Thursday, June 24, 2010

Granny in Trouble.

I'd be interested in knowing how proponents of absolute gun bans feel about cases like this latest one from The Place Where Great Britain Used To Be:
Gail Cochrane, 53, had kept the gun for 29 years following the death of her father, who had been in the Royal Navy.

Police found the weapon, a Browning self-loading pistol, during a search of her home in Dundee while looking for her son.

She admitted illegal possession of the firearm, an offence with a minimum five-year jail term under Scots law.
She didn't have any ammunition for the old CZ27 and claims that she hadn't really given any thought as to whether or not Da's old war trophy was against the law or not, but the law is what it is, and the minimum sentence is five years:
Judge Lady Smith said: "I am not satisfied that a reasonable explanation has been put forward for not handing this gun into the authorities throughout the 29-year period she says she has had it in her possession."

The judge said she was unable to find herself satisfied that this was one of the rare cases in which exceptional circumstances existed.

Ignorance, as they say, is no excuse for a law.

The best part of the whole article, by the way, was where they said "(t)he weapon was sent for examination by firearms experts who concluded that it was a Czech-made pistol dating back to about 1927," as though it were a piece of weapons-grade plutonium that needed gas chromatography, core samples, and perhaps some of that while-U-wait CSI-style DNA analysis before a panel of experts could reach a unanimous consensus as to its exact nature.


og said...

My favorite malaprop, and most appropriate, in this circumstance, is "Ignorance is 9/10ths of the Law"

Carteach said...

For the people who would have absolute bans such as this, I expect their reaction is:

"The life of one useless old lady is nothing compared to the safety of society as a whole".

And that idea makes me retch.....

staghounds said...

There is nothing on earth that would prevent the judge at trial from saying "not proven", without explanation.

I wonder how many times Lady Smith manages to twist herself into probating, AGAIN, thugs who woyld happily have broken into Mrs. Cochrane's home, beaten her, and stolen the pistol?

Which brings up another fact- the cell she will occupy will NOT contain a burglar or dangerous violent assaulter.

MY favourite part is "during a search of her home in Dundee while looking for her son."

Who must be really, really tiny.

Also, I wonder if she is any relation to THE R. N. Cochrane?

WV Proalke- Ask your bartender if it's right for you!

Tam said...


"Who must be really, really tiny."

PC safety. There could have been a poisonous snake between the mattress and the box spring.


wolfwalker said...

Something doesn't make sense about that story. Beyond the obvious stupidity of the whole affair, I mean.

1) The police found the gun while trying to serve an arrest warrant. Does a UK arrest warrant include a search warrant within its scope? If not, then how did they find the hidden gun? Did they turn over the bed because perhaps they thought the son was hiding underneath it?

2) I may be (in fact, probably am) wrong, but I'd have thought that under US law, the gun would probably have been excluded as evidence, since it was not out in plain view, not specified in the warrant, and not related to the crime being investigated. Am I wrong in that? Does the UK have a different rule for such matters?

Anonymous said...

Gun? Bollocks! Da told me it was an old heater!


John Peddie (Toronto) said...

@ Wolfwalker

I'm guessing that the Brits have a firearms law like Canada's, under which no search warrant is required if firearms or explosives are involved.

LEOs can simply appear at your door and do an "inspection"-no warrant needed. Ask me how I know.

Someone forgot to export what's left of your Second Amendment.

UPS please! That truly would be a brown truck of happiness, before they invent a paring knife registry.

perlhaqr said...

John: We've tried exporting that package to Britain twice already, in 1919 and 1945, but it keeps coming back marked "Return to Sender".

Les Jones said...

"While-U-wait DNA analysis?" Sheee-it. I thought they had drive-thrus now.

Tam said...


Of course, in 1919, the Big Smoke had better gun laws than the Big Apple.

TJP said...

So I guess this is the Place Where America Used to Be? Because that same method is used on a daily basis, right here.

1. Ignore legal limitations on the scope of searches

2. Use "suspicion" (paranoia) to justify a fishing expedition, with or without a warrant

3. Discover possession that allegedly will bring about the end of civilization; examples: pot, DeCSS code, Black Cat fireworks, 2 Live Crew CDs.

4. Steal property and/or place possessor in bondage

Tam said...


Oh, I never complain about any of that.

theirritablearchitect said...

"I'd be interested in knowing how proponents of absolute gun bans feel about cases like this..."

Oh, come on, you, of all people, know how they feel about these cases.

"Throw them in jail," they shriek, at the top of their lungs. It's agains the God-almight frikkin' law, you see.

Tam said...


Ironically, I don't necessarily find that to be true. Their hearts are often as soft and pliable as their heads.

