TWO men were given lengthy jail sentences this week after it turned out that the gearbox repair shop they ran on a small industrial estate in Sussex was in fact making guns.
I wondered when this would happen.
Getty – Contributor If you could put together a piece of Ikea furniture, I’m fairly sure you could build an AK-47, and a revolver would be even easier
We are forever being told that, these days, we can watch all kinds of criminal depravity online and that it’s easier to get cocaine delivered to your door than a pizza.
Certainly, we know it’s not hard to buy a knife. You just go into a cutlery shop and say: “Can I have a knife please?”
But a gun is different. I’ve met people who reckon you could buy one in various pubs in the East End of London. But which pubs?
And what do you do when you get there? Say to the barman, “Two pints of lager and a Glock 19 please”?
Obviously, it’s much easier to buy a gun when you are in a rough part of the world such as the Congo, or America. But even when you’ve made your purchase, how do you get it back to the UK? In your hand luggage?
I recently shipped some shirts I’d bought in Laos back to London and I had to jump through about 40 different hoops in a bid to convince the authorities that they looked like shirts . . . because they were shirts. And not slabs of shirt-shaped missile launchers.
IN A BOG FOR THREE YEARS
Grandad Mark Kinman, 63, produced hundreds of replica Browning 1922s from scratch at his workshop.
The fact is that buying a gun to use in Britain is extremely difficult, which is why I’ve always wondered why no one is in a shed at the bottom of the garden making them.
It’s not hard. If you look inside an AK-47, it’s like looking inside a ballpoint pen. Only with fewer moving bits and bobs.
There’s a spring and, er, that’s it.
In the whole thing, there are only eight moving parts. This was a gun designed to be made by amateurs, for amateurs.
Most modern guns are built to tolerances that are measured to the nearest micron. The AK-47 is built to the nearest foot.
Which is why it will still work after it’s been in a bog for three years.
SWNS:South West News Service One of Mr Kinman’s ‘gearboxes’ he was making in his Sussex business unit
If you could put together a piece of Ikea furniture, I’m fairly sure you could build an AK-47. And a revolver would be even easier.
Got a 3D printer? They’re available now for as little as £1,000 and, as the Australian police proved recently, they can be used to make plastic guns no problem at all.
Yes, a plastic gun will shatter after it’s been fired. But by then the bullet will be on its way. And yet, the police here are saying that the men who started a long stretch this week were the first people ever to run an illegal gun factory in the UK.
Maybe this has something to do with a simple fact. Making a gun may be easy. But it’s useless without bullets. And making those is not easy at all.
Three arrested as armed cops raid gun factory in quiet East Sussex town
Stone me, Sharon looks good
Branislav Simoncik/Vogue Portugal Newly released photographs show that at 61, age has not dulled Sharon Stone one bit
MANY years ago, I sat next to Sharon Stone in a London restaurant and she gave off a Ready Brek glow of wanton loveliness.
Nowadays, she’s in her sixties – but newly released photographs show that age has not dulled her one bit.
She is also a phenomenal actress. If you’ve seen the movie Casino, in which she descends from cool elegance into a pit of drug-fuelled misery, you’ll know what I mean. But despite all this, she’s apparently using a dating app.
There’s something wrong with the world, I reckon.
Branislav Simoncik/Vogue Portugal Fans can see Sharon on the cover of the Portuguese edition of Vogue
ON Thursday, French air traffic controllers brought misery to travellers by going on strike.
Can you believe that? French air traffic controllers? On strike?
They’ll be telling us next that French trawlermen are blockading a harbour somewhere.
Pass on the Yuck-a plants
MY poor daughter suffers from medical issues which mean she has to be super-careful about what she eats and drinks.
So, when I met her this week, we had to go to a vegan restaurant.
Alamy Why do vegans have to make everything so complicated?
I had the only scrotum in the place. And I can safely say it’s the only restaurant, anywhere in the world, where I haven’t wanted a single item on the menu.
I’ve sucked the brains out of sparrows and eaten “seven-day eggs” that were normal eggs only with a bit of beak, and maybe an eye or two, in them.
I have an iron constitution, but I draw the line at tofu. And buckwheat. And quinoa.
It’s all Corbyn food and I want no part of it.
And why do vegans have to make everything so complicated?
Instead of serving carrots which normal people can eat, I was offered ginkgo biloba, turmeric, gotu kola, garcinia, milk thistle and cucumber juice . . . which was served in a syringe.
Or charcoal and coconut water.
What are they saying? That at a barbecue, a vegan is happy to ignore the food and eat what it’s been cooked on?
“Do you have any food allergies?” the waitress asked.
“Yes. Vegetables,” I replied, before ordering a coffee and leaving it at that.Crossing the Line
I DON’T want to spoil the ending of Line Of Duty because I’m aware that many of you won’t have seen it yet.
But it’s ridiculous.
The hero spotted a clue that wasn’t there and extrapolated from it a theory that was not even on nodding terms with the concept of plausibility.
But instead of telling him to stop being stupid, everyone nodded sagely and said: “Oh yeah.”
Line Of Duty is great and its writer, Jed Mercurio, is a genius.
But I reckon he’d been in the pub for quite a while when the suits called and said: “Mate. I know it’s short notice but any chance we could end on a cliff-hanger so we can get another series?”
WASPS ARE THE BEES KNEES AT MATHSSCIENTISTS have discovered that wasps can do maths.By putting them in a glass box and gently electrocuting them if they landed on the wrong-coloured card, they were able to work out, over many painstaking months of observation that, unlike bees, wasps really can work stuff out.
Couple of things on that.
Firstly, wouldn’t these scientists be more gainfully employed working on, I dunno, cold fusion or tidal power stations or a cure for the common cold?
And secondly, who cares?
The next time my picnic is being ruined by a persistent wasp, I won’t think: “Ooh, you’re a clever little fella.” I shall do as I always do and fashion a rudimentary flamethrower using a lighter and a can of deodorant. And then I shall incinerate the little b*****d.
CommentJUNE SARPONG Good to see Meghan’s mum Doria front and centre in story of Archie’s birth CommentJAMES FORSYTH Withdrawal Agreement Bill is May’s last hope of getting Brexit deal through CommentTHE SUN SAYS Government must stand up for our veterans & stop throwing them to the wolves CommentQUENTIN LETTS Tories and Theresa May are REAL Raving Loony Party — joke is horribly true CommentTHE SUN SAYS What’s the point of Ukip? It’s just a dustbin for extremists and thugs CommentROD LIDDLE It’s ironic — we vote to quit EU and populists arrive to make it better
May plan was ‘hog roasted’
Splash News Brian May looks after hedgehogs – before they’re eaten by badgers
WE learned this week that Queen guitarist and perm enthusiast Brian May runs a hedgehog sanctuary in his back garden.
He tends to the cute little animals before releasing them back into the wild . . . where nearly all of them will be eaten by badgers.
I’m not making this up.
One of the main reasons why hedgehog numbers are in freefall is because they are being killed by the ever-increasing numbers of badgers.
And what can we do to bring those badger numbers down?
Getty – Contributor Look out for the badger
Nothing, sadly – thanks to the efforts of wildlife campaigners such as, er, Brian May.
MY local farmer showed me pictures this week – and I shall not print them here – of one of his sheep, which had had its eyes pecked out, as it gave birth, by a crow. Sadly, though, he can no longer shoot the crows thanks to the efforts of animal lover Chris Packham.