Reply to post: Re: Guns should be almost totally banned

Kentucky gov: Violent video games, not guns, to blame for Florida school massacre

rh587 Silver badge

Re: Guns should be almost totally banned

For the vast majority of people, there is no good reason to have a gun. The UK changed its gun laws substantially after massacres in Hungerford and Dunblane (e.g. see https://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/17/world/europe/dunblane-lessons/index.html ).

Probably worth noting the UK had zero school shootings in the 150 years prior to Dunblane. And none since. A sample size of 1 is not sufficient to claim that the laws had any sort of effect...

Farmers can still get shotguns and there are some rifles for hunting.

And tens of thousands of people shoot through target clubs. I have a number of rifles at home, none of which will ever be used to take a life - whether of a prey animal or human. They are designed explicitly for target shooting and optimised to that purpose and frankly would be a mare to lug about in a field.

But, for example, the laws recognise that no typical citizen should be allowed a handgun.

You state that as if it is some sort of universal truth. Yet we are unique in Europe for such a prohibition. And we do make exceptions for the GB squad to keep and use their pistols in the UK, which represents an admission by government that not only are there legitimate uses, but that such ownership can be managed safely with no risk to the public. As is the ownership by certain game keepers and vets of revolvers for humane dispatch where a captive-bolt is inappropriate. The Czech Republic even has concealed carry but on account of their serious, non-casual approach to it, they do not have the problems that the US does.

These changes seem to have helped - at least somewhat - as one would expect.

Citation required. As the BBC reported in 2001, handgun crime rose 40% after Dunblane. Not because of Dunblane or the prohibition, but because there was a general rise in gang-on-gang violence and the smuggling of black market firearms into the UK. The 1997 prohibition did absolutely nothing to prevent this rise in crime (which was driven by smuggled firearms that had never touched the UK white market), and indeed crime levels only tailed off as a result of enforcement programmes like Operation Trident.

The 1997 prohibition did nothing other than put a bunch of pistol-specialist gunsmiths out of business (yay for small business). Rates for firearm-related violence are defined entirely by how much effort the Police put into tackling organised crime.

A couple of good things did come out of Dunblane - the computerised NFLMS (for all it's flaws) makes it much easier for intelligence to be cross-referenced. The Police took over a decade to realise Thomas Hamilton was a wrong-un, and it was then a failure of Policing (refusal to revoke his Certificate by senior officers) that ultimately allowed the Dunblane Massacre to unfold. They knew, they were complacent, they sat and did nothing. These days intelligence sharing between Police departments is instant, and the public is safer for it. You could reintroduce target pistol shooting into Approved Clubs today and the public would be perfectly safe - safer than they were in 1995, 1965 or 1905 (when there were also no school shootings).

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