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  Filed March 7, 1997  --  Updated November 23, 1997

Sean Gabb's Libertarian Homepage
Worth a visit. Updates on UK gun issues and more

Kent police find illegal guns
_______________________________
On 3rd March, Kent police, acting on a tipoff, found 42 hanguns
and SMGs in an abandoned car at a hotel.  A mixed bag of
Tokarevs, Colts, and MAC-10s.  The tip of the iceberg.  And now,
thanks to the anti-gunners, there is profit in smuggling in
illegal guns.


BBC and media bias
___________________

After complaints from viewers and readers about bias against
shooters in the media, the media finally respond.  They are
"sorry that we feel aggreived" and have "tried to balance the
views of various parties".  Strange then that they refused to
answer criticism whilst the anti-gun bill was going through
Parliament.  Now it is law, the "free" press can afford to be
magnanimous.  Any bias was "purely unintentional" . My ass.  The
same media cry "foul" when any attempt is made to criticise media
portrayals of violence.  Holding a gun can turn a peaceful man
into a raving psychopath , but watching "Natural Born Killers" is
completely harmless ???


No consultation on new gun act.
_______________________________
There will be little or no consultation with shooting groups over
the new bill.  Parliamentarians claim it is because of the need
to get the law on the statute books by Easter.  Strange then,
that a Sex Offenders bill allows a generous 4 months of
consultation.  It seems that sexual perverts have rights!


Dunblane in the movie ads.
__________________________
The Dunblane Snowdrop campaign are now planning anti-gun
advertising on cinema screens between shows.  This is even after
the anti-gun law has been passed.  People, not just pro-gun, are
getting fed up with this being forced down their throats.  It is
terrible that 16 kids and their teacher died, but Thomas Hamilton
is roasting in hell (I hope), the law is passed, and people are
becoming tired of the hijacking of the Dunblane parent's grief by
wild-eyed zealots.

==========Updates November 1997==========================

TWO HELD AFTER BASEBALL BAT KILLING

Detectives hunting the killer of a young father-of-two in a baseball bat
attack were questioning two men.

Local league footballer Leigh Shaw, 37, was battered unconscious with
the bats and stamped on the head.

He died in hospital hours after the assault outside a social club on the
Whitehawk housing estate in Brighton, East Sussex.

Leigh, who worked for credit card company American Express, had been on
a life support machine following the attack.

He leaves a wife and two daughters, aged 11 and nine.

The two men are being questioned by detectives at John Street police
station in Brighton.

---------------------------------------------------------

Those of you who are on AOL have simply GOT to look at the Legal Forum -
Messages - UK Policing - its fascinating.

Many of the boys in black are calling for the police to be armed as a
matter of course following the recent death of the WPC in London.

The best bit is some of the messages  -  FROM POLICEMEN  -  suggest those
calling for the arming of police take a look around at some of their
colleagues and then ask themselves  "do they really want those people
running around with guns?".

Another good bit is where one of the messages calling for the arming of
the police states that the job is about protecting the person and
property...and the "crims"  are already armed so why aren't the police?

It seems that even the police are unable to recognise that they aren't
physically able to protect the innocents!!!

C.O. - an innocent who wants to protect himself and his family but
isn't allowed to because the police are there for that - JOKE (not)!!!

--
What happened in this case had nothing to do with police operational
procedures at all, it was a failure of the criminal justice system.

I suggest you all try going down to the court house and watching some
of the criminal cases that come up.  It is far more fascinating than
watching TV.

I used to go and sit at the courthouse where I lived in Florida and
watch some pretty incredible cases.  The most memorable was Kathy
Willetts, whose husband was a Deputy Sheriff.  Anyway, she was
arrested for soliciting and her husband was nailed for pimping.
He used to sit in the cupboard with a video camera and tape them!

And you think the police are bad here...

It was right next door to the ballistics lab so during recesses I
could go and watch them testing all the guns.

CS Admin

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I was talking yesterday to the Press Officer for the Police Complaints
Authority, who said that the organisation's line is to favour armed
response units because they get more training time and are hence more
competent and confident (and the PCA get less complaints from offended
relatives).

I took a look at the 1995 Police Federation survey and there are a
number of questions about specialist armed units which are relevant. The
police questioned didn't seem to share the PCA's confidence.

I pointed to the lesson of the Shepherds Bush police massacre in 1966
and Hungerford in 1987 which boils down to the fact that when you NEED
to defend yourself and nothing but a gun will do, then you have seconds
to do it - and nothing but a gun on your belt is accessible in the time
available. Alternatively if you feel lucky you can try outrunning a
bullet.

