April 1 police forces in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Lancashire
and Cheshire began a gun amnesty. People across the region are being
urged to hand in their illegal firearms ahead of the introduction
of new gun laws. From BBC News: Gun
the murders of two teenage girls in Birmingham, the Home Secretary
David Blunkett has confirmed that a conviction for gun possession
will now carry a mandatory jail sentence of five years. From
BBC News: Gun
law shake-up unveiled
For gang members in Manchester, guns have become the 'must-have'
status symbol - even a fashion accessory. They're used in settling
disputes between rival gangs, or turf wars between drug dealers.
See also: Gangs and gun crime in Manchester
the increase: guns seized in Manchester
it's getting worse. Detectives say the gun-toting has led to "disrespect"
shootings in which people have been shot for as little as spilling
a drink or laughing at someone's haircut.
The lyrics of gangsta rappers like So Solid Crew have also been
blamed for popularising gun culture.
In Manchester, police, the council and other agencies have been
taking a joint approach aimed at redirecting young people away from
the gangs and into a better lifestyle. More
And firearms officers are also going into schools to educate young
people about the dangers of misusing imitation firearms and ball-bearing
But still the figures on gun crime continue to rise.
So what's the answer? Will a gun amnesty really stop the shootings?
Is it fair to blame gangsta rap? What about better education and
opportunities for young black men - should society take the rap?
How do you stop young people in gangs carrrying guns?
Have Your Say >>>
Ian in Manchester
The fear of being caught is not great enough in this country.
Only when we make it harder for criminals to get away with crimes
will we see a result.
steve in manchester old trafford
ive lived in manchester all my life and have seen alot of development
going on,with alot of new housing ect,but not alot is being done to
get the young people of old trafford and moss side facilities to keep
them more occupied with centres where they can go and do sport learn
how to make music,things that interest the youth of today,if more
projects like kickstart in old trafford where about maybe you would
see a drop in this gun crime.kickstart is an inovated youth project
designed to help young people,with sport and activities but still
they need funding to have somewhere indoors they can go,kickstart
is run from a car park .
John in Sale Manchester
Having a gun amnesty is a great thing because it gets most guns off
the streets but what about knifes and other wepons such as baseballbats
are we goin to stop them to.? in my opinion Rap music is not intilly
the blame for gang shootings look at Films the internet, TV Programes.
Amanda in Salford, Manchester
Guns have always been a problem in manchester and youths that
join gangs at a young age think that they wont become victims of gang
violence. No matter if you join a gang or not you are always a victim.
lucky in manchester
it is all fine saying get rid of guns..legalise drugs etc etc......
If the goverment wanted these things to stop they would but they dont.
The world is the most corrupt place ever and it all starts from the
top.. Drugs get into the country no matter what..and that is due to
the goverment as is the same with guns... guns are constantly entering
the country beacuse at the end of the day imports/exports are earning
the goverment money. you could compare it to cancer ..thousands die
from this every year yet there is no cure why..because drug companies
and the goverment make too much money from the medicene. Every person
who comes up with an idea will not be able to comission it because
the cure simple is not wanted..gun crime will always be here unless
there is a radical change...
gareth in moss side.manchester,britain
On one hand most of the youths start off by meaningless roberies,
thay are bored and that is the only way thay think that thay can get
a reputation on the streets.But on the other hand they can look at
others, see the example on what has been made and think what they
want for there children, brothers or sisters. It's a shame when you
see good talent go waste,
THERE IS NOTHING ELSE THE POLICE OR ANYONE CAN DO IT IS UP TO THE
GANGS THEM SELEVES TO RELISE HOW STUPID THEY ARE BEING AND BECOME
THEIR OWN PERSON AND NOT RUN THEIR LIVES FOR OTHER PEOPLE THEY NEED
TO LEARN TO TALK AND TRUST OTHER PEOPLE!
lisa hamilton in gorton manchester england
my view about gun crime is that if the police was to carry guns at
all times and able to use them i think this would really cut down
crime and the members of the public was obviously be more aware and
i think teenagers would think twice about getting involved more with
Jason in Manchester
Lyrics from bands such as So Solid Crew have NOTHING to do with gun
crime (culture whatever you want to call it). Just remember that Gun
crime in manchester was around long before So Solid came into the
limelight. That is media speculation and media hype. Just like media
hype about how bad Manchester (Moss Side and Hulme) were no-go areas
- again, all rubbish. I'm a manchester man born and bred and am quite
sick and tired of hearing about Manchester this and Manchester that,
when there's shootings all over England. And believe me, arming ALL
police is NOT a good idea either. Some of Manchester's finest believe
they are a law unto themselves and give them a gun and they'd be just
as bad, if not worse, than these criminals handling guns in the first
place. The idea of legalising drugs has been around for a long time
now but keeps getting sidetracked or purposely ignored. That is a
possible way forward. Drugs is one of the main sources of income for
gangs ANYWHERE not just in Manchester. If drugs became legalised,
what would gangs do then? If the government really wanted to tackle
this issue, then legalising drugs is one avenue the cannot ignore.
