SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

Politicians demand better gun club checks and a video game ban

Two days after the school massacre in the state of Baden-Württemberg, German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries has called for gun clubs to put tighter restrictions on their members. Others are demanding a ban on violent video games.

Politicians demand better gun club checks and a video game ban
Photo: DPA

Speaking to daily newspaper Rheinische Post on Friday, Zypries said the country’s shooting clubs were obliged to ensure there were proper checks of gun owners.

“It has to be clear that the storage regulations in the weapons law must be adhered to,” she told the paper.

Police have reported that Tim Kretschmer, the teenage gunman who murdered 15 people this week, took a legally-owned pistol from his father’s bedroom. The father had an arsenal of other firearms and more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition locked up in a safe for weapons.

Zypries rejected a ban on keeping firearms at home, however. “We thoroughly debated after [another school massacre in] Erfurt in 2002 whether it was better to keep guns at a club house or at home,” she said.

Most politicians have also rejected early calls to tighten Germany’s weapon laws in the wake of the latest bloodbath. But some are now demanding a ban on the type of violent video games found on Kretschmer’s computer by police.

Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said the southern German state would make a new effort to remove shooter games like the popular title “Counter-Strike” from sale.

“I’m no opponent of video games, but the most brutal killer games are totally unacceptable and should be banned,” Herrmann told daily paper Münchner Merkur. “We finally have to wake up and find the courage to ban the most brutal games. It’s no longer a question of artistic freedom.”

GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

SHOW COMMENTS