It's EVERY police officer's job to approach cars with possible suspects
in them and to answer emergency calls - they can never know what to
expect. Sometimes it's a bullet (Shepherds Bush) or a hail of them
(Hungerford), of course.

Police sidearms are not to protect the public, they are to protect the
policemen who are carrying them. Following that, a live policeman can
do his job of law-enforcement.

The PCA spokesman had complete confidence that everything had changed,
all over the country, since the failure of the specialist armed response
unit at Hungerford, you'll be glad to know!

Regards
N.B.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
POLICE BAFFLED BY SHOOTING

Police admitted tonight they have no motive for the murder of a man
found with a single shot to the head as he sat at the wheel of his car.
The 38-year-old man, who has not yet been named, was found by his wife
slumped over the steering wheel of his Mitsubishi Shogun in Brixton,
south London.

The engine was still running, and the driver's window was shattered.
A post mortem showed the man, who had two children aged five and six
and lived locally, was shot with a high-calibre weapon, probably a
handgun.

Neighbours called police after the wife found him in Dulwich Road,
Brixton, as she returned home with the husband of a friend at about
10.30pm on Tuesday.

Police have no idea if the man knew his killer. No weapon has been
recovered.

A white saloon car was seen leaving the area.

Detective Chief Inspector Alan Vardy, leading the investigation, said:
"At this stage we have very little to go on."
--
B...b... but how can this be?  You mean, not everyone turned in their
handguns???

CS Admin
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't know if I have replied in the right way but I was interested
in this particular article and couldn't resist a reply.

Unfortunatley I used to be a police officer and having seen what I
did I now have no time or respect for them.  MOST certainly I do not
think the should under any circumstances EVER be armed.  I don't think
they would fully appreciate the responsibilty they would be carrying.
The majority are so ignorent and have a very sad attitude that they are
always in the right and if the "crims" argue we'll blow them away.
These people want to be armed.

They see law and order as a game -not as the reaction to crime to
protect the public.  They chase cars like little children getting hyped
up with adrenalin and thye want to carry guns.

Just look at the case in LIverpool where a man went to help his friend
who was being man handled and thrown around by the police.  Instead of
telling him politely to go away they immediately sprayed him with
mace.  If they had been armed that man would be dead.  And yet the
officer think they should have guns.

Unfortunatley they believe themselves to be a sort of gang..... as at a
christmas party in london... One police officer was heard to say "The
black gangs will never win because we are the biggest gang in London"
Would you arm this man?

This is a very sad and dangerous attitude and until such time as these
little boys have grown up they should never be armed.  If they are
armed then the rest of us should be for our own protection against them.

Having piped up about their attitude, rascist and sexist both the force
I was in and the force that covered the area I lived in managed to fit
me up and destroy my career.  Fortunatley I am glad not to be one of
them anymore but I am very worried about the police in this country and
their attitudes towards the people of this country.  I was continually
astonished at the poor level of education of some of these officers and
was alienated because I was considered too educated and upper classed.

If this is how they behave towards us and even towards their own who
don't confirm to their stereotype would you want to see them armed?

If the Met police spent wisely on quality concealable ballistic vests
such as the one I purchased for myself, the young police officer would
still be here and we would not be having this discussion.  It is the
Met police that should be held to blame for scimping on costs.  If it
in any way values its officer it would willingly spend the necessary
monies on a comfortable vest that the officers on the ground will use.

P.T.
--
Well, lack of money is a factor in many of the problems you point out.

Without proper training you get all kinds of problems, which is frankly
why I don't think the police should be generally armed outside of urban
areas where there is a lot of firearm-related crime.  I have to say
that most of the police officers I know from the local armed unit are
well-balanced people who do not suffer from excessive egos.  There is
one exception, who put a slug through the roof of the range, however,
I think he has since been reassigned to other duties.

On the other hand, we have people who are unbalanced, like PC Hodgson,
who may not have committed murder (let's face it, we weren't in court)
but who certainly did not follow proper procedure and may have acted
unlawfully.

We also see the "cowboy" mentality, the classic example being the idiot
who wrote "The Good Guys Wear Black" which is absolute drivel.

Any armed officer should be praying that he never has to use his gun.

I used to train police officers, and I've been in situations where
I've had to point a gun at someone, and it doesn't matter what level
of scumbag that person happens to be I know I for one was praying that
I would not have to pull that trigger.

Possibly the specialist nature of armed units works against them.  In
some forces the armed units basically only do that, they train and
train and then they get called out to an emergency.  Training can
sometimes work against you because you have been in a fun house all
day shooting at pieces of cardboard and it is possible that you
can see the person you're aiming at as something inanimate under
stress.  However, police officers on the beat I think would be not
prone to this problem as they are out there dealing with people all
the time.