S.Kacer in Wigan
Any one possesing a gun wether it be a replica or real should should
get a mandatory sentence of 4 years. Air guns should have to be licensed,no
licence incurring a fine
Redman in LONDON
1 gunshot=1 possible death,10 gunshots=10 possible deaths, can you
see the trend. FACT : Guns mean gunfire which means deaths. The answer
- no guns. Read it and weap all those from the US who claim to have
a civilised society. I dont think so !! P.S. Could the last one standing
with a weapon..please turn the lights off
Rich Campbellin Manchester
Arm all of the police. Legalise drugs enabling those policemen to
divert their attention towards the gangs. By legalising drugs the
government can doctor them to make them safer, tax them to make funds
available, but more importantly they will be getting the drugs money
instead of the gangs, starving them of clients and money.
James, a free man in USA
If you believe that guns don't protect the innocent, post a sign outside
your house that reads, "No guns here." and see what happens. Unfortunately,
the world will always have criminals. Turning yourself into a sheep
won't get rid of the wolves. History has taught us that disarming
the people is the first step to atrocity from the government. Why
do they want you to be unarmed? Hmmm.
Geoff in Wilmslow
Is Dion Gibbs arguing that we should accept a world in which we
must all carry guns in order to protect ourselves by shooting back!
That is madness! Yes, gun control must be strengthened. BBC File on
4 reported over a year ago on a key issue here - gun availability.
Replica guns have been readily available over the counter, that can
very easily be converted to live weapons that kill. Making guns harder
to get hold of seems a very effective and important place to start
with gun control. Prevention is far better than cure. What did the
government do about this issue during that year? Nothing that I know
of! I wrote to my MP about it, and didn't even get a reply. It is
deeply disturbing that this issue of making guns harder to get hold
of has been apparently ignored by the government until now. If action
had been taken sooner, who can say how many lives might have been
saved? I am certainly not a Tory, but I am increasingly disillusioned
by how out of touch and this giovernment seems to be becoming, and
I think this is a striking example.
Vicky in Stockport
Jonathan in Manchester - I wholly agree. Prison is not tough
enough. For many - it is easier than working an honest days work
just to put food on the table & pay the bills. Hard labour & more
prisons is the answer by ensuring there is enough room in the prisons
for everyone convicted to serve their full sentence. If prison wasn't
such an easy option - it'd put more people off I'm sure - but the
attitude is they'll either get off with community service or only
serve half of what they were sentanced to. Hardly a deterrent in
From Dion Gibbs in Brighton
No it wont stop the shootings, it will just give the gangsta
an easy target at us who are un armed. So I say prohibition is wrong
and Guns should be avaliable for any law abiding citizen.
From Jonathan in Manchester
Yet again another Labour MP responds Prematurely to what was
clearly a tragedy in Birmingham, “bring in a new law, show
the public were doing something, win us some votes”. What
the public don’t understand, is that if you asked any Judge
I’m sure they’d tell you that their sentencing powers
are already entirely sufficient in respect of firearms offences.
What would appear to be one of the problems is the fact that having
sentenced defendants, the parole board (headed by another Labour
MP) chooses to release them early as part of their “rehabilitation”.
Bringing in new laws to sentence them for longer periods seems to
me like a complete contradiction in terms particularly when you
see what comforts they are afforded in prison. What the public also
fail to understand is that early release was brought in as a result
of serious overcrowding in prisons and, although it eased the pressure
slightly, most prisons are curr! ently full throughout the UK. What
I think is needed is a few more prisons, and more specialised prison
system. The purpose of “Imprisonment” is as a deterrent
and also as a punishment. Therefore, isn’t it plainly stupid
to release people early because they have good parole reports? What
we should be doing is giving them hard labour if they misbehave,
not taking their television and Playstation off them. But alas more
prisons and an overhaul of the penal system costs money, and of
course spending money won’t “win us some votes”.
But then again who am I to speak I’m only a Criminal Lawyer,
not a Member of Parliament.
America has improved and is steadilly resolving the problem.
Use their example. We tend to follow the USA in most things and
crime paterns predominate.
Mark Byrne in Stalybridge, Manchester. Long term prison sentences,
in my opinion do nothing to disuade these offenders. I truly believe
that a large majority of these offenders are beyond "repair". If a
dog misbehaves very badly it is more often than not destroyed, taking
away the danger to the public. The same philosophy should be applied
to violent criminals to remove the danger from the public who in the
main are law abiding people. A long term sentence just adds to a reputation;
something that most criminals thrive on!!!
andy in Manchester
Youth equals energy - find the best way to chanel that energy
then you have harnesed the perpetual nature of mankind; the need to
ascert oneself, to express ones identity, to be able to articulate
the emotions and yearnings of an individual - yet to find the find
the common ground and eek out the common deonominator, to find a collective.
