Jake Davison’s mind set was to kill people and to kill them indiscriminately. If he had been denied access to a gun he would have used another implement such as a knife, hammer, axe or even a car.
But I have no doubt that that anti- gun lobby will use Plymouth, as they did Hungerford, as an excuse for even tighter gun controls. And fuelled by the media you can be sure that the politicians will act if they think it will gain them popularity. But it will not be fair, just or right.
It could be argued that the home office’s amendment to the firearms regulations last year, requiring an applicant to provide a form to be signed off by their GP, highlighting any mental issues, including anxiety and mild depression, may well turn out to have been a contributing factor in the Plymouth killings. This amendment actively discourages those who shoot from going to see their doctors to seek help for mental illness, for fear of losing their licences. But you can be sure the authorities will play that one down.
You cannot legislate against insanity. Davison is dead. That, tragic though the incident was, should be the end of the matter, but of course it won’t.