It's a trade-off.  Either you arm the beat cops, who are lousy shots,
some of them are crooked etc. but at least they aren't going to have
itchy trigger fingers mostly, or you have specialised units who are
checked out top to bottom psychologically, but occasionally you end
up with someone suffering from PTSD or something who rips off and
mows down some innocent person.

Suffice to say the more money there is the more you can do to combat
these problems, and I suspect if armed crime was more prevalent then
more attention would be paid to the problem.  However, hoping armed
crime rises so our police become more competent in the use of firearms
seems rather perverse.

CS Admin

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:   A.H.

Other Cybershooters might have been struck by the inclusion of a
reference to this on BBC Radio Four news summaries at 07.30 and 08.00
on Wednesday 5th November, as the last item. My tape recording is
incomplete, but I found it interesting, first, that this comparatively
obscure news item should have been included at all, and second, that
it was presented as the regrettable overturning of a "public safety
measure" largely due to the intervention of the "powerful National
Rifle Association". Do I really want to bother emailing BBC
"Feedback"? Might I have any effect at all on the cast-iron anti-gun
stance of the BBC generally, and "Today" in particular?

A.H.

From: A.H.

OK, you've persuaded me. Here's what I emailed to the Today prog on
BBC R4, copied to Feedback - but don't hold your breath waiting for a
humble apology and a series of documentaries extolling the virtues of
gun ownership...

I was surprised at the inclusion of a brief item on the defeat of Ballot
Initiative 676 in Washington State, USA, as the last item in your news
summaries at 07.30 and 08.00 on Wednesday 5 November - but not surprised
by the slant you put on it. As a keen shooter and ex-handgun-owner I
spent much of 1996 listening with fury and a sense of outrage to the
vicious assault on gun-ownership by the news media in general, and BBC
Radio Four's "Today" programme in particular.
Both the news script, and the tone of the news-reader, presented the
verdict of Washington State voters as a perverse overturning of a
"public safety measure", to be regretted, and as having been largely
due to the malign influence of the "powerful National Rifle Association".
This sort of distortion is par for your course, but it represents a
further example of the way in which you misinform the UK public on the
rights and wrongs of gun ownership. I don't think, for example, that you
mentioned the voting figure of 71 percent against the proposed new
legislation, which would if enacted have introduced numerous obstacles
to gun ownership by law-abiding citizens - without improving public
safety one bit. Neither did you mention that, apart from a considerable
majority of voters being opposed to I-676, it was opposed by 28 of the
State's 39 sheriffs, and by the Washington State Council of Police
Officers, the Seattle Police Guild, and the Law Enforcement Alliance
of America - a spokesman for which said in an AP newswire story,
"[I-676] drives a wedge between police and the community".
Your highly selective approach to reporting gun issues leads many such
as myself to believe that you are so profoundly hostile to the principle
of free people in a free society owning guns, that you are prepared, in
effect, to tell lies - which is what your news report amounted to.
Is the BBC, and its news/Today team, not satisfied at having contributed
very significantly to the truly vicious, frightening campaign of
misinformation which culminated in the removal of UK citizens' right to
own a handgun? Do you feel you have to persuade listeners also that in
other parts of the world, "gun control" is an unstoppable force for
good, opposed only by a sinister "gun lobby" which manages occasionally
to pull a fast one? Benevolent governments have nothing to fear from
armed citizens, and criminals will always possess whatever guns they
want, regardless of laws.

"Gun control" is a chimera promoted by social-engineering dreamers and
sinister power-seekers. Into which camp does the BBC fall, I wonder?
I'm a teacher. I'd mark your work, "slapdash, incompetent and one-sided -
must try harder".
A.H.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From:   I.T.

You often hear the phrase "gun culture" banded about, and I
can't quite grasp what that means. My Collins Gem English
Dictionary says that culture is

"ideas, customs and art of a particular society;
particular society; developed understanding of the arts; cultivation
of plants or rearing of animals; growth of bacteria for study"

This means that Britain is seething with people growing
firearms from fungus. Alternatively, it might just mean that my
dictionary is crap. Whatever the technical definition, it doesn't
change the fact that no one knows what the hell a "gun culture" is.
Some have said that a culture is anything which directly influences
our lives, but that's a load of rubbish.
Others have said is that it is any seperate, defined section of
society, but too is a load of rubbish. Fact is, there is no such
thing as a "gun culture" - it's just a catch-all buzz-word concocted
by either some Trot' sociologist, a politician, a Sun journalist or
that cow Ann Pearston and her cronies. That's because "shooting
sports" and "shooting community" or even "people who
occasionally choose to use a gun" doesn't sound quite as good
as "gun culture". Far easier to explain to the mass media
and public.

