Title: I know, let's have another unneccessary law!
Cobdenia - January 5, 2008 11:37 PM (GMT)
Pledge to outlaw 'deactivated' guns
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has promised to outlaw "deactivated" guns, which can easily be reconverted into active firearms for use in crime.
And she said she was looking into changes which would allow witnesses of crime to enjoy protection from an earlier stage - possibly from the moment they first contact police.
Ms Smith's comments come in the wake of a spate of suspected gang-related crimes over the New Year, including the fatal stabbing of a teenager in Erith, Kent, early on Saturday.*
She told the Sunday Telegraph that ministers and police need to do more to show they are on the side of "the majority in communities who know this is wrong and who want to work themselves to make a difference".
Deactivated guns, which have been modified so that they no longer fire bullets, are not currently illegal and can be bought without a firearms certificate.
Restrictions introduced in 1995 made it more difficult for them to be reactivated, but the Association of Chief Police Officers estimate that some 120,000 weapons from before that date remain in circulation.**
They can be restored to use within minutes*** and some have been implicated in crimes including the murder of TV presenter Jill Dando.
Some 96% of all sub-machine guns recovered by the police had been reactivated, according to a parliamentary report in 2000.**** Ms Smith said: "I will find a way effectively to ban those guns and get them out of circulation."
She also signalled plans to extend the scope of the Witness Protection Scheme to protect people as soon as they report a crime to the police. Intimidation of witnesses is regularly a problem in gang-related prosecutions.
Ms Smith said: "People need to know very early on when they go to police with information that they are going to be protected. So I'm working with the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General to see if we can bring forward that assurance much earlier."
*Yes. Banning deactivated rifles is going to stop people being stabbed. Oh, hang on a fucking minute.
**Yes. And about 119,000 of those are only slightly easier to re-activate as the ones after that date
***If you're a trained armourer, with highly specialist equipment and enough spare parts to make new gun from scracth.
****Conveniently failing to mention these are mainly foreign deacts, not up to British standard.
In Britain it is already illegal to modify a deac, illegal to own to parts required to re-activate them unless your an armourer, illegal to import them unless you're an armourer, illegal to have the tooling required unless you're an armourer, illegal to carry a deac in public without good reason, illegal to buy ammunition without a license, and illegal to point a gun at someone and illegal to shoot them. So we need this new law...why?
Fucking government cretins
Allech-Atreus - January 6, 2008 01:37 AM (GMT)
I've been thining alot about weapon rights lately... I think there's a continuum, the larger and more active the government gets, the harder it becomes to maintain basic weapons rights.
I won't lie, I own several weapons- shotguns, .22 rifle, assorted swords. You normally don't think of a 5'6" 130lb gay white American college student as being a hunter/weapon owner but once you get past the concept of gun=hillbilly, the healing can begin.
I really think people should have the right to own weapons- guns and knives, within reason. Rifles, shotguns, knives, swords. Missiles and such are ridiculous, as is the "need" for a person to own a .44 caliber mounted rifle, the kind my Armyman cousin mans in Iraq. From a utlitarian standpoint, guns and knives are handy for hunting game, birds, deer, etc., cleaning said game birds deer etc., and eating/preparing the aformentioned foodstuff (don't forget sickles and machetes, which are used for agro purposes too!). From a political standpoint; weapons like guns and swords are used for resistance to oppression and defense of property.
Before you go thinking "but A-A, it's the 21st century!," I know. But really- if things go to hell, and the "authorities" cannot help you, don't you want to be able to defend yourself/get shit done?
I'm not from the UK, so I'm not as familiar with the social reasons behind weapon laws there, but I recall reading some articles a while back talking about the knife ban- things were said equating knife ownership to violent crime, etc. In the absence of guns, criminals choose knives, I understand this. But what really strikes me as interesting is the emphasis of law enforcement on the inherent "badness" of the knife itself. People can't be trusted with knives, or that knife ownership=criminal. The logic train seems to be "the majority of violent crimes are commissioned with knives, therefore criminals have knives. If we ban knives, we will stop criminals. Therefore we will ban knives." It occurs to me that if the police were doing their job in the first place, and people were properly educated, there wouldn't be knife crime in the first place!
Ugh, I'm going to stop before I really get going. I could keep typing for another hour.
Cobdenia - January 6, 2008 06:51 AM (GMT)
Gun culture in the UK is very different to in the US, but there is still a gun culture. There has not been a culture of gun ownership for self defence in Britain for 90 years (one of the reason's the police over here aren't habitually armed is not because it's inherently safer, but because of tradition: in the Victorian and Edwardian days, if the police needed weapons, they borrowed them off passers by!), and even prior to the handgun ban there was never really a pistol culture - and there has never been an assault rifle culture or anything of that sort. Just shotguns and rifles. Because of this, it is also very class based.