To reach for a common goal - these things are lacking in a modern
society and are too readily avalilable to pre-adolesent gang culture.
With larger than life "role models" rappin about thug life, lookin
beautiful and surroundin themseves with beauty, it is only honest
to say that this kind of life is attractive. When seeking a parliamentary
spell - and lets face it - thats all you can hope for livin the highlife,
a three/six year term, thinkin you're above popular opinion, in fact
thinkin that you form public opinion! Its a one-way ticket down a
one-way treet. Public funds (lottery etc) need to be directed to the
ventu! res that will yeald the most lucrative impact both immediate
and for long term long term sustained growth. This would in term develop
on the following; 1) Music 2) Sport and 3) The Arts. [A multi-ethnic
blend of eutopian bliss, cross fertilisisation of the last fifty years
of multi afro/craibean/empire/fusion of talent...we are truly blessed!
Big up Manchester!
Ian in Leeds
Eliza - you may only be 15 but get over yourself. The truth is
that some "living legends" are shooting real living legends and they
dont descriminate between good or bad, it's just who's in the way.The
truth is that some people are criminals and some people are too stupid
to tell the difference between a song that makes millions for the
artist and how a responsible citizen should behave in the community
Eliza Asemah in Kennington, London
Why are artists (BLACK) being targeted? So Solid, Elephant Man,
P.Diddy, Nas, Jay Z. are all in the spot light and being put down
because of the lyrics they use in their songs. 2pac an Notorious B.I.G
are renowned for their true life words, and the fact of the matter
is 'it's a thug life, you just gotta thug wit it' this is a white
mans world and he can't handle the fact that we black people are not
something he stood in we are living legends, not for conquering worlds
but for experiencing the pain that the whit man did not have to go
through, for bearing the scars for our countries and for being black.
God did not make us even he made white people to rule over black people
like animals and the only way we can fight back is through songs and
words. It has being going on for centuries and will continue, so I
beg of the press don't knock what we got cause its better than yours.
p.s I'm only 15 but I could teach you a whole a lot about the black
community, one bad black does not mean we all are.
PETER GARDNER, SWINDON
I THINK THAT IT IS ABSOLUTELY STUPID OF PEOPLE TO CARRY GUNS ESPECIALLY
IN THIS DAY IN AGE. I WOULD BE MOST DISGUSTED OF I SAW PEOPLE WALKING
AROUND WITH GUNS ESPECIALLY WHEN I HAVE CHILDREN.
I have often thought that if we leave them with guns for long enough,
they would all shoot themselves and that would be it, however, the
simplist way is to prevent the manufactor and importation of Guns,
which admitidly would not have imediate effect. The last guns amensty
had the effect of 1000's of gun beening handed in, maybe its time
for another one, before dumblane and the Birmingham girls is an everyday
lynn hayes, manchester
stiffer sentences life to mean life stop making it so easy for people
to appeal against sentences first time offenders caught with guns
to recieve 5yr terms should serve 5 years not released for good behavior.
Capital punishment is not the right answer to murderers. Capital punishment
will not deter and is therfor unefficient. There should be more harder
laws to try to prevent murderers and gun crimes.
richard s wassner, pensacola beaach, florida, US or is that the gun
Since your government doesn't allow law abiding citizens and police
to carry guns to defend themselves, and it seems clear that protecting
your home from invaders is distasteful if not illegal.Perhaps you
might benefit from a grand concert with all the ganster rap stars
in attendance. Then send out free tickets to your violent criminals
and tell everyone else the tickets are sold out.After that is accomplished,simply
call in the R.A.F. to drop a few lazer guided munitions and your problems
will cease to exist.Our countries drop bombs on our enemies abroad.Why
can't drop them on those within? I know, democracy does have its downside.
Sorry , I know it isn't a nice thing to say, but I am in awe at how
you are forced to live your lives. All apoligies Scott
bryan wyatt, Denton Tameside
We feel that any one who commit any kind of crime should not be blamed
or punished in any way. This is the only way that the responsablelity
for the crime will be put at the door of the poeple who realy are
to blame, and that is the cowards who sit in parliment, who keep drawing
their obsence pay and expenses, but have not got the guts to pass
sentences that will protect the law-abiding poeple, i.e. Corpril and
capital punishment. The MPs should be paid by results, then we could
all watch them starve to death.
Andrew king, Manchester
most guns should not be made and any gun what is found should be disposed
Vicky in Stockport
If you carry a gun - you should be punished - simple as that.
