Police give H&K guns to children

Child posing with police H&K submachine gun

Child posing with police H&K submachine gun at a summer fete in London

Police are giving young children Heckler & Koch guns to handle at community events in England. At a recent summer fete in east London, the Met ran a stall displaying a H&K MP5 submachine gun. Children as young as seven were allowed to pose for photos holding the police weapon, which has a firing rate of 800 rounds per minute.

The stunt has been sharply criticised by MPs and anti-gun campaigners. MP Jim Fitzpatrick said  “Giving young children real guns to handle is inappropriate. It could be glamorising the weapons and creating familiarity which is plainly wrong.”

George Galloway MP said “The foolish display at this festival can serve only to normalise firearms or make they appear attractive, even glamorous. We are tragically used to seeing images of primary school aged boys handling assault rifles in Liberia or Mogadishu, but in Limehouse?!”

Police defended the initiative, claiming that it is intended to “divert people away from gun crime”, but Lyn Costello, co-founder of Mothers Against Murder and Aggression, called it “a serious error of judgment.”

And it seems that this event was not a one-off: “We’ve done this kind of thing in other places” said Superintendent Tarrant of the Met’s CO19 firearms unit. “We will continue doing it in future.”


2 Responses to “Police give H&K guns to children”

  1. 1 Liam
    2008-12-18 at 22:46

    Actually, the rate of fire for the MP5 shown is not 800rpm as Police issue firearms are semi – automatic, unless used by specialist anti – terror squads.

  2. 2 BobSmith
    2010-03-29 at 19:24

    The kid got to pose for a picture with a cool gun. What exactly do you think the result is going to be? Do you think he’s now going to go out and kill people, or would even be more likely to? I find this exceptionally unlikely. Myself, I grew up with toy guns, then a BB gun, and would go out with my parents or grandparents to shoot their guns. I’ve committed exactly 0 violent crimes in my life, and have never even ever hit anyone. My kids, too, get to go to the range and shoot. At home, they’re princesses, watching barbie movies and playing with dolls and reading Harry Potter, about as far from being violent as one could imagine. They have learned, however, how to be safe with a firearm, to never, ever point it at another person, to keep the safety on, and their finger off the trigger till they’re ready to fire, etc.

    This is a lot of noise about nothing. This kid isn’t going to be any more likely to hurt anyone, or to start robbing banks, or smoking crack, or whatever other absurd things you’re going to illogically attribute to holding a gun for a moment. He’s going to think “cool, I got to hold a gun”, and go home and play with legos or something, and forget completely about it.

    Also, violent video games? They don’t lead to crime, either. Or violent movies. Inattentive parenting might contribute, however. Maybe you should investigate that, instead of pinning the blame on ridiculous red herrings.

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