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Restating the obvious about firearms

December 14, 2012 - Harry Eagar
The Irish are not a peaceable people. Several of the murders recounted by Reddy were IRA assassinations (the only famous crime in the selection is the bombing of Lord Mountbatten's fishing boat, a political assassination). And the murders selected were not chosen by Reddy to make any points about firearms or causes of murder, but only to illustrate good forensics work,

But it is remarkable how hands-on Irish murderers have to be.

Guns are common in the countryside, for hunting, and there is a shotgun murder here. But there are many more strangulation murders and beatings.

It is a lot easier to kill in the heat of the moment if you have a pistol handy.

American gun nuts are fond of saying that guns don't kill people, people kill people. That's true, but people who have guns are able to kill a lot more people than people who have only a knife, candlestick or bare hands.

Ireland, like Somalia, has suffered from the increase in the population of cheap but reliable handarms. After an offduty Garda officer was shot by bankrobbers, the minister of justice, Patrick Cooney, said: "Those who have introduced this cult of the gun into Irish society have a lot to answer for


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