Two events this week are proof if proof be need be that there is a new menace on our streets. Surely something must be done?
I give you Exhibit A:
A third teenager has appeared in court in connection with an airgun attack near a school in which 11 youngsters were injured.
The 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was charged at Ayr Sheriff Court with assault.
He made no plea or declaration and was released on bail.
Two youths have already been charged over the incident in Auchinleck, East Ayrshire, on Wednesday lunchtime.
Five girls and six boys aged between 12 and 16 were struck by pellets in the Church Street area of the town.
No-one was seriously injured.
And Exhibit B:
SOCCER ace Ashley Cole left a fan "bleeding profusely" after shooting him at Chelsea's training ground, it has been reported.
The controversial England defender allegedly took a .22 air rifle - the most powerful gun available without a licence in the UK - with him to training last Sunday.
The News of the World reports that Cole was messing around with the weapon in the dressing room when he inadvertently shot Tom Cowan, a sports science student on work placement with Chelsea.
It is high time that these weapons were banned before some other poor innocent bystander is injured in a slightly inconvenient manner which doesn't threaten their lives in the slightest.
I'm being slightly flippant. I'd be really pissed off if some lack-wit arseclown shot me with an air gun, and yes, to wheel out the favourite line of safety types, someone could have lost an eye.
But let's face facts here, the system appears to be working. The clots in Scotland are up before the beak, and because they've not done something really heinous, like dropping some fag ash on the floor, or something trivial like stubbing said cigarette out on a baby, they'll probably get a sentence that fits the crime.
Meanwhile Mr. Cole, a man who is a better clot than he is a left back, and he's a world class left back, probably thought he got away with it, but may find that now that the news of the screws has got hold of it he may face some action after all. The damage this article has done to his reputation is nil, due to the fact that his reputation is already lower than a snake's belly anyway.
What is it about some professional footballers (certainly not all, it is always the same half a dozen names that crop up) that makes them act like a complete arse?
There are differences between these cases, the lads in Scotland acted with malice and should be treated accordingly by the courts. Cashley was just an idiot, I don't think there was any intent, but it is symptomatic of his class. He's famous and rich, so whilst what happened to the young student in question is regrettable it will be just a bit of a joke to him, as the other guy isn't rich and famous and doesn't really count. We've seen time and time again how Cole has little regard for others, especially 'little people', if he's put up before the beak what can we expect? A fine and a victim surcharge which will never get anywhere near the victim and will not even make a dent in his wage packet of £100k per week plus. If I were given free reign, I'd give an order to spend the next 4 months training with his local TA regiment, where he would learn weapons discipline, get some humility and order, and if the evenings when the regiment train happen to clash with evenings when Chelsea play, then tough luck, perhaps the lost income will make you consider your actions in the future. It may also give him an appreciation of proper teamwork and the lot of those who do properly important jobs. His crime is not malice, it is a selfish lack of thought.
Of course that won't happen, but I can dream, can't I?
Nevertheless, the calls for the banning of air guns will probably grow in volume, because it is so much easier to call for the restriction of items than to hold those who misuse them to account for their actions. Once again, the majority will be made to suffer for the idiotic actions of the minority.
*Prize of a juicy bone to the person who points out the gratuitous Chris Morris reference.