Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Guns are bad news

I have never agreed with the statement from the National Rifle Association that "guns don't kill people, people kill people."

At the age of 11 ,when I edited the school magazine that I had founded, I was made aware by a poem that one of the other boys submitted for publication that guns came with problems. In praise of the benefits of using verse to get a message remembered I quote,

"Never, ever let a gun,
Pointed be at anyone.
Loaded or unloaded be
Matters not the least to me".

When at 18 I attended my first and only shoot, which was in South Africa with guinea fowl as the target, my very accomplished host lent me his over and under Japanese trap gun with no instruction whatsoever. Fortunately I decided that the aim was not to kill the birds, others were far more proficient at that, but to avoid killing the beaters or the other "guns". This I managed to do by only shooting straight up in the air and in that I was successful and the guinea fowl were shot by others in huge numbers.

Even knowing what you are doing around guns does not provide for complete protection from their malign influence. One of my colleagues was on the British Olympic shooting team which did not go to Moscow because Thatcher decreed that no British military personnel should go in protest at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Another, much more tragically, worked as the plant manager for English China Clays in Middle Georgia where hunting is a very popular pastime. During a period of deep depression this delightful, thoughtful family man shot himself because the gun was downstairs in the garage
Guns are bad news.

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