I've come to the conclusion that this country is on an irrecovable
slide into totalitarianism. No, that's a bit extreme - how about this
new term I've invented: Stepfordism. My definition is:

Stepfordism (adj): A state of government or society which is
typically characterised by mindless, politically-correct,
holier-than-thou attitudes which are frequently contradictory or
hypocritical; _Stepfordists_, subjects or members of a Stepfordist
society. They are usually subservient, sheep-like trash who exist
only to pay taxes, elect government and spawn more versions of
themselves to continue the cycle.

If this sounds a bit barmy, the you need to be getting out more.

With any luck I'll be out of this sordid little country within the next
two or three years. I don't know where in the US I'll go, but North
Dakota sounds pretty good. Open and Concealed Carry, very
lax gun control and a homicide rate less than the UK. Sounds
promising. What are my chances of  the government sponsoring
me to go on a work experience trip to work in a gun store?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: K.P.
(A message to today@bbc.co.uk)

I noticed in one of your news bulletins on the morning of Wednesday 5
November 1997 that you referred to the defeat of  the anti-gun proposal
in Washington State.

I gathered from the item that this public safety measure had been
defeated by the intervention of the NRA of America paying for several
million dollars of advertising.  What I didn't gather from your item
was:

1. The proponents of this measure hadn't the guts to put it forward as
a simple law to restrict the freedom of decent citizens to hold
firearms they called it a public safety measure.

2. The NRA only stepped in after the local gun owners had already put in
considerable efforts.

3. Bill Gates had already contributed $600,000 towards support of the
measure and I understand his father had matched the donation.

4. The measure was defeated by a majority of 71%.  The people speaking
out loud and clear in a free vote. Tony Blair didn't even manage a simple
majority of those who voted.

I suspect that it is that last point that really sticks in your
collective throat and I hope it chokes you.  Your reporting was
slanted to the degree that one could only describe it as deliberately
misleading.  This illustration of your bigotry on this point leaves
one gasping.

Mind you, I should not be even slightly surprised at this after your
reporting of the recent anti-shooting legislation.  One can hardly
expect anything better from politicians just before an election when
anything is to be sacrificed to political expediency but I had a better
opinion of the BBC.  Unfortunately the Today programme simply acted as
an unprincipled contemptible goad to cowards and hypocrites who passed
legislation for the comfort of  intellectually enfeebled hysterics and
the emotionally disturbed.

--
I seem to remember Bill Gates actually contributed $50,000 and his
father contributed $150,000.

The BBC piece seemed to be based on the press release from Handgun
Control, Inc. which is rather fascinating.  But then, I suspect most
media to do with guns in the US is based on HCI press releases so
the BBC could have based it on virtually anything.

CS Admin
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From:   M.B.

Alright you lot, own up, who still hasn't handed in all their firearms
yet? (Driver killed by gunman, Willesden Green, London 10th November
1997.)

One of you must be responsible, after all who else has firearms? The
police WILL find you, they have records. Like they had records for
assault rifles when the 1988 Act was implimented.

Unfortunately, only 4,000 semi automatic weapons were surrendered for
compensation. Government estimates at the time were that there were
about 20,000 such weapons in private hands. Mr Wiggin stated in the
Commons on 29th November 1990, "One can only guess the whereabouts of
the balance"

 Actually no;  I can't guess where the other 16,000 have gone. Did they
ever exist?  Does the HO believe that we really did have 20,000 assault
rifles in circulation?Are the police so incompentent at record keeping
that 3/4 of all registered semi auto rifles have simply disappeared
without them knowing where to. Maybe this is why Gun Control Network
stated on their website that even the police do not know how many
LEGALLY held  firearms there are.

Now to the BBC. They have a royal charter and are subject to the
provisions of the Bill of Rights. One of you needs to explore this and
argue our case for air time. We need to expose all the lies that have
gone on, not only about Dunblane and Hungerford, but since the first
firearms Act was drawn up in 1920.

I was aware of the Hungerford & Dunblane incidents but  must confess, I
had not heard of the shooting by an RUC constable of several people in
NI until I saw mention of it on cybershooters. Why did this article not
make news headlines like the other shootings. (Or did I take a day off
when it made the news)

Lies like the Sun newspaper article. If you can't find a good story,
make one up. The Sun believes that its readers are so gullible they will
believe anything. I'm glad that some-one on Cybershooters is persuing
this one.

