Monday, 1 June 2009

Gun Law

For anyone who thinks that widespread ownership of guns is a good idea, read this and tell me that you cannot possibly imagine it happening to you:

"It started with a dinner party which was thrown for my grandparents' fortieth wedding anniversary. Towards the end, we all had a lot to drink and our guests had left and I told me Dad I wanted to leave the army. He disagreed with me and started to outline his reasons for disagreeing with me. It was obviously set for being a long discussion so my mother, my sister and grandparents went to bed. We had a couple more drinks while the discussion went on and I was very drunk, and I suspect he was as well. At this point I have to become vague because the conversation came round to personal prowess and in particular with a shotgun. Me Dad claimed that he could not only outshoot me but outload me, outdraw me, i.e. he was faster than me, and claimed even with a crippled left arm he was still faster than me. I disagreed with him and said: 'Don't be silly' or words to that effect. In fact we were swearing at each other at this time. So he said: 'We'll prove it. Go and get two of the shotguns.' He has four, I have one. So I went upstairs and got my shotgun and I got his shotgun. I gave him his shotgun and he told *916 me to get two cartridges out of a box in the cupboard. I gave him one and took the other myself. He opened his gun and started to remove his snap caps. I opened my gun and removed two empty cartridges which I use as snap caps as I don't have any. I inserted the cartridge in the right hand barrel, closed the gun, took off the safety catch and pulled the trigger of the left hand barrel, and told him he'd lost. By this time I don't think he'd even cleared his barrel of the snap caps. He looked at me and said: 'I didn't think you'd got the guts, but if you have pull the trigger.' I didn't aim the gun. I just pulled the trigger and he was dead. I then went and called the police and told the operator I had just murdered my father, and that's the story."

R v. Moloney [1985] A.C. 905, P. 915-916

Moloney knew how to use guns, and had lived around them all his life. He had no mental problems, no criminal history, and no animosity towards his father. But he still killed him.

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