THE PARODY WEB SITE AND GUN LOBBY ABUSE

Like gun control advocates throughout the world, GCN has been the target of the abusive side of the gun lobby.  We have not sought to publicise this, but think it right that our supporters are aware of the problem.  Here are some examples of the abuse:

  • The home of a GCN member has been the subject of a firearm attack.  A single shot was fired into a bedroom shattering the window, spraying the room with shards of glass and damaging the plaster on the opposite interior wall.  At the time of the attack it would have been obvious that the family was at home: cars were in the drive, the bedroom light was on, curtains open and a family member in the bedroom.  A car parked outside drove off at speed immediately after the shot was fired.

  • Many pro-gun lobbyists seem unable to argue their case without including vindictive personalised attacks against individuals who put forward the opposite case.  GCN receives a regular flow of these.  The tone of the messages can be threatening, aggressive, rude and foul-mouthed.

  • Following the handgun ban GCN (and the Labour Party) became the recipient of a number of suspect packages, many of which had to be dealt with by the bomb squad.  A gun club member was eventually given a jail sentence.

  • A pro-gun parody of the Gun Control Network web site exists on the Internet.  Some of the content is relatively harmless, perhaps laughable, but much of it is offensive.  The site attempts to link gun control to tyrannical leaders from the past.  The most obnoxious element has been the inclusion of photographs of female holocaust victims, which was linked to the Million Mom March.

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David and Özlem Grimason, who have campaigned for tighter gun laws in Özlem's native Turkey following the shooting dead of their son Alistair, have also been on the receiving end of abuse from the gun lobby (see Home Page).  The following is a letter written by GCN's Mick North published in the Sunday Herald on 23 January 2005.

Gun lobby bullies

THE PERSONALISED ATTACK by members of American pro-gun groups on David and Özlem Grimason (Grimasons Face Hate Campaign, January 16) came as no surprise. Those of us who have campaigned for tighter gun control have come to know that an abusive and bullying approach from US gun owners is the norm. By resorting to such tactics, however, they reveal the extent to which their obsession with owning lethal weapons has erased their common humanity. Such irate comments about bereaved parents would be worrying from any source, but to know they come from people who feel the need to arm themselves with guns is profoundly disturbing.

The US gun lobby is intolerant of any criticism of American-style wider gun ownership. Those who take a different stance will always be, in their words, idiots and pathetic. In this case they have not only vilified two courageous and grieving parents but also turned statistics on their head.

In order to sustain the flimsy argument that universal gun ownership makes for a safer society, they seem driven to prove that gun control doesn’t work anywhere in the world. Ignoring the scale of gun violence in their own country they claim that gun control has failed in the UK (and would in Turkey).

Never mentioned is the quantum difference in gun violence between the US, where shootings claim nearly 30,000 lives annually, and the UK: the latest annual figure (2003) for the UK shows a total of 163 deaths resulting from gunshot wounds. Such figures speak for themselves.

Many of us who campaign for tight gun laws began doing so through personal tragedy. Even without abuse from the gun lobby, this takes considerable energy and resilience, especially for the recently bereaved. Those readers who found themselves appalled by the latest example of the brutish stance of the US gun lobby could help by sharing a burden, which is often disproportionately carried by those whose lives have been directly affected by gun violence.

We need more people to stand up to the American gun owners and let them know in no uncertain terms that we don’t believe in their “safer world” through gun ownership. We would rather have our gun control than their gun culture.

 

GCN COMMENT

Cats and Airguns

 

Liberal Gun Laws

 

Gun Crime Figures

January 2010

January 2009

 

Definitions

 

Airgun Crime

 

Airgun Ownership and Children

 

VCR Act

Implementation

Airsoft

Gun Lobby Abuse

Guns & Advertising

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Kate Hoey on Gun Crime (May 07)

Ball-bearing & Non-Powder Guns (June 05)

Lethal Airguns (Mar 05)

Stolen Guns (Nov 04)

Gun Crime & Gun Comment (Nov 04)