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Shootings spark debate over sports weapons

The Local · 21 Sep 2010, 08:35

Published: 21 Sep 2010 08:35 GMT+02:00

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Wolfgang Bosbach, head of the Bundestag’s interior committee and a member of the Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats, dismissed as “counterproductive” a demand by the environmentalist Greens for private possession of weapons to be gradually phased out.

The debate came as investigators said they would present the final results of the autopsies on the woman’s former partner and five-year-old son on Tuesday. Both died in an apartment that was then destroyed in an explosion, though it is thought they were already dead – the man shot and the boy from some form of heavy impact.

The town of Lörrach in Baden-Württemberg was shocked on Sunday night by the shooting rampage by 41-year-old lawyer Sabine R. The woman apparently killed her former partner and their son, then headed to a nearby hospital armed with a pistol and a knife. After murdering an orderly and wounding a police officer, she was killed in shoot-out with the police.

The woman was a sports shooter who legally owned the small-calibre pistol she used on her rampage. She had been a member of a sports shooting club, though it was not clear whether she remained with the club.

But Bosbach told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung that “a ban on private gun ownership would not improve safety, but rather create whole new sources of danger.”

Given there were about 10 million legal weapons, such as sports and hunting guns, registered in Germany, it would be a mammoth task housing them all in central locations such as sports clubs, he said.

“Sports shooters and hunters wouldn’t be up to it personally and financially,” he said.

Were there a raid on such a central cache of weapons, the attackers “could raise a private army with the seized weapons,” Bosbach warned.

The interior spokesman for the Greens’ parliamentary group, Wolfgang Wieland, had previously called for a phasing out of private possession of weapons in homes.

“Sports weapons need to be out of private homes completely. After every mass shooting, a minor tightening of guns laws. It was the same after Winnenden,” he said.

Pressure from the gun lobby ensured no tougher measures were taken, he said.

He acknowledged that a ban on sports guns in private homes could not be achieved overnight, accepting that secure depositories would need to be set up for the millions of guns.

“But that is achievable over a transition period,” he said.

The German police union, meanwhile, called for more training for beat police to tackle such mass shooting situations.

Story continues below…

“During mass shootings, the patrol officers arriving on the scene have to stop the suspect quickly, the officers are however usually not fully prepared,” union boss Rainer Wendt told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.

Regular patrol police officers needed urgently to have “special mass shooting training, that has to be revised every two months,” he said.

Otherwise, the police were relying on good fortune like in the case of the Lörrach incident.

“I wouldn’t want see the day in which this luck runs out,” Wendt said.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:26 September 21, 2010 by JohnPaul44
Of course! Blame the guns! Ban all kitchen knives too! Did she drive to the hospital to do the shooting? Ban all automobiles!

I have been told that ideologies in Germany are different from those in America, but apparently liberals by any other name are still the same mush-for-brains idiots that infest America.

Ban all baseball bats too! Confiscate all rocks bigger than marbles!

Of course, these are all ridiculous solutions. The only real way to stop crime is to ban all people.
11:26 September 21, 2010 by moistvelvet
I'm shocked, I'm shocked that so far no politician has pointed out the clear and present danger...

"Were there a raid on such a central cache of weapons, the attackers ¦quot;could raise a private army with the seized weapons,"

... the danger of Google of course, what if Street View were to be used to plan an attack on this proposed central weapons cache - SHOCK HORROR, not worth thinking about is it, much better to ban SV and leave these weapons in the hands of fruit bats, she was one twisted messed up woman... but then so are most unmarried middle aged German women :-p
11:32 September 21, 2010 by nyc-dem
I guess if people used guns everyday to prepare their meals or to perform some other vital function, then your comparison of guns to kitchen knives and cars might make sense. But alas, since that's not the case, the only "mush-for-brain idiot" in this discussion so far is you. Guns have a single function: To grievously harm or kill. And you can inflict grievous harm or kill many people much faster with a gun than with a knife, bat, or rock. If a violent person decides to go on a killing spree, he or she can do a lot more damage with a gun than a bat. And since there's no real loss to society if guns are banned, banning guns makes sense as a way of saving lives. There are far fewer guns in Germany than in the USA, and--in spite of having a near-identical exposure to violence on TV and movies, etc.--you're about five times more likely to die from getting shot in the USA than in Germany.

I hope you live in the U.S.
12:07 September 21, 2010 by DinhoPilot
@John Pall 44th

You just got "gunned down" in your own comment!

