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Guest PhilA

A few misconceptions.

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Guest PhilA

Hi All,

I haven’t been on the board posting for a while due to time constraints and too many things to do with my time, but I do read what you all write and feel the need for this long, but hopefully not boring, post.

 

Banning handguns has NOT made handgun crime rise. Yes handgun crime has risen since the ban, but it would have risen anyway. The people who commit crime don’t care about the law and whether or not their gun is now banned or not as it is illegally held anyway. Think about that, it really is obvious. All that the handgun ban has achieved is to make sure that the police have no way of tracing any handguns (Other than Government controlled ones) and so it makes it easier for the guns to disappear into the underworld.

 

Another fact that seams to get overlooked by our side in the ‘ban guns’ debate is that airguns are responsible for over 50% of all gun related crime. That is why the powers that be are always looking at airguns and wanting to try and reduce the number of airgun crimes. Yes, only one death per year is a result of airguns, but there are an awful lot of greenhouses, cats, dogs, cars, bikes, kids, adults, bruised and damaged and broken because of some prat with an airgun.

 

If the Government ban replicas, they can just about kiss good buy to the British film industry as well as most historical re-enactment societies and a lot of theatre productions and TV dramas and the list goes on.

 

So what can we do about it? The Government knows and has said many, many times that banning or licensing airguns is not viable because of the large numbers of airguns in circulation and the simple fact that they don’t know where they all are. They also know that in an amnesty, the people who want to commit crimes with an airgun are not going to hand them in. Let us please not accuse our politicians of being stupid. Some of them may be corrupt and self serving, but they are not stupid.

 

Also, one small criticism of the whole airgun campaign is that we (And I am as guilty as anyone else) are all reactionary. We sit and wait for some kid to get shot and then we write to the paper that reported it saying that they are wrong to blame the gun blar blar blar. One thing that the anti shooting groups do is they sit down together and think about what they want to achieve, then they use the numbers and figures available to supply their argument with facts, then try and get it published. Why can’t we do the same?

 

The press know that banning handguns hasn’t solved handgun crime, because they took them off the wrong people. They know that banning airguns will only achieve the same thing. Again, the press aren’t stupid either. They know what people want to hear and they know what sells papers. Scandals and scare mongering sells papers – and that is a fact. It is hard if not impossible for the pro shooting groups to scandalise the anti shooting groups because the are very good at casting the first stone and portraying us to be stupid gun totting lunatics who want to kill, kill, kill. How can we compete with them? We must use their tactics and cast stones right back. Their argument about banning guns is flawed. The evidence is the hand gun ban and the ban on fully autos that has not removed either category of weapon from the hands of criminals. The need for a FAC is a joke, as which criminal is going to register themselves? Of course, some guns do enter the underworld through legitimate gun owners, but that is a very small number. Most illegal guns are illegally imported for illegal use by criminals. Why does the Anti shooting group wish to continue with it’s campaign to ban the remaining guns the private citizens are allowed to have, when the time, money and resources could and should be spent on tracing and stopping the illegal importation of guns of which ALL end up on the black market. Why do the anti shooting groups consider the handgun ban a success when it has not helped to save any lives, or stop criminals from acquiring handguns? Do they really believe that raising the age of ownership on airguns will stop younger people from abusing them? Ask these questions and more, but make sure you ask yours first otherwise you will be on the defensive all the time and never get a chance to really make a difference.

 

Sorry for the sermon.

 

All the best

Phil

 

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Guest Listy the treadhead

phil, can we edit, and mail to our local bewspapers? that might start a small amount of fun!

 

PS: what % of those airgun crimes are just armed tresspass?? IE someone saw a guy in a feild with an airrifle and didnt know all hte facts?

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Guest JC769

Phil, probably more concentrated common sense in your post than I've seen in any one place for quite along time and I could not agre more that the need for all of us to start being proactive rather than reactive in the promotion and defence of the sport has never been more important. There's no point in sitting on our collective ######s and bemoaning the lack of activity by the shooting organisations - the are helpless without our support and we gett the representative bodies we deserve. But keep in mind that while politicians are not necessarily stupid, some are malicious in their intent and despite knowing that licesnisng or banning airguns will do no good whatsoever they will continue to campaign for just such laws because they think it will get them votes. It's that kind of politician who really get up my nose for if they were campaigning homestly on honestly held views i could have some respect for them even while disagreeing with their point of view. It's the cynicism and hypocrisy of the average anti-gun fanatic which upsets me for they are quite willing to see ou rsport banned while knowing as well as you or I that it would be pointless. However you and I agreeing on the problem is not going to solve the problem and until we can convince our fellow airgunners that their vital interests are under threat and that they mus do something about it I fear we are in for yet more anti-gun propaganda and eventually yet mpore restrictive legislation.

