Friday, 4 June 2010

Whitehaven - let's just get on.

Death awaits us sometimes in the most unexpected places; Whitehaven is hardly the sort of place you'd expect a mad gunman. But then neither was Dunblane, or Hungerford. Some of the most sensible comments come from Simon Jenkins in the Guardian ... er, criticising the Guardian;
The Guardian today demanded a "full inquiry and published report" into the Whitehaven tragedy, followed by "new laws" to plug any loopholes.

I would be surprised if former ministers David Blunkett and Charles Clarke were not penning articles claiming that Whitehaven "proves" the need for identity cards and wider criminal checks. Goaded by the media, officials will be drafting papers requiring all guns to be banned, all taxi drivers tested for mental instability and all disputatious families reported by their solicitors to the police. That way we can dump all our cares and woes on the state and claim they are no responsibility of ours.

The public should be invited to reject the politics of fear, that sees life as a perpetual terror of what might happen and a perpetual investigation of what has. It should not be asked to regard every child as a victim and every adult a paedophile, a terrorist or a mass murderer. The government should stop spending stupid amounts of money on a security lobby now running amok through the public sector.

There is no such thing as safe. There is only safer, and safer can require the greater watchfulness that comes with taking risks, witness new theories of road safety. Removing risk lowers the protective instinct of individuals and communities, and paradoxically leaves them in greater danger. But there is no government agency charged with averting that danger. There is no money in it.
He's spot on. These things happen from time to time; let's just get on, shall we?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

100% correct!
Life is a risk, it must be, it cannot be predictable, nothing is.
We live in a mad and dangerous world where misguided politicians send our (God knows, I support the troops not the war) young men to die for a very doubtful cause/end, yet want to regulate our lives and end all spontaineity on the 'home front', where is the reason in that?
No one could have stopped this fella, no one, he just snapped.

Anonymous said...

To me, it seems that there is already a law in place which perhaps would have saved the day. As a previous owner, of two 12-guage shot-guns, my license would not have been renewed, or granted in the first place, if I had been a convicted criminal, so why was this guy granted a license? If the authorities want to pry about anywhere, they could do no worse that prying about in the Chief Constable's office up in Cumbria.

Coney Island

Weekend Yachtsman said...

"No one could have stopped this fella"

because, of course, nobody else had any weapons.

English Pensioner said...

As guns are already so restricted one could argue that there is a strong argument for relaxing the laws.
I country areas of the US, it is said that the average pick-up truck contains more arms than the average police vehicle!. If someone had had a gun they would in all probability have shot him before he had a chance to do so much damage.

JuliaM said...

"As a previous owner, of two 12-guage shot-guns, my license would not have been renewed, or granted in the first place, if I had been a convicted criminal, so why was this guy granted a license? "

It appears, from an article in the 'Telegraph' this morning, that it's up to the force concerned whether or not to take that into account, and that HO guidelines don't mandate immediate removal for any offence...

MTG said...

"There is no money in it."

OK - discounting the weekend availability of GUNS4POLICE t-shirts from Inspector Gadget.