Informing a debate or pandering?

Two teenagers were injured in an attack that used a .22 air rifle in Portstewart at the week-end. In today’s News Letter there are the predictable calls for tighter laws from the father of a victim and a local politician. The father called for “… the law on the sale and licensing of air rifles and pellet guns to be made as stringent as it is for shotguns”. The MLA claims that “There has been a big crackdown on shotguns with new licensing laws but pellet guns, which can be just as deadly, are, it seems, widely on sale and easy to get hold of.” Never let the facts, that in Northern Ireland the licensing requirements for an .22 air rifle are already the same as a shotgun, that a shotgun is many times more deadly than any pellet gun (any volunteers for an experiment?) or that it was an air rifle not a pellet gun used in the attack get in the way of the story.