Germany's useless gun control: "The horrific tragedy in south-west Germany yesterday, where 15 people died at the hands of 17-year-old gunman Tim Kretschmer, before he died in a shootout with police, will provoke many questions - especially as it came so soon after a similar shooting spree in Alabama. Germany has some of the most onerous gun controls of any country in the world, some passed in response to previous school shootings. Ironically, the German parliament approved tighter gun-control laws on 22 February this year in a move designed to stop the spread of violent crime. The new legislation bans the carrying of replica firearms and so-called airsoft guns as well as knives with a fixed blade of over 12 centimetres. Previous legislation, passed in April 2008, raised the legal age to obtain a gun licence from 18 to 21. Additional medical and psychological tests were also implemented for under-25s, and pump-action shotguns with pistol-shaped grips were banned. This legislation received a sympathetic hearing after a former pupil injured 11 students at a school in the western town of Emsdetten before turning the gun on himself in 2006. In 2002, a shooting at Gutenberg high school in the town of Erfurt in central Germany came on the day that the country's parliament approved a new Bill tightening its already strict gun controls. People wanting to buy a hunting rifle must undergo background checks that can last up to a year and those wanting a gun for sport must be a member of a club and obtain a licence from police. Anyone deemed aggressive, unreliable or with criminal convictions cannot legally buy a gun in Germany. Gun collectors also need a permit."
A British rarity: "A homeowner has been cleared of murder after he shot and killed a bodybuilder at point-blank range when he tried to break into his house. Kenneth Batchelor, 51, fired a shotgun at "very close quarters" at 42-year-old Matthew Clements, who had climbed the scaffolding of his home to try to force open an upstairs window. Mr Batchelor had received a barrage of threatening phone calls from Mr Clements, a 20-stone nightclub bouncer, who was demanding maintenance money from the Batchelor family following a former relationship between his girlfriend and Mr Batchelor's brother Gary, which produced three children. The jury at Maidstone Crown Court took just one hour unanimously to acquit Mr Batchelor of the murder of Mr Clements who, the court heard, had an "explosive temper" and had become "fixated" with demanding money from the Batchelor family. Mr Batchelor wept as the jury returned their verdict. During his trial, they heard that Mr Clements started to "demand money with menaces" and had begun to make threatening phone calls in November 2007 after drinking heavily and smoking cannabis. The court also heard that Mr Clements, from Ashford in Kent, was "well known" to police, settled disputes by violence and had once turned up at a garage to threaten the manager with an Uzi submachine gun. Mr Batchelor, a mechanic, legally owned the shotgun which killed Mr Clements with one shot to the chest, and told the court that it had discharged accidentally as he stood terrified at a top floor window which Mr Clements was trying to open...."
For much more see my GUN WATCH blog
Posted by John Ray.
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