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Rare as they are, mass shootings are traumatic incidents which no community would like to experience.  However, who is being rightfully punished by such incidents? Here are the only few that happened in the UK:

1987 HUNGERFORD

27-year-old Michael Ryan shot and killed 16 people, seriously wounded a further 15.

[After the incident, Parliament introduced tighter restrictions on gun ownership with the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988]

1996 DUNBLANE

43-year-old Thomas Hamilton killed 16 children and their teacher, injuring 13 other children and three teachers before killing himself.

[This led to a nationwide campaign for greater fun controls, succeeded in making it illegal to buy or possess a handgun.]

2010 WEST CUMBRIA

52-year-old Derrick Bird shot dead 12 people and injured 11 more, then killed himself.

2010 NORTHUMBRIA

37-year-old Raoul Moat shot a policeman, his ex-girlfriend and killed her new lover.

So. Has the world gone mad? Will all gun owners become demonised as possible murderers? All the big hype created after each of these shootings only results eventually in tighter restrictions on gun ownership.

At present, police forces in each part of the UK administer the gun ctonrol system, and in England, Scotland and Wales there are separate licnences for shotguns and for other firearms.

According to the most recent figures for England and wales, there are 138728 people certificated to hold firearms and they own 435383 weapons.  There are 574946 shotgun certificates which cover 1.4 million shotguns.

Now if we just look at numbers, out of the thousands of people who own firearms and/or shotguns, there have been 4 shootings over a period of 20 years.  Yes these are all shocking incidents and many are left hurt and scarred for life.  However, are these follow-up tightening of restrictions at all effective? Should the government make preemptive laws in order to protect its citizens, or should everyone just be mentally prepared for tragedies to happen if they ask for a democratic society with a high degree of liberty (hence rights)?  City folks may not understand the need for owning shotguns, but I’m sure if you asked any farmer, or even people who live in the countryside, it is just as necessary as having a telephone installed at home.

So what should the UK government do about gun ownership? What about other types of weapons? Will we soon need a license even to own a kitchen knife at home?

[All data found on www.bbc.co.uk/news]

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