Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Do we have the solution ?

The death of up to 33 students at Virginia Tech University once again brings into question the liberality of American gun laws - hearing a BBC correspondant in Virginia on the radio today mentioning that she could this morning purchase up to 12 guns with minimal background checks simply makes you gasp.

Or at least it does on this side of the Atlantic where possessing a gun is simply illegal, full stop, no excuse.

You can apply for a licence to own a gun but unless you are a farmer you are almost certain to be turned down - farmers may keep a shotgun for control of vermin, the definition of vermin being rodents and not burglars as Norfolk farmer Tony Martin found out when he received life imprisonment in 2000 for killing a young scrote in his house.

Gun clubs exist in the UK of course but they are incredibly rare, I know of the location of one but I've never heard of or met anyone who uses it and the gun clubs that do exist are constantly complaining that the regulations that they have to comply with are driving their members (certainly the serious competitors) abroad to europe to practise their sport.

So the likes of me never get to touch a gun, I see them in museums but I've never held one and I don't know anyone who owns one and the beauty of that staus quo is that if I see any of my neighbours with one, whether in their house or out, then one phone call will bring an armed police response to my neighbours house as that gun will undoubtably be illegal - that the way it works in the UK.

I think we've got it right.

On the opposite side of the equation you have of course the infamous National Rifle Association of America who today are carrying a very terse and simple comment on yesterdays events, right here, which basically says "its nothing to do with us, now piss off".

Its when you visit the NRA website and are first of all taken to a news portal that you realise just what a well organised and well funded association this is, its not a place for loony toons to visit and slaver over the latest weapon of choice, its a very politically motivated association determined to protect their constitutional right to bear arms, defend themselves in a manner that they see fit, and as a by-product fight against legislation which threatens any aspect of the American constitution - its a powerful lobby, probably more powerful than the government itself and the chances of a yet another high school or university shooting rampage changing weapon laws in the US are virtually nil.


sblair said...

You have some good thoughts about the Virginia Tech tragedy but if I were you I wouldn't be displaying this photo with a gun.

Gary said...

Strangely enough its actually an imitation firearm, a "BB gun", which just emphasise's another point not covered on how difficult a job the polive have when dealing with firearm incidents - new legislation regarding the possesion of immitation firearms is needed in order to pre-determine the guilt of the offender before the police even attend.