Letter: Medals not worth aiming for

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The Independent Online
I AM staggered by the gun lobby's response to the Dunblane massacre ("Some people should never be allowed a gun," 17 March). For a week now we have heard justifications for the present gun-licensing laws. What it amounts to is an acceptance of the occasional killing spree as a price worth paying for Britain's continued success in shooting events at the Olympics.

Like millions of others, I used to enjoy standing on the terraces at football matches. That I am now unable to do this is due to the closure of standing accommodation at sports venues since the Hillsborough tragedy. Yet I accept this loss to my personal freedom because many lives were lost and it was appropriate that society's response to this tragedy should be decisive.

In two incidents during the past 10 years, more than 30 people have died at the hands of legally armed gunmen. We were prepared to upset millions of football supporters in pursuit of safety after Hillsborough. Surely we shouldn't lose sleep over the inconvenience caused to gun enthusiasts by an immediate ban on the ownership of handguns?

If we do win a medal at shooting in the Olympics this summer, I for one will not be celebrating.

Joe French

Luton, Bedfordshire