Tuesday, 30 December 2014

An open letter to a US Citizen

Dear American cousin:

Yet again we here in the old country hear about another gun tragedy. If it's not some nut case running amok in a mall its some kid killing her instructor on the range or - now - a toddler accidentally shooting his own mother. 

When will this madness end? 

Your right to bear arms is about the same as my right to wear a sword when attending court. In the distant past when your ancestors (and mine) were winning themselves a nation (let's not go into that in too much detail) then I suppose the right to bear arms was an essential survival mechanism and about as necessary, I should imagine, as a supply of clean water. 

And I know it's not the object's fault, either. I know a knife is only lethal in the hands of an attacker and a gun only kills when someone shoots it but...
Without kitchen knives our cooking would be rather difficult; without guns we could still do most things I imagine, without much trouble. Couldn't we?

 I'm no idealist; I realise we can't rid the world of weapons. But we can restrict their numbers and their distribution can't we? And we can do this without infringing anyone's freedom. Let's just think about it in the same way as we do speed limits or drug laws shall we? Quite happy to have freedoms to do potentially harmful things like that curtailed, aren't we? I'm sure it really wouldn't hurt to have a law that limited the ownership and carrying of guns.

And just think of the tragedies it might prevent.


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