I still need further funding to challenge the CC in the Crown Court
from which I am awaiting  a hearing date. I have amassed a huge amount
of information on the subject on our right to arms for defence over the
last nine months and have yet to find any evidence which contradicts
that right.

I have written to the daily Telegraph asking them if they are willing
to publish a story on the subject. If they do not respond, I will write
to other papers. There must be one organisation our there who is willing
to fund a challenge for our right to arms for defence.

I also hope that those of you who do not actively join in the debates
on cybershooters will at least write to Lord Stoddart at the House of
Lords as I have done and congratulate him on a first class speech and
offer what support you can for the role of Hereditary Peers. I mentioned
to him that I interpreted his speech as a veiled threat that the Lords
may challenge the 1911 parliament Act.

This would tie in quite nicely with the comments given by Lord Kingsland
in the Evening Mail recently which said "Judges may have to overturn the
will of parliament to prevent ministers from becoming an elected
dictatorship, the Tory senior legal affairs spokesman warned. The shadow
Lord Chancellor, Lord Kingsland said the principle of parliamentary
sovereignty could be modified by the courts if the government tried to
abuse the power of its large majority. He said Judges could decide it
was the right step in if there was a  feeling in society that the
government, in nearing its five year term of office should not enjoy
unfettered power  His comments are likely to cause surprise at
Westminster, particularly among the Tories who have always strongly
supported parliamentary sovereignty  The contrast with the position
taken by the shadow home secretary Sir Brian Mahwhinney would last
month strongly opposed the incorporation of the European convention on
Human Rights  because he argued it would enable judges to tell
parliament what to do.

Lord Kingsland said "the modern notion of a supremacy of a parliament
had  arisen only because the courts had decided it would be wrong to
overturn the acts of parliament as they represented the will of the
people. But 100 years later, courts in many free countries have
recognised that quite often that the will of the people in parliament
can become the will of an elected dictatorship; uncontrolled by
parliamentary institutions that have become weak in the face of the
executive."

And a final note, the Labour party are going to abolish the death
penalty for treason. When you look at what some of the comedians at the
Home Office have been up to, I am not surprised.
Still, they can always get a job writing fantasy stories, they have had
enough experience.

Regards, M.B.
--
If you want to talk about things that don't get reported, there was
a nutter who tried joining my club in 1978 called Barry Williams.

He was granted a certificate during his probationary period, but was
turfed out of the club before he completed his probationary period.

Then he joined another club and our Secretary saw him shooting there
and warned the other club who also turfed him out.

One night he got very drunk, was annoyed that his neighbours were
playing loud music, and shot three of the four members of the family
there dead and nearly killed the one remaining member but she survived
after being shot five times.

Then he went for a drive, filled up his car at the petrol station
and shot the two people at the petrol station dead.  He was later
arrested by unarmed police.

Apparently his bizarre behaviour was reported to the police more than
once, but the information never got as far as the firearm licensing
dept.  He was reported to have said to a customer at the shop where
he worked that he would "blow their head off", which apparently was
reported to the police.

He was committed to a mental institution, but was released a few years
ago.  BTW, he had a .22 pistol illegally as well.

CS Admin
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:   R.D.

This from the Oxford Mail Tuesday 11th November

HANDGUN RAID ON COUNCIL RENT VAN

Armed robbers escaped with about 2,000 after holding up an Oxford City
Council van collecting rents in Blackbird Leys. The raiders used a
handgun to force staff open the back of the van and grabbed the four
sacks of cash in the incident outside Cuddesdon Way, at 2 p.m.
yesterday. Police spokesman Duncan McGraw said the council workers were
left shocked but not hurt in the incident. He said: "One man approached
the van and one of them produced a handgun and threatened one of the
three staff operating the van. "He demanded cash and the staff opened
the doors and he took out the money. He then got in the car with another
and they made off". One of the men is described as white, in his early
20s and of about five foot eight in height, while his accomplice had
an olive complexion, and was possibly tanned or of Asian origin. Anyone
with information should call police on 01865 266000.

How can this be happening ? I thought all those nasty handguns had been
handed in.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Report from The Times Wednesday 12th Nov.

Pen-gun fine

A Ukrainian sailor who tried to swap a pen gun for a colour television
in Falmouth, Cornwall, was fined 500 for possessing a firearm.
Aleksander Osipenko, 35, told a shopkeeper with whom he had tried to
barter: "You have burglars, you kill them, bye bye."