The other aspect of British gun culture, the aspect that this deals with and I'm involved with, is deactivated weapons: you'd be very suprised how many people in Britain have such things - largely, I'd say, because of Britain's very strong "culture of history" (actually, that's a very good term. Might use that more often), of which re-enactors and living historians are only a small part. I can remember one time myself and another living historian were drinking in a pub, talking about where we might be able to borrow a deactivated bren gun for an upcoming event, when one of the regulars (who we both knew), a non-re-enactor, said we could borrow his!
The problem now facing Britain is the rise of, unfortunately American influenced, "gang culture" (and I do feel the glamourisation of such a lifestyle has been a big factor in this, although it is also partly existing tensions, especially ethnic, in certain communities); which unfortunately the police over here having no idea how to combat, and aren't being helped by politicians who try and ban things and give them another law to attempt to uphold. As I said, the people who are using such things (including knives, samurai swords, model guns, as well as deacts) for nefarious purposes are already breaking the law, so adding another law is not going to solve the problem by any means.
The best solution would be to have Brit's training US policemen in counter terrorism, and for US policemen to come over here and shew us how to deal with gangs...
Randomea - January 6, 2008 09:59 PM (GMT)
If you look at the stats most homicides in the UK are done with a 'sharp object', which is why any fatal shooting does make the news (except maybe in Old Kent Rd).
The guy who killed Jill Dando was a gun-nut, ex-army obsessive. He knew his way around a weapon and is hardly the type of criminal who's going to pop up every day. What she's really talking about is Nottingham; as Cob said, gang culture.
So when's this election happening btw?
...I wonder what the voters will want to hear?
Ecopoeia - January 7, 2008 02:32 PM (GMT)
Hey, the media did occasionally report shootings on the Old Kent. But, speaking as former denizen, the ratio of pools of blood to reported incidents did seem worryingly large.
I agree with Cob that, for the most part, gun culture in the UK - such as it is - revolves around history and rural affairs. And I see no need to impinge on this. However, guns scare the fuck out of me. I think they're awful, terrifying creations, possibly the worst thing humanity has ever come up with. They're designed to kill, Full stop. I like seeing them - in the UK at least - regarded as illegal, immoral and unwanted, for the most part.
Randomea - January 7, 2008 04:45 PM (GMT)
If I was going to go on a killing rampage I'd use my archery equipment. No licenses, easy to pick up at a boot fair even.
But it's hardly practical for a robbery or a gang war. But then, neither is a shot-gun or de-act rifle.
Edit: 'Former' Eco? You finally got out?
Allech-Atreus - January 7, 2008 08:56 PM (GMT)
Thank you for the bit of perspective. I'm very interested in all sorts of weaponry- swords, guns, bows & arrows, atlatl, etc, purely for the anthroplotogical and philosophical uses thay have. My grandfather bought a replica musket to put on his mantle years back- my grandmother hates it, but it's a rather cool piece of history to have sitting below a caribou mount. My father also has a Japanese bayonet his friend took grom Guadalcanal, and my fencing coach makes his own atlatl and darts out of antler, bone, and wood.
I couldn't think of using a weapon to kill a person, but I understand the reasong behind using them for hunting and protection. Ideally, no one should ever need weapons for self-defense because no one would ever think of using them for offense. Most defnitely, though, it's cultural. Some African tribesmen feel naked without a panga, just like a bird gun is part of the repertoire of a Sicilian farmer.
TBlack - January 7, 2008 08:59 PM (GMT)
Well I just got asked for my ID trying to buy vanilla extract so I feel your pain.
Allech-Atreus - January 7, 2008 09:09 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (TBlack @ Jan 7 2008, 04:59 PM)|
| Well I just got asked for my ID trying to buy vanilla extract so I feel your pain. |
You could make a very nice-smelling dirty bomb.
TBlack - January 7, 2008 09:53 PM (GMT)
Ecopoeia - January 7, 2008 10:08 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Randomea @ Jan 7 2008, 05:45 PM)|
| Edit: 'Former' Eco? You finally got out? |
A friend and I bought a house in Tufnell Park six months ago. TP itself is a nondescript but pleasant place withn walking distance of Camden Town, Hampstead Heath, Highgate Village, Angel...
Our lender? Northern Rock. Oh, the timing.
Speaking of 'former' things... Randomea just ceased to exist.
Anyway, I should say that people like Cob and A-A make me feel less nervous about Joe Public possessing weaponry.
Randomea - January 8, 2008 12:08 AM (GMT)
You obviously have longer legs than I do to be walking to all those places. Heck I took the bus to get my shopping home from Angel :lol:
And I asked for a resus. earlier today. The one time I needed it, it wasn't there :rolleyes:
Why did you get ID-ed Clare? They thought you were going to get drunk on it?
TBlack - January 8, 2008 10:01 AM (GMT)
Yup, it's 37% alcohol and more expensive than anything else on my shopping list. She put it through the till and it came up with 'ask to see ID'.
She lied and I got it anyway.
Gobbannium - January 9, 2008 02:09 AM (GMT)
Sigh. I had hoped that Jacqui Wossername was going to buck the trend and be less right-wing than her predecessor, but no. Should I be worried that I'm getting all nostalgic for the days of that notorious wishy-washy liberal, Michael Howard?