Monday, 27 January 2014

No hand guns in Britain. They’re banned for a reason.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has called for our firearm laws to be relaxed, calling the current ban on handguns "ludicrous”. He says that as long as you promise to keep your handgun in a locked box you should be able to have a gun licence and keep a handgun.

Farage didn’t score highly on analysis when he said that Tony Blair’s Labour government had introduced our gun laws. Actually, they were introduced by John Major’s Conservative government in 1996 after the Dunblane massacre when Thomas Hamilton shot and killed 16 young children and a teacher, before killing himself.

Quite why - given our economic, social and environmental challenges – Farage thinks this is a priority over the cost of living issues I don’t know. Suffice it to say that I’ve never had a constituent lobby me to demand that every adult should be able to keep a handgun. I have had many lobby me to get even tighter gun laws and give tougher punishments for those who have one unlawfully.

We have a low gun murder rate in the UK, but it’s still too high. In the USA, with the type of gun laws that Farage demands, you are 36 times more likely to be murdered with a handgun. Is this seriously what we want for our country? I think not.

Nothing that Nigel Farage says now surprises me. Last week, he completely disowned UKIP’s 2010 election manifesto, which he had ordered to been taken off UKIP’s website. He called it ‘486 pages of complete drivel’. His attempt to distance himself from it was a little surprising, given that he’d written the foreword, co-authored the summary of these ‘straight talking’ policies, and then helped launch it, as is shown in the video of the event.

Farage was correct in saying that his manifesto was drivel, but none of those policies was as dangerous as ‘handguns for all’. Just say no.