the corner office

a blog, by Colin Pretorius

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Derrick Bird

The Derrick Bird killing spree is awful. A tragedy for the victims and their families. Can't help but think it's a FREAKIN' BONANZA for the BBC though. The other news channels are undoubtedly the same. They apply themselves to the duty of reporting with a little too much enthusiasm, it feels. The back-in-the-studio talking heads plough into the Big Issues and interrogate the Live On the Scene Types with what borders on perverse voyeurism, and outside the studio the sombreness doesn't quite mix with the 'ooh dear terrible tragedy but not every day the world cares about what's going on in Cumbria, this could be my big break...' demeanour of a horde of second-tier BBC reporters who hitherto had little except the occasional werewolf-savaged hiker and boring Local Interest segments to look forward to. In all, 24 hour news media represents little more than the most loathsome aspects of the fourth estate.

The other issue now is gun control. I don't have much of an opinion on gun control but I do have two thoughts given the anti-gun reaction that will inevitably follow:

  • it's tragic and I'm not making light of the loss, but given that it's happened 3 times in 25 years in the UK, would the amount of effort and cost to regulate guns even more tightly be worth it? Could more lives be saved if all that taxpayer money was spent elsewhere? Especially given the implications of tighter regulation for those who need and legitimately use guns, and who will never go on killing sprees?

  • would these sorts of rampages happen if a large portion of the population were armed? A counter-argument might be that a heavily-armed population would mean significantly more gun deaths than now. But if so, what proportion of those deaths would be innocent bystanders?

It's a really sad thing either way.

{2010.06.03 - 08:59}


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