On forum: 11/21/2008
question to the gun enthusiasts here
Not a great surprise, that. Looks like the 17 years post-Dunblane has demonstrated what a lot of people (me included) were saying at the time - it won't do anything to prevent criminals getting their hands on firearms.
In the same period, we've seen an increase in 'gang'-type activity, when they wander around thinking they can do what they want because they're the only ones with weapons. 'Home invasions' have increased - not hard, since they were once virtually unheard of. Break-ins, yes. Incidences of people being held captive in their own home? Nope.
(I'm not saying they never happened, just that they were extremely rare. Most of the time burglars went out of their way to avoid waking the occupants. Now, there are some offences that take place in the early evening, with the perps strolling up to the front door, safe in the knowledge there's no danger of someone shooting back.)
So, not only did the brakes come off criminality, it also cost people their hobbies and livelihoods.
It's a far cry from claiming you need an assault rifle for home defence or whatever, but for me there shouldn't be an issue with handgun, shotgun or single-shot/bolt action rifle ownership.
We have (and historically, have had) fairly stringent laws. They should have sufficed. The failings re: Hungerford and Dunblane were within the system - basically, the cops didn't bother doing their job properly because a) they weren't dedicated to the task (in the sense of 'they had other duties to perform), and b) these were 'known' shooters; they had a good relationship with the law and had never caused a problem before. The cops were to blame because they got complacent (to the point where, in at least one of the cases, a doctor's letter advising the police of a change in mental health was ignored), and the system was to blame for not having officers assigned to just that one task.
The system as it was could be made to work (or, to satisfy the anti-gun lot, made tougher, say by introducing 6-monthly psych-evals to make sure you're flying straight and level). It'd just mean proper allocation of resources and people within the system actually doing the job they're paid to do. All of it, no matter how matey you are or become with X or Y.
As it was, there was a knee-jerk ban, yet little or nothing happened to the cops who dropped the ball.
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