CHARLES GRAHAM - Gun ownership: a fatal right

SO soon after the horrendous Arizona shootings, the air is already thick with theories, suppostion, accusation and counter-accusation as to why it happened and who is to blame other than the assassin himself.

One claim is that gunman Jared Loughner was motivated to blast to death six people and shoot congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in the head because of his exposure to “overheated political debate.”

In particular the inflamatory language and gun-related terminology of Republican former vice-presidential hopeful and hockey mom Sarah Palin has been singled out for particular attention.

Whether this turns out to have a shred of truth in it remains to be proved.

Such a concept at least seems to be prompting a move to tone down the hyperbole at this early stage, which can be no bad thing.

That’s even if Loughner’s internet rantings about the congresswoman (she apparently slighted him by not satisfactorily answering one of his bizarre constituency inquiries) and life in general seem to have little to do with Republican politics.

Observing this latest in a long line of US gun massacres, the only thing I feel safe in saying about the Tucson tragedy at the moment is that if America had as tight a gun law as Britain’s, the likelihood of such horrors would be much reduced.

No society can eliminate the risks from lunatics going on a shooting spree. Look no further than Derrick Bird in our own back yard for that.

But these are, thankfully, extremely rare in a country where hardly anyone owns a gun.

In America the majority of folk seem unable to make the glaringly obvious connection.

And it is with tragic irony that among those supporters of a citizen’s right to be armed is one Democrat congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.