Gun control saves lives

Howard has talked about my post on gun laws, and talks about the laws and their effect in the UK. There's been a massive increase in gun crime in the UK in recent years, fuelled partly by smuggling from Eastern Europe and the rise of gangsta culture. Someone was shot in Newington Green this week, just around the corner from Scott and Katie's place.

I thought I'd lay down why I support gun control, and in fact support it being far, far tighter.

People go nuts. In Australia and the UK, they go nuts at pretty much the same rate as America, give or take a bit. When someone goes on a killing spree, the weapons available to them make all the difference in the impact of the spree. You can only get so far with a knife, and hurt so many people.

Now occasionally this means a nutter with foresight will get hold of an illegal gun, and still go on a killing spree. But these types of spree are far, far rarer. They're normally going to go with what's easily available.

Personally I think you need a very good reason to own a gun. Target shooters should be required to join a gun club, and the gun is signed out and back in to lockers run by the club whenever they're used. You can't have such a gun at home.

Hunters, well I'm not quite sure we need them. I'm sure some similar restrictions could be thought up though. No guns in homes.

Farmers are a bit more difficult. We have a lot of pest animals in Australia, and farmers really do need to be able to have guns readily accesible to protect livestock and kill any pests they find. Not sure how you can reduce the risk here, apart from background checks, weapon limits and mandatory gun lockers.

Handguns? There's never any legitimate need outside law enforcement. Again, sporting shooters can join a gun club.