Friday, 4 March 2011

The Mindless Minority

So... over the past couple of weeks, we've had an idiot popping off soft airgun BBs at school kits, a psycho murdering Somerset swans with an airgun and pathetic Ashley Cole having an accident with a loaded pellet gun. Isn't it funny that all this happens when the latest shooting legislation - see details here - is announced by the government. Maybe I'm getting a bit old, but it does make you wonder whether the anti-shooting brigade have had a hand in at least two of these three stories...

Buth, I'm surprised at how lightly the press has let us off; I was expecting a real hatchet job on airguns, yet even the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2 gave, I felt, a good case 'for' our side.

The truth is, the laws in the country are already so incredibly strict that incidents such as these only serve to show how pointless all this 'tacked-on' legislation - for the Anti-Social Behaviour Act, 2003; Violent Crime Reduction Act, 2007; Crime & Security Bill, 2010 are not part of the 1968 Firearms Act per se - actually is. No government can ever legislate for the madman - as was so well put by the current Prime Minister in his response to last summer's shooting incidents (by madmen).

The facts are, all these cases are breaking laws which were around with the original Firearms Act - and my hope is that the full force of the law is brought to bear on the culprits. We've got the laws - let's apply them.

The Scottish sniper is a moron... though, again, conspiracy theorists among us would wonder whether he was a plant by the anti-shooting lobby. After all, plastic BBs shot from what is a toy isn't really life-threatening, but perfect fodder for the sensationalistic media.

The Somerset swan killer will, I hope, be found and publicly hanged (metaphorically speaking). Armed trespass and numerous breaches of the Wildlife & Countryside Act should ensure he gets his just deserts.

And the old King Cole? Well, as would appear to be the case, it's the celebrity under the spotlight rather than the airgun. Let's hope his time has come and this is the final straw in what has, of course, been a pretty negative couple of years as far as PR is concerned for him. If he'd been the victim of the shot, I'm sure the media would have made much more of how 'dangerous' airguns are - so it may even be a mixed blessing that he was the jerk who jerked the trigger. But I sincerely hope he doesn't just get let off with a slap of the wrists; he's a role model for many and should be well and truly admonished for his misdemeanour, in my opinion.

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