June 2, 2010

Victims of English Gunman to be Charged With Ammo Possession

CUMBRIA, ENGLAND -- Wounded survivors of a gunman in Southern England will be formally charged with firearm violations for possessing ammunition.  "Evidence that these people possess banned ammunition is being removed from many of their bodies as we speak," said the Assistant to the Deputy Chief Constable, Ian Wright.  The gunman apparently killed himself after the crimes and "will therefore not be charged with various firearm and ammunition possession charges," he continued "but we're fairly certain he broke a lot of laws and would have been in big trouble."

Gun control experts at the non-partisan think-thank Ban Firearms Now (BFN) were quick to note how well the laws worked in England and lamented that the US still "clings" to gun ownership, despite multiple high-profile shootings.  "The UK banned private gun ownership for all law-abiding citizens after just two high profile shootings in a 10 year time span that claimed a total of 32 lives.  Where is it written that we can't do the same here in the US?  If you look only at the number of celebrities we've lost from gun violence over the years, it adds up to more than 32."

The gun control debate in the US is similar to the debate in England over the banning of passenger flights after the Lockerbie airline bombing in 1988 killed 270 people.  Conservatives pushed for the punishment of terrorists and terrorism, but many others thought it better to ban commercial flying instead.  Historian Ian Parker at the University of Cambridge has studied the issue and noted "The proposed ban on flying for the general public did not pass that year, but the bill is still under consideration, 20 years later.  This issue opens up again every time there is a tragedy in the air - we can point to that and say 'If we had only banned flying, this would not have happened.'  It makes sense to me, but I suppose we need to keep educating people."

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