Try go in killing spree in widely populated surface with a bat/rock or even knives, and tell me how many teeth you would have by the end of such stunt. Try it elsewhere (Asia, Africa or South America) and if you come back alive you will be my hero.
12:13 September 21, 2010 by JohnPaul44
I do live in the US. Thanks for your good wishes. I am not one of those our president referred to as "clinging to their guns and Bibles," but I do own guns and have a Bible around the house somewhere.

I won't try to convince you of the social value of guns. "Freedom" is a word incomprehensible to most liberals, but I will point out that automobiles kill far more people than guns, and just mention that obesity now kills more Americans than alcohol, cigarettes, and guns combined. Perhaps the police should check the sugar and fat content in the shopping carts of people at the supermarket. That could save a lot of lives.
13:18 September 21, 2010 by moistvelvet
@DinhoPilot, nyc-dem, actually I think you've just shot your argument in the foot. In this incident 3 people were killed, 1 by a gun, 2 others by either knife or large heavy object, so which was the gun anymore dangerous? No!

But as JohnPaul44 says the easy knee-jerk reaction by jerks is to call for a ban on guns. Guns aren't the problem, it is the morons who are allowed to own them that are, but as we have just seen if she didn't use a gun then she would have still been able to kill people.
13:54 September 21, 2010 by Kayak
I do not welcome gun-freedom as found in the USA.

@JohnPaul44 - stay happy with your gun-freedom and keep your guns safe but don't think for a second that what works in the USA works everywhere. Some places sure (e.g. Central America, Iraq, etc.,) but Australia and Germany no!

N-O, no! Please don't -shoot!

Has anyone heard of the Port Arthur massacre in southern Austrlia from 1996? 35 dead - one shooter. The conservative (US: Republican) government introduced laws to ban and to buy-back high-powered guns. (Yeah, I used the word "gun".. aren't I just a Jack Ass!!!)

Well, ten years later they reckon 2000 Australian lives have been saved by that law banning guns. They reckon $800 was saved with each gun destroyed.

Read about it.
15:03 September 21, 2010 by ReaderX
@JohnPaul44 A rose is a rose is a rose. Liberals the world over think the same bud. And it ain't pretty. So like you said, ban all people everywhere.

Breaking News from the land of Cowboys, and wild Indians.


The actual references


While it is a tragedy that anyone should be killed, maybe the laws that are in place to prevent and penalize those who commit crimes should be changed.
15:19 September 21, 2010 by colombowayne
nyc-dem. exactly what we expect from you. Satistic's show that less than 30% of murders are committed with fire arms. More crims are thwarted with fire arms than committed. I however respect your view and if ever you are attacked in my presents I will not use my fire arm to defend you.
15:22 September 21, 2010 by NYsteve
I am an American citizen and believe there is absolutely NO reason to own a gun...period! I spent 8 years in the Marine Corps and qualified rifle Expert every year and pistol Expert for 6 years so using a gun is not a foreign concept to me. We do not hunt for our food anymore. We do not live back in the 1700's when the British were here and there was a need for militia. If the US ever gets attacked again, it WON'T be the type of attack where we "hunker down" and shoot it out in the streets. In 51 years of living all over the US, I have seen TOO much violence caused by guns....and that is my humble opinion.
17:00 September 21, 2010 by DanielSH
Firearms are definitely a "hot button" issue, and it is similar to arguing religion. Someone who demonizes firearms will never be persuaded - short of an exceptional experience - that fireams are not evil per se. Banning firearms in the hands or homes of responsible citizens will not keep firearms from criminal or insane people. If, however, we were to blind and then sever the limbs of everyone, we might reduce the number of homicides by most instrumentalities.
17:56 September 21, 2010 by Kayak
Martin Bryant (Google it) wasn't a crimal until AFTER he shot dead 35 people including 2 children.

Hang on a minute... Oh I see, if we all carried guns in Australia we could have had a shoot-out with him and created a gun-totin' hero. Well, howdy partner!

But wouldn't he have placed himself in say inside a... b- b- b-building BEFORE he started shooting and becoming a criminal?

So we need snipers as private citizens...? Of course!!

18:00 September 21, 2010 by DinhoPilot
Guns are not dangerous cause someone owns it or they are good citizens. It's cause of the damage they can cause easily. Like that we could all go around with hand grenades, flamethrowers and personal missiles for the sake of freedom and all that bla bla bla, cause few people die from hand grenade attacks. Let's be realistic and reasonable... IF MOST thugs/random people in America and so own didn't ad easy acess to guns I believe you would all live in a safer society. I'm tired of seeing Columbines, Church shootings, etc... And just for the sake of the selfish enjoyment of some. (I'm a big man I own a gun, I upload videos to youtube! What a bunch of wackos!)
19:56 September 21, 2010 by dporrieo
I thought Hitler banned guns in Germany.
21:11 September 21, 2010 by toemag
"And just for the sake of the selfish enjoyment of some".

