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Should the UK reverse the Handgun ban for license owners? Watch

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    Of course. The handgun ban was the ultimate example of knee-jerk legislating for public relations purposes. It wasn't remotely rational.

    (Original post by alevelstresss)
    No, we do not need weekly mass shootings like in the USA, nor does anyone in the UK need a firearm to defend themselves.
    Be sure to try using that line on the Queen, Prince of Wales, Prime Minister, Home Secretary or Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. I suspect they might have a slight issue with that.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    Of course. The handgun ban was the ultimate example of knee-jerk legislating for public relations purposes. It wasn't remotely rational.



    Be sure to try using that line on the Queen, Prince of Wales, Prime Minister, Home Secretary or Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. I suspect they might have a slight issue with that.
    none of them need it
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    (Original post by 89cruefan)
    Firstly I feel all military personnel should be able to carry a firearm. I know now with all the recent issues, I am extremely cautious when travelling around the country.

    Secondly criminals already have ease of access to firearms off the black market which in the majority of cases have been altered and modified in a way which makes them even more dangerous then standard firearms.
    This argument of easy access to firearms is such a fallacy. Even if criminals have guns they're very very rarely used to kill, especially when considered against the rest of the world.

    (Original post by TercioOfParma)
    Well, you can if you look.
    Lol that's all you have to say? Yeah I'm sure it's that's easy, I'm sure illegal gun dealers sell to random people who could be police or who they could just rob


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    (Original post by alevelstresss)
    none of them need it
    We don't "need" kitchen knives, cars, dynamite or alcohol. Strangely enough, however, that's not an argument against criminalising them. Indeed, "need" does not exist independently - you can only need x to achieve y.

    If you're seriously claiming heads of state and government should not have armed protection in this country, well... I don't even know where to begin.
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    (Original post by Underscore__)
    This argument of easy access to firearms is such a fallacy. Even if criminals have guns they're very very rarely used to kill, especially when considered against the rest of the world.

    Lol that's all you have to say? Yeah I'm sure it's that's easy, I'm sure illegal gun dealers sell to random people who could be police or who they could just rob
    I'm not sure what you stand to gain by the suggestion that it might be more difficult for a middle class university student to acquire an illegal handgun. They're rather unlikely to do anything with it that would be worrying.

    What should concern you is the access that criminals have - quite easily - to guns. Given the number of arrests for possession of illegal firearms, or supplying them, in London I think we can safely say they're not all that difficult for the wrong people to come across.
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    I like guns, but I do not support the general population being able to own their own weapons, even for personal defence. It's just not necessary.
    Although I would support things like gun ranges where people can go shoot guns by hiring them.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    I'm not sure what you stand to gain by the suggestion that it might be more difficult for a middle class university student to acquire an illegal handgun. They're rather unlikely to do anything with it that would be worrying.

    What should concern you is the access that criminals have - quite easily - to guns. Given the number of arrests for possession of illegal firearms, or supplying them, in London I think we can safely say they're not all that difficult for the wrong people to come across.
    Given that the UK has one of lowest death by firearm rates in the world I think you can sleep easily in your bed. Illegal gun possession is not a problem in this country


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    (Original post by Underscore__)
    Given that the UK has one of lowest death by firearm rates in the world I think you can sleep easily in your bed. Illegal gun possession is not a problem in this country


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    It always has been, pre-ban and post-ban levels have always been low. The handgun ban for license owners had basically minimal effect on anything.

    As always legal, licensed and background checked gun owners that attend ranges here are not the problem.

    Switzerland have looser laws on what you can own (such as handguns, semi-auto rifles), a lot more legally owned guns and yet their homicide rates via firearms are lower than ours.
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    I'm not strictly for or against easier firearm ownership in the UK. We really just don't know if it would be a good or a bad outcome for the UK, beyond speculation using other countries that have vast cultural and political (and about a dozen more) differences. However, that Polish man on the news who was beaten to death by a gang of youths sure could have used a pistol. So could the countless other victims of stabbings/GBH/murder in the UK. Criminals do not care about the law, making some clause in the CJA about not using a pocket knife in a threatening manner, does nothing to deter the thousands of knifepoint muggings taking place per year.

    Policing tools of violence is simply not effective enough in preventing violent crime. You really think if floods of class-A drugs can make their way here, a couple hundred handguns can't? Law-abiding citizens are being absolutely slaughtered by criminals, because this country has taken away the right for one to defend oneself. Even if you are defending yourself, you can face prosecution if you use excessive force. A drugged up madman could break into your house, and charge at you with a knife, but god forbid you kill the man in the ensuing struggle, lest you be convicted of manslaughter.

