Jeremy Kyle likes to exercise his own Victorian sense of justice on his daytime talk show. This usually consists of Kyle telling said serial adulterer, teen runaway or tearaway father that they are disgusting scumbags and should be banished from the face of the earth. Now the 50-year-old former gambling addict is taking on some of the UK's biggest social issues in series two of The Kyle Files, starting with gun crime.
On the same day Barack Obama announced he would close background-check loopholes on US gun sales, the episode exposed how worryingly easy it is for minors to illegally buy an air rifle in the UK . Two underage actors strolled into a shop and were told they could purchase a gun, without being asked for any ID.
Of course, no Jeremy Kyle show would be complete without the host delivering his damning verdict to the perpetrators. Watching the TV personality stand around on a shady street with an east London gang brought back distant memories of David Cameron's “hug a hoodie” campaign.
But while that policy stemmed from a desire to understand what had gone wrong in young offenders' lives, Kyle seemed somewhat less concerned with exploring the level of poverty the teenagers had grown up in.
Asking gang members whether they have a conscience makes for good TV, but UK gun crime cannot be solved with a bit of straight-talking.
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