Non-lethal weapons

For a change, I think the Guards were right in what they did. (Shock, appalled recoiling horror, stunned amazement, disappointment, rejection, despair).

No. They were right. This thing in Gort wasn’t like the Abbeylara business, where you had a poor devil inside his own house, harming nobody. This was different. Here you had a guy in a town, with at least two weapons, firing – pretty much – a fusillade out his window, drunk as a bollocks, cursing and swearing and threatening anyone who moved. What are you going to do?

In America, they have a particular way of dealing with such matters, as we know, and which I will come to in a minute. But meanwhile, back in Gort, what the fuck are the cops supposed to do? This is not rural Abbeylara. This is a town, with people, and here comes a guy with a shotgun, who has already fired maybe forty shots out his window, and he’s still carrying a gun, and he’s screaming threats.

The cops have been given this famous non-lethal bean-bag weapon and, come on now, they’re only guards, ok? I mean, sure, they know how to build houses, but physics is a little beyond them. How are they to know about bean-bag weapons? What’s a bean-bag, you ask. Is it the thing I bought for when I have that New York minimalist warehouse apartment overlooking the East River, and a six-pack, but that the dog has taken over and now you wouldn’t sit on it if your life depended on it? Yes. It is.

But it’s also a non-lethal weapon, or more accurately a a less-than-lethal weapon. It’s a bag of pellets which they fire at you out of a shotgun, and it could crush your skull, so non-lethal it certainly is not. On the other hand, it’s safer than a hail of lead. Less than lethal, most of the time, then, which is about as much as you could say about anything. After all, even your regular doggy-stinking bean-bag could be lethal in the wrong hands.

In Gort it was not only less than lethal, but also less than effective, due to its narrow operational range. Too close and you kill the guy. Too far away and you piss him off, or you miss him completely. I think they missed. I think they stood too far away, which is completely understandable. Who wants to get shot? They stood off, they fired the bean bags which missed, and then they shot him.

Well done, the guards. This isn’t something you’ll often hear in this slot, but in the present case, well done.

Meanwhile, in RTE-land, we had a breathless interview of a reporter, by another reporter, about how difficult it is to report this incident. In other words, RTE became the story. Reporters interviewing other reporters about the hard life of a reporter on the front line. Brilliant!

Of course, it’s all a fantasy world anyway. Ireland is like Caesar’s Gaul which, as you know well from your Latin history, is divided into three parts, one part of which the Belgae inhabit, another the Aquitani and a third, those who in their own language are called Celts, and in ours, Gauls. Ireland, on the other hand, has only two: RTE-world and The Country.

Whatever about the Guards, though, you couldn’t be up to the Miami policewoman, who fired a stun-gun at a six-year-old boy because he was holding a shard of glass and cutting himself.

A six-year-old?

You know something, the Miami police are a crowd of girls.

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