Imitation handguns for sale in East Street

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Saturday 7 April 2007 9.11am
I live on the much maligned Heygate Estate but am lucky(?) enough to live in Wingrave which consists of three small blocks between Rodney Road and Balfour Street - fairly isolated from the main estate. The three blocks share a communal green area which my property backs onto. The impending demolition has resulted in a lot of "emergency lets" and we've recently acquired a number of families with teenage children. As is their right, they have started "hanging out" on the green. The resultant noise, litter and foul language is bad enough but I was astonished to see them yesterday with very realistic imitation handguns shooting each other at point blank range! I tried polite reasoning, explaining that guns were not toys etc. etc. to no avail. I then telephoned Walworth Police and asked them whether imitation guns were legal as I thought they'd been outlawed due to the number of armed robberies being carried out. I was told that they are not illegal and that, unless somebody got hurt or the nuisance became such that all residents complained, the police could do nothing. I'm absolutely amazed that any parent would allow their teen to "play" with guns in the current climate and gobsmacked that they're freely available from stalls in East Street market. I've even had the younger children say that, if they're good, their mummy's will buy them one. What's happened to common sense in Southwark?

I've now managed to upset the teens by asking them not to fire guns, use bad language or kick footballs on the green (my living room has a wall of windows overlooking the green and I'm on the ground floor). If you hear reports of Maria Fanning being shot or stabbed for "no apparent reason" please pass this on!

Happy Easter
Saturday 7 April 2007 9.33am
Heavens, Maria, you are seriously sticking your neck out...on the ground floor with windows in reach, I'm scared for you. The whole situation with this glorification of guns and tough talk in the 'hood is a terrifying reality of our city and not just of our area. But that the law is not tougher is scandalous. I, like you, am inclined to "suggest" to young people that they pick up their litter, stop making such a racket, etc., and get serious tickings off from my son who says "Mum, you're going to get stabbed" (as I said on another thread I did indeed get my head gashed open with a coke can some while ago). The fact that discipline is now called "too much pressure" and that towing any sort of line is considered weakness and violence and mayhem is what gets you "respect" is enough to bring one to total dispair. Please be careful.
Saturday 7 April 2007 10.38am
Thank you Jackie, I'm currently thinking of ways to get them "on side" and today will try suggesting that they set up a "firing range" where they shoot at tin cans on a log rather than indiscrimately at each other. At least then the little ones shouldn't get caught in the cross fire (and they'll have a reason to pick up all the cans and bottles they dropped last night). When the younger ones got hit yesterday, they came crying to me with their bruises. These are the ones whose mummy's will buy them a gun if they're good. I'm totally dismayed at this idea that discipline is too much pressure. How are the kids supposed to learn social responsibility if nobody teaches them right from wrong? If I was ticked off as a child for any reason, I wouldn't dare tell my mother because she would have given me a clip around the ear for misbehaving - regardless of whether I was in the wrong or not. God only knows what she would have done if I'd brought the police to her door! I was never brave enough to find out. I fear that if I complained to the parents of these children, it's quite likely that they would beat me up for daring to suggest their children utilise the plentiful litter bins and moderate their language. What a sad society we've created by stripping everyone (including teachers and the police) of the ability to correct wayward youths. Sorry, I'm ranting!

Maria
Saturday 7 April 2007 4.25pm
Crikey Maria...get some of that stuff that mothercare used to sell, it's a clear plastic adhesive to go on windows and doors, it makes the glass if it does get shattered stay in one piece. What exactly is the ammunition the little loves are using?
Saturday 7 April 2007 4.44pm
I think it is amazing that we have politicians who jump over themselves to censor advertising bad food or cigarettes to children, but selling imitation GUNS as kids toys is a legal activity that they dont even touch? Wow.....


Maria the middle aged one wrote:
I then telephoned Walworth Police and asked them whether imitation guns were legal as I thought they'd been outlawed due to the number of armed robberies being carried out. I was told that they are not illegal and that, unless somebody got hurt or the nuisance became such that all residents complained, the police could do nothing. I'm absolutely amazed that any parent would allow their teen to "play" with guns in the current climate and gobsmacked that they're freely available from stalls in East Street market. I've even had the younger children say that, if they're good, their mummy's will buy them one. What's happened to common sense in Southwark?
Saturday 7 April 2007 6.21pm
I'm sure I heard somewhere that imitation guns were being censored because they can be converted into real ones....but indeed Maria is right, it's a sad society we've created - everyone's scared of these kids and they know it.And yes, you'd get it in the neck from the parents if you dared to say a word. Sick Sick.
Sunday 8 April 2007 9.26am
Of more concern is that they may well have been air guns. Did the guns shoot little brightly coloured plastic pellets - very popular with the local brats currently? If so, they were airguns, and so illegal to carry in public without good reason; illegal to sell to under (16s? 14s?); illegal to fire within (50? feet) of the centre of a highway.
Sunday 8 April 2007 1.07pm
They're the jobbies! They fire little bright orange or yellow round pellets (perhaps the size of a vitamin pill) which seem to be sold in little plastic bags of circa 100. Also, the guns have a very realistic pull back cartridge mechanism and it's horrible to watch them cock the guns, really seeming to want to hurt each other. They're so powerful that they ricochet back off whatever they hit first so one shot can effect up to 3 or 4 "hits". The kids with guns range from 11 to 13 years old so, if they are airguns, perhaps there's a chance to get the stallholder to stop selling them. The 15 to 16 year olds must have outgrown toy guns as they seem to be more interested in smoking, drinking and disrespecting the young girls who follow them around like puppies.

Jan - they're not firing guns or missiles at my windows (yet) but they're playing football on the green and they're very big boys. As my sofa is against the window wall, I'm scared I could be decapitated or at least very badly lacerated from a miskick. I took the time yesterday to explain this to them and pointed out that they had a newly refurbished football/basketball pitch 20 yards away. To my amazement they apologised so fingers crossed on that one. The window covering sounds like a good idea though. I'd replace the glass but Sod's law dictates the council would start demolition as soon as I'd spent the money.

Yesterday afternoon, I spoke to one of the ringleaders saying "I realise you need somewhere to go and, whilst I'm not jumping through hoops, I can accept it but it wouldn't hurt you to show a little respect for residents, their property and the environment". He replied "yes, we must respect our elders we know that, but it's not a two way thing and we're not allowed to expect any respect in return" which is quite telling I think. I promised that respect would earn respect and during our conversation, he actually asked one of the boys not to swear because "Maria doesn't like swearing". Wow! I won't sit on my laurels though.
Sunday 8 April 2007 1.51pm
Well done you, Maria!
Sunday 8 April 2007 4.19pm
REspec' Maria!
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