--
Apparently from some earlier reports the guy had toured several shops
seeking to swop the 22 calibre pen gun for various colour sets. It
strikes me the reason he got caught was that he was asking a bit much,
as I understand it the going rate in Falmouth is black and white
portables for pen guns and 21 inch Sony Trinitrons for AK's.
Some of you may also have seen the report last week of children in
Liverpool being caught with live Russian heavy machine gun rounds in
their possession, they had found the shells inside T54 tanks parked at
the docks bound for collectors in the USA.

CS Admin
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From:   D.D.

These are today's reports of shootings in our apparently safe country.
From PA  news. Is someone collecting all this data?

TWO QUIZZED OVER DOUBLE SHOOTING

Two men were being questioned today over a double shooting in which a
man was killed and a bystander injured when a gunman opened fire in a
street.

The dead 22-year-old man was sitting in a car outside a sports shop in
Walm Lane, Willesden, north-west London, when he was shot.

He was certified dead at Central Middlesex Hospital and a post-mortem
was being carried out today.

The victim had stopped his car to speak to passers-by when two men, one
with a handgun, went towards him. The gunman fired several shots before
he and his accomplice fled.

A member of the public who was in the sports shop was shot in the left
foot by a stray bullet, Scotland Yard said.

The two men were today being questioned at police stations at Colindale
and Harrow in north London.  Police were keeping an open mind over the
motive and appealed for witnesses to the attack at about 5pm yesterday.

Police tonight named the dead man as Rudolph "Rudi" King, 22, from
north-west London. A post mortem showed the cause of death was a gunshot
wound to the head. Two men arrested after the shooting have been bailed
to return to Colindale and Harrow Road police stations at unspecified
future dates, police added.

MURDER INQUIRY AFTER MAN SHOT

A murder inquiry was under way today after a 30-year-old man was shot,
police said. Officers were called to the Church End estate, near
Willesden in north west London, just before 8pm last night following
reports of a man suffering multiple gun shot wounds. The victim was
taken to Central Middlesex Hospital where he later died from his
injuries. A post mortem was due to be carried out later today.

ROBBERS SHOOT SECURITY GUARD IN CHASE

A security guard was shot in the shoulder during a frantic chase after
he rammed the getaway car of two robbers. The Hertford town centre
drama did not end until the robbers hijacked a car at gunpoint to make
their escape.

D.D.
--
Central Middlesex hospital looks pretty busy, eh?

I can't wait to see the statistics for handgun-related homicide for
1997 because I reckon they'll be significantly higher than 1996.

CS Admin
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:   C.Y.

> How can this be happening ? I thought all those nasty handguns had been
>  handed in.

Up here in a group conversation last week (me the only shooter) it was
stated that all handguns were now out of circulation.  I disagreed,  and
the conversation them revealed that the group as a whole actually
believed that HANDGUNS meant any guns one could hold in one's hand,
pistols, shotguns, rifles and all.   These were professional people.
One wonders how they could have been so deceived,or be so ignorant.

I didn't disillusion them beyond saying that only [pistols were involved,
and that the ban was (a) partial, (b) ineffective,  and (c) only applied
to licensed shooters' guns.  "Whaddya mean?" was the cry.  There was
shock and horror when I pointed out that the criminals still had all
their guns.

The truth is slowly sinking in,  but it's too late.

C.Y.
--
It's never too late for the truth.

CS Admin
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From:   J.

Just after (within days) of the Hungerford shootings a mid ranking police
officer (Chief Inspector if my memory serves me well) drew a rifle and
ammunition from the force armoury.  He drove to a nearby Gipsy site and
fired a number of rounds (in excess of 10 but I can't recall the exact
figure) into the caravans on the site.

No one was killed or injured but this was by accident rather than design
as a young girl was missed by only a few inches while sleeping in her bed.

His 'punishment' for this crime - he was allowed to retire on ill-health
grounds.

Press coverage, except from a brief article in a local paper, was nil.

This happened in one of the English police forces bordering Wales but I
can't remember which one (the Shropshire area rings a bell).

Regards

J.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From:   D.D.

This is a letter I have sent to the editor of the Independent. Another
letter is called for because on page 5 there is a detailed analysis
of murder statistics. Would you believe that the Independent says:

Quote...despite the impression we get from television, ONLY 8%
of murders were committed by someone using a gun. End quote.

No doubt they could not bring themselves to say what proportion
was committed by licensed firearm owners. We know it is about a
tenth of one per cent.

-----------------------------------------------
The Editor
The Independent
1 Canada Square
London E14 5DL

16 November 1997


Sir

SHOOTING CRIME - FOR PUBLICATION

Your Saturday edition makes salutary reading. Fifty two people
shot in north west London so far this year, and the preferred
weapons are automatic handguns. Murders in London exceed
last year's already.

