I posted this to the BBC Manchester comments page.
To PETER GARDNER, SWINDON.
Your lack of a grasp of this situation makes me want to leave this country. You say that I shouldn’t have a gun, because you have children? What the? I have been shooting targets for fun using powerful firearms for over ten years, since school. Unlike you, and many others in this country, I have no fear of guns themselves, but only the person controlling it. To reverse your fatuous argument: You shouldn’t be allowed to have disgusting children when I have guns. As long as my shooting doesn’t affect you, and you having children doesn’t affect me, then as far as I can see, we can both be happy.
Banning a thing only makes it more wanted – look at 1930’s USA Alcohol prohibition or the current UK crack and guns scene. Before the bans on pistols, we didn’t have this problem, but now, because only the criminals can have them, they are a big deal to other criminals – indeed, they are now a way to get \”respect\”.
I get respect. When I am down the range, and I shoot multiple shots into a small target, showing my control and skill, my peers at the club respect my abilities. Perhaps this is why I don’t feel the need to get \”Respect\” by carrying an illegal pistol and shooting anyone who looks at me funny. Indeed, given the continued victimisation of legal, safe and careful shooters, it now seems I get a funny look if I even mention shooting as a sport. Somehow, people seem to have been conditioned by the media to assume anyone with a gun is a nut-case or a Yardie. However, the more hoops the law puts in the way, the more criminals there will be, wanting what no-one else can have. It is the same as the allure of cocaine to the mega-wealthy.. They want it, they get it. Why? Because they can, and you cannot. Meanwhile, I will continue not shooting the few people who look at me strangely when I say I shoot, but continue to try to educate them that the user of the gun is the problem.
As for the comments about legalising drugs:- Well, you cannot legalise all drugs, so you cannot free up too many police, but you certainly could stop the common sight of a crowd of 15-20 police standing all day by the roadside catching people for doing 31 mph on fast, straight roads! As long as you don’t crash or hurt, or even really scare, someone, who really cares how fast you drive? Only the Chief Constable, who wants your £60 fine. After all, it is safer and easier to send a letter than to storm a house with an armed drug-dealer inside!
Here is an idea. Why not have the law tweaked, so that if a criminal kicks in your front door, the onus is on the criminal to prove why he should have been allowed to rape your wife and slit your throat, rather than on you, to prove that you were in clear and present danger, and used only reasonable force. To put it another way:- an open season on criminals, once they have broken into your home, after dark. Then see the number of ‘petty’ (not to the victim they aren’t!) burglaries, etc. that suddenly don’t happen. It has worked well in many places. The only worry is that Britain is now too far gone.
But please, in the meantime, lay off those of us who use firearms responsibly and lawfully.