I think it would be fair to say that many of us look across ...

    From the Bishops
    8 January 2013
    Bishop Mike

    I think it would be fair to say that many of us look across the Atlantic with a measure of disbelief when we think about their Constitution and their valued 2nd Amendment which hands citizens the right to bear arms. I confess, I find it very difficult to get my head around it. This is clearly a case of a very different national psyche.

    The National Rifle Association (NRA) amongst other things,, a powerful pro-gun lobby group, has pitched in following the recent mass killings in a school in Connecticut with a very robust and vehement defence of the 2nd Amendment.

    Their argument seems even more bewildering to many of us. That events like mass killings argue for more guns rather than gun control. “if the teachers had been armed, this would never have happened…” The simple fact of deaths via the use of firearms in the USA compared to similar deaths in countries which have gun control is for us argument enough. The same argument there just doesn’t work. I suspect the USA, despite The President and Vice President deciding that gun control needs to be on the table is a long way off.

    The petition gathering momentum in the USA to have Piers Morgan deported for an outspoken attack on a representative of the NRA whilst interviewing him on CNN seems further evidence of the jumpiness of many Americans to criticism about their approach to gun control.

    Whether a TV presenter should be so outspoken in an interview with an invited guest is something for the producers of that show to decide about. It’s difficult to believe however that anyone would ever hire Mr Morgan without being aware that he is prone to bouts of unguarded speaking. However, surely the right to free speech is something to be equally fought for.