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Sunday, June 06, 2010

Critics of Lucy Cope + this blog's stance on carrying guns & knives

I've just published three comments made on my opinion about the BBC's Big Questions debate today on guns in Britain. You can view them here. Here's my response to some of the points made.

As people who are familiar with this blog are aware, I publish only facts when it comes to crime statistics. The anonymous poster (yet another anonymous critic that sometimes hides behind 'no name / identity' to snipe at me on this blog) questioned this factual statement that I made:

"Sadly the statistics show people are more likely to end up stabbed if they actually carry a knife. The same would undoubtedly happen with guns."
Well, the answer to that is contained in the government campaign described in this BBC news article about knife crime and the fact s/he has queried is promoted by none other than the Association of Chief Police Officers - so feel free to contact them to discuss this issue.

[This fact has been queried by some blog readers so here's a link for people to do their own research and form their own conclusions - various knife crime research sources are shown including the Royal Armouries knife crime literature review. Really, people need to step back and see common sense here... if you carry a knife and that blade is turned on you, you are more likely to be hurt by it. And also - ultimately, if you carry a weapon (even for genuine protection) you are not being peaceable. There's simply no justification for any irresponsible escalation of violence that leads to stabbing or shooting.]

Criticising Lucy Cope, a mother who has lost a son to gun crime, is insensitive, unfeeling, unhelpful and marks that person out to be someone who does not understand the perils of carrying weapons. If there was a case for guns to be allowed to be carried across the UK, s/he just undermined it.

Reflecting a little further, I think the aggressive nature and style of these comments highlight the importance of not giving aggressive people free access to guns.

I feel no shame questioning a man who publicly advocates carrying guns - quite the opposite, I feel right to do it. Showell's is not a peaceful mission. The words 'peaceful' and 'gun carrier' make no sense at all and cannot go together. That said, weapons sometimes have to be used in self-defence - but allowing ordinary, untrained citizens of a nation to arm themselves in an apparently arbitrary fashion lacks, at the very least, plain common sense.

Graham Showell and Britain Needs Guns - sheer idiocy?

Graham Showell appears to be one of the UK's leading proponent and supporter of allowing all kinds of guns to be legally held by anyone who wants one.

To my mind, him and his arguments are beyond comprehension. Without any doubt, his thoughts in this area, however he expresses them, are akin to the politics of the madhouse. Heaven help us if he ever got his way. Thankfully, I'm sure commons sense will prevail and his ridiculous logic will never win the day.

He appeared on the BBC's Big Questions this morning and met stiff resistance from most of the audience for his pro-gun opinions. It was shocking that such foolish, misguided comment was allowed a serious airing - but there you go, it's a free country and, in the media spotlight, I reckon his stance could not stand up to the scrutiny of those of us who are far wiser then he is.

Thank goodness for people like Lucy Cope, a leader of anti-crime group Mothers Against Guns. Her zero tolerance approach to possession of guns in Britain came across pretty well on the programme.

Lucy Cope - Mothers Against Guns

Graham Showell was just appalling - he would like the entire country to be able to arm themselves for personal protection. Putting weapons into the hands of people with such a cavalier disregard for the consequences really doesn't bear thinking about.

But we have to think about it because people like this exist, god help us. It is just this type of stupid thinking that leads people to carry knives for personal protection. Sadly the statistics show people are more likely to end up stabbed if they actually carry a knife. The same would undoubtedly happen with guns. Graham Showell and his Britain Needs Guns website and campaign... words fail me - his arguments need exposing for the falseness they represent, and hopefully his campaign will collapse.