With all this talk of gun control that is always on the grapevine in the States, one has to wonder is it the guns or the people who use them that are really the issue? If you take away guns from them, will that stop the violence? Will it make them change if indeed it's the person who uses the weapon and not the weapon which is to blame in most of the cases on gun violence or violence in general?

Laws surrounding crossbows

I ask this because today there was a man with a crossbow who was holding a woman hostage in Blantyre. Now I feel it's appropriate to get a little acquainted with the laws concerning crossbows in the United Kingdom.

First, it is an offence to sell, let, hire a crossbow or any parts of a crossbow to a person below 18 years of age. This age limit was upped from 17 to 18 in 2007 after a change in section 44 of the Violence Crime Reduction Act 2006 effective October 1, 2007, in England and Wales, the Scottish Parliament made changes to section 62 of the Custodial Sentences and Weapons (Scotland) Act 2007.

The crossbow Act 1987 is pretty long and there is a part about the use of crossbows to commit a crime in the Criminal Justice Act - it makes interesting reading if you're so inclined.

Held hostage by man with crossbow

Yesterday morning at around 11 a.m. Police arrived at the scene in Blantyre where the neighbours reported that the woman inside the house was being held hostage by a man with a crossbow.

The police, however, stated that the woman inside the house did not seem to be held against her will.

The road where the house is located was closed down, thus ensuring nobody else would be able to get into the probable harm and also reducing the suspect's running options. Schools located close to the location were also put on lockdown as a safety measure, two schools which were locked-down were Calderside Academy and Auchinraith Primary School.

A Police Scotland spokesman said at the time: "Officers are currently dealing with an incident in Morris Crescent, Blantyre, where a man is within a house in possession of a crossbow.

"Firearms officers, negotiators, and uniformed officers are currently at the scene dealing with the incident and a cordon has been put in place as a precaution."

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman also stated that they had dispatched one ambulance and a special operations response team to the location.

The house erupted into flames four hours later, no one was injured and the police arrested a 36-year-old man.

We need to act rationally

Now I believe we all have a responsibility to act rationally and to resolve our issues in a non-violent way whenever possible. Self-defence is accepted but I think we should always strive to not be the aggressors and to keep a grip on our emotions.