Dunblane Massacre Resource Page

What was the Cullen Inquiry?

Under Scottish Law, a Fatal Accident Inquiry was unavoidable for the Government after such an incident. Although not the Fatal Accident Inquiry (that was held later, and rubber-stamped the Cullen Report) Lord Cullen's remit was under the terms of a Fatal Accident Inquiry. Reading the Cullen Report makes it clear that Cullen was not in any sense reviewing the constitutional position of "gun controls", or able (even if willing) to give a consideration of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Nor was he able to make any wider consideration of the efficacy of the general strategy of "gun controls" in this country. He could do no other than suggest "more of the same" given the terms of his remit.

As such, it is at least disingenous to suggest that the Cullen Report forms some kind definitive analysis that all parties should defer to. Undoubtedly it contains much of interest and value, much sound logic and conclusion as well as some questionable. The evidence presented to the Inquiry was very interesting and wide-ranging (if rather questionable in many cases). But still we have not had a proper public debate on the issues that proposed legislation will bear upon. In the current climate of opinion, particularly with the attitude of the tabloid press it is likely impossible.

After all, a "Home Office Spokesman" was quoted as saying…

"We are not banning handguns because of the statistics, but because they are dangerous."
The Scotsman, 12 Nov, 1996.

…in which case, logic and rationality count for nothing.

Johnny <johnny@dvc.org.uk>

Posted: 1997