December 7th, 2004

Hair Cut

The Hungerford Massacre...

BBC1 has just shown The Hungerford Massacre, a documentary into the incident that changed Britain in many ways.  The BBC Website also has a report in the Crime Case Closed section.

I have to say that I thought this programme was absolutely brilliant... well constructed & presented.  If the BBC do repeat it, I would certainly recommend it.

I don't remember exactly where I was when this happened, but I know that I was 15 years old and living in Aldershot at the time.

I do, however, remember the incident.  I remember thinking how things like this just didn't happen. 

Surely not in this country?
But Hungerford was only 56 miles away. 

In 1987, no-one had a gun... it just wasn't heard of. 
Michael Ryan had a gun.  Three guns, in fact.  Legally.  And he just lost it. 

What happened on that day changed a lot of things: British Policing; gun laws; telecommunications systems; emergency services.

But compare then to now.  In August 1987, one man killed 16 people.  It shook the country.  In 2004, hardly a day goes by when you don't hear about gun crime on our streets.  Last Tuesday, Caroline and I were in Reading at a restaurant.  That night, after we'd come home, someone got shot not 2 miles from where we were sitting.  There were the shootings in Nottingham, Leicester and Birmingham earlier this year.

Are the changes that were implemented as a result of the 1987 massacre lost?  Or has our society just moved in the wrong direction.
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