    So considering all the above in hand, I would feel safer if everyone were armed and in charge of their own protection, rather than our safety being in the hands of there-after-the-incident officers. From personal experience, all the glorious statistics in the world about our utopian crime rates will not make you feel any better when you have a knife inches away from your throat.
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    (Original post by remiremi)
    It always has been, pre-ban and post-ban levels have always been low. The handgun ban for license owners had basically minimal effect on anything.

    As always legal, licensed and background checked gun owners that attend ranges here are not the problem.

    Switzerland have looser laws on what you can own (such as handguns, semi-auto rifles), a lot more legally owned guns and yet their homicide rates via firearms are lower than ours.
    I was making my point in response to the supposed problem of illegal firearm possession, the murder rate when handguns were legal is irrelevant to that point.

    Do you have any sources to show our homicide by firearm rate was low back in the 90's or that Switzerland's is lower? The first point may be true but I highly doubt the second


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    I know enough people that worship gang and gun culture to know this would be a terrible idea...
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    (Original post by L i b)
    We don't "need" kitchen knives, cars, dynamite or alcohol. Strangely enough, however, that's not an argument against criminalising them. Indeed, "need" does not exist independently - you can only need x to achieve y.

    If you're seriously claiming heads of state and government should not have armed protection in this country, well... I don't even know where to begin.
    We do need kitchen knives for cooking
    We do need cars for transport
    We do need alcohol for cooking and also to make socialising better
    We do need dynamite for construction and various other things

    Firearms serve no useful purpose in the hands of civilians.
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    OK, this will be a long one but bear with me, there are a number of points I think should be made, and things that seem to be commonly misunderstood, both here and in general.

    Firstly, removing the ban on handguns would not change anything about what constitutes good reason for a Section 1 firearm.

    Self defence has not been good reason to possess a firearm since the 60s. Also, no Act of Parliament changed this, it was a series of Home Office memos.

    Secondly, it is false that there are no longer handguns licensed on FACs, there are a number of ways in which handguns may be acquired on certificate, including long barrelled pistols and revolvers, muzzle loading pistols, humane dispatch and Section 7(3) and this is ignoring Northern Ireland where the legislation does not apply. Indeed I laugh, albeit tinged with despair, at those who would suggest that we are now substantially safer because of the two 1997 Acts, where the difference between the prohibited GSG 1911 and the Section 1 GSG 1911 LBP is two hacksaw cuts.

    Thirdly, it is a frequent misconception that the ban was some sort of crime control measure, it absolutely was not. The reason, and the Home Office could tell you this, was to prevent mass shootings similar to Dunblane and Hungerford. This has blatantly failed, the 2010 Cumbria massacre was explicitly compared in the media to Hungerford.

    Fourthly, it is argued that there is no need for either handguns specifically or firearms in general in the UK or wider human society. This is clearly very ignorant, shooting sport is an integral part of the Olympics itself and pistol shooting has been in the games since its inception. To argue that there is no need for handguns is to argue that there is no need for footballs or javelins.
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    Fifthly, it is frequently believed that the risk of mass shootings justifies the ban. This is absurd. By my reckoning the death caused by mass shooting with a legal firearm would be less than 2 per year. Considering that the deaths by drowning in just England and Wales in 2014 was 5, it would follow that, were the ban justified, a ban on swimming would be also.

    It is also contended that the ban caused a reduction in armed crime. For this to be true a substantial number of firearms in the unlicensed pool would have to be from the licensed pool. However, the estimate given by firearms expert Colin Greenwood to the Cullen inquiry (i.e. before the ban) into the Dunblane massacre was that only 3% of the unlicensed pool had ever been licensed and indeed a gentleman from the ACPO with considerable experience in firearms said that this was a reasonable estimate.

    It is also commonly believed that there is not a reasonable case against the ban. This is simply not the true. The government launched two inquiries which both came to the conclusion that the ban was not justified, the aforementioned Cullen Inquiry and the Home Affairs committee. The Association of Chief Police Officers and Police Superintendents' Association's submissions to the latter clearly and unambiguously stated that a ban was not justified. Both Conservative and Labour Governments then promptly ignored these recommendations.
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    It has also been suggested that the USA is adequate justification for not removing the ban. The logic seems to run thusly: the USA has less restrictive gun control than the UK and more gun crime therefore if the UK becomes less restrictive it will cause an increase in gun crime. This is a correlation causation fallacy and indicates a broad acceptance of gun control rather than appraisal of particular measures effectiveness; certain gun control measures may work others may not, gun control itself cannot be said to be effective or ineffective. The matter of whether or not previous measures were effective or not with reference to empirical evidence seems not to have troubled the Government at any time since the inception of gun control in the UK.

