Friday, 22 January 2010

Friday 22 January

The day started normally enough but took a sudden turn for the worse. I was just about to ring the office of someone very famous for work purposes, when I looked out of the kitchen window, at a teenager, about ten yards away, in grey "hoodie" gear with the hood up over his head. He had the brown butt of what appeared to be a rifle, on his shoulders, pointing it up into the trees above him. Surreal. I ducked, went away and called the police. They arrived about half an hour later. By then, I had realised it was an air gun. Being an expert in firearms is not one of my strengths. The police found a tin can, riddled with shot.

They explained the following: if using an air gun, you have to be with someone over 21 and more than 50 yards from a road. To shoot in a private wood, you have to have written permission. You must not carry an air gun uncovered and certainly not use it on a public footpath. Air gun shot does not penetrate double glazing. Thankfully. They also explained about off road bike riding. Kids do it without insurance and so all you do is call the police and they confiscate the bikes, if they get there in time.

The question is: have I turned into a complete "kill joy" yet? I met a man this week in London who told me that he is trying to stop a homeless man living in a local garage (not his property), by stealing his shoes or soaking his sleeping bag with cold water. I was repulsed.

"Live and let live" is a good maxim whenever possible, and pray for a third way, another solution whih does not destroy the lifeline of others while retaining justice and safety, when under real pressure.

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