Letter: Need should not be the sole criterion for gun ownership

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The Independent Online
Sir: The failure of the government to take any steps towards tightening gun laws in the wake of the Dunblane slaughter is yet another example of the amnesia and fatal complacency which is undermining British democracy. The Australian government at least reacted promptly and decisively following the devastating events at Port Arthur.

Since when is it the business of responsible government to safeguard the interests of a sporting minority at the expense of the lives of the majority? I am sure there are sensible shooters out there but hand guns are always and only lethal weapons; the law should not offer absolute sanction to those few who use them and so create opportunities for their violent misuse. Gun laws should never be based on the notion of individual rights; they remain an issue of collective responsibility.

RUTH LITTLE

London SW11

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