Thursday, September 06, 2007

Guns and hot air

Well apparently a room full of 200 people who often seem to feel actions aren't often as appropriate as a carefully considered collection of politically approved words are having a chat about guns.

Yes, its the ACPO firearms conference.

I did think about engaging in a reasoned debate about the rise (or apparent rise) in gun crime and the media sensationalism about it- drink drivers still ruin more lives than guns, but I don't see that all across the papers. Tragic as the Liverpool lad's story is, I wonder if it would be national news for a fortnight if it was a drunk driver who killed him. (Note thats a criticism of the media, not meant as any kind of lessening of the impact on Rhys's family). It is no less tragic and no less wasteful and pointless when a life is ended because of someone else's irresponsibility with a car. Like here. Or here. Its not hard to find these kind of stories.

But then I thought I'm on nights, anyone sane would be sleeping now, and the idea of a reasoned debate arguing about firearms-enabled crime trends kind of fell into the "forget it" box.

I will, however, concede I might have felt a bit more affinity with the so-much-stuff-on-my-epaulettes-I-can't-stand-straight brigade when I read the end of this report, about their reaction to a video of a shopkeeper chasing off an armed robber with a baseball bat:

"And perhaps the greatest applause of the day came for a speaker with neither a police nor a political background.
There were cheers and shouts of approval as delegates watched a video of Jagdish Patel, a brave shopkeeper from Rochdale who saw off an armed robber with a baseball bat.
Not an officially-approved response to a potentially lethal situation. But an encouraging example of a member of the public prepared to take a risk to stop gun crime.

Maybe, just maybe they are cops at heart after all.

(Edited slightly the next day from original post after a bit more sleep!)