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It's high noon in Dodge


Sir -- It would seem that Dublin will soon have to change its name to something like Dodge City. After all, if two men armed with a shotgun and a handgun can casually walk into a bar and shoot two people, killing one of them, then I reckon it's time to call in someone like Wyatt Earp to handle the situation.

Also, the shooting highlights how useless unarmed guards are in such a situation. Would you ask a guard on the beat to go up against a criminal armed with a gun or shotgun while all he has is a baton? Is now the time to erect signs outside our towns and cities, demanding visitors hand in all their guns to the local the sheriff's office (sorry, garda station) for the duration of the stay?

And this at a time when the numbers in An Garda Siochana are to be curtailed severely. But the fact is that there's probably enough gardai in the force already. So what are they all doing with themselves? Many seem to spend the day filling out forms and taking telephone calls -- tasks that could be easily done by a civilian secretarial staff at a fraction of the cost. This would free up a huge number of gardai for essential tasks, such as keeping the peace.

The plain fact is that unless we have a police force capable of dealing with the crime in our towns and cities, civilians will have to arm themselves to protect their very lives.

Michael O Meara,

Killarney, Co Kerry

Sunday Independent