The problem with this country is that they have been too lenient for
too long & now they are experiencing problems. Blaming gangsta rap
is stupid & an excuse. The fact of the matter is that there have always
been guns & there was never any deterrent about having one. Now the
problem is getting out of control, they come up with the 5 year sentance.
If you carry a gun & you use it on innocent people you deserve to
be shot by armed police. If gangs use them between themselves - lets
hope they kill each other off & save the tax payer a ton of money.
The police need to get tough & be matched gun-wise because without
guns they don't stand a chance. If a person carrying a gun is shot
by a police officer - tough - its what they deserve, they know the
risks. If your old enough & "cool" enought to carry a gun, you're
old enough to take the punishment - even if that means death.
Howard Jones in Manchester
We need to have an effective detterent. Where a a person is convicted
of murder on the basis of evidence back by use of DNA, there can be
no question of guilt. Therefore i these cases capitol punishment should
be considered an option. For crimes where a person dies as a direct
result of that unlawful act, a sentence of 25 years with no paroll
should be mandatory. We could look at replacing the crime of "Manslaughter"
with that of "Murder 2nd degree" to apply this sentence.
Angela (13) in Droysden
i think the police should lay off the youger gangs between age 10-15
coz all they want is a chase off the police and when they see that
they are not getting one they will stop. th police should intorduce
more youth clubs and get the advertised on the tv so children will
Caroline Ferreira in Manchester
'GANGS OF NEW YORK' In light of gun statistics, the (debatable?) impression
that rap music influences, and the inner city gang warfare such as
that exposed in Birmingham, how come NOBODY has raised any objections/questions
about the 'suitability' of this movie, or the possibility of increased
violence the glorification this gangland epic might create? Because
it is financed by big business and stars De Caprio, does that make
Peter in Manchester
Unfortunately, and at the risk of being called uncaring and untrendy,
my concerns are not for the perpetrators at all. My only sympathies
are for the victims of these thugs. I don't care what kind of upbringing
they had, if someone is spotted carrying a firearm in public, obviously
engaged in an act of terror, then they should if at all possible,
be shot on the spot. Never mind their welfare, what about that of
innocent victims? Questions can always be answered later about how
they lost their life or health. If it is a matter of either them getting
injured or killed, or an ordinary person, then the worthless thug
should get it every time, in my book.
Gizmo in Miami
the only way is conscription into the army from the age of 16
to 18,combinig discipline with education.i am from longsight and lived
there all my life.the shootings being reported is just the tip of
the iceberg.DRUGS changed everything for us,in the 80's being a teenager
i was into the footy and a bit of argybargy but the morality changed
incredibly with smackheads spewing their poisonous bile into our community.we
were rough but we would'nt blag old dears purses or rob our own gaffs.the
truth is we probably would have been putting bullets in oneanother
if the gang scene was about in the 80's as much as it is now.manchester
is a bleak place to live when your chances are thin in the terms of
earning enough money to live on at an early age.most kids in longsight
cannot subsidise off their parents so must make money somehow.the
thatcher government has a lot to answer for with it's uncaring attitude
for the unemployed and schooleavers who were exploited on the y.t.s
shennanigans.but we must no longer question who is to blame and get
all deep about the situation.the answer is black and white-get them
away from the craphole that they live in and show them another life
exists.draft them into the army(-i'm not talking about sending them
to war this should be for volunteers only in this present climate)and
send them to africa to help the poor or send them on training courses
where they will respect other people and learn what it is to be british
instead of this psuedo jamaican yardie badbwoy attitude and plastic
whiteboy gangsta idiots walking the streets.
Mr Michael Wan in Greater Manchester
Guns they are like a craze where gangs who have to show who they are
and how they deal or resolve problems, thats what its all about "status".Really
what it does boil down to is more education in schools provided by
the police and teachers/parents. providing information as to show
how dangerous weapons,crime,gangs can serioulsy be.We could start
with community meetings at any town halls or community centres to
allow the community to voice there opions as to what they would like
to say. these meetings could be every qauter. Its not to say we blame
the police or parents etc but we do as a upstanding citizen need to
play our role for the people and the community as well as making society
a better place to live in. Criminals who are caught in pocession of
firearms should be hit with a stiffer sentence, what is 5 years when
you only do maybe 3/4 of your time. Criminals see that as nothing
its not really as they go back on the streets and think they have
done ! there time and thats the end of that, should they get into
trouble again then its nothing as they have done time before and so
they can handle it. We need to reach out to people and say is this
what we want in society!!!...can we stop this from happening again!!!...etc
its not an uprising for people to go wild but to assist the police.
Are the police doing enough !!!...well yes they do and cannot be blamed
for the crimes which occur but they do need to be more loyal and committed
in terms of any project provided to the community.Providing a service
means the service is there always and should always be maintained
at the highest possible level. Police are deploying officers with
guns on patrol who responed to any serious crime. Meeting criminals
with the hard approach is the right repsonse.