Right split over Cumbria shootings

Libertarian group leaps on tragedy with excited statement.

Iain Dale writes some wise words on his blog today about the shocking shooting spree in Cumbria:

Terrible deeds like this happen every so often. They can't be explained. They have absolutely nothing to do with the state of our gun laws. Quite simply, an individual flipped. Nothing could have been done to prevent it, little can be done to explain it.

So, a pity that his comments were not heeded by the right-wing "Libertarian Alliance", which has lost no time in rushing out a rather breathless press release on the subject:

"CUMBERLAND SHOOTINGS: GUN BANS MEAN MORE GUN CRIME" SAYS FREE MARKET AND CIVIL LIBERTIES POLICY INSTITUTE

The Libertarian Alliance, the radical free market and civil liberties institute, today calls for the relegalisation of civilian gun ownership in the United Kingdom as the only way for ordinary people to protect themselves against gun massacres . . .

It goes on:

The Libertarian Alliance believes that all the Firearms Acts from 1920 onwards should be repealed. The largely ineffective laws of 1870 and 1902 should also be repealed. It should once again be possible for adults to walk into a gun shop and, without showing any permit or proof of identity, buy as many guns and as much ammunition as they can afford.

As Sunder Katwala points out on Next Left:

After all, as the LA points out, in the US, "at least one campus shooting was brought to a premature end by armed civilians".

Evidence-based policymaking!

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James Macintyre is political correspondent for the New Statesman.