UK PM rules out "knee-jerk" changes to gun laws

Last Updated: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 23:04

London: Prime Minister David Cameron
on Thursday ruled out any "knee-jerk" changes to gun laws even as he
planned to visit Cumbria shooting scene in rural north west
England where a taxi-driver gun downed 12 people and injured
25 others.

While sympathising with communities left "deeply
torn" by Wednesday`s "horrific events", Cameron warned against
"knee-jerk changes to gun laws.

He is slated to visit Cumbria tomorrow where a taxi
driver killed 12 people and injured 25 others before he turned
the gun on himself in one of the worst mass killings in
British history.
"We shouldn`t make any knee-jerk reaction to think
that there is some instant legislative or regulatory answer.

You can`t legislate to stop a switch flicking in
someone`s head and for this dreadful sort of action to take
place," he told newsmen.

Police investigations are continuing into what caused
Derrick Bird, 52, to go on the rampage, amid reports of a
possible family row over a will.

The taxi driver was pursued by armed police before
turning a gun on himself.

Eight of the injured are now in a stable or
comfortable condition in hospital. The remaining three have
been discharged.
Answering questions, Cameron said: "These clearly are
absolutely horrific events, a really terrible situation that
has taken place in our country, over the last 24 hours."

The Prime Minister said he would do everything
possible to help "mend the hurt" of communities and "to make
sure that everything is done to make sure that events like
this cannot happen again in our country".

More than 100 police officers are investigating the
killings, following up more than 1,400 calls relating to more
than 30 crime scenes across 40km of the county.

Cumbria Police recovered a shotgun and .22 rifle with
telescopic sight and have since confirmed that Bird was
licensed to own both weapons.

He is believed to have done so for 20 years.

Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde said: "we are not
able to really understand the motivation behind it - or
establish whether this was a premeditated or random attack.

Hyde said officers would speak to people "about him,
his life, what has gone on in the last few days, what might
have turned somebody into a killer."

Sources indicated that Bird may have been involved in
a dispute over a will as solicitor Kevin Commons is among the
dead. Other reports suggest he had fallen out with fellow taxi
drivers in a row about fares.

PTI




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