Anonymous said...

Invasion of the sanctity of one's castle.

Zero tolerance for (fill in a freedom).

Minimum mandatory sentencing.

Someone said that happens every day right here. Pretty close. Always a good way to thank and reward the productive and trouble-free citizens among us.

Also, wonder where that old family heirloom went?


Bubblehead Les. said...

I see that LADY Smith was the person ruling on the SUBJECT. I wonder what would happen if the Peelers searched my Lady's estate and found her Father's unregistered Purdey or the Holland and Holland Elephant gun that he used on Safari in Rhodesia back in 48? Three guesses, the first 2 don't count.

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

"Lady" is a form of honorific used for a female judge over there, as in "My Lady", "Her Ladyship" or "Lady(--insert name).

Much like "Her Honour, judge...." on this side of the pond.

There may or may not be a chunk of inherited real estate there.

TJP said...

It's a good thing you don't, Tam, because such literary activity would bring about the end of civilization.

staghounds said...

Britain does not have an exclusionary rule.

Firehand said...

It's effing (formerly Great)Britain; we don't expect anything better over there any more.

WV: 'glusso', what's between the judges' ears

Wolfwood said...

Well...Britain does have an exclusionary rule, but it's not mandatory. As I've heard it explained by one expert, it basically amounts to them not getting rid of anything important. It's used more to reduce the number or severity of charges ("We found the cocaine and marijuana, but will drop the marijuana because it was an illegal search.")

I suspect that their search was probably legal, though. If you watch the reality cop shows, felons are pretty creative in their hiding places. I can absolutely believe one would hollow out a boxsprings and hide under the mattress for the duration of the search.

Anonymous said...

What a mess old Britannia has become. Why, in King George's Day, the prisoner would've been sent to Australia & Her Ladyship to the kitchen! But all that was left on the beach at Gallipoli & Dunkirk.

Ulises from CA

Tam said...


Before we all get too cocky, what's the going rate for a flash suppressor in CA? (Or a short-barreled shotgun in IN?)


theirritablearchitect said...

"Ironically, I don't necessarily find that to be true. Their hearts are often as soft and pliable as their heads."


I picture you with a 22oz. framer, both hands, giving some dolt the business over his melon when you say things such as this.

Anonymous said...

If she goes to jail, that makes her a political prisoner. There's no other way to define it, since she harmed no one, threatened no one, violated no one's, nor threatened to violate anyone's, rights. -- Lyle

The Jack said...

Tam, they'd say "See, clearly the UK's laws aren't strict enough. Look at how long this dangerous evil weapone escaped notice."

Don't beleive me?

Unc has a link to a guy that cries that China doesn't have strong enough gun control.

There's no limit with them.

"The [Chinese] government cracked down harder on gun ownership after the 1989 pro- democracy demonstrations.

It needs to crack down even harder on today's rising gun crime. "

TJP said...

Wolfwood said...
"I suspect that their search was probably legal, though."

Why did they wait 29 years to seize the weapon?

Jayson said...

You know the only way to solve such problems is ultra-violence...specifically against the judge and those who promote such idiocy.

WV: cultomm - cult o' meaningless morons. like anti-gun idiots.

monkeyfan said...

"Before we all get too cocky, what's the going rate for a flash suppressor in CA? (Or a short-barreled shotgun in IN?)"

...Some places in America the going rate for a short-barreled shotgun is one Ruby Ridge.

TJP said...

Ultra-violence? Is that violence specifically in the UV band?

Bubblehead Les. said...

Wait a minute, just noticed something. This took place in Scotland! This is going on in the land of William Wallace, Rob Roy and Bonnie Prince Charlie? God, how the graves must be spinning at Stirling Bridge!

John B said...

Judge Lady Smith
The kind of Smith Tam would never possess.

Were s&w thinking of her when they started selling small 'fashionable' pistols?

Tam said...

1) The modern "LadySmith" line is not just about "fashionable", actually. They have tried to tailor grip size, trigger reach, and trigger pull weight appropriately.

2) The "Ladysmith" name first appeared on tiny M-frame .22 Hand Ejectors in 1902, long before anybody had ever coined the term "Political Correctness" on these fair shores. :)

Tam said...

PS: Oh, and the 65LS and 3913LS are sought after by cognoscenti of both genders who could give a good goddam what's laser-etched on the heater in question.

(The 65LS being the only fixed-sight magnum K-frame other than the vanishingly rare PC13 with a fully-shrouded ejector rod and the 3913LS being about the flattest and most snag-free single-stack 3rd Gen 9 Minimal pistol to come out of Springfield.)