I resent that remark and find it insulting, if you were to say something similar about homosexuals or some peoples colour, creed or religions you'd have the PC police crawling all over you for it.

So you think, just because one target shooter goes mad, you have the rights to be disrespectful to the rest of them??? Boy am I glad you don't own firearms, who knows what would come of that.

What is life when you take away peoples rights to seek and find happiness according to their individual perception of that term? It would make the PC action groups redundant, as they wouldn't have any ones interests to protect.

Lets ban Homosexuality because it spreads HIV/AIDS and other illnesses that "KILL" people to.
23:46 September 21, 2010 by JohnPaul44
All the anti-gun arguments I have read here have already been repeated thousands of times and have been repeatedly refuted by real-world facts. Arguing with a liberal is like arguing with a phonograph record (yes, I am old enough to remember phonographs). No progress can be made until the liberal mentality is recognized and treated as a serious psychiatric condition.

All the gun owners and gun organizations I know stress the legal and safe use of firearms and are more against the criminal use of guns than any liberal. When my wife purchased her first gun, she insisted on taking a shooting course and obtained a legal concealed-carry permit. She soon became more skilled with the gun than I, who had military experience and grew up with guns. She never killed anyone, but she did carry the gun with her when she made long automobile trips alone. She never threatened me with it, either!

Many books have been published refuting the liberal anti-gun position, so I will quit for now.
01:03 September 22, 2010 by nyc-dem
1. I find it amusing to read people who claim to be experts on guns turn around and try to claim that a gun is no more lethal than a knife or a rock. Patently absurd. Especially since NRA types not only want the right to own handguns but also (astonishingly) assault weapons like AR-15s. By your logic, I guess we should be sending more of our troops to Afghanistan with kitchen knives.

2. Re: "Breaking News from the land of Cowboys", those stats are meaningless because they survey the entire country and don't do a regional breakdown. The drop in homicides is coincident with an overall decline in crime rates--principally in cities that have by and large supported gun control efforts, by the way. A more revealing set of statistics is here: http://www.statemaster.com/graph/cri_mur_wit_fir-death-rate-per-100-000 This shows the firearms death rate per 100,000 people. Hmmm. Look at the states with the highest death rates, and the states with the lowest death rates. Notice anything? You'll have to scroll down to the bottom to find the northeastern states with the lowest gun ownership rates. How do you gun-toters explain that one?

3. JohnPaul44, again with the cars. Look, if you banned automobiles, modern society would grind to a halt. If you banned guns, a bunch of hunters and yokels would have to find another hobby. This is called cost-benefit analysis. Cigarettes? You can structure no-smoking laws so that smokers primarily harm themselves (except, admittedly, for the people who live with them), rather than other people. Proliferation of guns endangers not just the people who own them but the people around them. Alcohol? A bit more comparable, but I don't think a gun ban would be flouted the way Prohibition was, so a gun ban is more feasible.

4. Since you guys are so lame at arguing your own case, I'll help you: A couple of glaring exceptions to the correlation between gun ownership and gun fatalities are Switzerland and Israel. But the ownership of guns in those societies is connected to widespread military usage in conscription-based armies, so there's a huge amount of training and a better understanding of the responsibilities of gun ownership than you find in the USA. And the cultures are very different. But examples like that won't help you figure out how to lower gun fatalities in the U.S. There's an infantile concept of machismo in the USA, and that, combined with widespread gun ownership and a lack of training/schooling about safety, you have catastrophic results.

5. The NRA would probably have a fit about German-style gun ownership laws (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Germany), and yet people still manage to hunt for sport here without whining about "excessive regulations." Oh, the poor, oppressed gun owners of Germany! --Not something you hear in these parts.
04:48 September 22, 2010 by JohnPaul44
@ nyc-dem

Does nyc-dem stand for New York City democrat? That should be enough to discredit all of your arguments, but I will hit a few just for the practice.

NRA types? You may not see it in your own little nest of liberals, but a majority of Americans are gun owners. The NRA has only about 4 million actual members, but more than half of all American households own at least one gun, they work to support themselves, and they vote!

Assault weapons? That term was made up by the liberal media. It has no technical meaning, but the media and the movies has convinced us that it means automatic weapons. Private ownership or sale of automatic weapons has been illegal in the US since 1935. It is now only a scare word used by the anti-gun media.

