Thursday, 3 June 2010

Could we produce a world with no gun crime?

No doubt the county of Cumbria is in shock following yesterday's events. It may be a beautiful and remote area but we know that nowhere is immune from such tragic events. I am not quite sure what advice residents could have been given when Derrick Bird was on the loose but some holidaymakers on a campsite were told to stay in groups. However if they stayed in groups then they could have been shot in groups.

There will be questions asked as to whether his victims were targeted or were they innocent bystanders. It may well be that he knew some of his victims and I am sure that we will find out eventually but it appears that everyone was at risk. There will be a thorough investigation as to what should trigger such action. This is a much more difficult question but it is the one we have to find if we are to prevent further occurences like this.

I am sure that there are many complex reasons why this man decided to go on a killing spree and there will be complex answers. I know some people don't like wishy-washy answers about psychological factors that may have triggered events. Well here is a non-wishy-washy answer. Ban guns.

Bill Harryman from the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (that's good psychology, mix something bad with something good) told us on the BBC news yesterday that if we banned guns it would make a huge dent in the rural economy. Well economies change so that's not a problem. He told us that we would not be able to host the olympics ever again and we would stop British olympians (I have met one shooting medalist) from competing. Most importantly we would stop people owning an important part of their heritage. In short he reckons the banning of guns is not a solution.

No if I had to weigh up a world with no gun crime and all the things Bill Harryman says then I know which I would choose. My only reservation is could we produce a world with no gun crime?


  1. I did discuss this with my friend from the US, Blue, and we came to the conclusion that a shotgun needs to be reloaded every two the immediate mayhem was not as concetrated as in US shootings
    Unfortunately, the perpetrator shot although some may offer up a reason for the "rampage"...the only person who can say for certain why it now dead, by his own hand.

  2. Thanks Sea. It is slightly reassuring to think that anyone on a rampage would need time to reload, but I would prefer no personal guns.

  3. I don't have a problem with personal ownership of guns for target shooting purposes or for shooting vermin on one's own property.

    I do wonder whether there are sufficient safeguards once a firearms or shotgun certificate has been granted. They have to be renewed every so often but are random checks carried out to establish whether the holder remains suitable to hold a certificate and whether the weapons are properly secured? I recall very many years ago going to a nearby farmhouse to see the farmer, finding the front door open and noting the presence of a shotgun on the hall table - anyone could have picked it up.