Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Whiting, the firearms spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said that the age at which children can legally apply for a firearms certificate should be brought down to the same age at which they can apply for a shotgun licence – currently 10.Tell me more…
The difference in ages between firearms licences – which apply to rifles and pistols – and shotgun licences is an "anomaly", he said. Asked by Keith Vaz, the committee chairman, what he thought the age limit should be, he replied: "The minimum age would be 10."And, incredible as this may sound, he based this opinion on ….
Wait for it….
"Because children as young as 10 have been able to shoot perfectly safely with a shotgun certificate, there is no reason to interrupt that. The evidence in relation to young people shooting does not give any cause for concern."Wow!
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a senior police officer stick to his, errr, guns and refuse to go down the easy route of what he believes ‘public opinion’ to be, before. This must be some kind of record.
Naturally, there are those who aren’t too pleased:
Mr Whiting's comments were condemned by anti-gun campaigners. Lucy Cope, the founder of Mothers Against Guns, said: "I'm thoroughly disappointed with this senior police officer. I don't think a 10-year-old is responsible enough to have a firearm."Well, you’d be expected to say that, after all, you’ve said it before, albeit with a greater amount of hysteria.
Clearly, someone’s told you to tone it down a wee bit in future, because you come over like a hysterical ninny.
The committee also asked questions of other senior firearms officers, including Assistant Chief Constable Sue Fish, the Acpo spokeswoman for gun crime.And – no surprises here – she fell into the cliché of exactly what we’d expect from an ACPO mouthpiece:
She was questioned about the influence of violent computer games on violence among young people. Ms Fish said: "The two are not incompatible. My sense is that I find [such games] extremely distasteful, and I cannot help but feel that they cannot help the situation."Asked a serious question about the issue at hand, Whiting backs up his considered opinion with factual analysis of the issue.
Asked a frivolous question about a tangential issue, Fish witters on about how she feels things must be, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary, because she either thinks that herself and is unable to separate her own opinions from the facts of the issue at hand, or she cynically suspects that that’s what the panel want to hear.
I’m afraid I’ve a feeling I know which one of these will prosper at ACPO…