Mass Shooting in Beatrix Potter land

It’s amazing how US gun loons are on news items like this in the way that flies find their way to shit. RuffRidr made a comment at MikeB’s about this shooting.

While this did make a blip on my Radar, it isn’t as much of a story to me as are other events in the world (e.g., The Gaza Blockade and Gulf Oil Spill). Although, the Guardian did have this piece: Gun control could have prevented Cumbria shootings. That’s quite a change from the usual commentary one would see in the US which would go along the way of gun control doesn’t work, so we need more guns.

And we need more people carrying guns.

The Guardian piece mentions that:

So we turn to weapon availability, where there is better evidence and less speculation and where I, as a criminologist and gun-control advocate, feel on firmer ground. The question is, how could he do it?

He could do it because – as it now appears – he was a licensed firearm owner; he kept his weapons and ammunition at home legally. Cumbria police were quiet about the firearms for a while – no doubt while they trawled their firearms-ownership database. Now they have acknowledged Bird was a gun owner. The issues then become fairly simple, the incident utterly preventable. If firearm owners were not permitted to store guns and ammunition at home, the incident could not have happened.

Again, this is a different point of view from what one hears in the US after a mass shooting. On the other hand, Sir Ian Blair, the former Met Police commissioner, quoted in the Independent, said: “We have the most draconian anti-gun laws in the world… I don’t think we can make the laws any tighter.” The Independent also has an article on how the UK’s firearms laws are among the toughest in the world. The BBC also has a much more detailed piece on the same topic.

Again, Bird was a 20 year firearms permit holder, although there were signs that he had psychological patterns which showed a potential for this type of outburst. If anything, this would show that local law enforcement should have a say in who is allowed to own firearms, which runs against the US trend for issuing carry permits without police discretion.

The only thing which would seem relevant to the gun loons argument is that these incidents will happen if there is going to be private ownership of firearms. The real question is the extent to which we see a prominence of gun violence: UK scale or US scale? Do we want strict gun control (UK model) or no gun control whatsoever (US model)? Even the US model now is going to allow for gun regulations, Per DC v. Heller (pp 54-55).

Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the
possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

The court notes that “We identify these presumptively lawful regulatory measures only as examples; our list does not purport to be exhaustive.”

I have held that most of the resistance to gun control comes from those who know they would be disqualified from firearms ownership under a strict gun control regime. A regime which would include background checks into the personality of the gun owner and disqualifies based upon not only convictions, but also arrests. One could also add in threatening behaviour as well (e.g., stalking).

To be quite honest, private gun ownership will bring about a cost of gun violence victims no matter how strict a regime one has. But for US gun cretins to point to an incident such as this as evidence that gun control is a failure demonstrates their ignorance. Their ignorance of how the US lack of any serious gun regulations costs that society and the ignorance that incidents such as this are rare in the UK.

FIREARM STATISTICS 2008-09
* In 2008-09 firearms were involved in 0.3% or 1 in every 330 crimes recorded by police in England and Wales
* Firearms were used in 14,250 recorded crimes in 2008-09, an 18% decrease on 2007-08, and the fifth consecutive annual fall
* Excluding air weapons, firearm offences decreased by 17% to 8,208
* Handguns were used in 4,275 offences during 2008-09, a rise of 2% on 2007-08
* There was a large fall in the use of imitation weapons, which fell by 41% to 1,511
* Overall, firearm offences involving any type of injury were down by 41% in 2008-09, from 4,164 in 2007-08 to 2,458
* There were 39 fatal injuries from crimes involving firearms in 2008-09, the lowest recorded by the police in 20 years
Source: Home Office

Personally, I prefer the UK system of firearms regulation even if it costs me my firearms.

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