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'Somebody looked at my father and then shot him dead'.

THE daughter of a cyclist killed by Derrick Bird said it was still difficult to understand that "somebody looked at my father and then shot him dead".

Jude Talbot, the daughter of Michael Pike, who was shot dead just a few hundred yards from his home as he took his morning bicycle ride in Seascale, said guns should no longer be kept in residential areas. Giving evidence to MPs reviewing the control of firearms, she said that although she grew up around shotguns in rural Cumbria, she felt tighter laws on gun control were needed.

"I don't think guns have any place in a residential dwelling," she said. "We should not have guns kept in a dwelling. "Although that may be difficult to enforce, I see no reason why they can't be kept in a gun club." Ms Talbot, who now works as a teacher in Slough, said exceptions could be made for farmers to keep their guns locked away in an outhouse, but she added: "I don't think we should be keeping things that kill and maim in a residential area." But Harry Berger, who was wounded in the arm during the shootings in Seascale, said tighter regulations would only drive gun sales underground. Telling the MPs he was a regular shooter himself, Mr Berger said: "The tighter the controls, the harder it's actually becoming for the authorities to police it.

"All you're potentially going to do by tightening regulation is drive things further underground.

"I really find it very difficult to see how anything else can be done in the application process for shotguns and firearms. How does one know when someone is going to just flick the light switch and change from being sane to insane?" He said Bird, as a taxi driver, was about as public a figure and as well-known by others as an individual could get within a community and there was "nothing to suspect there was anything wrong".
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 3, 2010
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