Let’s start elsewhere.
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Number 10 has rejected calls for the Government to revisit gun laws after the fatal shooting of four people in Easington over the New Year.This morning, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The firearms laws we have in place are among the toughest in the world. The purpose of that legislation is to protect public safety and at the same time, ensure that controls are practical and proportionate.“On the specific case [Easington, County Durham] it would not be appropriate to comment on an ongoing police investigation.” However, No 10 added that it was still looking at the Home Affairs Select Committee report on possible changes to implementation of the law, rather than the law itself.
Local MP Grahame Morris had called for a debate on gun control in Parliament, saying there were some “big issues” arising from the police investigation and that there should be a “considered and measured look at the outcome”.
Police investigating the deaths of three women and the man who shot them before killing himself are expected to focus on why he owned six guns.
Michael Atherton, 42, had licences for the firearms despite police revealing they were told three years ago that he had threatened to harm himself.
He shot his partner Susan McGoldrick, her sister Alison Turnbull, 44, and her niece Tanya Turnbull, 24.
Officers found the bodies inside the house in Horden, Co Durham, on Sunday.
Assistant Chief Constable Michael Banks said Mr Atherton was licensed to own six weapons, three of them shotguns and a further three “section-one” firearms.
The latter required a greater degree of authorisation than a shotgun licence, he said.
Mr Atherton had been a member of a gun club in the area but it is not known if he was still an active member.
Is there not an argument here for a “Susan, Alison and Tanya’s Law”? Should family, neighbours and friends not be aware that that odd guy at Greenside Avenue, the one drives the taxi, has a licence for a whole armoury of firearms? Should the register of weapons not be an easily-accessible public document?
At a tangent, Malcolm knows from direct experience that it is not unusual for a slip to pass between American parents, before children are allowed to “go and play”, assuring one party that strong liquor is not kept in the other house. Note well: no strong liquor, but arms and ammunition acceptable. Curious priorities there.
And the last time Malcolm posted on a parallel topic, he had a wrathful and abusive response from a Second Amendment fanatic.