Saturday, June 05, 2010

Shooter Derrick Bird: Was a Victim of Serious Violent Crime in 2007

While there has been seven shades of speculation about poor Derrick Bird and his 12 murder and 11 assault victims there has been one part of the back story that has received little attention. There was a moment when Bird's criminal record - for theft from a previous employers some 20 years ago - was raised as a hook for assertions that his applications for permit (shotgun) and licence (rifle) ought to have been refused.

That of course was pretty silly. More significant surely should be the information on which this little Metro sidebar (Thursday 3 June) was based? "Cab attack made Bird anxious" runs the headline. Here's the full text:

AN ASSAULT on Derrick Bird by a fare-dodging taxi customer left him 'nervous and anxious', according to reports. Bird was knocked unconscious and had two teeth broken when set upon after challenging the 19-year-old in Whitehaven, Cumbria. In a statement at the subsequent court case in 2007, Bird said he was still distressed by the incident and no longer wanted to work at night.

May be a complete coincidence but one of Bird's fatalities is the right age to have been that assailant or indeed another arsey customer. And the year of the court case is the same as the year of the granting of the licence for the powerful .22 hunting rifle. Perhaps some of our finest NUJjers could get onto this and investigate? And perhaps any review of licensing practice - as well as creating a notification requirement on NHS professionals for those holding gun licences and permits, as there already is I think for driving licences - should make sure there's a question about being a victim of crime as well as a perpetrator?

UPDATE Mon 11:51: seems ACPO and the BMC have had the conversation about those notifications. Not sure anything's been done about it. Was only a year or so ago.


Anonymous said...

Slightly off the main topic but a .22 isn't what you would call a powerful hunting rifle.

It's what you use to hunt rats and rabbits. If you use a sound moderator (silencer) with one, you also use sub-sonic bullets.

I cannot think of any firearm less suited to killing people than a .22 rifle. You would need to use one at point blank range or be just a few feet away to ensure a kill with a single shot.

If anyone thinks that a ban on firearms like this is going to make the country a safer place, I'm sorry to tell you that it's very easy to modify an air rifle so that it has enough power to kill a human being at close range.

Do you know how many air rifles and modified air rifles are out there?


Don't worry = nobody does. Nor does anyone have a clue about how many modified "replica firearms" are out there, being used by gangs.

New legislation will never prevent nutters and criminals from using guns on innocent people.

Unknown said...

I don't know which gun was owned by Bird but there are .22s and .22s my friend. I think you know that?

This one is a lethal Israeli special forces sniper rifle. Used in early outings to kill annoying animals - the "hush puppy" task - and for winging and breaking legs of rioters. But also to kill Palestinians. Er, by accident.

The calibre of the ammo does not itself limit the power of the weapon, that would be down to the build, the rifling, the rounds used and so on. But yes of course there are very powerful air rifles.

Don't have the details but I imagine the shooter mainly used the shotgun to do his killing with.

As the link almost points out .22 is more or less the same as the 5.56 mm rounds used in the M16 and other assault rifles. Full bore rifles are not the thing for the soldier scuttling about the battlefield.

But .22 is plenty.

GPs and other medics tend to grass patients up who they think are not likely to be safe drivers - possibly a requirement - it would not be too much of a stretch for Doctors to also notify health issues on those with permits and licences, surely?

Here's another link: Wiki. There seem to be quite a range of rounds available including hollow head (dum dum), full metal jacket (AP), and different velocities etc. Again the message is that these can be lethal, by design, or by accident when deployed carelessly by those who assume they're relatively harmless.

Chris Paul said...

That's me btw, pesky computer sharers.

benchilltory said...

We need to change the socialist gun controls to allow all citezens to own guns!

Chris Paul said...

That's genius BHT. Then we could have gun homicide and woundings in the same proportion as the USA. 11,000 pa for 300M, we have one fifth the population and usually less than one hundredth the gun homicides. Like I say, genius.