Thursday 22 February 2018

Eilis O'Hanlon: Vigilante child protection will put innocents at risk

Proposals to allow anybody the right to ask the courts to have a child taken into care are a busybody's charter, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

SALES of guns have soared in America since the shooting dead of 12 people at a screening of the new Batman film in Colorado a week ago.

That seems bizarre and inexplicable to many observers on this side of the Atlantic. Why would a country bedevilled by gun crime -- albeit one where violent deaths have, counter-intuitively, decreased as the rate of gun ownership gathered pace in recent years -- want to get its hands on more guns? Those buying guns, however, think of it like this: in a country where there are so many guns, why should criminals alone be the ones to have them? Better to take responsibility for your own and your family's safety by being prepared for the worst.

They may be wrong to see the situation in that light; even mad, if you please. But it's not a ridiculous point of view when seen through the prism of the US creed of personal responsibility. They expect to have to look after themselves and their loved ones, rather than expecting the State to do it for them, just as, hand in hand, they have a healthy respect for privacy and the right to be left alone by authority.

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