Glorified version of a pellet gun*

Another week, another strong news story. Bulletins have been full of footage of the training of the Chinese Olympic running team. They really mean business. They must do – they’ve been travelling around the world running right next to the olympic torch. These guys really take the concept of psyching-out the competition to a new level. They’ve so far been training in London, Paris, San Francisco and Beunos Aires, and I daresay they’ll be going other places too.

It’s an odd concept, but everything has to be protected these days. Whereas people used to drive cars with razor sharp steering wheels and no seatbelts, today you would be cocooned in enough airbags to build your own bouncy castle the second you hit a squirrel.

The strange thing is, surely there’s something wrong when you have to protect the worldwide symbol of peace?

Then in the land of the free this week, Florida made sure everything was safer still by passing a law allowing people to take guns to work.

Up until now, people only had the right to bear arms anywhere they liked right up until the point they arrived at their employer’s car park. Of course, there were guidelines and rules to protect everyone – the weapons had to be kept in a locked glove compartment. As we all now, this is enough to stop all the bad stuff happening. Afterall, JFK would still be here if his shooter had thought, ‘well I’m focussed, but… oh… I left the gun in the glove compartment… now I’m having second thoughts… I think I’ll go home and have a cup to tea’.

As Reuters points out, ‘Publix Supermarkets and Disney World are amongst the employers who now forbid workers to have guns in their cars whilst on the job’. Brilliant. I feel safe. I can now wander the Fantasia exhibition safe in the knowledge that out back there are a hundred cars with guns safely locked away in them. Hey, I feel safe. Almost constitutionally safe.

It’s all down to the American Constitution NRA, which solely ensure we can all sleep safe have to wonder which of the people walking passed us is carrying a concealed weapon. Of course, it’s ok if someone carries a concealed weapon – they’ll have a permit.

Of course, pro-gun groups always say it’s all in the Second Amendment. That takes its cue from the ealier British Bill of Rights which includes a right to bear arms. The only thing is, these days we have cars, we have public transport, we have more stressful lives, we have more colleagues, muggers, wedding toastmasters and Simon Cowell – these are all things which make it more likely that someone will lose their temper. And in Britain we’ve realised this and banned guns.

Still, I know the next time in The States, I’ll feel extra safe knowing that, should I get mugged, there’ll be a full-scale re-enactment of The Somme just to make sure I’m safe.

* A tribute to Sir Eddie of Vedder, Pearl Jam’s ‘Glorious G’ – Google the words if you don’t know.

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