What is going on? A year ago you were telling us that all handguns
must be banned in order to make us safe again. Some Olympic
marksmen who protested were branded as contemptible. So
you got your ban and the Government has been confiscating
legally held pistols since July at a cost of hundreds of millions of
pounds.

Now we are blithely told that gun crime is rapidly increasing.
What is your solution this time, ban all handguns?

D.D.
----
Or ban airguns? Perhaps that'll do the trick. 

CS Admin
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From:   D.D.

This is a letter I have sent to the editor of the Independent. Another
letter is called for because on page 5 there is a detailed analysis
of murder statistics. Would you believe that the Independent says:

Quote...despite the impression we get from television, ONLY 8%
of murders were committed by someone using a gun. End quote.

No doubt they could not bring themselves to say what proportion
was committed by licensed firearm owners. We know it is about a
tenth of one per cent.

-------------------------------------
The Editor
The Independent
1 Canada Square
London E14 5DL

16 November 1997


Sir

SHOOTING CRIME - FOR PUBLICATION

Your Saturday edition makes salutary reading. Fifty two people
shot in north west London so far this year, and the preferred
weapons are automatic handguns. Murders in London exceed
last year's already.

What is going on? A year ago you were telling us that all handguns
must be banned in order to make us safe again. Some Olympic
marksmen who protested were branded as contemptible. So
you got your ban and the Government has been confiscating
legally held pistols since July at a cost of hundreds of millions of
pounds.

Now we are blithely told that gun crime is rapidly increasing.
What is your solution this time, ban all handguns?

D.D.


----
Or ban airguns? Perhaps that'll do the trick. 
CS Admin
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clinton Freezes Imports of Some Assault Guns
07:26 a.m. Nov 15, 1997 Eastern

By R.M.

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - President Clinton said Friday he was freezing
imports of all modified assault weapons for four months while he studies
ways to permanently block such sales.

``I'm not going to let people overseas turn our streets into battle zones,
where gangs are armed like they were guerrilla warriors halfway around the
world, if I could stop it,'' Clinton said at a Democratic fund-raising
speech.

The freeze is intended to halt what appears to be a flood of assault
weapons being imported in circumvention of a 1994 ban on assault weapons,
White House spokesman Joe Lockhart told reporters traveling with the
president Friday aboard Air Force One.

``There's been a real rush to try to import these,'' Lockhart said.
``We're going to freeze what's going on and take another look at it.''

Clinton is to discuss the ban in his weekly radio address Saturday.

``We must continue to do everything we can to crack down on illegal
firearms and the organized criminals, terrorists and drug lords who seek
them,''  Clinton said in a copy of the radio address released by the
White House.

Lockhart said the freeze will keep the controversial weapons from being
imported for 120 days while the Treasury Department, which oversees the
federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), reviews whether
they can legally be imported under current law allowing for imports of
certain weapons for ''sporting'' purposes.

Lockhart said the freeze applies to nearly 600,000 weapons for which the
bureau had granted import permits, and for an additional million whose
permits were pending.

He said the permits can be revoked and future imports stopped if the
weapons are deemed by Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin to have been
modified solely to circumvent the restrictions.

Gun-control advocates say foreign weapons manufacturers have been making
the assault rifles with only minor modifications to allow them to be
imported as sporting weapons.

The White House on Thursday expressed displeasure that the ATF had
recently approved permits for 150,000 assault weapons imports even as the
administration was known to be working on ways to tighten import
restrictions.

The Washington Post reported Friday that the ATF stopped taking new
applications last month, after senior administration officials learned of
the recent approvals.

About 20,000 of the 600,000 weapons approved for import had actually
entered the United States, Lockhart said.

The National Rifle Association called Clinton's action ''still another
prohibition that bans more guns and shows more hypocrisy and deception
than ever before.''

``Here's the truth. The guns Clinton wishes to ban from importation
conform in every way to the law Clinton wrote, signed, pledged would rid
the streets of violence in 1994, and trumpets to the press whenever his
scandals get out of hand,'' NRA spokeswoman Tanya Metaksa said.
--

I bring this story to your attention once again, because I find it
interesting to be able to easily demonstrate what a crook Bill Clinton
basically is.

The guns that the importers are trying to import actually are designed
to conform with a law written in 1968, which was distorted by President
Bush in 1989.  The import regulations (and I stress) are MORE SEVERE
than the 1994 restrictions which apply to domestic manufacture.

