On forum: 11/21/2008
It didn't help that most of them were kids (little kids, at that). In that, there's a parallel with what happened in Ohio.|
Naturally, no one wants to see things like that and there's going to be an immediate reaction, but history has shown that the govt of the time got it wrong. Gun crime has actually increased in the UK post-ban, as I mentioned before. If the US govt has decided that something must be done, as appears to be the case, then a precedent does exist.
Just MO, but civvy assault rifles probably should be banned. Or, if that violates certain constitutional rights, at least introduce stricter rules governing ownership, where and how they are kept, and so on. There might be a law on it already, but outlaw unsupervised access by minors (no kid knowing the combination to the locker) or, where the weapon belongs to the minor, have it so they have to keep them at a range, under lock and key (again, supervision at all times).
Regular evaluations wouldn't really go amiss. If it doesn't already exist, introduce a legal requirement to inform, and temporarily hand over any and all weapons to, the authorities in the event of being diagnosed with any one of a range of mental health issues.
It's really about striking a balance between 'something must be done' and unnecessarily penalizing the law-abiding majority - or, as in our case, removing their hobby entirely (we still have .22 rifle, air weapons, some shotguns, etc...but a lot of people at my g/f's club fell away because the weapons they were allowed did nothing for them - and her mom was forced to hand over a fairly valuable (iirc, customised) Beretta (I don't know the specific type) that had cost her a fair whack. According to her, there was no form of compensation, and either way you slice it, that's just dead wrong (the govt certainly didn't complain when the Treasury took it's whack of VAT at 15% on the sale(s), or the coppers took the fees for the relevant firearms licences).
The other thing to watch for is 'mission creep'. .22 is about the 'worst' you can get here post-ban...yet there are those who want even these weapons banned (there was a lot of hand-wringing going on leading up to last year's Olympics...and even more when a Brit won a gold, causing a brief surge of interest in the sport). There's no real support for further bans - the massed ranks are more concerned about the guns that criminals can easily (and cheaply) lay their hands on - but that doesn't stop them from whispering in dark corners. Unfortunately, it often seems they have the ear of all the right people.
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