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We can't be serious on crime without being serious on self-defence. Defence of a dwelling should be accepted as a good reason to be granted a firearm certificate.

I agree Adam, which is why we need the same self defense laws as they have in the USA,, like justified homicide.
If a criminal breaks into your home, business or tries to mug you in the street you should be allowed to use ANY force to defend yourself and family without ending up being thrown in a police cell and being charged with assault etc.
The current laws lead to an unholy conspiracy between criminals and the police,, if the criminal doesn,t get you because you successfully defend yourself, the police will get you because you are an easy target plus it annoys their public sector DNA that a member of the public can take care of criminals without them.

I watched the meeting between David Cameron and Mrs. Newlove, which took place on This Morning - this morning. There was also Denise (the agony aunt), Fern Britton and Eamon Holmes. David Cameron came across as friendly, but almost self-effacing, however, no matter when the camera slid across to his face ?to catch him unawares, he was always scrutinising the person talking. He WAS listening, and you could imagine him thinking that 'we have got to get to grips with this level of lawlessness'. That is going to have a significant effect across the country - amongst ordinary people!

What a load of rubbish. If John F Aberdeen and Adam want to live in a society where a child can borrow his dads AK47 and mow down a few teachers and fellow students then fine. I don't and that is where their suggestion would lead. Our firearms laws may be too tight-I think on handguns they are- but if anyone seriously thinks we should allow people to keep firearms at home without a good reason (and self defence is not a good reason) then they are seriously deluded.

Similarly the law does allow reasonable force to respond to an attack, which may include the use of a firearm. Is it reasonable to shoot a departing burglar in the back? No. We actually have a very good law at the moment which is generally well interpreted and allows a lot of latitude to the homeowner. We should not strive to change it without very good reason and without a very clear idea of what any replacement would lead to

Alex: if the departing burglar has a bunch of my goods under his arm or in his pocket, then in my view it would be entirely justified to attack him in any way shape or form.

As I have said on here a number of times until parents are given back their authority to discipline their kids (within reason) without fear of prosecution and state meddling no amount of hand wringing will work.

I hope that Mr Cameron is not using Mrs Newlove for his own ends. I would like to believe that he does mean what he says, but he always seems to shy away from making tough choices. I have heard the rhetoric time and again, now I would like to see concrete proposals.

If someone wanted to get hold of a gun and mow down a few teachers, all they would have to do is go to the right pub with some cash and could buy the firepower to do it. Who needs an AK47 when you can buy a MAC10 firing a 1000 rounds per minute that can be hidden under the coat? The number of kids being shot on our streets (and I see it first hand) bear testimony to that. There is no longer any justifiable reason to forbid responsible people from legally owning firearms.

The police cannot protect us in many areas anymore, and I am sure that many would disagree that the law protects homeowners and others defending their property adequately. If you live in a rural area especially, there is a very good chance these days that the police will not come when you call them. Given that the police have abandoned citizens in certain areas, then why shouldn’t a home owner be allowed to keep a firearm at home in order to defend their family?

If a government cannot trust its responsible citizens from owning firearms then the responsible citizens should not be trusting the government.

alex @ 19.50 - 'We actually have a very good law at the moment which is generally well interpreted and allows a lot of latitude to the homeowner.'

Right 'alex', that 'sounds' great, but YOU know perfectly well that even IF the police have the time (away from binge drinkers and drunks fighting) to come when someone has been burgled, the courts, following directions, because the prisons are all overflowing, and burglary is not violent?, are not inclined to give a burglar a sentence that is likely to deter them, even less to convince the burglar that they have done anything wrong! Community service? Thats a joke, mostly. A fine? that doesn't signify at all these days.

Its just like disqualifying drivers who are being prosecuted for driving without road tax or a licence etc:

Alex, I want to live in a society where people aren't powerless to stop some nutter with an AK-47 mowing down anyone. The helplessness of the populace in the face of an armed Michael Ryan springs immediately to mind. It was precisely Britain's tight firearms laws that allowed that particular outrage to happen.

Unfortunately, in that case, Mrs. T and her chief henchman Douglas were already rather irked by prospect of armed miners and other assorted Labour-voters and set about planning a massive seizure of as many legally-held weapons as they could justify politically. For them, Michael Ryan was a gift from the Almighty himself.

The firearms law simply failed the British public. It fails the British public everytime a young lad is gunned down by a machine gun in some inner-city sink estate. And it is so drafted to continually fail the British public, for nothing less cynical than to ensure the political climate remains in favour of keeping the ordinary law-abiding citizen disarmed.

Britain's firearms legislation has now become a threat to the British public. Hundreds of "gun laws" really are of no apparent benefit in today's reality.

Nobody cares if a hunter takes game on a Sunday, or whether a clay pigeon shoot has got the relevent permission from the Chief of Police. Except, of course, many Police forces, who have "gun crimes" to solve, boxes to tick.

The licencing system is weak. It is pedantic. It is bureaucratic. It is no-longer just irrelevent, it has actually become a hinderance in the fight against firearms crime.

If we are to make a stand against all common crime, we need to change the relationship between the citizen, the State and the criminal classes.

Could anyone imagine doing what brave Mr. Newlove did that fateful day? I couldn't. Not with my bare hands: I could be set upon by youths armed with anything from a broken Newcastle Brown bottle to an Uzi. And not without the support of my community and the State: if I didn't end up like Mr. Newlove, I run a real risk of appearing before magistrates charged with of threatening behavior.

The way to fight crime is to strengthen communities. Of course, that will take more than just allowing everyone to keep shotguns under the bed. But to allow that will hail an important shift in the balance of power between citizen, State and criminal.

I am glad that DC has reached out to Karen. Her impassioned statements really struck a chord with the public. As Tories we stand for law and order and that needs to be crystal clear. The rhetoric needs to be backed up with the measures. I am confident this is happening.

I hate to break it to you Brits, but in the States self-defense has been just that for decades now. Shooting an unarmed burglar, even if he's *not* running away, will get you charged with something. He has to be threatening someone for you to shoot him. You're allowed to intimidate him with the gun, though, to keep him away from you and capture him for the police.

And by the way, we've noticed here that the more stringent the gun laws in a particular state, the more violent crimes occur there. If criminals are aware the citizenry are unarmed, they feel free to do whatever they wish. A few years ago, Florida (which issues concealed carry licenses to its citizens upon passage of a firearms proficiency test) had a spate of attacks on tourists. Someone pointed out that in a state with laws like that, tourists were the only prospective victims who were certain to be unarmed.

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