Under the import regs, you cannot import a semi-auto rifle with such
dastardly features as a pistol grip stock, bayonet lug, flash hider,
night sights, bipod (if the barrel is less than 20" in length) etc.

Not only that (and this is the bit most people don't know) under a law
signed in 1990, it is actually illegal to use a magazine with the gun
that holds more rounds than was approved for import with it.  So if
you take your AK sporter with 5 round magazine and use, say, a ten-round
magazine with it you are violating federal law, namely 18 USC 922(r).

The bit which really takes the cake here is: "the permits can be revoked
and future imports stopped if the weapons are deemed by Treasury
Secretary Robert Rubin to have been modified solely to circumvent the
restrictions" - totally untrue.  The law says "designed for OR READILY
ADAPTABLE TO sporting purposes.  If they have been redesigned for sporting
purposes, they're legal, 'fraid to say.

Basically this is Billy trying to make himself more popular in the polls
as he is staring impeachment in the face.  Stopping the import of these
guns without issuing even an executive order is illegal.  You cannot
enforce a law or regulations without publishing them so people have
an opportunity to comply.

CS Admin
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Letter to the Independent Newspaper

From:   N.B.

To:     INTERNET:letters@independent.co.uk

Dear Editor

I note Jason Bennetto's article in Saturday's Independent fails to remark
that the guns being used by drug dealers to kill each other and to shoot
at policemen were never legal.

Surely it was the Independent which last year after Dunblane assured its
possibly somewhat naive readers that banning the legal ownership of
handguns would reduce the amount of lead flying at lethal speed in our
streets as well as in our junior schools?

Might you possibly have overstated your case in order to get your
independent-minded but unknowledgeable readers to react as you wished?

Might it be that the Independent is really just another one of those
national newspapers that likes to tell its readers what to think?

And might the sad truth be that your readers are in fact - wait for it -
intellectual sheep?

I DARE you to print this.

N.B.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------


A.C.

Letters to the Editor

And so at last men are prepared to speak the truth.  Last week Lord
Ewing of Kirkford finally stood up in the House of Lords and spoke...

"For 12 years I was Thomas Hamilton's Member of Parliament...So no one
knows, understands or tries to understand Thomas Hamilton more than I
do...I remember Thomas Hamilton in 1971 as a youth and community worker
in Dunblane...A horrendous argument broke out in the town, one half of
the community wanting to be rid of Thomas Hamilton and the other half
wanting to retain his services... The half that wanted to retain
Hamilton's services won the argument...Hamilton came to see me
complaining about his perceived problems there...the decision not
to allow Hamilton to use its schools...the Dunblane situation has been
completely misread...Hamilton's perceived problems were all based in
Dunblane...THEY WERE NOT FIREARMS PROBLEMS AT ALL"

He continues "On that tragic morning in March, 20 months ago, Hamilton
could have got out of bed, left his house in Stirling, walked two
minutes round the corner and seen one of the largest primary schools...He
could have butchered 600 or 700 children. He did not. He got into his
car and drove seven miles to Dunblane. If those children had been
standing at a bus stop that morning, he would have mown them down in
his car. What should we have done then? Banned all cars?"

In the Sunday Times Magazine 16th November 1997 Ray Wyre, freelance
sexual crime consultant, a world authority on offences against children,
discussed his alarm at the direction Britain is taking.  He said "My
regret over Dunblane is the attention the media gave to the gun
issue.  Thomas Hamilton is a case study in how society deals with the
alleged abuser.  Little was done about him other than pressing for a
prosecution, which failed.  So the community dealt with him unofficially.
He was called a pervert...set on self-destruction, he probably decided
that, if he could not have the children, nobody would".

He continued "Have no doubt that Dunblane is only the first".

Is the Government brave enough to open up a new enquiry and re-examine
the Dunblance massacre?  Is it confident that another Dunblane type
massacre will never happen?  Is it willing to admit that it might have
over-reacted in banning hand-guns?

A confident government, a fair government, a democratic government will
ask itself if it has really done the right thing by this country.  50,000
pistol-shooters want their guns back, 1,000 gun-shop, factory and range
employees want their jobs back and 3,000 people want their small firearms
related businesses back.

It's too late now, because many of our guns have been destroyed but
perhaps the tax payer would have also liked the hundreds of millions of
pounds back that the Government has been using to compensate
law-abiding sportsmen for their seized handguns.

Guns don't kill people, people kill people and it looks to me like it
was the people of Dunblane that drove a man to murder.

A.C.


Theme from "Schindler's List"
"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing." -Hitler's Secret Conversations-1941-1944 -Farrar, Straus and Young-1953 Pg. 345

More quotes about guns and freedom.