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Guest PeterG

Hi Phil, a good piece indeed.

Just one small remark on one of the things you stated;

 

If the Government ban replicas, they can just about kiss good buy to the British film industry as well as most historical re-enactment societies and a lot of theatre productions and TV dramas and the list goes on.  

 

In the Netherlands replica's are banned but one or two special 'props' firms have gotten a license to rent replica's, deactivated guns or real working guns to the film industry. No problem at all.

 

The real problem of banning replica's is the grey area between what's a replica and what's not. In the Netherlands it has put airgunners in an undesirable situation. If your airgun resembles an existing firearm you can get a heavy sentence. They made a list of course, with banned guns. But as soon as a new model arrives, the RWS scimitar for example, nobody knows if this is illegal or not. In reality this law doesn't work because each summer thousands of replica airsoft guns are brought back from holiday in Spain by the children of innocent and igorant tourists.....

regards, peter

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Guest PhilA

Listy,

Do with it what you want mate. If there is anything in there you want to send to the paper, then do it.

 

Peter,

There is always a way around a ban on replicas for the film industry and TV ect. I'm sure that the situation in the Netherlands works fine, but it is yet another restriction upon the shooting community (even if the gun doesn't actually shoot.) that to me is intolerable. There are many historical societies that use replicas and sometimes real guns to re-enact battles and demonstrate weapons of historical significance. One, like the Royal Armouries in Leeds does this every day of the week. I cannot imagine that that would be allowed to continue if replicas were banned. That alone would put the Royal Armouries back into a 'display cabinate only' museum, which would not be good for business.

 

There is also the very big issue about what is a replica and what is a toy. Would a member of the public who knew nothing about guns know that a Ripley won’t kill at 700 yards? Put a scope on and it does look (to someone who doesn’t know any different) like a full on sniper rifle. Would that then be described as a replica? What about the plastic Uzi that squirts water? The range of Bannable ‘guns’ is too wide and too easy to abuse for it to be effective in England.

 

 

The Yorkshire Evening Post ran a campaign a few months back to try and ban replicas claiming that there was no need for them. They withdrew for one main reason: The YEP also gives money to a re-enactment society and they used the last instalment to buy a load of replica muskets. Apparently, the look on the editor’s face when it was pointed out to him was a picture!

 

 

All the best

Phil

 

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Guest PhilA
But keep in mind that while politicians are not necessarily stupid, some are malicious in their intent and despite knowing that licesnisng or banning airguns will do no good whatsoever they will continue to campaign for just such laws because they think it will get them votes.

Which is exactly why we need to get our word in first. If the politition thinks that he can win votes by flogging a dead horse, then he will get his whip out. If on the otherhand, Joe public wants him to bury a dead horse, then he will get his shovel out. biggrin.gif

 

If we can alter public perception so that the kids who break the law are blamed rather than the tool they choose to use, be that an air gun, a knife, fireworks, whatever, then the polititions will rather quickly change their tune. That is the name of the game. Please as many people as possible by doing what the majority of voters want.

 

All the best

Phil

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Guest PeterG

Dear Phil,

 

Maybe my lack of grip on the English language made my point unclear. I agree with you that banning replica's is not the way. The situation in the Netherlands is not fine. In theory you can get heavy sentences for possession of a replica but thousands of innocent tourists take these home each year because they're not banned in any of the countries that surround us.

 

With this you hit the nail on the head.

There is also the very big issue about what is a replica and what is a toy.  Would a member of the public who knew nothing about guns know that a Ripley won’t kill at 700 yards?  Put a scope on and it does look (to someone who doesn’t know any different) like a full on sniper rifle.  Would that then be described as a replica?  What about the plastic Uzi that squirts water?  The range of Bannable ‘guns’ is too wide and too easy to abuse for it to be effective in England.

 

Nobody in a stress situation will make the distinction between a real full bore rifle and a HW35. This is a completely useless law. It ought to prevent criminals from using replica's when they're committing criminal offenses. But no criminal in the Netherlands will use a replica for that, because illegal handguns are sufficient avalaible (we're flooded with guns from the former Eastern states) mad.gif

 

The Dutch airgunners are in the uncomfortable situation that every air rifle at present can be confisquated at any moment, just depending on the tolerance, political views, moods and or intelligence of the involved police officer. The gun will be brought before a commitee which will declare it illegal in every case. Our laws are made so that there are no possibilities to fight these decisions. We don't have to expect anything from our governement. Our former Secretary of Justice declared a few years ago in a discussion about the legality of airguns: "if the judiciary will prove your point of view right, I will change the law to prove it wrong"

 

We're living in a sad world sad.gifsad.gifsad.gif

 

regards, Peter

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