    Furthermore, if one is to choose a datum, one should choose close to what the UK would be without the ban, e.g. France, Germany, Australia or, better yet, the UK in the 90s. Using the USA as a datum is just blatant fearmongering as is the suggestion that police would need to be routinely armed as a result of repealing the ban, something that has never been the case throughout Great Britain since the inception of the modern police.

    In addition, arguments often make no reference to the utility of firearms or attempt to quantify them particularly with comparisons to the USA. If one must make reference to the USA in comparison to the UK on firearms it is important to make some attempt to quantify the difference in utility between the two countries with firearms. Utility being the thing which justifies why we have them in our society in the first place and in fact why we have any harmful thing in our society e.g. motor vehicles.
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    Another myth is that the laws as they were in 1996 were not adequate to prevent the Dunblane massacre, they were. There was a clear case for it on the grounds of being unfit and lack of good reason. Additionally a memo recommending Thomas Hamilton's certificate be revoked was sent to CID in 1991. What's more the problems were not resolved, in 2015 HMIC's report on the licensing system identified similar problems as Lord Cullen did in 1996.

    Finally, with the matter of the SAS gentleman referred to in the OP, I think the case has been misunderstood. It is not that handguns are prohibited that is the problem, it is that they were not licensed. The fact that he had those firearms was illegal irrespective of handguns being prohibited or Section 1. That said, I feel that harsh punishment in such a case is not justified as he did not present a risk to public safety.

    Anyhow, I am rather dissatisfied that some people find a mere 'no' to be an adequate response to this question, it is a question of personal liberty being restricted and I feel, if one believes that such restriction is just then a justification is required and somewhat more than the word 'no' is required and there is a lot to say on the subject.

    I personally would love to be able to participate in pistol sport as I do at present with rifles but alas I cannot. I speak to people who remember before the ban, see what I am missing out on, then I look at what little has been achieved for it, I look at a Government that is not interested in ever repealing the ban, I see a country that does not seem interested in serious widespread conversation and I can only conclude that the future is bleak. I cannot see a future where I am legally able to participate in an Olympic sport in my homeland and it saddens me.
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    Absolutely not. We may yet need to overthrow the cretinous ruling elites but this can be done without handguns
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    (Original post by Underscore__)
    This argument of easy access to firearms is such a fallacy. Even if criminals have guns they're very very rarely used to kill, especially when considered against the rest of the world.


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    Yes the levels they are used to kill are low when considered against other countries. However it is starting to rise and become a problem. Criminals are starting to use them.

    There was a 3 day period last year just in greater Manchester where there were 5 shootings. 3 within Bolton, 1 within Manchester and 1 in Salford (being the drive by shooting of "Mr Big".
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    (Original post by 89cruefan)
    Yes the levels they are used to kill are low when considered against other countries. However it is starting to rise and become a problem. Criminals are starting to use them.

    There was a 3 day period last year just in greater Manchester where there were 5 shootings. 3 within Bolton, 1 within Manchester and 1 in Salford (being the drive by shooting of "Mr Big".
    OK. I'll be honest here, I have no idea how you came to these conclusions.

    The statistics available to me indicate that firearm offences generally have been falling since 2003 with 7,866 offences in England and Wales for the year ending March 2015, compared with 24,070 for the year ending March 2003, with firearm homicide also in decline, at 21 for that same year compared to 73 for the year ending March 2005.

    The assertion that firearm crime is becoming a problem I also cannot see in relation to the statistics. The point at which something is considered to be a problem is somewhat subjective, however I'm not sure how one could reasonably come to that conclusion. In particular, firearm offences make up a very small minority of recorded offences at just 0.2%, which is still less compared ten years ago at 0.4%.

    Furthermore, the story about the shootings in Greater Manchester isn't very useful, to use it to draw a conclusion would be an anecdotal fallacy. There is no way to tell from what you have written if the shootings are indicative of a wider trend. Additionally it would be a spotlight fallacy to assume that because such events reported in the media are commonplace.
 
 
 
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