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Hugh Salmon

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When a Human Right is a Human Wrong

Posted: 25/07/2012 00:04

Sitting, lounging, reading books - as I am now - by a swimming pool overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, it is natural to absorb more sunshine than news. But the full horror of the Denver Dark Knight killings has penetrated this tranquil state and destroyed the lives of hundreds of innocent people oceans away from here.

No doubt thousands of commentators have written millions of pages about this crime (not many of which, frankly, have I read).

But how many people were reading - as I was last week - the seminal American novel 'Freedom' by Jonathan Franzen on the very day the news from Denver came through? In the book, Franzen writes this:

'It's all circling round the same problem of personal liberties ... even if your kids are getting shot down by maniacs with assault rifles ... Bill Clinton figured out that we can't win elections by running against personal liberties. Especially not against guns.'

Creepy, huh?

I am sure much comment has been made in defence of America's gun laws but I would like to contribute one small thought - and I am sorry if you have read this elsewhere.

What about the protection that the victims of these Denver killings were entitled to?

Is protection not a civil liberty, a human right?

Over the Olympic period, and in this Presidential election year, I wonder if, every time the American national anthem celebrates 'The Land of the Free', there will be hundreds of victims in Denver and billions of people around the world thinking 'oh no, you are not'. 

 

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