Blimey, as a serving police officer (UK) I have to say that the attitude to gun ownership in the US scares the living sh1te out of me!
Personally I don't believe that the US constitution actually meant for the kind of right to have weapons that currently exists in the US, but hey it
isn't my country so I will happily bow to the yanks on here and accept your opinions on that front. It is your country after all!
And to clarify a point of UK law, pretty much all firearms are illegal unless you are able to put a case of neccesity to your local chief constable,
or perhaps even magistrate. (It is a little more complicated than that but to all purposes that is the law).
Anyway from personal experience I would hate to police an area where firearms are legal! It is a rather obvious point that the easier you make it to
take a life, the more lives will be taken. Firearms make the taking of a life so impersonal compared to every other means that they are bound to cause
a higher rate of deaths. People that equate gun ownership with a kind of 'mutually assured destruction' have probably never been faced with the
business end of a gun. (Seriously, before people jump on this point, in all honesty how many people have truly been looking down the barrel with
somebody on the end who is looking like they will pull the trigger?) If you draw a weapon on me, the fact i am carrying is no help whatsoever, by the
time i have drawn it i am lying in a pool of my own blood on the floor.
I am not dismissing the gun laws in the US and neither am I trying to sound like a high handed Brit, but I personally find the gun laws in the US a
catch 22 situation. (If you are going to commit a burglary then why not carry a gun if the homeowner is bound to have one? If you know he doesn't
have a gun then why carry one yourself? And vice versa) Ok it isn't the gun that kills it is the person but I am pretty sure that if you took the
firearms out of the equation you would have a lot less deaths. I accept that in the US this is unenforceable due to the way society now is but it
certainly isn't an argument for widening gun ownership in countries such as the UK that have tighter regulations.
The fact is that although gun crime is on the rise in the uk it is not, despite what many people believe, in any way a factor in 99.9% of offences
that 'ordinary' people will encounter. The VAST majority of gun crime is commited in incidents between criminals in the UK. A UK citizen is at least
100 times more liekly to be confronted with violence at the end of a knife than a gun. If we were to make it legal for everyone to carry a knife does
anyone seriously wish to argue that if carrying an offensive weapon (eg a knife) were legal we would not see a rise in the number of deaths due to
stabbings? In that case what can possibly be the argument for wider availability of firearms?
To summarise, Although it seems a little mad to me, I can see the reason for US citizens to want and have a right to own fireams, however i honestly
believe that such ownership causes as many problems (if not more) as it solves, and can't see any logical argument for making firearms more readily
available in the UK or other countries with stringent controls. The more easily available weapns are then the more often they will be used. yes it is
perfectly posiible to acquire a gun in the UK but in doing so you will be entering into a world that 99% of the population will not wish to mingle
with. Regulation works in a country that is tightly controlled from the start. In the US, with so many weapons, I can understand the desire and
passion in resisting gun control. You just can't transpose the US situaton on other countries.
(If anybody wants a full and proper summary of the UK firearms and weapons statutes I will be happy to oblige but please allow me a few days to
respond. I am on a night shift pattern from tomorrow and will not be able to post as I will be busy looking after my kids during the day due to the
[edit on 2-8-2004 by Badger]