Monday, February 19, 2007
Blair and Reid quick on the trigger
But not asking questions first.
Prime Minister Tony Blair and Home Secretary John Reid have announced moves to tackle gun crime with more severe sentences. However, legislation on its own does not work; the Firearms Acts of 1988 and 1997 have not reduced the number of firearms held illegally.
The answer is two-fold and simple: catch the people with guns (likelihood
of arrest is a better deterrent than draconian sentencing) and cut the
supply of guns.
Not easy, admittedly, but point one can be addressed by putting more
police on the streets and getting them involved in all the community.
There has been an attitude of letting sub-cultures sort out their own
The second point is more difficult. There are some, including the Office of Legislative Affairs who say that "Striving to take guns `out of circulation' is probably a waste of effort and money, for illegal supply may be expected always to fulfil criminal demand." Surely, though, we should make the effort? There has been no serious attempt to do so
Nor has the government yet set up the firearms register, which it was committed to do under Section 39 of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997, rushed through after Dunblane.