Death by the Gun

More news is coming in all the time about the harrowing aftermath of the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, and it’s hard to imagine that someone would come out and state that ‘the only answer to a bad man with a gun’ is a good man with a gun’. That however, is what the President of the NRA propounds. Not only that, he believes that every school on America should have an armed security presence. Irresponsibility comes in many forms it seems.

I have to admit that I was always a big fan of the film ‘The Big Country’. Funnily enough it’s two main male stars were diametrically opposed to each other when it came to many things, but firearms in particular. Well, we know that Charlton Heston was the President of the NRA and we all know his position concerning the bearing of  firearms. I do hope the rifle has been taken from his ‘cold dead hand’ by now. Gregory Peck did not like guns and sat on Handgun Control Inc. with others. In the film, at the dead of night when nobody is watching, the two men have a fight. They beat each other till neither can stand, though I favour Gregory Peck’s character could have gone on. Peck then says, “ Now, tell me. What did we prove?” What he proved was that more American citizens should have listened to a member of an anti-handgun campaigning group than listen to leaders of the NRA. The only people profiting from the sale of all these guns are the manufacturers of them.

In light of the fact that approximately 30,000 people die from gun violence a year in America, and not withstanding that that is over 6 times more than have been lost in the Middle East in the line of duty since 2003 (4300), and further taking note of the fact that there actually was an armed presence at Columbine when that massacre took place, I rather hoped that right thinking Americans would finally realise that in the 21st century there shouldn’t be a need for people to go armed during the normal course of their lives in a civilian environment. However, we hear that more and more weapons are being sold in case there is an embargo on weapon sales, and not only that, body armour for children is fast becoming necessary school wear. The insistence on the right to bear arms is creating a nightmare from which only further harm is guaranteed. Perhaps a little more attention needs to be paid to children’s right to have a life without the fear that always accompanies firearm misuse.

Wanton Slaughter

I woke up to the terrible news coming in from America last Friday, and no doubt,like every other right thinking person around the world, I was left reeling from the horror of it all. I’ve had the extreme good fortune to have had two very well balanced, intelligent, and attractive children. They in their turn have both married and set out on their own journeys through life’s many twists and turns.

My son chose a life in New Zealand where he had met and fallen in love with a lovely woman who already had a son. He is now my son’s son too. My wife and I love them all and visit them as often as we can.

My daughter lives and works in London with her husband, and has had two fabulous children. My wife and I have two wonderful grandchildren. We love them all too and see them often.

The horror of last Friday drove home to me, and no doubt many other people, how important life is, and how precious our family is. We’re fortunate in the United Kingdom in that guns don’t play a part in everyday life. There are of course occasional incidents of brutality where guns play a part, but thankfully they are few. We really do need to make sure that we never give in to the suggestions that crop up from time to time that our police should be armed. Were that to happen, I’m convinced that criminals would see it as a necessity to arm themselves too.  I believe that the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut proves that the complete absence of guns could only be a good thing. Whilst that of course, is not really achievable, keeping the access to them at a minimum is the next best thing. we can only hope that Americans will realise this too and support President Obama’s efforts to reach such a goal in the United States.