Firearms death rate? Trivial, compared to deaths from common home accidents such as slipping in the bathtub. Why not ban bathtubs? What is the death rate in New York City from illegal drugs, muggings, etc.?

Australia as a success for banning guns? I haven't seen the latest figures, but only a few years after Australia's total gun ban, murders there more than tripled.

Freedom as an infatile concept of machismo? This hardly needs any comment!

There are dozens more to go. Look for the next installment!
13:39 September 22, 2010 by Prufrock2010
JohnPaul --

You continually use the term "liberals" as a pejorative. I therefore challenge you to define the term in historical context, not from an online dictionary. You claim to dislike liberals and conservatives equally, but your comments betray you as a rather rigid right-wing ideologue. Your disdain for "bible-thumpers" might disqualify you from tea-party rallies, but it doesn't differentiate you from a Barry Goldwater reactionary.

Germany's gun ownership policies are sane. America's are insane. Period.
23:57 September 22, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen

A very popular, but completely false, assertion. Guns were illegal to own by Jews, Communists, and some others, including those under 18, not by anyone else. Hitler actually large made sure that anyone who wanted to have a gun to shoot with some Russians or Americans with, could have one.

@everyone else

I think Switzerland's gun model is actually very interesting, and highly conducive to a national defence, as well.
00:47 September 23, 2010 by derExDeutsche
Prufrock and the rest of the 'Nanny' Staters can suck it!

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who comes near that precious jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. When you give up that force, you are ruined.

Patrick Henry

¦quot;The fundamental force behind the Second Amendment is to empower the people and give them the greatest measure of authority over the tyranny of runaway government.¦quot;

U.S. Rep. Bob Schaffer, 2002

Dangerous laws created by well intentioned people today can be used by dangerous people with evil intentions tomorrow.¦quot;

Alan Eppers
04:23 September 23, 2010 by JohnPaul44
Hello, Prufrock!

Thanks for asking! My personal understanding of "liberal" in a historical context is a desire for individual liberty and freedom from government and social tyranny, freedom of thought.

Modern liberals are the direct opposite of that. They advocate big government to run our lives and take care of us from cradle to grave. They indoctrinate "political correctness" into small children in our schools.

I do not "dislike" liberals personally. I even have some liberal friends. I believe many are well-intentioned people individually, but have lost sight of all the ideals of individual liberty and responsibility on which America was founded. They know best what is good for us. They see themselves as modern versions of Plato's "philosopher-kings" whose unique wisdom entitles them to rule the less enlightend masses for their own good, who must be forced down to the lowest common denominator to achieve their liberal vision of "equality" for all

Liberals see individual freedom as a threat to the "good of society"

I believe modern liberalism is a product of the "Fabian Society," a group of ivory-tower academics in late 19-century England. They founded the British Labor Party, but that was only incidental to their goal of spreading their idealistic doctrines world-wide.

The communists advocated seizure of power by military force. The socialists appealed to the popular vote of the lower classes. The Fabians chose a third path to power, the infiltration of existing institutions, beginning with the universities which not only trained future government officials, but indoctrinated future teachers and professionals in such fields as the media and entertainment.

Implementation of their goal of total social control in any country required a powerful central government. Their first great success in America was the imposition of the Federal Income Tax in 1913. The founders of our country had rightly feared the tyranny of a strong central government and gave our original Federal government only very limited powers and a budget measured in thousands of dollars, rather than the trillions of today. The Federal Income Tax changed all that, and gave the Federal government de facto power and control over every institution in our society by creating giant bureaucracies and regulations to control every detail of our lives. America probably has more laws and regulations per square mile than any other country. We can hardly take a deep breath without a permit from some "agency."

I am ranting again!
06:27 September 23, 2010 by toemag
Well put JohnPaul44, most of today's sheeple enjoy the fact that when their problems escalate above their personal skill set they can call in the cavalry to fight their wars for them.

@ DinhoPilot or Jon, your you tube friends request hmmm, sorry buddy, no videos of me big timing it with my guns to be seen. I could criticise your channel though, it has an unhealthy interest in aeroplanes, but I'm not that type of guy, each to their own. Although after the air show disasters in recent history private ownership of aircraft should be banned, why only last Saturday a plane crashed after a reckless pilot stukad into the ground after trying to kill another pilot with a mid-air collision. BTW., one of my oldest sons classmates lives less than a couple of hundred meters away from where that crash happened. "And just for the sake of the selfish enjoyment of some" guess I may have to reconsider my thoughts on that statement.
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