Five questions after Connecticut shootings

1. President Obama’s speech in the aftermath of the Connecticut killings was indeed impressive, particularly when he spoke of the children whose lives had been brutally snuffed out. Twenty lives ended before they’d properly begun – who wouldn’t feel like weeping. Q: Did the president weep also for the 168 children killed in Pakistan since 2004 by drone bombs? Not to mention the civilians killed – somewhere between two and three thousand?

2. Every day in the US,  thirty-four more people die in shooting incidents. If all human lives are equally valuable – and they are – then the president should have been weeping on a daily basis, especially as he has done nothing in the past four years to curb the gun lobby in the US. Is 26 people killed on the one spot by one person worse than 34 people killed by different people in a variety of areas?

3. At the last poll on the subject, only 25% of respondents in the US favoured a tightening of gun laws.  This despite Columbine,  Virginia Tech, Aurora and other appalling events.  How and why is it that Americans appear not to get it? And are they likely to get it, now 20 small children have been slaughtered?

4.  Shootings and killings are a central part of thousands of Hollywood movies. I was reared myself on a diet of Audie Murphy, Gary Cooper and Gene Autry. And how we all love just love Clint Eastwood when he says “I know what you’re thinking. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun inthe world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”  My question: is this cinema diet really good for us?

5. There are  153,450 legally-held weapons in Northern Ireland. The youngest owner is 17, the oldest 103. Eight people own between 150 and 175 weapons each.  Nearly 3,000 are held as ‘personal protection weapons’ by, among others,  ex-PSNI and prison officers. So you’ve got to ask yourself one question: does a divided society need all those weapons in private hands? OK – make it two questions: are these weapons evenly distributed among unionists and nationalists. Because an imbalance would surely be alarming for the side without killing instruments.

4 Responses to Five questions after Connecticut shootings

  1. Anonymous December 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    The fields of Afghanistan are strewn with pieces of school children, thanks to uncle tom obama's brave oil pirates, hired hands, sun readers or what ever ye like to call them.

  2. Anonymous December 15, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    One wonders why ex-P S N I and prison officers feel the need to have “personal protection arms”? Could it be because they had a reasonable suspicion that someone(perhaps from the republican side) might want to kill them?!

  3. Ryanm29 December 17, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    Of the points 1-4, well written, cant disagree at all.

    point 5… not sure what you are getting at, i'm guessing its to make a political point, I think you may be jumping to conclusions.

    If you take the 3000 personal protection weapons out of it -I assume these people are vetted and trained (and trusted?) with these weapons, so arent likely to go shooting people with them unless their own lives are at risk. Y'know the story, it was a war, you're surely not expecting your enemy to not defend themselves are you, Jude?

    the 150,000 in NI is about 1 gun per 10 people in the population. Who are these people? What is the nature of them? are they farmers? are they people who are responsible etc?

    Of that 150,000 virtually none of them will be hand guns, none of them will be assault rifles. They're more than likely going to be shotguns and air-rifles.

    Given that you need a licence for any air rifle regardless of power (its anything over 12ft/lb in England) it could be assumed that quite a number of them fall into this category and would be reasonably non-lethal (to humans).

    What I would say, having applied for a firearms licence (for pest control and clay pigeons) is that the onus is on you to justify why you should be allowed to own a gun. You must specify where you can use it, have permission from land owners, you must specify references, you must specify your doctor etc. The process is not a rubber stamp by any means.

    One gun per 10 people in society is quite a bit less than the 6.8 for 10 in the US, given our rural society in Ireland its hardly a surprise.

    You attempt to make a very political point as though hordes of unionists are going to start a revolution with their shotguns and start slaughtering innocent nationalist children. I think its a very cheap shot on your part.

    Again, given the nature of Irish society, shooting and fishing are not exclusive to the unionists. From my experience those who do own guns are not the types to be associated with politics… they've got better thing to spend their time on.

    I guess you could look at it as a town vs country thing.

  4. Anonymous December 18, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    As Ryan above says,most people wouldn't disagree with points 1-4.Paragraph 5 sadly goes on to make the usual cheap political points with which readers of Jude Collins are so familiar.