Grim: It is your job to vet the applications. You’re supposed to ask questions to find out who’s a suitable person to own a gun.
Fowler: That’s right. And surely the first question must be, “Does that person wish to own a gun?”
Grim: Of course.
Fowler: And if the answer to that is “yes”, then clearly that person is not suitable to have one.
Grim: This is the nanny state gone mad!
Fowler: What, because I don’t happen to think that a man who lives in a suburban semi needs an automatic weapon?
Grim: He’s a sportsman.
Fowler: Then tell him to buy a pair of plimsolls. Sport? Sport? When did you last see a wild boar in Gasforth? Or an elk? If you did, dispatching it with a spear or an arrow would be sport. But deploying an elk-seeking missile is just cheating.
Grim: This is a civil liberties issue! […]
Fowler: And what about the rights of those who do not wish to live next to an armed man? […]
Grim: I am talking about the rights of the individual here, which I consider secondary to those of the community as a whole.
Fowler: This town is a human nest. If you were an ant, would you consider it a matter of hymenopterous civil liberties that a socially dysfunctional worker ant be allowed to keep a pet anteater?
Grim: If it were securely muzzled and tethered, yes, I would.
Fowler: Then clearly you are quite mad.
– The Thin Blue Line (1996) Season 2, Episode 3. [No. 10]