Firearms: a lack of expertise

Firearms form a vast field of knowledge where there are may "experts". When it really comes down to it, however, this "expertise" often turns out only to exist of ever having handled a gun or maybe even having shot one. The motto is: "anyone can shoot a gun so everyone is an expert".

When it comes to combining legal and technical aspects of weapons in general and firearms in particular, such espertise falls far short of what is needed.

In the past this lack of expertise has often resulted in many mistakes, fairy tales, sob stories, innuendo and even unjust verdicts. A few examples:

Because of mistakes in the summons an illegal gundealer can not be prosecuted.

Because no expert is available who knows the difference between black- and smokeless powder a valuable collection of antique firearms is seized and destroyed.

In an article of a gunlaw, written by a legal expert, such vague definitions are used that weapons of more than 400 years old become illegal.

A journalist in a newsprogram insists that it is possible to shoot straight through an engine block with a handgun, while showing footage of a machinegun doing just that.

A newscast shows a stack of airrifles while claiming that they are Kalashnikovs.

These are only a few esamples of what can go wrong when no experts are consulted. All those mistakes could have been avoided.

Of course there are real experts, even in Holland. Often, however, other (commercial) interests are involved so they are not really independent. Also the ability to properly "put things on paper" is often lacking.