America, Guns, Brexit and the Death Penalty

School shootings in the US seem to follow the same pattern, atrocity, Democrats plead, Republicans ignore, NRA pushes for looser gun control.

Social media goes mad, positions become entrenched. Where to go from here?

Is there a lesson to be learned from Brexit? In Brexit polls show that there is little apetite for a repeat of the referendum. HOWEVER there is an appetite for a referendum on the terms of the deal.

Maybe the same is true in the US. A call for a ban on guns is going to be met with huge opposition (or to quote a dad whose kid goes to school in Florida where the shooting happened- “I don’t want the government to take my gun”). However a call to have stronger background checks is pretty hard to be against (though hey they have managed it in the past) and may have a better chance of success. Possibly a ban on automatic rifles, bump stocks, large magazines etc. A call for an outright ban polarises and stalls. Maybe baby steps will work better?

 Pondering the death penalty.

Florida shooter Nicolas Cruz, is 100% guilty of the shooting in Florida which left 17 in a school dead.  He is allegedly offering to plead guilty if the death penalty is waived.   This is a cut and dried, no possibility there is a mistake, case and there are strong cases for vengeance, not paying to keep the bastard alive and in jail, and what the heck to discourage others.  If it was my kid who died I would be considering switching lethal injection for something painful….and yet…..

The bible says though shalt not kill.  It doesn’t make exceptions for wankers.
Cases are not always cut and dried – miscarriages do occur and will occur.
Would his death help survivors and the families of the dead heal?

Further reformed criminals make great spokespeople.

I think of these words by Despmond Tutu – I used them at the funeral of my father, a concentration camp survivor.


On forgiveness:


I know it is the only way  to heal the pain in my heart.

Forgiveness is not dependent on the actions of others.

Yes it is certainly easier to offer forgiveness when the perpetrator offers remorse

…this is the most

familiar pattern of forgiveness.

We don’t forgive for others. We forgive for ourselves.

Forgiveness, in other words, is the best form of self interest.


Forgiveness takes practice, honesty,

Open-mindedness and a willingness to try.

It isn’t easy.


(The Book of Forgiving: Desmond and Mpho Tutu)

I don’t have an answer – I wish I did, but as a Christian I guess I feel the bastard should live?  Maybe?  I could almost certainly kill him, but without guilt?  I don’t know.  I suspect not.  And if I cannot kill him without guilt, is it right for me to ask another (ie the state) to do so on my behalf?.