LETTER : Dunblane massacre: no one should be allowed to keep guns at ho me

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The Independent Online
Sir: The community must act to reduce the risk that the tragedy in Dunblane will be repeated. It must recognise that misfits like Thomas Hamilton are attracted to gun ownership as a means of boosting their self- esteem, and that such people will occasionally run amok.

The most effective protection against such disasters is to prevent such people possessing guns. There is no reliable test for the propensity of any individual to turn into a mass murderer: so the only practicable policy is to prevent individuals holding guns in their homes.

Those who want to use guns should be limited to using them on the premises of gun clubs. It should be illegal to take guns off the premises of such clubs, so the police could arrest anyone possessing a gun outside a club.

The clubs should be required to provide genuinely secure storage for their guns, and should be made legally liable for any injuries or deaths caused by the guns they own; and they should be required to insure, like a car owner, against claims for such damages.

Those who wish to entertain themselves with lethal toys should be willing to protect the community from their destructive use.

David Sawers

Littlehampton, West Sussex