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A messy incident

Last night, in the north of Italy, a group of heavily armed police SWAT team types invaded the house of a guy who had decided to shoot at all and sundry as they passed by. Result: 3 dead and nine injured. This guy, or so it turns out had debts of around 360,000 Euros and was worried about losing his house and belongings. No excuse for taking it out on other innocents. The man also had a number of guns and more than enough ammo to keep himself going for some time (over 2000 rounds). However, despite the killing and all the rest, the Italian press has not yet contained any reports demanding that the capacity of private individuals to possess guns be limited in any way. Oh how different it is here from the UK.

Indeed the politicos here have been encouraging self-defence and the courts have been taking a lenient stance with regard to those who shoot others who were trying to rob/assault them. This, for one thing, would make it difficult for a total ban on guns to be introduced here.

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What many do not realise is that it is quite easy for people to get hold of guns here and many professionals and shop owners do possess weapons. Defending yourself is not yet considered the wrong thing to do – provided that you don't go too far. As far as I know, the Italian legal system has not found itself full of claims from burglars who have been injured while going about their dishonest business, unlike back in the UK, where the line between criminal and victim seemed to be becoming ever thinner. Under English law, woe betide you if you should actually, and successfully, try to defend yourself. At least here the law seems to be a little bit better weighted in favour of the victim. Unless that is you happen to be from a rich and powerful family, in which case you can pull enough strings to allow you to get away with murder and the victim may not count at all.

Funny old world.

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