Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Boy arrested over BB gun: "A concerned mother whose teenage son was arrested for carrying a ball bearings gun in town is warning people it is illegal. The 42-year-old Bracknell woman was shocked after her 13-year-old son was detained by police for possessing the imitation firearm in a public place. The student was unaware her son had bought the BB gun on a shopping trip to Bracknell on Tuesday, August 3. ... Police are warning youngsters that in line with new legislation in the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 which came into force in January this year, anyone seen carrying an imitation firearm in a public place without reasonable excuse may face a six month prison sentence or 5,000 pound fine."

A gun rights victory: "It's a victory for gun rights advocates this morning. Guns are now allowed back in Henrico County [VA] parks. The Board of Supervisors approved the ordinance at last night's meeting in a 4 to 1 vote. The county approved allowing guns back in public parks to bring the county under compliance with a new state law that took effect July 1st. That law says counties no longer have the authority to regulate firearms."


I noted on 13th that the authorities in at least one Australian State have now started banning "realistic" toy guns. There was a similar move in Britain last year -- which drew the following acerbic comment from Mick Hume of "Spiked". (Excerpt):

"It may come as a shock to new Labour policymakers, but criminals do not obey their rules. Gangsters can always get guns, and the proposed restrictions on replica weapons and airguns (which can be adapted to fire live rounds) will simply give them more laws to ignore. The people affected by Britain's ever-tighter gun controls are the citizenry, denied access to firearms for leisure or self-protection. Talk of a 'gun culture' in Britain is wildly exaggerated. Insofar as there is an increased use of guns connected to the inner-city trade in drugs such as crack cocaine, it is a complicated problem with deep social and economic roots. An opportunity, perhaps, to make good Mr Blair's promise and get 'tough on the causes of crime'.

However, the authorities seem to have one thing in common with the Birmingham murderers: they are tough enough only to shoot at easy targets. The supposed 'causes of crime' that politicians and police chiefs appear keen to crack down on include gangsta rap music, violent video games, and other aspects of 'teen culture'. There are also proposals to tighten controls on visitors from the Caribbean and the Balkans. If we could just stop those Albanians coming over here, listening to our So Solid Crew CDs and playing shoot-em-up Playstation games, no doubt all would be well in inner-city areas such as Aston...."

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