Thursday 23 December 2010

Stop the sale of crossbows and swords in Bradford Shops!

As I got off the bus today, I happened to look in the store window of 'Barkers' of Sunbridge Road. I was horrified to see that on display was a special sale of Crossbows. I've long hated this shop, with its window display of imitation weapons and samurai swords and 'ornamental' daggers. But in the wake of the Stephen Griffiths conviction of the killing of three Bradford women, a sale of 'Armex Pistol Crossbows' was more than I could bear.

I went into the shop and asked if the offending items could be removed from the display case. The owner said he would do it straight away, yet when I returned an hour or so later, nothing had been done.

I rang the T&A (the local newspaper), and they requested a photo with me next to the offending shop window. I asked them to report that this is the season of goodwill to all, not the season for selling weapons that can kill! Imagine the distress of the families of victims of the self styled 'crossbow cannibal'; seeing a special sale of his weapon of choice on a Bradford high street!

The shop used to sell all sorts of novelty gifts and toys, but now it is simply a newsagent with a huge arsenal of weaponry on sale. Surely there must be better ways of making a living? Do they not accept that loners and disturbed people are more likely to kill if you allow them to be armed to the hilt? The walls of Griffiths' flat were adorned with such weapons - apparently he used them to disturb and frighten the women brought back to his home.

Much in the same way that handguns are restricted in the UK, now is the time to restrict the sale of such weapons of terror. There is no place for them in a safe and civilised society.


  1. Chris, I can understand your anger and concern at seeing the crossbows on sale and think you took the right action.

    But I'm dismayed by your liberal insensitivity and lack of pastoral understanding in stigmatising those people who are isolated and mentally distressed. You do so when imply that such people are intrinsically violent and threatening, when you say that:

    "...loners and disturbed people are more likely to kill if you allow them to be armed to the hilt?"

  2. Yeah - like most of my blog, I write in a hurried and awkward style. You are right to point this out! I was thinking in particular of Stephen, who I had met on a number of occasions when I blurted it out. One of the problems of blogging, is its lack of pastoral sensitivity (because there is no way of talking to the readers in a meaningful way) - I ask for your forgiveness.

  3. Typical leftie response ... "Ban it!".

    How many cross bow related deaths have there been in the last decade? How many alcohol related deaths ... how many dog related deaths ... etc.

    And why request he just remove the cross-bows ... why not the other assorted imitation weaponry?

    And why apologise for saying that disturbed people are more dangerous when armed to the hilt - they are!

  4. Alcohol is not there to simply cause harm, nor are dogs. Crossbows, Samurai swords and daggers have only one point. Putting a crossbow on special sale in your display window in the light of what has happened in our city is pretty sick.

    As it happens, I'd prefer if all weapons, immitation or otherwise, were not on display or on sale. This is not because I am a 'typical leftie' (thought that sort of language went out in the eighties?!) - but because I'd like my two young girls to live in a safer, saner world.

  5. I unhesitatingly accept your reconsideration of that line. Hurried writing can leave us saying all sorts of things we might otherwise not say.

    I am glad to hear that Barkers have at least drawn the shutters over their displays. Like you I am really concerned about the place celebration of weapons has in our society.