held in more secure restrictions - such as held in police stations at the owner's expense
    ***********************************
    This has been shot down already by previous posters, but:
    Many police stations are not 24 hour manned.
    Police Stations do not all have armouries
    If I live 2 miles from my gun club, but 30 miles the other way from my nearest suitable police station, my firearms are at high risk for 60 miles, not 4, an increase of 1,500%
    If I decide to embark on a spree killing between the police station and range, what is to stop me?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    How does my proposed change to the law extrapolate to the (alleged) 9,600
    shooting deaths in the US? Do you propose to prove that they are all committed by the owners of legal weapons? Will the population of the UK increase to USAs 312 million, plus at least 12 million illegal immigrants? Will the number of legally held firearms in the UK increase to 5.58 million?
    Your comparison to USA is just fogging the debate, because you suggest that any increase in UK legally held weapons, will cause a jump directly related to all gun deaths in the US. (which you refuse to segregate). I have say that there is no science present in your argument, you are just shouting your personal opinion.

    As you are fixated by statistics, here are the figures relating to deaths in the UK, caused by passive smoking. You can save many more lives by securing tobacco products at police stations. When someone wants a fag, they have it delivered to their home by the police, who have to ensure that no children or non-consenting adults will be damaged by it being smoked. This would all be paid for by smokers (about a thousand quid a packet should cover it and after all a few peoples pleasure doesn't justify all that killing...MORE THAN ALL THE GUN DEATHS IN THE USA!!!

    Passive smoking kills more than 11,000 a year in the UK - much higher than previously thought, a study shows.
    The British Medical Journal study also gives a figure for people dying from second-hand smoke in the workplace - 600 a year - for the first time.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4309613.stm

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  • 258. At 9:10pm on 13 Jun 2010, richardgh wrote:

    257. At 8:27pm on 13 Jun 2010, buzzardstubble wrote:

    Richard Grey wrote:


    and in fact I want to see recreational guns being held in more secure restrictions - such as held in police stations at the owner's expense
    ***********************************
    This has been shot down already by previous posters, but:
    Many police stations are not 24 hour manned.

    = = = =
    As far as I'm concerned the "debate" is now at an end.

    You are now introducing all sorts of unrelated statistics from cars to smoking to "support" your opinion that we should relax our GUN LAWS so that you can have and use a gun to your heart's delight. Nor do I think the additional restriction has been "shot down" - It only exposes the reluctance of the gun lobby to change their ways in any way.

    I do not think you have proved that your having a gun will reduce the risk of gun crime in any way.

    Indeed I think your having a gun will increase the risk.

    I tried to show that the enormous numbers 9,600 of US Gun related murders ARE associated with the lax US gun laws. Whereas our tiny number 14 of UK gun related deaths show conclusively that our present gun laws are adequate to keep our gun related deaths to a very low number.

    Whether this tiny number of gun murders were committed by legal or illegal owned guns is immaterial to the overall question of risk of guns.
    The fact of the matter is the numbers are tiny in the UK

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  • 259. At 10:07pm on 13 Jun 2010, Buzzardstubble since 2007 wrote:

    @ Richard Grey:

    So you are not going to reply to any of my points and to quote you:

    As far as I'm concerned the "debate" is now at an end.
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    Job done, your concession is accepted.

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  • 260. At 4:02pm on 14 Jun 2010, Nick Cooper wrote:

    @ Dukebluenose/191

    By "home invasions" I presume you mean buglaries. In 2008/09 the number of people killed during a robbery or a burglary was 45. No further breakdown is available from the Home Office, but clearly even if it was assumed that the majority were burglaries, they're still very low numbers.

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  • 261. At 6:12pm on 14 Jun 2010, SelfDefense wrote:

    Actually Israel is the prime example that a personally carried concealed handgun is the most effective defense against mass shootings, including those at schools. So effective, in fact, that terrorists no longer attempt mass shootings but prefer to blow up buses by suicide bomb.

    The latest attempted school shootings in Israel were foiled by senior students (!!!) carrying guns. The only case of a successful attack on an israeli school class since 1973 when schools began to be protected by armed parents, grandparents and students was in Jordan; the authorities insisted that the teachers and parents disarm before visiting the "international peace monument" of Petra.

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  • 262. At 09:08am on 20 Jun 2010, richardgh wrote:

    261. At 6:12pm on 14 Jun 2010, SelfDefense wrote:

    Actually Israel is the prime example that a personally carried concealed handgun is the most effective defense against mass shootings, including those at schools. So effective, in fact, that terrorists no longer attempt mass shootings but prefer to blow up buses by suicide bomb.

    = = = = = = =

    I really don't think Israel is a prime example of anything - except how to kill innocent civilians. Somehow I doubt if non-jews in Israel have the right to have concealed weapons - do they. So the risk of being killed by gun shot to that section is high. The topic of the debate.

    Here we had 14 people die by gun shot in 2009 - How many were killed in Israel Occupied Territories? One hell of a lot more - and you have one TENTH of our population!!

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  • 263. At 3:38pm on 30 Jun 2010, Buzzardstubble since 2007 wrote:

    Tampa PD lost 2 officers yesterday, shot by the passenger in a car they stopped, who wanted on warrant.
    This news interview is with a 29 year veteran cop, now a safety trainer for many police depts. His comments on the effectiveness of 'gun control' and the possession of guns by 'good citizens' are very salient.

    http://www.baynews9.com/video?clip=http://static.baynews9.com/newsvideo/bn9/web_video/In_Depth_Officers_Shot_629.flv

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  • 264. At 1:50pm on 12 May 2011, allenjanda420 wrote:

    Assault weapons" are prohibited in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. Massachusetts:The increase in violent crime recorded by police, in contrast to [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] estimates provided from the BCS, appears to be largely due to increased recording by police forces

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  • 265. At 12:54pm on 29 May 2011, Scanship wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 266. At 1:50pm on 29 May 2011, Scanship wrote:

    People have been killing each other since Cain killed Able - no firearms were needed for centuries. Haven't seen any recent statistics, but would not be surprised if IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devises) killed more troops in Iraq than gunfire. The attempted attack last year on Times Square didn't include a firearm. Consequently, I'm dubious that more laws regarding firearms would have much success. We have laws against drugs but that has not stopped their use and we once tried to ban booze - didn't succeed either. If people had greater concern for people and their lives. TV and video games are full of killings as if that is the norm. One's values dictate one's actions. A responsible person would neither driver when over the limit nor murders someone.

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  • 267. At 4:56pm on 29 May 2011, Cardova wrote:

    That fifth column (Legal guns per 100 populations) is an extremely misleading statistic. It is much more a function of standard of living or affluence than it is indication of a widely-armed populace.
    There is a tendency to read the US number (90/100) as "90 out of every hundred Americans owns a gun", which is, on its face, absurd.
    In an affluent society, most citizens who own a gun own more than one -- and those who are true aficionados or who have multiple uses for them may easily own ten (10) or more. Such certainly is the case in the region where I used to live.
    So, if the average number of guns per gun owner is ten, (10) then only "Nine (9) out of every hundred Americans owns a gun".

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  • 268. At 04:22am on 01 Jun 2011, ottide wrote:

    It is really scary to think of how you could never know when something so tragic would happen to you or someone you know. I hope that they manage to come up with an effective strategy to reduce these incidents.

    Personally I think if a person wants to get a gun or cause a lot of damage not a lot is going to get in their way. I heard a recent story about a crazy man who bought a knife even telling the sales rep that he wanted it to kill someone.

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  • 269. At 12:08pm on 02 Jun 2011, U14890913 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

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