The story emerging of the killing of three women in Co Durham is as horrific as it is predicable. I strongly believe that nobody should be able to possess a licence for a gun unless very strict guidelines are imposed. Call me a kill joy, but shooting for fun should never be encouraged. If gun clubs must exist, then guns should remain on site.
Under no circumstances should people be able to keep firearms in their houses, let alone multiple weapons.
Michael Atherton was legally allowed to possess 6 weapons; 3 shotguns plus 3 'section one' weapons. He had them briefly taken off him after he had previously threatened to take his own life in 2008.
Michael killed his wife, her sister and her niece before turning the gun on himself. One woman escaped through an upstairs window before raising the alarm. But the alarm bells should have been ringing a long time ago. No one needs to 'collect' guns. No one should have them at home (that includes farmers). No one should be able to buy crossbows or weapons of deadly force. Finally, the possession of any weapon designed to kill should hold a hefty penalty.
It may not end the death of innocents at the hands of those who 'breakdown' or have evil intent - but it would certainly make it harder for the death toll to be so high. Lets end the licence to kill - lets put our guns in the ground.