Tuesday 21 November 2017

John Walshe: America’s Colt 45 justice system where justice is about who is fastest on the draw

Alleged cinema gunman James Holmes appears in court after his shooting spree at a Batman premiere in Aurora, Colorado. Photo: Getty Images
Alleged cinema gunman James Holmes appears in court after his shooting spree at a Batman premiere in Aurora, Colorado. Photo: Getty Images

The popular American TV drama series Justified, now in its fourth series, concerns a trigger-happy US marshal called Raylan Givens who fights crime in his (modern-day) native Kentucky. Most episodes culminate in a shoot-out, in which a dim bad guy draws his weapon, but Givens draws faster and kills him. "I was justified," he tends to mutter to his aghast superiors. "He pulled first."

It's the spirit of the Old West, in other words, a time when everyone wore a pistol and being faster on the draw was more manly than being a peace-lovin' varmint. Some of that spirit seems to have gripped the people of Colorado in the wake of last Friday's heinous cinema massacre. Something must explain why 2,887 Coloradans reacted to the killings and woundings, not by begging for strict gun controls, but by heading for Guns & Ammo stores and getting tooled up themselves.

Their logic is simple but mad. "If ONE person inside that theatre [had been] armed, this situation would NOT have been as bad as it is," read a Facebook post.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss