Letters - March 20, 2019

Reclassify knives as?­guns to curb killings

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 12:55 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 12:58 pm
Get rid of your unwanted knives
Get rid of your unwanted knives

I think there is a simple, yet effective way to reduce significantly the current knife crime epidemic.

The answer is - define the dangerous knives concerned as, say, ‘attack’ knives. Then simply extend the existing firearms licencing regulations to include such weapons, ie. treat knives as firearms.

The immediate effect would be to prevent all the manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of such knives from trading in them since they are not registered firearms dealers.

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The threat of heavy fines would soon force all those dealers to get rid of all their stocks quickly, either by exporting them, selling them to registered firearms dealers who have a small market for such knives for deer-stalkers or surrendering them to the police for destruction.

Since anyone possessing or carrying an ‘attack’ knife would be in breach of the firearms regulations (none of these young thugs could possibly obtain a firearms certificate or shot gun certificate), then they are risking arrest. Stepping up stop and search arrangements and ensuring prompt arrests and trials resulting in significant sentencing would soon vastly reduce the problem.

Consider how our draconian firearm regulations have resulted in much reduced and continually reducing use of guns for crime. Illegal handguns can still be found but they are increasingly a rarity, as is their use. Just the same would apply to the knives which are causing all the present problems and deaths.

Making the change would not – as far as I can see – be difficult. Its effect would be immediate, its benefits obvious.

I shall write in similar terms to the Home Office but they would move much more quickly if responsible elements of the press, such as your good selves, were backing the scheme.

I very much hope you will do so.

Brian Greenwood

Address supplied


Remain to blame for current mess

In response to Mike Harwood, (Your Say, March 15). It was remain who used ‘Project Fear’ in the in referendum instead of keeping to the facts.

Most of their argument being proved wrong, Remain have also accused Leave of overspending. It overlooks the £9m of our money spent pro EU leafletting every household in our country not to mention the ‘free’ daily dose of negative Brexit propaganda poured out daily by the BBC for what is now approaching three years.

As for democracy and people’s right to change their minds... I totally agree but in this case, can it can only be based on experience over several years, not two or three. When we had the referendum some 40 years back, the young were regarded as the ones who voted to keep the UK in what was then known as the EEC. In the 2016 referendum, it is the old who are accused of voting for the UK to leave what is now known as the EU. These now old persons were the then young persons and have the experience of 40 years to base their judgement on which way to cast their vote.

They changed their minds.

Another point. It is argued that there is only 4 per cent difference between leave and remain. This is clear daylight between leave and remain in ALL votes cast. How many of our serving politicians in parliament have clear daylight of 4 per cent or more between them and total votes cast in their constituency? I suspect not many. For example, take our two constituencies, Blackpool north and Blackpool south. Mr Maynard has less than half of the total votes cast while Mr Marsden has less than 1 per cent clear.

Serving politicians in our parliament are selected on a first-past-the-post wins bases. This has been how, traditionally, democracy has worked in our country. The Brexit mess lies squarely on the shoulders of the remain politicians of all political parties who have not accepted the outcome of the referendum.

Brian Robinson



Do you deserve a diabetes award?

Diabetes UK is excited to announce the launch of the 2019 Inspire Awards. The awards celebrate the many ways people from right across the North West, go above and beyond to help the local diabetes community.

The Inspire Awards recognise the passion and determination of all the volunteers, who help raise awareness, fundraise and campaign on diabetes issues. Without their amazing contribution we would not be able to make a difference for the over 440,000 people living with diabetes in the region.

There are eight categories including the Young Person’s Outstanding Contribution, Fundraising, Supporting Others and an award for local groups and community volunteers.

If you know someone who deserves recognition, nominate them at www.diabetes.org.uk/inspire-awards. Nominations close on Friday April 5.

Clare Howarth

Head of the North of England, Diabetes UK